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Kassovitz critizes Fox on Babylon A.D.

BabylonAD.jpgThe director of Babylon A.D. has been speaking about what he thinks of the final film, and unfortunately it isn't good news. Mathieu Kassovitz has been critical of Fox, who he says have not allowed him to produce the final product that he wanted to. In fact he pretty much accuses them of ruining the whole film.

After seeing the trailer for this one, I was looking forward to it. But according to Kassovitz it's far from the film he hoped it would be.

Babylon A.D. tell the story of a mercenary who accepts the job of transporting a woman from Russia to America. Unbeknown to him the woman is wanted by a cult, who plan to harvest an organism inside her, which will help them to produce a new Messiah. It stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Gérard Depardieu, Mark Strong and Charlotte Rampling. And was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz who had also directed Crimson Rivers and La Haine.

It all sounds interesting and I was sold when I saw this trailer. Rumours of problems first began in April though, with news that the film had been recut, and seventy minutes had been lost. The plan being to achieve the PG-13 rating to open it up to the widest audience possible.

Well now Kassovitz has been talking about what he thinks of his final film, and he is less than complimentary about the studio's involvement.

I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn't respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience.

He was talking to AMC through First Showing.net. It must be immensely frustrating when a studio isn't fully behind a project. And Kassovitz says despite the great the scope that the book had, he wasn't allowed to bring that to the screen.

It's pure violence and stupidity. The movie is supposed to teach us that the education of our children will mean the future of our planet. All the action scenes had a goal: They were supposed to be driven by either a metaphysical point of view or experience for the characters… instead parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24.

Ouch. It looks like whatever plans Kassovitz had to make something more than just an action movie were scuppered. And when it comes to the length of the final film, Kassovitz says the cuts made have left him with a very different film. And not just in terms of length.

I know what I had — I had something much better in my hands but I just wasn't allowed to work. I don't see how people who went through all these amazing blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Iron Man this summer will take it.

A fairly honest assessment, that must be hard to take. After ploughing so much of his time and energy into the film, it must be pretty soul destroying to end up with something you aren't proud of. Kassovitz though is pretty clear where the blame lies.

I should have chosen a studio that has guts. Fox was just trying to get a PG-13 movie. I'm ready to go to war against them, but I can't because they don't give a shit.

That says it all. Like I said I was looking forward to Babylon A.D., the trailer looked great. And it also looked like Vin Diesel was back to his best. Going by Kassovitz, Fox have taken what could have been a great film and turned it into an average action film. It's definitely not the first time a studio has interfered, and it definitely won't be the last. Unfortunately, Babylon A.D. could just be another casualty of studios chasing box office ahead of quality.



Although not a fan of Diesel, I was looking forward to this as well Ricahrd. Looks like I'll be giving it a miss now though.

We were just hearing from Clive Barker about how Lionsgate went for the profit margins over the film...well actually they didn't even do that, they just dropped it.

Now Fox are at it, although what they've done is have their executives guess what the audience would like to see and then impose that over the film-makers.

Saying that, of course this happens all the time, but so often that we hear of the director coming out and so openly criticising the film.

Yes, yes, I know they're operating a business, but there needs to be a meeting of minds on these projects otherwise we're the ones who really get hit, the audience.

Maybe the executives should just direct the films?

It would be interesting to see what we got if they did. I sometimes wonder just how much these studio executives know about film making. Probably not a lot. Mostly accountants, doing sums and coming up with the wrong answers.


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