Thursday, February 10, 2005

New cut version of The Passion of the Christ

This has been reported variously, e.g. mentioned by Jim West, a Variety (subscription only) article on a recut version of The Passion of the Christ, a film directed by Mel Gibson and first released last year:

The Passion Recut Coming to Theaters
Mel Gibson has made a new cut of The Passion of The Christ, trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes, reports Variety. The new version, The Passion Recut, will go out on 500-750 screens by Newmarket Films beginning March 11.

The new cut will be unrated, adds the trade. Gibson showed a preliminary version of this version to the ratings board. When it became clear he would still receive an R rating, which his original film bore, Gibson decided that would defeat his purpose . . . .

. . . . . "There are no new scenes, and the cuts are limited to the more violent aspects of the film, if that's the right term," said Bruce Davey, Gibson's partner in Icon Productions. "The scourging scene in particular has been substantially adjusted."

The film will be released in most major markets across the country. It is expected to run through Easter weekend, and Davey said that this might become a perennial release.
I will watch this story with interest; I might even be able to persuade my wife to watch the new version of the film with me; no more lonely cinema trips or DVD-watching sessions!

It's interesting that this has come after Fulco made a joke about this at the San Antonio SBL in November, noting that Gibson was working on a PG version; from my account of November 26:
Fulco cracked a joke with such dry humour that many fell for it. Shepherd asked him about the long term future of the film. Where would people's appreciation of it be in 5 or 10 years? Would it be regular Easter TV fare? He answered that Mel Gibson is currently working on a PG version of the film which would enable it to be shown on TV; he said that the PG version would be about 14 minutes long.
Well, I had assumed then that this was pure joke; but it looks like Fulco may have realised that there was indeed to be a cut version, and the joke was just about the length of the remainder.