NightBender wrote:The very first announcement of The Happening, made on March 6, 2007, mentions the movie is planned to be an R-rated feature. So this is wayyy before filming, thus rendering your "order came down from the studio to make R-rated right in the middle of shooting" line completely false.
OK, I stand corrected on this one. It took me a while but I finally got a hold of the DVD and went over the "Hard Cut" featurette again. I think my memory neurons got crossed on this one
, as M.Night's and co-producer Jose Rodriguez comments were interleaved and overlapped in middle of the shooting of the ranch scene.
Anyhow, Fox also thought the Green Effect spec script had R material in it. Even though M.Night intended to shoot the movie as a PG-13 (e.g. by panning away the camera, abrupt cut, etc, etc), Fox wanted to him to shoot it as an R. Other studios... I guess weren't as interested.
M.Night wrote:They actually called me... when i sold them the script they said, "we want to make this movie but we have one requirement, that we make it hard-R, that we really go for it" and I was like, "WHAT??!! I'm Mister PG-13..."
When I thought about it over night and then I called back and I said, "I'm in... I'm in... I see how this is going to kill... literally."
With all that in mind, I went "wow, this is they way how it should be made" it was very easy to kind of then open my mind, how do I shoot this if I don't have to pan away... sometimes I do pan away because that was the scariest thing to do...
Anyhow, the point I was trying to make is that M.Night is no James Cameron... he does not have that much clout over the studios... to make a movie the way he truly intended it, especially after Lady In The Water. Paramount didn't approach him to do Airbender - he asked Paramount if he could do it, which did not give him much leverage. The theatrical cut IS his director's cut - that is his vision... under the studio-imposed running time constraints. I can't imagine any director wanting less time to tell an epic story.
If he were given at little more time... like over two hours instead of less... like other epic movies like Narnia, Harry Potter, Star Wars, LOTR, etc, etc... what would he have kept?
I always thought the characterisation were rushed, not given enough emotional depth as done with his past movies. That's all.