Home Entertainment Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales director’s cut is a bladder-bursting six hours long

Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales director’s cut is a bladder-bursting six hours long

3 min read
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Richard Kelly's Southland Tales director's cut is a bladder-bursting six hours long 2

Many filmmakers are keen to release director’s cuts of their films, especially once they can get full rights to their project and can move away from studio interference. Getting an expensive recut of a terrible film is not something that you see quite often though.

Perhaps in the spirit of Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut, director Richard Kelly is feeling inspired as he is reportedly working on a new cut of his 2006 film Southland Tales. Southland Tales was an ambitious film from the Donnie Darko director that starred big names like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dwayne Johnson, Sean William Scott, Justin Timberlake, and Mandy Moore, but sadly failed to capitalise on all that talent and ended up being rather terrible, with even a studio reworking of the film following its initial bad reception at festivals failing to make the movie any better.

Kelly still believes that the movie was a lot better than it ended up being though, and has revealed in a new interview with ComicBook that he is recutting the film into a six-hour version to tell the full picture of it all:

There’s been a significant amount of work done on revisiting Southland Tales. I’m actually putting together a polish on what I’m putting together, which is a polish on it, which is using the graphic novel prequels that were published…You’ll see in the existing version of Southland Tales is chapters 4-6, so there’s basically a prequel companion film that could if it’s made, theoretically continue onward into an expanded version of the existing film with new footage, and the most ideal version it would basically be a six-hour film, split in two, and within each film there’s 3 chapters. So it’s like a six-chapter story, but it would be presented in two epic movies, like a big double feature, that in an ideal world could exist on a streaming platform of something that is more amenable to these sort of long-form stories.

I would struggle to watch a six-hour movie on any occasion, let alone one based on a bad movie that I honestly have no interest in watching again. This new extended cut might land up being rather excellent, but I’ve never exactly felt that there was enough content in the first place to make me want to really delve into the lives of the characters further.  

Rather than make one massively long movie though, Kelly’s ambitious plan is to release this as two separate three-hour movies. Before he gets there though, he’ll need to do plenty of reshoots to get some of this additional footage, something which may prove a challenge to get the cast and set together during these times, and that’s without mentioning how he plans to make the new cut look coherent. It’ll be interesting to see how he goes about this, even if the end result won’t make me any more interested in watching this overly long take on an old film.

Last Updated: January 6, 2021

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