Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Babylon A.D. Director Not Happy & Vocal!

Mathieu Kassovitz recently spoke with AMCtv, on August 25th about his upcoming film, "Babylon A.D." and he was more than vocal about his frustrations with FOX studios and cut of the film releasing friday in theaters. He bluntly said, "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."

This project is something that has been close to Kassovitz heart for five years and seeing his vision destroyed by the powers that be has him steaming! He spoke about the original vision, "The scope of the original book was quite amazing," says Kassovitz. "The author was very much into geopolitics and how the world is going to evolve. He saw that as wars evolve, it won't be just about territories any more, but money-driven politics. As a director it's something that's very attractive to do." Unfortunately that "attractive" opportunity has turned into a "terrible experience" for the French director and he couldn't have picked a more perfect or disasterous time (depending on how you look at it) to voice his opinions, with only less than one week to the release.

If you have been under a rock and have no idea what "Babylon A.D." is the synopsis goes as follows: A mercenary (Diesel) in the year 2019, who is hired to transport a woman and her guardian from Eastern Europe to New York. The film is adapted from the book "Babylon Babies" by Maurice Georges Dantec. What frustrates Kassovitz so much is how the vision of the book has been completely ignored in the theatrical release. He added, "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." Continuing Kassovitz said, "It's pure violence and stupidity!" Now, eventhough I am a fan of mindless action, I was really hoping for another intriguing scifi film and instead it looks like were getting another "Aeon Flux."

Mathieu Kassovitz has mainly pointed to the studio for his frustrations. He clearly states that the studio lawyers did everything they could to hamper or stall the film, including in the editing room! "Fox was sending lawyers who were only looking at all the commas and the dots," he says. "They made everything difficult from A to Z." Through studio demands the film was chopped down by about 20 minutes Kassovitz says, it was originally reported that over 70 minutes of the film were cut.

Kassovitz didn't have everything negative to say about the fim, "I like the energy of it and I got some scenes I'm happy with," he said. "But I know what I had -- I had something much better in my hands but I just wasn't allowed to work." He continued to stress his disspointment by lamenting how he wondered how audiences would accept the film with such huge shoes to fill. "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." Kassovitz final assertion in his discontent he questions his decision to work with FOX studios. "I should have chosen a studio that has guts," he says. "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." FOX has yet to comment on the story.

What are your thoughts on Babylon A.D.? Do you still want to see it? My antcipation of this film just came to a grinding hault! I remember looking at the pre-sale info at my local theater for the thursday midnight showings and being excited for the release, now, not so much!


the previews for Babylon AD made me expect something a lot more original... it totally felt like a cross between Minority Report and the Fifth Element