From time to time you hear horror stories from the movie industry about directors clashing with the studio over the final product, and usually the studio wins out because they are the ones footing the bill. The truth is, it probably happens more often than we ever hear about, which is kind of a scary thought. There’s a power struggle currently going on with Julie Taymor’s upcoming musical Across The Universe, and reportedly Revolution Studios head honcho Joe Roth is not happy with the film. So much so that he recut the movie behind her back and played it for test audiences to see if his changes might improve the film. It’s not clear what the audience reaction was, but Taymor is now threatening to remove her name from the credits if she is not granted final cut on the film.
This is a tricky situation. My first instinct, and I’m sure many others would agree, is to side with the director. It’s their creative vision, and they are being paid to bring that vision to life. What makes some suit think they can come in and mess around with an artist’s work? On the other hand, though, Across The Universe was reportedly delayed for over a year due to “extensive editing”. I can see how the studio might be getting antsy, and how the director may be getting too attached to the film to see what needs to be done to improve it. That said, Julie Taymor is a pretty well-respected filmmaker (she directed Titus and Frida, both critically acclaimed films) and if you hired her, you have to put some faith in her abilities. The whole ordeal is really kind of unfortunate; when the trailer for this movie was released I thought it looked quite beautiful and at the time remarked that it’s one of the few musicals I’d actually be interested in seeing. Now I’m not quite sure what to think. Across The Universe is scheduled for release on September 28th.» Related Link: Variety [via]