It seems that no matter how hard they try, Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt can’t get anyone to see their films. Their first collaboration, 2007’s “The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford,” suffered through a difficult editing process only to be indifferently released by Warner Bros. (Thankfully, it has attained cult status since, and is slated for a retrospective screening at the Museum Of The Moving Image in December.) Their second pair-up, 2012’s “Killing Them Softly,” did better commercially, but hardly the kind of blockbuster numbers one expects from a Brad Pitt movie opening in wide release (7th place in its first weekend, with a tepid $6 million) and critics found it hard to embrace the film’s darkly funny, sour core. Their loss.
One can debate the reasons why “Killing Them Softly” failed to connect, as it was sold as a slick hitman thriller with much of its thematic undertones buried in the trailer. However, producer Megan Ellison herself tweeted recently a link to an unreleased version that more accurately captures the film’s tone. The movie, which we called “breathtakingly brilliant and admirably ambitious,” uses the backdrop of the 2008 election and financial crisis and the device of a hitman on the hunt for two lowlives to expose the ugliness that lies beneath the American Dream. And this alternate trailer certainly connects with that sentiment much more directly, but it’s also clear to see why the Barack Obama quote-laden preview wasn’t used (especially since the spot would’ve been running in the lead up to the 2012 election).
Give it a whirl below, followed by the official trailer that was used. Which do you prefer? And in case you’re wondering, the song in the alternate cut is Petula Clark‘s “The Windmills Of Your Mind.”