When it premieres on Netflix later this year, “Outlaw King” will be 20 minutes shorter than it was at TIFF. David Mackenzie’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Hell or High Water” received a muted reception at the festival, where it served as the opening-night selection, and so the filmmaker has chosen to return to the editing room. “I could feel what the audience was like in the theater,” he tells Deadline. “I’m sensitive to the way they felt.”
Mackenzie adds that trimming the film from 137 minutes to approximately 117 was “was entirely my decision” and that “three days (after the festival) later I was back editing.” Chris Pine, who also starred in “Hell or High Water,” plays Scottish King Robert the Bruce, who succeeded William Wallace (AKA Braveheart); one segment that apparently hasn’t been cut is a much-discussed scene in which the actor appears nude.
“I can’t understand why people get worked about that,” Mackenzie says of the scene in question. “I made ten films and most of them had male frontal nudity; it’s a bathing scene and people do tend to get out of the bath without clothes.”
“It’s worth another look, and I encourage critics who saw it and didn’t connect with it to see it again,” the Scottish writer/director adds. “It has a different sense since it’s under two hours, but it’s still very much an epic.” Viewers can decide for themselves when Netflix releases “Outlaw King” on November 9.