Hoping for the release of Martin Scorsese’s four-hour “The Wolf of Wall Street”? You’ll have to keep waiting, as the movie Scorsese released in December 2013 is the only director’s cut that exists. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Scorsese rejects the notion of a director’s cut and maintains that in most cases theatrical cuts are director’s cut.
“The director’s cut is the film that’s released — unless it’s been taken away from the director by the financiers and the studio,” Scorsese said. “[The director] has made their decisions based on the process they were going through at the time. There could be money issues, there could be somebody that dies [while making] the picture, the studio changes heads and the next person hates it. Sometimes [a director says], ‘I wish I could go back and put it all back together.’ All these things happen. But I do think once the die is cast, you have to go with it and say, ‘That’s the movie I made under those circumstances.’”
Just because Scorsese doesn’t believe in director’s cuts doesn’t mean he can’t see their appeal. “We would have loved to see an extended version of a number of films in the past where scenes were cut out,” the filmmaker said, citing Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 action film “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” as an example.
“I saw the full version a few days before it opened at a meeting and it was two hours and 20 minutes or so,” Scorsese said. “Then MGM released their version and it was 90 minutes. We all said, ‘Oh no, it was a masterpiece,’ and wished it could be saved. The editor saved a copy and what you see now is what we saw in that meeting. That is a director’s cut. And if the editor said there was another 20 minutes that Peckinpah wanted to keep in there, I would have loved to see those 20 minutes. So I understand the idea of an audience wanting to be entertained for another 20 minutes in that world.”
Anyone familiar with the four-hour “Wolf of Wall Street” cut should not be too surprised with Scorsese’s thoughts. Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoomaker has spoken highly of the four-hour “Wolf” that screened for test audiences, but Scorsese himself has always maintained the 180-minute theatrical cut is the final version of the film. The director returns to theaters November 1 with his Netflix-backed “The Irishman.”