Jon M. Chu On Never Say Never Redux, the Death of Film, and Bieber's Rolling Stone Comments
Was the idea to recut the film yours, or did it come from the studio?
It was both. I always thought, why doesn't this happen? Not even like just to re-release a film three weeks after it comes out, but to be able to see a movie and see an alternate ending. I know the struggle with the studio and the director is always a give and take, but to see them close together I thought was always something that was possible. We had talked about it while we were cutting the movie; maybe that's something we release later, and we kept saying, 'DVD.' But DVD extras are not the same as they used to be. I don't sit there and watch DVDs anymore. But I thought to experience that same idea, only in a theatrical way, would be really cool. And we all sort of agreed that this would be a possibility, not knowing it would actually happen.
What do you think this means for the future of the original cut? When is a film finished?
I think the original cut is our cut of the movie. That is the gold standard for our movie -- it's the length we want, it's everything we wanted in a movie. We didn't cut the audience short in any way in releasing that movie. This is sort of the extra, fun version where we did all the things that didn't necessarily have to do with our main story and we just put them in. This is out for a week, and the original will always be the original, and that's the one people will see. This one is literally for the fans -- for the people who say, we want more of his friends! We want more songs!
And pranks, we hear. What kinds of shenanigans did you include in the new cut?
There are a lot of pranks in this version, but I don't want to give them away. They're pretty funny when you see them. But you know, he's just a kid running around. It's a variety of pranks.
Since our last conversation, the whole Rolling Stone interview controversy happened. You've done some press with Justin, and we know from the film that he's got a very protective circle around him. What's your take on his abortion comments, and do you consider that to be an appropriate line of questioning?
I definitely felt like some of the questions were a little inappropriate, but you know, he's a kid and he can voice his opinion on what he wants to voice, and if people ask him he can choose not to answer or to answer. He chose to answer it and that's fine. That's the best thing about Justin; he doesn't sugarcoat anything on his part. He will always tell you what he thinks, and I think that's admirable. I didn't read the full article -- I only read the excerpts. The corrected excerpts, which was kind of annoying. But I do think that he's growing up, and he's going to have to deal with a lot of those things as he grows, and judgment on his character or what he feels about politics and things like that can come in time. But he's 16 years old, about to be 17. So I'm sure things will change.
Congrats, by the way, on your digital Emmy for The LXD.
Thank you! It's fun to have people even watch The LXD because it's such a crazy, random idea. And I love all those guys and girls and that they get recognition for it. People all over the world and even outside the dance community are seeing storytelling with dance, so that's pretty cool.
Dance movies, 3D, digital experimentation and two Justin Bieber movies under your belt... you're kind of an overachiever, aren't you?
[Laughs] No, I don't think it's overachieving! I think Hollywood's just slow. I don't understand why we're all connected wirelessly via a little machine that goes in our pocket, to everybody in the world, and you have to have reels for a movie. There are these six reels that get in my way, and I'm like, that doesn't feel natural. All these film people are like, 'No, it's part of the process, blah blah blah.' I'm like, screw that. In five years it's not going to be a part of the process, and all of the people who say that are going to be gone. So why not change now? To me it's not even cutting edge, it just is.
The Director's Fan Cut hits theaters February 25 in Canada and the U.S.
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