Zodiac Director’s Cut is 25 Minutes Longer?

Zodiac Directors CutIn July, we told you that David Fincher would be releasing a Zodiac directors cut on DVD in 2008. The 2-Disc collectors edition would presumably feature a longer cut than the already lengthy 158 minute theatrical cut. Jeff Wells is now reporting that the director’s cut has been screened at close to 180-minutes, which is 22-25 minutes longer than the big screen version (depending on what number you believe). Wells says that one publicist was raving about the longer cut.

However, DVD Lounge is reporting that the Director Cut DVD will only be a mere five minutes longer than the theatrical cut. I’m not sure this could possibly be true, especially considering a longer cut of the film exists.

But how many people are going to plop down the cash and sit on the couch for a three hour cut of this film? Zodiac was one of my favorite films of 2007 so far, so I’m excited to see a longer cut.


Rotten Tomatoes have published their Mid-Year Report, which features a list of the best and worst reviewed movies of the first six months of 2007. You can see the top ten of each below.

Knocked Up PosterSicko PosterOnce Poster

ZodiacHot Fuzz

Best Reviewed Movies

1. “Ratatouille”
2. “Away From Her”
3. “Once”
4. “Knocked Up”
5. “Hot Fuzz”
6. “Sicko”
7. “The Host”
8. “Zodiac”
9. “Waitress”
10. “The Lookout”

Worst Reviewed Movies

1. “Because I Said So”
2. “The Number 23”
3. “Premonition”
4. “The Reaping”
5. “Norbit”
6. “Perfect Stranger”
7. “Happily N’Ever After”
8. “Are We Done Yet? ”
9. “Code Name: The Cleaner”
10. “Hannibal Rising”

Becuase I Said SoThe Number 23 PosterHannibal Rising

Not many surprises to be found. Ratatouille has wrestled the best reviewed wide release of 2007 title away from Knocked Up, which is still holding strong at #4.One unusual observation is that the best movies list features a lot of comedy/romantic comedy films (Ratatouille, Once, Knocked Up, Hot Fuzz, Waitress). In the past usually dramatic indie flicks have dominated the list. I’m also glad to see Zodiac as I’ve fielded negative comments about the film from most people I have spoken with. David Fincher’s film is one of my favorites of the year thus far.

Because I Said So and The Number 23 are the film’s I’ve least enjoyed this year so far. So I feel a little vindicated seeing them rank at the top of the worst reviewed films list. I am actually surprised to see Hannibal Rising make the worst list at #10. I didn’t enjoy the film, but at the same time, I didn’t hate it either. I wonder if there is a huge backlash on the film purely based on it’s comparison against Silence of the Lambs?

Zodiac Directors CutZodiac will hit DVD store shelves on July 24th, but you might want to consider holding off on that purchase. Aside from the fact that the studio is releasing the film bare-bones (aka next to no extra features), there is now something new to consider. Apparently David Fincher’s Zodiac: 2-Disc Director’s Cut will be arriving in 2008.

And of course, this new release will be packed with special features missing from the single disc version, including an audio commentary by David Fincher, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey, Jr., screenwriter James Vanderbilt, producer Brad Fischer and crime novelist James Ellroy, extensive behind-the-scenes featurettes detailing the production from start to finish, and an in-depth look at the actual Zodiac crimes, including all-new interviews with the original investigators and survivors. Looks like I’ll be holding off for the directors cut.

I wonder, how much longer could Fincher’s directors cut be? I was one of the few people that really fell in love with this film, but a lot of people have complained that the film is too long and that Fincher was given too much room to “do his own thing”. And I imagine that this won’t just be the same movie with all the deleted scenes now included as they usually bill a release of that kind as a “Extended Cut”. But they are calling this a “directors cut”, which must mean that the 158 minute theatrical cut was actually a shorter movie than Fincher envisioned, and was probably the result of studio tinkering.

And we also must remember that a director’s cut is not always longer than the theatrical version of a film. Oliver Stone released Alexander a couple years ago on DVD in a director’s cut which was 8 minutes shorter than the theatrical version (Stone had excised approximately 17 minutes from the old version and reinstated 9 minutes of new footage). Although, this is not usually the case.

Contributing Sources: FilmIck, DavisDVD.

Kevin SmithClerks director Kevin Smith had a lot to say about America’s decision to see Wild Hogs over Zodiac on his new podcast (SModcast) a couple weeks back. Now the director is outraged over this weekend’s box office results.

“What’s Costner’s line in J.F.K. again? ‘God, I’m ashamed to be an American today…'” wrote Smith. “Perhaps that’s overstating it a bit, but for me? It applies in this situation.”

“I’d say the problem was America most definitely was at the movie theaters this week – which is why the stuff that grossed higher than Grindhouse… grossed higher than Grindhouse,” Smith wrote. “That’s the third fantastic film of the year which has failed to attract the audience it richly deserved in its opening week. Add Grindhouse to a list that includes Black Snake Moan and Zodiac.”

I agree with Smith’s comments (with exception of Black Snake Moan). I don’t understand the recent disconnect with good films and America’s movie-going decisions.

The Buzz: Zodiac is Absorbing, But Long

Zodiac Poster


Director: David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Chloƫ Sevigny, and Ed Setrakian

Running Time: 156 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images

Buzz Rating:


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