There Is No Longer Director's Cut Of Men, Alex Garland Says

Spring is here, the weather is finally heating up again, and those of us suffering from a little cabin fever during the dreary winter months can look forward to getting some fresh air again. But the real boon of this time of year, of course, comes from the fact that we're about to get another Alex Garland movie. "Men" stars Jessie Buckley and comes with the added wrinkle of a whole assortment of Rory Kinnears, all put on this Earth seemingly to plague our grieving and traumatized main character specifically. Honestly, relatable. Who among us hasn't found ourselves in a similar position?

With "Men" set to debut later this week, Garland is making the press tour to talk up all the (non-spoilery) aspects of the upcoming film, which will no doubt leave movie fans buzzing with plenty to talk about in the aftermath. Until then, however, Garland has addressed all sorts of different questions surrounding his latest effort. One in particular has to do with the oft-used buzzword known as the director's cut, a perfectly mundane development in the filmmaking process that has taken on new meaning in the aftermath of "Zack Snyder's Justice League" and the fanbase-driven narrative that these artifacts are somehow inherently superior than theatrical cuts. 

Well, Garland, for one, doesn't fall into that train of thought. At a "Men" roundtable attended by /Film, the director frankly answered a question about the potential for a longer cut of the movie (which, for those curious, clocks in at a tight hour and 40 minutes):

"There's not a longer version."

'This script is still fluid and open'

If you ask me, shooting down the possibility of a director's cut is actually the least interesting part of Garland's answer. The acclaimed filmmaker behind films like "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation" goes on to explain his general moviemaking approach as it pertains to "Men," which allowed him to carry a loose and improvisational attitude towards locking in the picture. As he explained:

"Actually, the whole of the filmmaking process, from pre-production to shooting, and then still in the edit, staying alive to the possibilities, and staying alive to changes, and not feeling things get concretized, there's different ways of making films. Some people board everything, and are executing the storyboards and have an incredibly clear idea of what's going to happen. I say to the actors in the rehearsal stage, 'This script is still fluid and open, and we can make changes, and we can find stuff.' That remains true during the shoot. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure it is true within the shoot. And then still in post-production."

Every filmmaker obviously has their own unique approach to making movies that works for them specifically and it's hard to claim that this hasn't worked out for Garland in the past. Should his latest project live up to his established body of work, then I think we'll all be able to survive without any definitive Alex Garland director's cuts. "Men" comes to theaters on May 20, 2022.