the departed kickstarter

The collective Internet hive-mind had themselves a good laugh over a recently launched Kickstarter. That Kickstarter’s aim? To remove the rat that scurries across the frame at the end of Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning crime flick The Departed. Hilarious, right? Well, Warner Bros. doesn’t think so. Much like Mark Wahlberg at the end of The Departed, the studio put on a track suit, latex gloves and paper booties and then put a bullet in the Kickstarter page’s head. Or, more accurately, they shut it down. More on The Departed Kickstarter below.

Adam Sacks, creator of the “Digitally Erase the Rat From the End of The Departed” Kickstarer, has confirmed that Warner Bros. has shut things down over copyright infringement. But Sacks is staying positive. “If there is a silver lining here (besides me not having to actually follow though on this),” Sacks said, “it’s that maybe all this online controversy about the rat will convince Warner Brothers to release a 4K Blu-Ray of The Departed. And maybe, just maybe, they will include an alternate rat-less ending. I’m fairly confident it would make them at least an additional 4,000 dollars.” A 4K Blu-ray release would be pretty sweet, Warner Bros., Think about it.

Here’s the full statement about the shutdown, via Twitter.

“It’s always bothered me that a movie as good as The Departed has such a cheesy ending, and I recently realized it could be fixed by digitally erasing the rat from the last shot,” Sacks originally wrote on the now-deleted Kickstarter. “In the tradition of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas digitally altering their movies after the fact, I want to digitally erase the rat from the end of The Departed…But unlike Lucas and Spielberg’s changes, this will make The Departed a much better movie.”

Obviously, Sacks’ campaign was launched partially in jest, but people responded quite well to it. For years, moviegoers have been griping over the shot of the rat at the end of the film, complaining that it was too “on the nose.” I humbly disagree! I think it fits in perfectly with the absurdist tone of the whole film. Despite all the head-shots, Scorsese was ultimately making a very dark comedy – a farce, even. The rat is the final punchline of the feature-length joke. But your milage may vary.

In any case, this slice of Internet tomfoolery has come to a swift end, and we can all get back to the horrors of everyday life until the next amusing distraction comes along.

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