American History X Directors Cut Coming...Sort Of

New Line makes nice with Tony Kaye.

In 1998, director Tony Kaye battled New Line Cinema over the release of American History X. Dissatisfied with the studio's meddling in his artistic vision, the theatrical cut was largely credited to Edward Norton. Nearly 10 years later, New Line is actually willing to revisit Kaye's vision.

"New Line did come to me a couple years ago and were very interested to release the director's cut and would I be so kind," said Kaye. "So I said there is a film called Humpty Dumpty that I made. I documented my fight, not from the very beginning but from the time that I went to the Toronto Film Festival in 1998 and had the film pulled from the festival. They're going to release that film next year which is a documentary film."

The actual "cut" of Kaye's version no longer exists, but the documentary will convey what he would have done. "In a way, that's what American History X might have been. My director's cut, what I was fighting for, doesn't exist but in the film, in Humpty Dumpty, I explain kind of what I was trying to do back then. I would do it now if there was a call for it but it would take a budget and all kinds of time. I don't think New Line would be so keen to do that."

They are, however, supportive of Kaye's documentary, warts and all. "They've been great about it."

Tony Kaye's latest film -- Lake of Fire, an abortion documentary 15 years in the making -- is currently out in limited release.

Comments

jarek

First Last

I've always wondered about this. It's one of my favorite films as it stands, but I'm curious as to just how different Kaye's version is.

Oct 7 - 05:30 AM

doversdsf

Ben Dovre

It would be very interesting, if impossible, to see it the way the director fully intended, i thought it a bit odd that it doesn't quite take that next step so to speak. You get the feeling that it has been contained somewhat. Still a great movie though.

Oct 7 - 07:21 AM

DanielLee8793

Daniel Lee

I dont get how "it doesnt exist" wasnt it there at one point?

Oct 7 - 08:03 AM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

Hilarious.

So, is this the new trend now? Every scorned director whose artistic vision for 'their' film wasn't fully realized by greedy fat-cat film producers is getting a second version?

I did however like 'Lost in La Mancha' which was a classic...

Oct 7 - 09:06 AM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

Hilarious.

So, is this the new trend now? Every scorned director whose artistic vision for 'their' film wasn't fully realized by greedy fat-cat film producers is getting a second version?

I did however like 'Lost in La Mancha' which was a classic...

Oct 7 - 09:06 AM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

Damn. I repeated myself. My bad.

Oct 7 - 09:07 AM

BLACKBUDDAH

BLACK BUDDAH

I hate the "SUITS"

Oct 7 - 09:15 AM

harrismonkey

chris harris

I'm unclear on exactly when things got nasty.

But there certainly was a lot of fighting over what he wanted to do with the film at that time. This certainly is a film that warrants a REAL director's cut (as opposed to that marketing garbage they do now days were every film has an alternate cut released later just to bleed out more DVD sales).

There was a second cut of the film floating around for a while (never legitamately released). I don't know if this was his intended cut, or if his cut never existed (for that matter it may never even have been shot depending on when the disagreements started).

Oct 7 - 09:58 AM

Damon687

Damon I

The studio probably got involved early so some of the scenes they didn't agree with weren't even filmed. Most of the time they wait until the editing phase but I guess they were keen on being involved in this project from the early stages. I guess that's why the director got pissed off and which is why most studios let the director do it their own way before making major changes. It does cost more to film scenes and not use them but you don't want to piss off a director unless you need to.

Oct 7 - 11:17 AM

arendr

Arend Anton

Hmm...I might be interested in seeing this. As good as the cut is that we've all seen, it could stand to be better.

Oct 7 - 11:29 AM

knowingtoast85

brian Firenzi

Spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler



From what I've heard, in Kaye's version, the film does not end with the Furlong character getting shot. Norton insisted that this was dramatically necessary, they had a fight, and Kaye left the production while Norton took directing reins for those final scenes. That's only my understanding of it, though.

Oct 7 - 12:07 PM

OAKTREELIVE

Mike Logue

Kaye went berzerk and wasn't heard from in Hollywood until he popped up and directed RHCP's "Dani California" video.

Wasn't there a rumor that this movie was much, much longer originally?

Oct 7 - 12:37 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Kaye actually has a documentary out right now about the abortion debate. I understand he's been working on it for over a decade. Not sure how long the original cut of American History X was. Unfortunately, the legend of the fight over this movie has eclipsed what they actually argued about.

Oct 7 - 01:35 PM

barnaby Jones

Andy Webster

I'd love to know what EXACTLY they didn't want in the movie.

Oct 7 - 01:40 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Maybe in the original cut Danny dies and Norton says "Syke...I'm still a racist."

Oct 7 - 02:58 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Maybe in the original cut Danny dies and Norton says "Syke...I'm still a racist."

Oct 7 - 02:58 PM

stevegilpin

Steven Gilpin

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT

I had always heard that in Tony Kaye's orginal version, Edward Furlong's character goes into the school and kills a bunch of people, his teacher, and himself. I'm not sure if that's true, but it does have a pretty devastating effect in my mind.....it sort of plays up the idea that Norton created a monster in his little brother by being such a powerful icon in the Nazi community and Furlong never fully understands how prison changed his older brother's perspective on racism and life in general......sort of a tough thing to watch, I'd bet. It also helps to explain some of the controversy surrounding the making of the film.

Oct 7 - 04:49 PM

Benjerama

Ben Wright

SPOILERS:

I thought the only thing different in the directors version was that he wanted to cut from the school scene to Norton in the bathroom, shaving his head, basically showing that he returned to his roots.

I'm pretty sure IMDB can confirm this.

Oct 7 - 06:44 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Wow...I made a joke about something like this happening! Is that for real???

Oct 7 - 06:59 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Wow...I made a joke about something like this happening! Is that for real???

Oct 7 - 06:59 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Okay. I looked it up and we won't be seeing that ending:

"The script's conclusion had Derek shaving his head in the bathroom of the school, transforming back into a naziskin after the death of his brother. However, this was never filmed and dropped from subsequent re-writes of the screenplay." - IMDB

Oct 7 - 07:08 PM

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