Never Say Never, the film lionizing pro-rape baby, pro-decline of Western civilization Counter Christ figure Justin Bieber, will be getting a brand new version in theaters this weekend. Director Jon M Chu and the accountants at Paramount have decided to add forty minutes of footage to the film, and this new version - being hilariously called the Director’s Fan Cut - will play only in 3D theaters.
What’s interesting is not that it’s Bieber’s film but that it’s happening at all. The reason the new version is only playing in 3D theaters is because the cost of making 35mm prints and getting them to theaters by Friday is prohibitive; sending out digital copies is much more reasonable. And all of a sudden we have the first working example of how digital projection can really change the way exhibition works.
I mean, we’ve all talked about it, but suddenly Paramount’s desire to milk every penny from Bieber’s mindless tween fanbase puts it into action - the digital distribution model allows for dynamic changes, updates or tweaks to movies as they play in theaters. On the one hand there’s a dark side to this - imagine George Lucas fucking with movies in between showings! - but on the other it’s showing the way of the future. Imagine if good movies could have director’s cuts in theaters two weeks after opening. Imagine if that old Clue system of different endings could be cheaply put into effect, a gimmick less headachey than 3D.
There’s something exciting here in the way the distribution system can respond so quickly (with the aid of a very willing director who is angling for a job directing GI Joe 2). I can see many potential downsides to this, but I prefer to look at the possibilities. Of course this is the first step towards the eradication of any concept of the ‘original cut.’