‘Babylon A.D.’ Director Mathieu Kassovitz Doesn’t Have Kind Words for Fox

Recently I wrote up a piece about Fox’s upcoming Babylon A.D. talking about how I felt folks should give the film a chance and blah, blah, blah. Some commented and agreed with me. Only a day or so later I learned Babylon A.D. would not be screened for critics and I don’t think I have seen a single advertisement for it anywhere; not on TV, on the Internet or even in the theaters. Fox has had a weird 2008 so far and they almost seem to be intentionally self-destructing.

Fox did nothing to promote The X-Files 2 and it suffered for it. Mirrors wasn’t screened for critics and it managed to do moderately well. Meet Dave was a disaster before it even began filming. The Happening didn’t impress anyone and this past weekend The Rocker seemed to commit suicide. What is going on? Fox seems to be the only major studio without any kind of real success this summer outside of the moronic What Happens in Vegas. That isn’t saying much, but Babylon A.D. director Mathieu Kassovitz is saying more than his fair share and he is saying it before his new film even hits theaters almost seeming to torpedo it before anyone else gets a chance to do it themselves.

In a new interview at AMCTV Kassovitz says of Babylon A.D., “I’m very unhappy with the film. I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn’t respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience.”

If you read that quote and are thinking he may not exactly be talking about Fox, think again. The final quote in the article brings it home. “I should have chosen a studio that has guts. Fox was just trying to get a PG-13 movie. I’m ready to go to war against them, but I can’t because they don’t give a shit.”

The film has been in post-production for some time and has apparently been cut down to a meager 93 minutes with a reported 70 minutes falling to the cutting room floor. AMC mentions a quote star Vin Diesel gave a while back saying, “Am I even in the movie any more, or am I on the cutting room floor?”

It’s interesting to see a director talk about a film of his in such a way, especially when he says it is “pure violence and stupidity” saying parts of it “are like a bad episode of ‘24′.”

In the film Diesel stars as a mercenary hired to deliver a package from the ravages of post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe to a destination in the teeming megalopolis of New York City. The “package” is a mysterious young woman with a secret. It is based on the French novel “Babylon Babies” by Maurice Georges Dantec and Kassovitz says of the source material, “The author was very much into geopolitics and how the world is going to evolve. He saw that as wars evolve, it won’t be just about territories any more, but money-driven politics. As a director it’s something that’s very attractive to do.” Kassovitz compares it to the current troubles in Georgia, but it appears any message is now gone.

Babylon A.D. is set to hit theaters this Friday, August 29, but you wouldn’t know it by the promotion and I can’t imagine much of a press tour if the director himself feels this upset about it.

Unfortunately for Kassovitz this will mean too bad movies in a row (assuming Babylon A.D. is bad) as Gothika was just shy of awful. That’s okay though, he always has Amelie.


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