Abraham Lincoln is such a colossal historical figure in the U.S. it's hard to imagine other countries aren't at least a little familiar with the 16th president of the United States. And it turns out they are, but their familiarity isn't strong enough for 20th Century Fox International, the worldwide distributor of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, and so the company is going to make some changes to the film.
If you've already seen the Oscar-nominated film, you'll know that it opens on a Civil War battlefield. If you happen to see it in theaters this weekend when it opens elsewhere in the world, though, that's not precisely how the film will open. The Hollywood Reporter explains the jarring battlefield carnage will instead be preceded by a few title cards providing some historical context for the American Civil War.
And if you happen to see the film in Japan, you'll see yet another opening to the film. Showings there will also include a recorded introduction from Steven Spielberg himself setting up the story for those who don't know what the Civil War was about or why Lincoln was such an integral part of it.
It sounds like they're easily understandable additions (and have been approved by both Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner), but unfortunately there's no mention of whether or not these contextual title cards will ever be seen Stateside. It would be fine if they weren't, but it would be kind of neat to see Spielberg's recorded introduction setting up the movie for Japanese audiences. Maybe pop that online for the rest of us, eh? And while you're at it, 20th Century Fox International, let's see the new poster for the film, which "has been altered to show not only the iconic silhouette of the 16th president, but also a battle scene of a city on fire."
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