We're used to seeing a variety of cuts and unused footage turn up for a movie's Blu-ray release, but Rian Johnson's sci-fi actioner Looper will be seeing some of those deleted scenes added back into a theatrical cut of the movie in a "Shanghai-centric edition" when the film hits Chinese theaters later this year. The time travel tale heads to the U.S. on September 28, but audiences won't be seeing the same movie as those in China.
The L.A. Times cites two insiders who shared that several Shanghai-set scenes featuring the city's streets and landmarks were deleted from the American version, but at the request of Chinese financiers the footage is being reintegrated for moviegoers overseas. " …The Chinese didn’t care about pacing, and they wanted the [China-set] scenes in, so we said OK,” said one insider after several test screenings helped shape their decision.
As films become more global you can expect to see more of this, as studios try to cater to different regional markets in order to increase their box office take. It's a little troubling, because there could eventually come a point when the various versions are so distinctive that the filmmaker's vision may become compromised in pursuit of money. It's just another step in the globalization of Hollywood product.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened, however. The Japanese cut of the Keanu Reeves-starring cult favorite Johnny Mnemonic had more footage featuring the critically acclaimed Takeshi Kitano added for Japanese releases, since that was essentially why they went to see the film. (And we can't blame them. He's a badass.)
Check in with us below if you have any thoughts about the dual release.