Martin Scorsese has a faible for long movies. They often have to tell a lot so the three-hour-mark can be reached easily. But until the final product is rolled out, the film is much longer during post-production. That often prompts fans to hope for an eventual Extended Cut that may not be something for the more impatient of moviegoers but most certainly a must-have for Scorsese fans. One of his works where such a version is especially dearly missed is The Wolf of Wall Street that lost a whole hour of footage not only due to time constraints but also due to MPAA censorship.
Now, Scorsese’s most recent film Silence makes the theatrical rounds and is also an Oscar contender that battles for critical and commercial success with a whopping 161 minutes of runtime. And there’s also something to say about how the film starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield came together in the editing room. Producer Randall Emmett talked to Collider and shared some light on the question whether the audience has reason to believe that substantial material was cut out before they could see it:
He went back and did what I think he was always going to do and started trimming and tightening and, you know, condensing. But not really cutting, you know, there’s a difference between cutting a movie down and tightening a movie up. And I think Marty tightens things up, I don’t think he loses anything when he cuts something down from what it was to what it is. And then we went back to New York and saw another cut, and saw another cut and it just kept getting tighter and tighter and so we have what we have.
Regarding the question whether he saw differences between the different cuts of the movie he watched during the editing phase, Emmett had to say this:
Yeah, I don’t think anything was lost. I think that he’s so masterful at the editing that it was more of like a shrinking of scenes. I don’t think he cut. There were no real big cuts, it was more like tightening things up. So you didn’t miss anything, you maybe just were only in that scene for 1.5 minutes instead of 2.5. […] The only thing I noticed – not story-wise – was just: it moved a lot quicker.
Whether an Extended Cut is a realistic option:
If Marty wants a version like that out there then he’ll put it on the Blu-ray. We haven’t had a conversation. […] I really feel like Marty puts the movie out that he believes is the best version of the movie and not for any other reason, meaning if he felt the movie should have been longer than it is today, I feel that he would have put that film out. Marty has every right and control, he has final cut and Marty gets to put the movie he wants out. So for some reason, I don’t know we’ll see that version. But that would be a discussion between Marty and Paramount.