Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Sony will only release clean edits with directors' approval

Sony will only release clean edits with directors' approval

Recently, Sony floated the idea of releasing "clean" versions of some of its naughtier films so people with sensitive eyes and ears could enjoy the storyline of, say, Captain Phillips without suffering through the part where Barkhad Abdi tells Tom Hanks that he's "the motherfucking captain now, motherfucker".

Sony Pictures has relented - at least partially - on its plan to offer consumers "clean versions" of previously released movies.

The Clean Version initiative has proved controversial within the film industry.

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"Taking a director's edit for one platform, and then releasing it on another - without giving the director the opportunity to edit - violates our Agreement".

The 49-year-old actor, writer and producer fired back at the film studio following an announcement last week that movie fans would be able to download the versions of their movies that are broadcast on planes or on TV as extras, but the "Knocked Up" filmmaker insists they are "going to hell" because of their decision. The Directors Guild Of America also expressed its dislike for the "clean version" concept, releasing a statement about how it's a violation of a filmmaker's creative rights to release "unauthorized adjustment of films".

Another unsurprising critic of Sony's "Clean Initiative" is Seth Rogen, who produced and starred in Sony's decidedly non-PG13 animated movie "Sausage Party". In the statement, the DGA said that directors have the right to edit their films for every version released. "As we have throughout our history, we are committed to fighting the unauthorised editing of films", the statement added.

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"Our directors are of paramount importance to us, and we want to respect those relationships to the utmost".

The company acted after it emerged that director Adam McKay was not aware that two of his films, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, had been included in the initiative. If they're not okay with it, Sony says "we will discontinue it for their films". "We discussed this program, and the use of these pre-existing versions, with each director or their representatives".

Clean Version titles can be bought on several digital services, including iTunes. The Clean Version of Adam McKay's Step Brothers excludes 152 instances of bad language, 91 instances of sexual content and 22 instances of violence. Marc Webb and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies, 50 First Dates, and the original Ghostbusters are among those already available in this format with more on the way.

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