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While Sony Pictures Home Entertainment planned to offer its new Clean Version initiative with edited versions of 24 of the studio’s movies, the program now lists just 17 movies after a number of directors objected to having their films included in the program.
Adam McKay is among the filmmakers who have opted to take their movies out of the program, which would offer the sanitized version of the studios’ films — the versions shown on airlines and broadcast TV. McKay said that he was not, initially, made of aware of the initiative.
McKay’s comedies Talladega Nights and Step Brothers have since been removed from the Clean Version website, where the offerings are listed. Also removed from the previous lineup are Big Daddy, the Grown-Ups movies, 50 First Dates and Pixels, all from Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison production banner, which has had a longtime relationship with the studio. Rob Letterman’s Goosebumps is also no longer available.
Following the June 7 launch of the program, directors voiced their displeasure with the possibility that their films would be altered for general sale, and there were strongly worded tweets from Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow. (Both directors had worked with the studio on features, but neither director’s works were included in the original list of 24 films.)
The Directors Guild of America weighed in on the program, saying in a statement, “Directors have the right to edit their feature films for every non-theatrical platform, plain and simple. 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.”
Following the backlash, SPHE president Man Jit Singh responded in a statement to THR, “We believed we had obtained approvals from the filmmakers involved for use of their previously supervised television versions as a value added extra on sales of the full version. But if any of them are unhappy or have reconsidered, we will discontinue it for their films.”
Movies that are still available include Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Easy A, Moneyball and all of the studio’s live-action Spider-Man movies.
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