A Four-Hour Cut of ‘Cloud Atlas’ Exists and Is Apparently Incredible
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Wachowskis’ ‘Jupiter Ascending.’ But as I said in my review, if there was a longer version of that movie, I would watch it in a heartbeat. ‘Jupiter’ is an absolute mess, but it feels messy because it’s so rushed, cramming an entire universe of mythology and dog-men who look like Channing Tatum into a little over two hours. I couldn’t say for certain why the movie is that length, but if I had to guess, I’d imagine that studio executives who invested $175 million in this sci-fi boondoggle didn’t want a three-hour epic, and kindly requested (or sternly demanded) a shorter, zippier movie. The result moves quickly at the expense of any sense of coherence.
I would also happily watch a longer version of ‘Cloud Atlas,’ the Wachowskis’ previous sci-fi boondoggle. (Sci-fi boondoggles are kind of their thing.) That film was already long to begin with at 172 minutes, but according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, there’s an even longer version that exists. And not only is it longer, it’s better. In an interview with Deadline about the Wachowskis’ upcoming Netflix series ‘Sense8,’ here’s what Sarandos had to say:
Their film reviews have been brutal, and everything after ‘The Matrix’ didn’t go well, but if you look at the earlier cuts of their films before they had to jam them down to 120 minutes, it’s amazing. There’s a four-hour cut of ‘Cloud Atlas’ that will blow you away.
Netflix has invested a fair amount in the Wachowskis after they’ve reeled off three high-profile flops in a row, so Sarandos has several million reasons to be enthusiastic about their work. Some of his comments (like the ones that call ‘Sense8’ “the best four hours of anything we’ve done”) should be taken with a grain of salt. But all the same, I want unfettered Wachowskis. If they want to make a 12-hour movie about bear people from the galaxy Xenu, I will be there. And if they want to make a Netflix series featuring live-births and “babies coming out of vaginas,” I am totally there too. Which is good, because that is actually happening in the very near future.