Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Producer Gary Gilbert Hopes To Get Kenneth Lonergan's 'Margaret' In Theaters By The End Of The Year

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 26, 2011 at 7:09AM

2011 seems to be year of new films from director's who've been making us wait, with new efforts from Terrence Malick, Lynne Ramsay and Alexander Payne all on the way, but the story of Kenneth Lonergan -- whose "Margaret" is still unreleased -- is perhaps the most heartbreaking of them all. His followup to the critically acclaimed “You Can Count On Me,” has been sitting in limbo for the past few years—it wrapped way back in 2005—for a variety of reasons. Foremost, a legal battle erupted, with suits and countersuits filed, as Lonergan simply could not find the picture in the editing bay. Lonergan apparently requested further time in the editing room, while multiple editors apparently also took control of the film at various points both with and without Lonergan’s ok. Even late producer Sydney Pollack became infuriated with Lonergan’s “unprofessional and irrational behavior,” and we pretty much had figured the movie would end up as an historical curiosity rather than an actual finished film. At one point, it was rumored that 300 pages of script were shot, so no wonder he had trouble wrangling this thing into a manageable size. The sticking point seems to be length of the film: Lonergan's cut runs about three hours, but this contract with Fox Searchlight states he needs to bring it in at two hours.
3


2011 seems to be year of new films from director's who've been making us wait, with new efforts from Terrence Malick, Lynne Ramsay and Alexander Payne all on the way, but the story of Kenneth Lonergan -- whose "Margaret" is still unreleased -- is perhaps the most heartbreaking of them all. His followup to the critically acclaimed “You Can Count On Me,” has been sitting in limbo for the past few years—it wrapped way back in 2005—for a variety of reasons. Foremost, a legal battle erupted, with suits and countersuits filed, as Lonergan simply could not find the picture in the editing bay. Lonergan apparently requested further time in the editing room, while multiple editors apparently also took control of the film at various points both with and without Lonergan’s ok. Even late producer Sydney Pollack became infuriated with Lonergan’s “unprofessional and irrational behavior,” and we pretty much had figured the movie would end up as an historical curiosity rather than an actual finished film. At one point, it was rumored that 300 pages of script were shot, so no wonder he had trouble wrangling this thing into a manageable size. The sticking point seems to be length of the film: Lonergan's cut runs about three hours, but this contract with Fox Searchlight states he needs to bring it in at two hours.

However, we recently got a bit of update as during press rounds for "Sympathy For Delicious" Mark Ruffalo revealed that Martin Scorsese had been brought in to "arbitrate" the cut with Lonergan. We wondered at the time, given Scorsese's always busy schedule, just where it would be prioritized but if producer Gary Gilbert has his way, we'll see the film by the end of the year.

In an interview with Anne Thompson, he confirms that Scorsese, along with his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker, are working on the film, adding that it's still facing legal woes, but plans are in motion to release it by the end of the year.

“[It's] still in litigation,” says Gilbert. “It’s a great movie with great performances.” But even with all the headache of the now protracted six-year effort to bring the movie to the big screen, Gilbert has no regrets. “If I knew the same facts, I’d do it again,” he said. “We had all the right ingredients. There’s no way to predict how things go wrong.”

Starring Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Olivia Thirlby the post 9/11 film follows the ramifications of a tragic bus accident as seen through the eyes of a high school student desperate to parse the tragedy for a deeper spiritual meaning. Ruffalo called the three hour cut a "masterpiece" describing it as "a very, very finely interwoven piece of material and it’s so beautiful....It was beautifully shot, beautifully acted, and the writing is incredible. It’s a love story to a post-9/11 America and New York City."

All this leads to us again asking: why can't they just release the three hour cut? We understand that it pretty much means box office poison, but it was never going to be a box office hit anyway and it’s become quite clear that the picture isn't an easy one to take a third out of. Is Lonergan being unreasonable or is it really a film that needs some trimming? We'd wager it's somewhere in between but we'd prefer to see the film as he intended, not in some contractually obligated cut.

Anyway, we'll take this news with a bit of salt. As you might remember, last year Fox Searchlight told Anne Thompson, "we do have a finished cut by Lonergan and we plan to release the film sometime in 2011." Obviously, that's not quite the case. But here's hoping all the legal nonsense gets cleared up and this movie arrives in some fashion because it has been far too long at this point.

This article is related to: Films, Margaret


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates