On last night’s edition of “Filmmakers give people a nice distraction from literally everything,” director Richard Kelly hosted a live watch-along of his 2007 film, Southland Tales. In the years since its release, the sci-fi thriller/political satire has developed a fairly sizable cult following—partially due to the film’s production history. A quick recap: Kelly debuted a 158-minute cut of Southland Tales at the Cannes film festival in 2006, where it was poorly received (which actually isn’t saying too much because those people boo/giving stand ovations to the weirdest shit). In exchange for funding to finish the visual effects, Kelly cut the runtime down and significantly re-edited the film for Sony. The end result was a box office failure, but fans of Kelly have long held out for the eventual release of a director’s cut, and those who have seen the fabled Cannes version maintain it is superior to the eventual theatrical release.
During last night’s live-tweet, Kelly revealed that he’s finished 4K restorations of both the theatrical cut and the Cannes version—though he notes that this version will contain the unfinished visual effects. Perhaps more exciting for all you Southland-heads is news that Kelly is working on what he calls “Version 3.0,” which seems to be a new edit or director’s cut of the film:
Southland Tales was conceived as a much larger story, with the film only covering about half of it. Kelly published the remaining “chapters” as graphic novels, which—according to this tweet—have now been adapted into a new “ambitious” screenplay, which he hopes to direct using a combination of live-action and animation:
It sure is generous of Richard Kelly to give everyone something to look forward to at the end of the quarantine tunnel.