Three years after it premiered in Toronto, the long-delayed London Fields finally made it into theaters across the U.S. last month, although the movie – which features a cast that includes Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess and Cara Delevingne – was roundly savaged by critics, scoring a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and debuting to the second-worst wide box office opening in history.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in the wake of the troubled film’s release, director Mathew Cullen stated that: “I’ve read the reviews. I agree with them. There’s a reason why they said that Martin Amis’ book was unfilmable”.
Cullen isn’t entirely to blame for the reviews; the version that was released to critics and audiences was not his cut of the film, but rather that of the producers – a situation which led to a lengthy legal tussle between the two parties.
The filmmaker went on to reveal that he’d agreed to a deal with the distributor where he would spend his own money to complete his cut of the film, if they agreed to give it a limited release on a select number of screens (it opened on 10). He also revealed why he chose to keep his name on the producer’s version, stating:
“About a year ago, I came to the realization that if my movie was going to be seen, that I just had to finish the film. Under DGA rules, I could have used a pseudonym, but in that process, I wouldn’t ever be allowed to talk about the film again and I wouldn’t have had the ability to release my version of the film.”
Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to compare the two cuts at some point to see if Cullen was able to salvage anything from the disaster.
SEE ALSO: Read our review of London Fields here
“The tale of seductress Nicola Six, a strange, quixotic beauty who possesses the blessing and curse of seeing into her own future. She fearlessly begins a relationship with three different men: Samson Young (Billy Bob Thornton) a failed novelist seeking inspiration; Keith Talent (Jim Sturgess) a charming womanizer on the run from loan-sharks, and Guy Clinch (Theo James), a sophisticated and aristocratic businessman. While Nicola focuses on becoming the subject of each of their desires, she has a premonition that one of them is her murderer. LONDON FIELDS is a lavish and highly stylized story of passion and despair, an intoxicating tale of lust, obsession, and power that depicts what men want most… and what they will do to get it.”
London Fields features a cast that includes Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, Theo James, Jaimie Alexander, Cara Delevingne, Jason Isaacs, Gemma Chan, and Lily Cole.