Wow. We all knew that the Wachowski brothers had been hired to oversee some pretty substantial reshoots on Oliver Hirschbiegel’s The Invasion, the long-in-gestation fourth version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (following the versions made in 1956, 1978 and 1993). But now Collider.com reports that the reshoots may have been way more substantial than any of us had guessed:
I have spent the last few days researching this story on The Invasion and if you’re a fan of The Wachowski Brothers this might make your day. . . .
It was reported that they came in to shoot a new ending. But I can report that they rewrote over 2/3 of the film, and brought in their trusted colleague, James Mcteigue (V For Vendetta), to direct the material while they were busy prepping their own film.
Joel Silver and Warner Bros. knew that they were capable of creating a more commercially accessible and large scale film than had previously been put together. Apparently, the earlier cut may have been a little artsy, talky, and not exactly a summer tentpole.
If that much of the film really has been re-shot, then for all intents and purposes, the version coming out this summer would be more of a remake of Hirschbiegel’s unseen film than anything else. In which case, who knows, maybe we’ll get to see both versions some day. Based on their past work, I know that I, for one, am more interested in Hirschbiegel’s version than McTeigue’s.
I am reminded of how Renny Harlin shot his version of the Exorcist prequel almost from scratch, after the studio decided it didn’t like Paul Schrader’s virtually completed version, and now both versions are in the Exorcist boxed set. Or maybe this is more like the two versions of Superman II — although in that case, the original director didn’t get to finish shooting his version.
Incidentally, all those other films were put out by Warner, too.