One of the major benefits of home video releases is the opportunity to release versions of a particular film that couldn't make their way into theaters. This was evidently something that director F. Gary Gray kept in mind during the post-production process on The Fate of the Furious, and as a result the Blu-ray will include a special Director's Cut. But what differences can fans expect? The filmmaker explained it to me thusly:
It's 13 minutes longer, and it's more action, more humor. We're able to give a couple moments, dramatic moments, the room to breathe a little more. In certain ways I've improved certain performances, and not only enhanced, but added action sequences. I love humor -- comedy and humor. It's kind of my favorite thing. So to add in jokes, some of the jokes are a little edgy.
With The Fate of the Furious arriving on Blu-ray on July 11th, I recently had the opportunity to hop on the phone with F. Gary Gray to talk about his new film -- and our conversation eventually turned to the special home video cut. Referring to it as his preferred version of the movie, he confirmed that it was put together at the same time as the theatrical version, but that the longer cut "enhances" his favorite aspect of storytelling: the comedy.
Curious by his quote about including edgy humor, I noted that the Directors Cut of Fate of the Furious is unrated, and inquired there was anything in it that might have forced the feature to receive an R-rating. F. Gary Gray told me that the line isn't quite pushed that far, but also acknowledged that the movie he created is already more mature in its tone than its series predecessors. Said Gray,
No, [it's not really R-rating worthy]. But we have conversations with the studio about the tone of the movie. This is probably the most adult tone-wise in the franchise. We push it a little more with the stuff that's cut out. I'm happy about it; we'll see what happens.
So if the Director's Cut features footage that improves the humor and the action of The Fate of the Furious in the eyes of its helmer, why didn't that version make its way into theaters? Gray admitted that the extended version doesn't quite have the same pacing as the theatrical edit, but also feels that it gives the movie what it needs.
We shot a lot in Iceland, which was the Russia sequence. So there were big chunks of the Russia sequence we had to cut out just to keep the pacing going. It's in the third act, the movie has a lot of momentum. And while I didn't put everything back in, there's more Tyrese, the Roman character with the Lamborghini and the submarine. Just more cool stuff! We enhanced the New York sequence with the car hacking, things like that. There are a couple enhanced moments in Cuba as well. So I think people will definitely notice. Some of the stuff you won't really notice, but it will feel a little different -- but in a good way.
Fans will have the opportunity to own their very own copy of The Fate of the Furious' Director's Cut very soon, as the Blu-ray will be arriving on shelves this Tuesday. For more from my interview with director F. Gary Gray, head over HERE to read his quotes about the Dwayne Johnson vs. Vin Diesel vs. Jason Statham fight that never came together.