Yesterday's L.A. Times carried an interesting article on the difficulties foreign directors often face when brought in to helm a major Hollywood production. Two Sandra Bullock movies -- last year's The Lake House and the forthcoming Premonition -- were both cited as examples where a foreign director was brought on board, only to clash with Hollywood norms. Spy Game, Mad Love, and other films of recent years are also referenced as facing similar issues. Even more interesting than the general topic, however, was the light the article shed on goings-on with one recent production, the big-budget re-make of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, called The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. The Times article tells of how German director Oliver Hirschbiegel -- who impressed Hollywood with his Hitler epic Downfall, and was then offered the director's chair on The Invasion -- turned in a cut of the film at the end of 2005 that the studio was greatly unhappy with.
According to the article, the studio was "so unhappy with the results that it brought in 'Matrix' creators Andy and Larry Wachowski to do rewrites and then hired James McTeigue, who directed 'V for Vendetta' for the studio last year, to do nearly $10 million in re-shoots..." One of the studio's problems with the film was apparently that it didn't have enough action; Hirschbiegel wouldn't comment for the paper, but allowed his agents to say that the lack of action was not his fault, but due to budget constraints placed on him by the studio. The Times did get hold of Warners honcho Alan Horn, who gave a more positive spin on the whole issue, claiming "we needed to do re-shoots, as is often the case, and Oliver wasn't available, so we used someone else." Will there one day be a 'Hirschbiegel's Director's Cut of 'The Invasion'' in stores? Who knows. The studio version will be released August 17.