What editions are available?
- Theatrical Cut (126 min.)
- Director’s Cut / Extended Unrated Version (141 min.)
During mid-production of the intended R-rated King Arthur the producers had a change heart and decided that the movie should aim at the considerably less bloody PG-13 rating. Director Antoine Fuqua is known for his R-rated movies had to change his style and abandon the footage that was already in the can. King Arthur was released When the director’s cut was originally released on DVD Faqua had the following to say about the newly minted cut in an interview with DVDTalk.com in 2004:
DVDTalk: What lead to the decision to release King Arthur as a Director’s Cut?
Antoine Fuqua: Jerry [Bruckheimer] and those guys are trying to stay true to what I signed on for, and they had promised me that early on. When I first signed on to the movie it was to shoot an R movie, and then half way through it – that changed, for all sorts of reasons. Obviously it’s always money…That was very difficult for me and I had a tough time adjusting to that. I had to change a lot of my shooting style that I had set up because it just wouldn’t have been possible to do certain things and get a PG-13 rating, just because it would have been more graphic. Like I said, tonally, I had a whole different mindset. So once that happened, while I was filming, it made it difficult. Jerry Bruckheimer promised me that he’d get a version out on DVD that would be closer to what I wanted.
Source: Antoine Fuqua – King Arthur, DVDTalk
Three years later, in 2007, Capone of Aint It Cool News interviewed Faqua where they talked about the director’s cut where he suddenly changed his mind about the cut:
Capone: One of the most famous instances of conflicts you’ve had with a studio centered on your work on KING ARTHUR, in which the folks at Disney insisted that your pare it back to get a PG-13 rating after you’d prepped for an R-rated blood bath. I guess the promise was that you’d get to put out an unrated “director’s cut” on DVD. Are you satisfied with the “director’s cut” that’s out there?
Antoine Fuqua: No, no, not at all. Because you never really get that chance. Once you’re out of that editing bay, you’re out of there. Everything else is out of your hands. It becomes marketing, selling product. It has nothing to do with you anymore. They’ll sell you and use your name to say “director’s cut.” But not really, hell no.
Capone: Did you have any input into that cut?
Antoine Fuqua: No, barely. And my input was almost impossible because during the finishing of your movie, you’re still supposed to have a director’s cut. How are you going to do that when you’re still finished the movie that you have to put out. If it’s a PG-13 and that’s what you have to cut, when do you find the time–you barely sleep anyway–to do a director’s cut? A director’s cut would have to be something you could do when you step away from the movie for a minute, and get all the material together, and go back and have a full cutting session with your editor. That’s a director’s cut. And being allowed to shoot the damn footage for a director’s cut. When you’re told you can’t even shoot that kind of footage to start with, then what’s the point anyway?
The director’s preferred edition: In a way, neither