Payback (1999)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical (90 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (101 min.)

When Paramount Pictures were presented with the neo noir revenge film Payback in 1998 it was deemed too dark for mainstream audience. Director Brian Helgeland was given the chance to retool the movie but declined, and production designer John Myhre was given a go at it. Myhre reshot 30% of the film, including a quite different and lighter ending.

Helgelands director’s cut is available in the US on Blu-ray and DVD as Straight Up: The Director’s Cut. The UK Blu-ray edition of Payback contains both editions of the film.

“I can’t speak so much to what is different about my version, than the theatrical version, because I only ever really analyzed my own version and what I’m trying to do with that version. The theatrical version to me, it’s what became once I wasn’t involved anymore on it.” – Brian Helgeland

Source: Same Story… Different Movie: Creating Payback the Director’s Cut, a featurette extra on Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of

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