Following a mixed reception at its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, “Personal Shopper” and “Carlos” filmmaker Olivier Assayas’ Cuban spy epic feature “Wasp Network” is getting recut.
That Venice cut will still play at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, but Assayas is going back into the editing bay to have his new version of the film ready in time for the United States premiere at the New York Film Festival in a few weeks.
Assayas turned his first cut out ridiculously fast, only wrapping filming on the feature on May 4th after enduring a production that faced some difficulties shooting in Cuba. He dubs it “one of the most complex and ambitious films I’ve made” and to have it ready in time for Venice was a semi-miracle. Speaking with Deadline, Assayas says:
“There are a series of fixes I’ll make. I might shorten some parts and lengthen others. The running time won’t change considerably, but it’s about gaining fluidity. I want the film to be understood by those who aren’t aware of the complexities of the local politics. The fixes will be done for the New York Film Festival [screening].
The morning after I saw the film in Venice I sent a text message to [producer] Rodrigo [Teixeira] about changing elements of the film’s second half. I sensed there were moments when the audience had doubts, that they might be uncomfortable with the politics, and I thought they would be easy fixes. There will possibly be a little more Penelope Cruz because that’s the character we empathize with most”
Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, and Gael García Bernal star in the espionage thriller which centers on the true story of five Cuban spies held as political prisoners from the late 1990s up until 2014.
“Wasp Network” has yet to be picked up by a U.S. distributor.