Last week saw the debut of “London Fields,” the long-delayed Amber Heard, Jim Sturgess and Billy Bob Thornton-led lavish thriller which first premiered at Toronto in 2015, was stuck in a legal limbo for years, and then finally debuted to both a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes and one of the worst box office debuts in history.
Filmmaker Mathew Cullen spoke with THR in the wake of the film’s release and surprisingly agrees with much of the criticism that the film has been slammed with saying: “I’ve read the reviews. I agree with them. There’s a reason why they said that Amis’ book was unadaptable.”
Cullen himself isn’t fully responsible for the film either, the version released in cinemas and shown to critics was edited together by the distributor, not Cullen, and he allowed it: “About a year ago, I came to the realization that if my movie was going to be seen, that I just had to finish the film.” He then agreed to a deal with the distributor in which he would spend his own money to finish his version of the film if they agreed to release it on a small number of screens. His version, however, is not the cut that was shown nationwide.
Cullen also didn’t take his name off the final version released even if it wasn’t his version: “Under DGA rules, I could have used a pseudonym, but in that process, I wouldn’t ever be allowed to talk about the film again and I wouldn’t have had the ability to release my version of the film.”
David Cronenberg, David Mackenzie, and Michael Winterbottom were all at one time linked and then passed on the project.