[UPDATE: It has been confirmed that the initial reports of seven minutes of cuts were inaccurate. There were a total of seven cuts made, with a combined running time between eighty and ninety seconds.]
To those wondering whether the ratings troubles suffered by Kim Jee-woon's I Saw The Devil
- twice refused clearance for theatrical release in Korea - we a pre-meditated publicity move, consider this. If it was, it's a publicity move that ultimately cost the film seven minutes from director Kim's preferred cut of the film.
Given a rating that would only allow the film to screen in a class of theater that doesn't exist - despite the presence of megastars Choi Min-Sik and Lee Byung-hyun in the leads - with only days before the announced release date, producers were given no choice but to perform radical surgery and the version of the film now released is a full seven minutes shorter than the version of the film submitted to be rated.
In an interview with the Korea Times
director Kim described the released version of the film as "sushi with a little less wasabi. The savory texture of the fish is still there but with a little less tang." Reports indicate that scenes of cannibalism remain but images of body parts being handled have been removed. There is no indication yet which version of the film will be shown in international festivals.
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