Have you ever been watching a heavily edited, bleeped and blurred-out movie on broadcast TV (or maybe on a plane) and thought to yourself, “I really wish I could get that version to watch at home!”? Well, Sony has read your mind and created cleaned-up editions of several popular movies — all while annoying just about everyone in Hollywood in the process.
Sony isn’t selling these more-wholesome editions of its movies on their own. Rather, the company is making them available as free bonus content for customers who purchase digital downloads of certain titles in the Sony back catalog — including Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, and Talladega Nights.
“This is a pilot program, developed in response to specific consumer feedback, that offers viewers the option of watching an airline or TV version of certain movies when they purchase the original version,” Man Jit Singh, the president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, explained to Bloomberg News.
Singh says that the company checked with directors or their representatives before distributing the family-friendly versions of their films in a bundle.
However, the Directors Guild of America objects to this because it says that directors have not agreed to distributing a version made for one platform on another.
Normally, versions of films edited for cable and for planes aren’t available for sale to consumers, and the DGA apparently doesn’t want them to be.
“Taking a director’s edit for one platform and then releasing it on another — without giving the director the opportunity to edit — violates our agreement,” the union explained to Hollywood Reporter.
Out of the 24 films in the pilot program, two of them happen to have been directed by Adam McKay. A representative for the director told Hollywood Reporter that “[t]he Clean Version initiative is news to Adam McKay. He would not have agreed to this.”
Director Judd Apatow took his objection to the program to Twitter. One of the titles already released, Step Brothers, was produced by Apatow, but no movies that he has directed are part of the initiative yet.
In a clean version, we speculate that his Tweet would say something like, “This is absolute bullpuckey and Sony and Sony Pictures is gonna get heck for editing [misplaced pause] our movies.” The last sentence would be edited out.
The first batch of films that are part of the Clean Movies releases are 50 First Dates, Battle Of The Year, Big Daddy, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Easy A, Elysium, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Goosebumps, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Hancock, Inferno, Moneyball, Pixels, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and White House Down.