Mickey 17 | Bong Joon-ho refutes claims that he doesn’t have final cut

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Parasite director Bong Joon-ho has addressed the widely-published report that claimed he was in a dispute with Warner Bros over Mickey 17.

Bong Joon-ho has publicly addressed the claim that emerged earlier this month that he didn’t have final cut privilege on his upcoming sci-fi film, Mickey 17. When this report first emerged (via Daniel Richtman) it was baffling yet also acted as an explanation of sorts for a series of events that has been, frankly, rather bizarre.

Richtman claimed that Bong ‘doesn’t have final cut written into his contract with the studio. In other words, if Warner Bros doesn’t like aspects of his film, then it can insist on making changes.’

And as the story went, Warner Bros didn’t like aspects of his film and was insisting on said changes. Richtman also claimed that this ‘dispute’ was a major reason for the film’s huge delay. If you recall, Dune: Part Two's strike-related push into early 2024 saw Mickey 17's release date get pushed a long way back by Warner Bros.

While that part made sense on the part on the part of Warner Bros (which wouldn’t want two expensive sci-fi movies cannibalising each other’s box office), Mickey 17's push into January of 2025 raised eyebrows, especially since the film was expected to get a big launch at Cannes this year. The incredible success of Bong’s last film, Parasite, certainly suggested a positive response to Mickey 17, and a release in the second half of 2024 seemed logical.

Read more: Parasite review | A flat-out must-see film

Instead, the film is being released in January of 2025 (the month that is sometimes uncharitably termed as ‘Dumpuary’) and its prospects seem far less assured. In the latest twist though, Bong has reportedly shot down the story, claiming that he has final cut over the film and dispelling rumours that the film that releases won’t be his version.

According to AllKPop (via Dark Horizons), the Korean filmmaker appeared at the 2024 Cinematheque’s Friends Film Festival and challenged the report. He reportedly says his contract with the studio included a clause that stipulated that he had full control over the editing process. Bong also added that he submitted his completed edit to the studio back in November last year, and says Warners executives have been nothing but supportive.

That’s certainly heartening to hear, but if true, why has the film taken 14 months to release – and why is the $150m production with a starry cast (including Robert Pattinson, the studio’s own Batman) being given a release slot which won’t help the film’s chances?

Promotion for the film is set to begin soon according to Bong, and as he hits the marketing trail, perhaps we’ll find out more.

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