An interesting article that I spotted in today’s Daily Post.
Oliver Stone looks set to court controversy with Alexander: The Ultimate Cut, the fourth version of his biopic based on the life of Alexander the Great.
Alexander: The Ultimate Cut, which is being released on the tenth anniversary of the cinematic release of Alexander, will be 206 minutes long, seven minutes less than the 213 minute Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (2007).
However, The Ultimate Cut will contain new scenes featuring Darius III, the Great King of Persia. According to sources close to Director Oliver Stone, though, actor Raz Degan, who played Darius in the original version of the film, has not reprised his role for the new scenes.
‘At first the plan was for Raz to play Darius again,’ a source close to Stone said, “But at the last minute he became unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. Fortunately, Jared Leto was able to step in.’
And he did so despite playing Alexander’s best friend, Hephaistion, in the original movie. So, what was Oliver Stone thinking?
According to our source, ‘The reason Oliver went for Jared is Jared’s beard. It makes him look like Raz’s brother. Of course, they aren’t related so to compensate for the lack of similarity, Oliver placed the camera at oblique angles and used darker lighting.’
It is this use of ‘darker lighting’ that threatens to derail Stone’s project. ‘It is true there was a lot of debate about it,’ a source told the Post, ‘Some people felt that using a ‘darker’ light to make it seem like Jared’s skin was a darker colour was just a different version of the old practice of blacking up. A lot of folks were not at all happy about it.
‘But Stone was like, “No, no; it isn’t at all the same. We’re creating our own kind of chiaroscuro effect.” To be honest, I’m still not sure what he meant by that.’ What did Jared think about the lighting? ‘When Oliver told him what he intended to do, Jared just rolled his eyes and said ‘Well, it can’t be any more f—— fake than a Macedonian speaking like an Irishman.’ We all had a laugh at that.’
Below are images of Raz Degan as Darius III and Jared Leto with a beard. Are they similar? Let us know what you think.
Report by April F. Atua (Hollywood Office)’