A sad reality in the film making world is that many times, the studios and producers feel the need to encroach on the writer’s or director’s vision and make alterations that can potentially change large portions of the work. Unfortunately, this has happened to the newly released Keanu Reeves movie, Daughter of God (or Exposed, another studio change). Steve Reznikov, who had no hand in the movie, saw the injustice at work here and started a petition to release a Director’s Cut more in line with the original vision. He calls out Lionsgate for releasing an “incomplete and disjointed film.”
Exposed, a thriller from writer and director Gee Malik Linton released on January 22, has seen major edits to the point where Linton has chosen to remove his name from the project. The edits go beyond simple pacing changes, and have more in common with a child taking a pair of scissors to a film reel and piecing together the remains. The petition states that more than 25 minutes have been cut from the film, changing the entire message and flow of the work, removing the focus from a minority female character, and putting the focus on Keanu Reeves in an attempt to squeeze out more revenue. As of the time of writing, the petition has just under 200 signatures in only a few days, proving that there is interest from the public in the original work.
On the reviews aggregator website rottentomatoes.com, the film is sitting at an average of 2.2/10 from review scores, with 20% of viewers enjoying the film. One look through the reviews of the film, and you will see some repeated criticisms: disjointed, scrambled and mutilated. It is unclear how Lionsgate will proceed with the film, but the early buzz from the direct to video and streaming services is not positive. Hopefully the outcry is enough to force Lionsgate’s hand and give the original vision a shot.