Red, White and Royal Blue is currently Amazon Prime’s number one movie worldwide—which is all the more impressive when you consider how much of the original novel’s content had to be condensed for the screen. So much, it turns out, that the first version of the film ran around 3 hours long. In light of this news, fans are banding together to demand the full director’s cut.
The final released version of the Red, White and Royal Blue clocks in at a little over 2 hours. In an interview with US Magazine, director and co-writer Matthew López said, “I have a very, very different job than Casey McQuiston did as the author of the novel. … You have the limitations of budget, time, space when you’re making a movie, and time being the most pressing one.
“What I’ve been saying to people is like, ‘Well, take the number of hours the audiobook lasts and subtract it by two, and that’s what was left out of the movie.’”
López explained that the movie had to laser-focus on the main couple, Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez), son of the US President, and Henry (Nicholas Galitzine), an English prince. And so, a three-hour movie became two.
“I watched the movie for the first time at the three-hour version of the movie that I first was given by my editor — and everything that wasn’t Alex and Henry had to go,” López recalled. “I [felt], like, you’re taking me away from what I care most about, which is Alex and Henry in the movie. So my job as the filmmaker is to deliver Alex and Henry safely on to the end of the film. There’s about less than 20 seconds of the movie in which either one of them doesn’t appear.”
You can appreciate López’s position, that he needed a reasonable runtime and a concise, coherent plot for his directorial debut. But the fans have needs too, simple needs: an extra hour of hot dudes smooching.
Uma Thurman’s scene-stealing role of Ellen Claremont in ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ joins the ranks of supportive moms in gay media.
Shortly after the interview was published, fans launched a change.org petition demanding the three-hour version of the film to be made available. As of this writing, the petition has nearly reached its goal of 7,500 signatures.
In an interview with INTO, López commented on why the story is so appealing. “Is it a fairy tale? Probably,” he said. “But why do we tell, read, and consume fairy tales? Because it’s our fondest hopes and wishes. Is it a fairy tale that one young, biracial, bisexual, Mexican-American millennial can turn Texas blue? Yeah, probably. But who wouldn’t want to spend 2 hours watching that story?”
Fair point. And if we want to spend 2 hours in that story, why not 3?