No one ever said growing up was easy. Just ask Imax Corp. The Toronto-based large-format kingpins have created a buzz around town by letting it be known they no longer think of themselves as a niche-film provider and distributor, but indeed a technologically advanced minimajor.
Deals with such Hollywood stalwarts as Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Brett Leonard and Peter Guber showed Imax was serious, as did additional announcements that the company was going to expand aggressively into Latin America and Europe.
Enter Christine Edzard. The British director, widely lauded for her uncompromising 1988 mega-adaptation of Dickens’ “Little Dorrit,” had agreed to make a 40-minute version of “The Nutcracker,” using Tchaikovsky’s music but not his balletic take on the story, for Imax.
All went swimmingly until the final cut, at which Imax execs insisted Edzard reshoot certain sequences which, the company claimed, were simply too dark to be shown in the format. Edzard, not understanding how an Imax-format film could be less technologically flexible than 35mm, refused, and an outside producer was brought in for reshoots — reshoots which Edzard says turned her jewel into coal dust.
“The film is incomprehensible,” she said. “The film was cut with great accuracy to the musical cues, and now that scheme is in shambles.”
Imax is sticking to its technological guns, however, and plans to exhibit its cut when the film opens Nov. 26 in New York.