New version of Justin Bieber film to hit theaters

Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:46pm EST
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By Pamela McClintock

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In an unprecedented move, Paramount's Insurge Pictures will release an updated director's fan cut of "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" in a one-week exclusive run, beginning February 25.

Director Jon M. Chu's updated "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Director's Fan Cut" will play only in 3D runs in the U.S. and Canada, replacing the original version. There will be 40 minutes of new footage.

Chu has trimmed 30 minutes of footage from the original "Never Say Never" to accommodate the additional scenes. Updated version runs 115 minutes, instead of the original running time of 105 minutes.

Move is designed to whip up renewed interest among Bieber's diehard fans, and spark repeat viewing in the film's third weekend in release. "Never Say Never" is already a financial success, having grossed $51.4 million in its first 11 days in release.

The original "Never Say Never" will continue playing in 2D runs. The cost of a 35mm print makes sending the director's cut to those theaters financially unworkable. Digital prints, however, are a fraction of the cost.

Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said the studio is "trying to take advantage of options from digital technology that didn't exist before and give fans even more of what they loved from the first version."

As he began the editing process, Chu realized he had a significant amount of footage that he couldn't use in the initial theatrical release. He then spent dozens of hours on Twitter and Facebook engaging with fans to see what they would like to see.

Some of the new footage includes more of Bieber's friends and hometown life, as well as new songs and special footage shot of the film's premiere at theaters across the country.   Continued...