Mel Gibson teases a 4-hour Director’s Cut of ‘Braveheart’

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Mel Gibson spent this past weekend in Scotland, touching down in the country for the first time in 28 years, where he shot Braveheart and became something of a national hero in the process (despite the historical epic’s voluminous inaccuracies and creative liberties).

The sprawling saga of William Wallace was a monster-sized hit at the time of release, bringing in $213 million at the box office before winning four Academy Awards from 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. At 178 minutes including credits, Braveheart isn’t the shortest movie by any stretch, but Gibson has hinted that he’d be interested in putting together a longer version.

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During an event attended by We Got This Covered, the 66 year-old reflected on the legacy of Braveheart, and admitted that his assembly cut of the sweeping tale was four hours in length. In the editing suite, he managed to whittle it down substantially to 195 minutes, before an exchange with then-Paramount boss Sherry Lansing saw him get the scissors out.

As per Gibson, the CEO asked the actor and filmmaker if the borderline indulgent length of Braveheart had audiences getting too far in front of the story being told, stripping away some dramatic tension as a result. Initially, Gibson was irritated that he was being told how to do finish his own passion project, but after sleeping on it, he took Lansing’s advice on board and snipped even more scenes.

However, he did tease that a four-hour edition of Braveheart was something he’d be interested in seeing “slapped together”, and with extended versions of popular films all the rage these days, it can’t be ruled out that we may end up seeing #ReleaseTheGibsonCut one day.