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Now fans are urging HBO to release what would have been Arnold’s version of the drama series through the hashtag #ReleaseTheArnoldCut.
i would like to see it pic.twitter.com/Q5YnlAzdRb— reaction pictures (@reactionroll) January 21, 2019
Although Arnold–an Oscar-winner whose work includes Red Road, Fish Tank, and American Honey–was promised free reign in filming, showrunner David E. Kelley allegedly had another plan, according to IndieWire. The network initially wanted to bring back Jean-Marc Vallée, who served as executive producer and the director of the first season, however, he wasn’t available at the time due to conflicts with filming Sharp Objects.
Rather than wait around for Vallée, the creative team hired Arnold to take over in the interim with the intention to bring Vallée back, unbeknownst to her. Vallée was set to mold her work into his “distinctive style” after filming concluded.
“We have similar ways of shooting, when you look at it,” Vallée said in a previous interview with IndieWire. “She shot hand-held, available light. She aims for performances, like I [did] in season one. She is who she is, but the spirit of the other is there.”
Throughout the duration of filming the second season last year, HBO reportedly did little to interfere with Arnold’s style–in fact, set reports were described as “glowing.” By the time she wrapped filming, post-production was wrenched from Arnold’s hands before she and her team could even cut together a single episode.
HBO attempted to downplay the real-life drama surrounding the series in a statement responding to the allegations.
“There wouldn’t be a season two of Big Little Lies without Andrea Arnold,” the network claimed. “We at HBO and the producers are extremely proud of her work. As with any television project, the executive producers work collaboratively on the series and we think the final product speaks for itself.”
Yet, Arnold is said to be “heartbroken” over the experience. Fans are pointing out the irony considering Big Little Lies is a show that represents women empowerment.
This Andrea Arnold story is making me so fucking pissed off. @hbo has such a shitty track record with female directors to start with and then to hire a visionary director and recut her work is unconscionable. David E. Kelly and Jean Marc Vallee have a lot of explaining to do.— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) July 12, 2019
Like, how dare you hire Andrea Arnold and then make her your fucking patsy.— Libby Hill (@midwestspitfire) July 12, 2019
"I wish this Andrea Arnold thing were more like this Jean-Marc Vallée thing" is not a thing a sane person thinks— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) July 12, 2019
Sooo #BigLittleLies hired Andrea Arnold to direct Season 2 and NEVER told her that Jean-Marc Vallee would come in to edit and do away with her voice/vision https://t.co/8oiuX5rVHu #JusticeForAndrea pic.twitter.com/6MqgXDXgaC— Zack Sharf (@ZSharf) July 12, 2019
Re: Andrea Arnold - all these men had to do was be human beings instead of weird Hollywood robots. If you wanted her to replicate a directing style, just fucking tell her. If you don't like the dailies coming in, just fucking tell her. Open your flesh mouths and communicate.— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) July 12, 2019
That's messed up how they did Andrea Arnold.— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 12, 2019
Many are demanding a re-cut with the director’s original vision through the hashtag.
...— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) July 12, 2019
... release the Andrea Arnold cut?
we’re pushing David E. Kelley and Jean-Marc Vallée down the concrete steps #ReleaseTheArnoldCut HOW ARE YOU MAKING A SHOW ABOUT WOMEN’S TRAUMA WHILE TAKING AWAY A WOMAN FILMMAKER’S AUTONOMY A NIGHTMAREEEEEE— beach rice (@boot_rice) July 12, 2019
Me showing up to HBO offices, calling everyone short, and demanding answers about the whereabouts of the Andrea Arnold Big Little Lies season. pic.twitter.com/R62tWrQunI— R. Eric Thomas (@oureric) July 13, 2019
big little lies nation headed to hbo headquarters to leak andrea arnold’s cut pic.twitter.com/7fjruh9Ut4— mich (@bigIttIeIies) July 12, 2019
Fans also seem to now know why we received that underwhelming ice cream scene rather than the iconic one we were all expecting.
1) did andrea arnold shoot the ice cream throwing scene— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) July 12, 2019
2) is jean-marc vallee why we have no ice cream throwing scene
Curious where your deliciously meme-able ice cream-throwing scene went? The real story is much crazier, weirder, and upsetting than any chopped sequence involving Meryl and a targeted cone: https://t.co/UvEEOy9YJ0 #BLL2— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) July 12, 2019
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H/T BuzzFeed News
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.