Exclusive Interview: Troy Duffy on The Boondock Saints II Director’s Cut
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was the long-awaited, long in the works sequel to the 1999 cult hit The Boondock Saints. Now, four years after Boondock II was finally released, there is even more Boondock II for fans. A director’s cut, running 27 minutes longer, is available on DVD and Blu-ray this week. We got to catch up with Boondock Saints director Troy Duffy on the nearly 15 years he’s spent on the franchise, including his plans for a third film. Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus play Connor and Murphy MacManus, two Boston brothers who take matters into their own hands to clean up the streets by taking out mobsters. The sequel sees them return to seek justice for a local priest who was killed, and now there’s even more revenge in the director’s cut!
CraveOnline: The first thing I want to ask you as a fun aside, since we know about your run-ins with Harvey Weinstein on the first Boondock Saints, have you followed this whole Butler title controversy?
Troy Duffy: No, what is it.
Oh, he’s being forced to change the name of his movie The Butler because Warner Brothers has a short film from 1916 called The Butler.
They’re saying he violated the MPAA’s title registry. Normally this all gets worked out but they are not budging this time.
Wow, wow. That seems there’s got to be some more going on there. Every time I hear something like that, there’s always 10,000 levels underneath it that you don’t know about. To me, Harvey’s that guy that if you talk to just movie fans and you say, “Name your top 10 movies,” there’s always a couple Miramax films in there. As brusk as maybe Harv can be sometimes, and I’ve had some experience with that, he also does some great movies. As far as I’m concerned, business is better with him in it.
There actually is more to that story. Weinstein said it has to do with his stake in The Hobbit. There is more to the story than the title of a short film, if you’re interested in following that. So, would you walk us through some of the additional scenes in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day director’s cut?
Sure. There’s additional sort of fantasy sequences, and a scene we call the “mantage,” which is sort of an outcrying of the blue collar man back to the days of John Wayne almost. There’s more of that. There’s more stuff with the brothers and Romeo. There’s parts of sequences that have been extended. You kind of put together your cut that you’ve got everything in that you feel comfortable with and then you have to cut that to two hours. So every cut after this director’s cut was like pulling a knife out. It’s about 20 minutes, a little bit more, of some footage that I really liked.
It’s a significant chunk of additions. For me, because it’s usually a while after I’ve seen the original that I finally see a director’s cut, I’m never quite sure if I’m seeing something new or just forgetting what was already in the movie.
For me, I’m like one of those musicians that can’t listen to their own music. Watching Boondock I and II, I wish I could have that thing where a fan sits down and watches it. I always think about, “Oh, I remember when we shot that.” So it’s a bit odd for me. One of the things I really love, one of the things that hit me like a fan was all the added bonus features. I remember they were shooting a whole bunch of behind the scenes stuff but I was so involved on everything, I didn’t really notice. So when I watched all that stuff, that’s when I was like, “Wow, there was a lot going on there.”
Haven’t those behind the scenes been released before, though, on previous DVDs?
I think there’s more on there, man.
I’m sure there’s more. Do you not go to screenings and watch each movie with audiences?
I have, I have. Boondock 1, when we came out with that, we had to do our screenings for the industry, I watched it with audiences then. Then we did a little tour of some major cities on II and we all sat there and watched it with the audiences.
Does that help you see them through the fans’ eyes?
Yeah, when you’re getting a direct reaction right there in the room, that’s always an eye opener. You can tell what worked and stuff like that.
Have these two films been your life as a filmmaker for the past 15 years? They’re the only ones we’ve seen, but has it been as omnipresent in your life?
Well, yeah. You always run into fans and stuff so it’s one of those things that you kind of get bolstered on a weekly basis just by running into people. So it’s omnipresent, however I would obviously like to spread my wings a little bit and do some other things. I’ve written some other things that are in the hopper right now. We’re going to try and get them made. I’ve got that part of my life too.
I want to hear about those too, but is Boondock III still on the horizon?
It is. I’m about halfway done with the script right now. It’ll be another few months and then we’ll start talking about putting together some deals for the actors and try to get that going. I’m very excited about III. What I’m going to be trying to do outright is just bury both of the first ones. The fans have had all these questions about the brothers. Why do they kill to begin with? What do they think about this and that? This one’s going to be much more focused on those two characters.
Are Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus and Billy Connolly on board for a third one?
I’ve discussed it with Sean and Norm. They’re brimming with anticipations.