In the week since Sony Pictures announced it would be releasing "clean" edits of popular movies, the studio has been working hard to spin the decision as a popular one for both filmmakers and families who might otherwise miss out on seeing Hollywood hits. However, a number of A-list stars have come out against the studio's choice to widely release the highly edited versions of movies that have become common viewing on airlines and network television. Now, even the Directors Guild of America is voicing its concern that the studio may be violating the DGA's current contractual agreements, should they proceed as planned.

"Clean Version" project a response to 3rd party pirating

Since 2005, Hollywood has been battling companies like VidAngel, ClearPlay, and the now defunct CleanFlicks, who have been both selling and renting copies of major studio releases after editing out any violence, nudity, profanity, or other content deemed "inappropriate." The companies utilize the Family Movie Act, signed by Congress in 2005, which created a grey area around what constitutes a "fixed copy" of an edited film, especially since of boom of digital media creation.

It is believed that Sony is looking to tap into the market of Americans who currently source their home entertainment from these 3rd party pirating firms, which may prove lucrative for the studio. A poll conducted by ABC shortly after the signing of the Family Movie Act found 4 in 10 Americans were in favor of watching sanitized films, and Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council argues that number is likely to have grown in the decade since. With regards to the "Clean Version" project, he told THR, "I would think you are looking at a doubling of potential revenue streams."

24 edited titles planned, though not all directors may be aware

In a statement launching the "Clean Version" project, Sony announced a list of 24 back-catalog movies to be released in the initial phase of the program.

The list includes comedies such as Adam Sandler's "Big Daddy" and "50 First Dates," dramatic films like "Captain Phillips" and "Moneyball," and the 3 pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man movies.

Also included in the first stage of releases are Adam Mckay's "Step Brothers" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." Unfortunately, McKay claims he was not previously made aware that edited versions of his movies would be released for the home viewing consumer. According to a representative, Sony's intentions were "news" to the filmmaker who "would not have agreed to this." It is not clear if McKay will be able to remove his films from the project.

Joining McKay to register his disapproval for "Clean Version" movies is comedy actor and filmmaker Seth Rogen, who famously earned headlines with Sony back in 2014 after his movie "The Interview" led to a massive hack and information leak. The actor, who has production offices located on the Sony production lot in Hollywood, Tweeted moments after the project's announcement:

None of Rogen's films were listed among the project's first 24.

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