Remember the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop? For whatever reason, it seems like the film didn’t live up to its full potential. Is Kevin James riding a segway through a mall with a helmet on not entertaining enough for the masses? Perhaps the reason Paul Blart didn’t take off to Frozen-like levels of success is because it was made in the wrong genre.
If YouTube user Nick Proch is to be believed, the sequel, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, was meant to be a lot grittier, but the studios rejected the darker version of the movie and opted for the more lighthearted rendition that was ultimately released. However, the “original” version has survived, and a trailer for it has made its way to YouTube.
“[David] Fincher pushed [Kevin] James to conceive a darker Blart—a nuanced, troubled antihero, driven to the edge by his life’s failures,” Proch writes. “Believing audiences were on his side, Fincher went into production on his morbid, gritty vision of his newly-envisioned Blart thrillogy.”
He continued: “But a reshuffling of executives within Columbia Pictures did away with Fincher’s original champions. Despite critical acclaim, numerous festival awards, and wide praise from the press who attended early screenings, Fincher was cut loose and replaced with director Andy Fickman, who oversaw numerous reshoots, massive edits, and a completely new edition of the film prior to the film’s nationwide theatrical release. After much conflict, the newly edited, family-friendly cut of the film made its way into theaters in the spring of 2015, and Columbia destroyed all copies of the original edition.”
This is an exciting narrative and we want so badly to believe it, but we just can’t get past how implausible it seems. James is not known as a dramatic actor, so we have a hard time stomaching that he pulled off a truly gritty and spectacular performance. Still, if this trailer is all we have of this “original” Blart sequel, we will cherish it.
Featured image courtesy of Columbia Pictures