Jonathan Levine on ‘Long Shot’ and How the Film Changed in the Editing Room

     May 5, 2019

With Long Shot now playing in theaters, I recently sat down with director Jonathan Levine to talk about making the extremely funny comedy. During the interview, he talked about how he wanted the film to be reflective of reality, what it’s like in the editing room when you have so many alt jokes, his four and a half hour first cut, why he likes having a lot of material to work with tin the editing room, how the film changed in post-production, the original opening scene which portrayed Charlize Theron’s character in a different light and why they removed it, and a lot more.


Image via Lionsgate

If you haven’t seen the great trailers for Long Shot, the film is written by Liz Hannah (The Post) and Dan Sterling (The Office) and follows the unlikely romance between a hard-hitting political journalist (Seth Rogen) and his first crush (Charlize Theron), who now happens to be the current U.S. Secretary of State and is considering running for President. The film also stars Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgard, Andy Serkis, Randall Park, O’Shea Jackson Jr., June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel.

Trust me, Long Shot is really well done and you’ll laugh a ton while watching the film. Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.

Jonathan Levine:

  • What is it like having made it as a director in Hollywood?
  • How he always wanted to make movies you needed to see in a movie theater.
  • How he wanted the film to be reflective of reality but far enough away to not inject too much anger in the film.
  • What is it like in the editing room when you have so many alt jokes?
  • How his first cut was four and a half hours.
  • Why he likes having a long first cut.
  • How they have a different opening scene for the film which portrayed Charlize Theron’s character in a different light.
  • How they found the tone of the film in the editing room and how they cut a lot of jokes.

Image via Hector Alvarez / Lionsgate

Here’s the official synopsis for Long Shot:

Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and childhood crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamourous lifestyle in the limelight. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.

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