Boy Kills World: Narration changed for theatrical release?

Connie Queline

Boy Kills World: Narration changed for theatrical release?

Boy Kills World is finally getting a theatrical release, but it seems to be a different cut than the one we liked at TIFF.

It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Sometimes, a movie plays a film fest, gets picked up by a studio, and is changed. It looks like that’s exactly what happened to Boy Kills World, a movie I saw (and enjoyed) at TIFF’s Midnight Madness. The official trailer dropped today, and I’m thrilled the film is getting a full-on theatrical release courtesy of Lionsgate and Roadhouse Attractions.

However, Boy Kills World won’t be released the way I saw it at TIFF.

As soon as I started watching the trailer, it seemed different to me, as in the cut that I saw; the entire movie was narrated by Bill Skarsgard’s “Boy” character (who is deaf and mute) via his interior monologue. In the version I saw, Skarsgard seemed to be doing the voice. The hook is that Boy’s inner monologue is based on the last voice he heard, that of a nineties-style arcade game, and it looks like the studio has replaced Skarsgard’s voice with that of Archer voice actor H. Jon Benjamin.

While some may say that’s a good thing, I’m not entirely sure it will work in the context of the movie. While a rocking action film, it takes on deeper, more serious themes as it goes on, so it’s a shame that Skarsgard, who seemed to be delivering a great vocal performance (to my ears, anyway), won’t get to convey the character’s emotion the same way. I liked it originally, but I’m not sure I’ll feel the same about it when I see this new cut. For me, removing Skarsgard’s vocal performance is a weird choice, especially given what a good voice actor he is (can anyone forget how he sounded as Pennywise in It?). I wonder if Boy Meets World got any other revisions because the cut I saw was pretty balls-to-the-wall. It took several months for the film to get a distribution deal, so it’s possible the movie had to be retooled a bit before coming out. The voiceover swap – to me anyway- is a pretty big change, and I’m not sure it’s a welcome one. I’ll reserve judgment until I see the final film, but take my original review with a grain of salt now, as this version seems very different. Maybe it’ll be better, but it might be worse, too.

Boy Kills World hits theaters on April 26th.

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