Alexander slims down on DVD -- Oliver Stone is repackaging his epic film by taking out the parts that hint at Alexander's homosexuality

Last year, critics panned Alexander and U.S. audiences ignored it. Now director Oliver Stone is ”reimagining” it for DVD, and — surprise! — there’s already controversy. When Warner Bros. announced May 12 that Stone’s version would run eight minutes shorter than the theatrical cut (both DVDs are due Aug. 2), the Internet buzzed that Stone was axing the hints of romance between Colin Farrell’s Alexander and Jared Leto’s Hephaistion.

”I know this is gonna be an issue among the gay dotcoms,” the director says, ”so we have to be very exact. What they’re saying is that we changed the character to make him like Brad Pitt [in Troy] to make him heterosexual. Which is not the case. We just don’t dwell on the relationship as much. We want to make the film more accessible.” But Stone stresses that he hasn’t excised all its gay content. For example, while Alexander’s line ”Stay with me tonight, Hephaistion” is out, the line ”It is said that. . .Alexander was never defeated, except by Hephaistion’s thighs” is still in. The new cut may even find its way to theaters before the DVD — but will moviegoers? ”Even if you hated the movie,” Stone pleads, ”give it a second shot.”

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