'Lost' showrunner demands Netflix restore missing finale footage
Exclusive: Damon Lindelof 'totally befuddled' by Netflix's oddly shortened 'Lost' finale
Six years after it went off the air, ABC’s Lost is giving fans a whole new mystery.
Sharp-eyed viewers — and EW’s own Lost expert Jeff Jensen — have noticed the two-part closer of the hit series is roughly 18 minutes shorter on Netflix than the 104-minute version that aired in 2010, with numerous small cuts made. There’s even a lengthy Reddit thread devoted to chronicling the changes. So if you’re watching the Lost finale on Netflix, you’re not seeing the whole story.
Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof says he was unaware of the Netflix presentation of the Lost finale until EW brought the matter to his attention. He’s not happy about it, and wants the mysteriously missing footage returned.
Lindelof gave this statement to EW: “I am totally befuddled by all this. Love it or hate it, the finale that aired is the definitive finale and to alter it in any way defies explanation. Something tells me that this isn’t Netflix’s fault … that it’s an honest mistake and something got miscommunicated — I seem to remember ABC had to make an edit for rerun airings that tightened the show into ‘format’ (42 minutes to accommodate commercials), and somehow that [version] mistakenly got sent to Netflix. This sometimes happened with our finales — we’d ask for extra time and ABC would agree to air, but then we had to do another tighter version for subsequent airings and/or international [markets]. We usually left these (painful) cuts to the discretion of our editors… but as the show lives on in DVD form and on Netflix, there is ZERO reason to have the shorter version out there.”
Adding to the mystery: Some Netflix viewers insist they saw a previous version of the finale (titled “The End”) on the streaming service did have all the footage … so at some point the Netflix matrix might have changed.
And before the idea of multiple Lost finale edits give you any ideas, Lindelof added: “I have no intention of ‘changing’ nor Special Editioning the finale … we continue to stand by it, but this is a fix that needs to happen, so at least people can love or hate it in its entirety. Also, Deckard is a replicant.”
The writer-producer, whose current series The Leftovers recently received a third and final season order, signed his message with a pair of hashtags: #WhatHappenedHappened and #RestoreTheLostFinale.
We’re told that Netflix’s policy is that they only show the cut they receive from the rights-holder, but they’re looking into the matter. We’ve also reached out to ABC Studios, who are also investigating the matter. We’ll update this post as more becomes clear. Because that lost Lost finale footage … it has to go back!
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With reporting by Jeff Jensen