For someone that’s been around Hollywood for most of his life, Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems strangely reluctant to push boundaries. Not that he doesn’t take on interesting roles or try his hand in all mediums, but when it comes to his directorial debut, it appears, with each new development, that he is chipping away at something interesting and powerful to make it safe. After re-cutting his Don Jon’s Addiction post-Sundance to appease the MPAA and have it fit nicely into an R-rating, the actor/director has taken things a step further by chopping off the "Addiction" from the title.
Now simply, Don Jon, JGL was concerned that the title was giving off the wrong message about the film, leading potential viewers astray down a path of sex-fueled nights and emotionally hollow days. Personally, I was led to believe from every bit of information about the picture that this was the story of a porn-addicted lothario who desperately tries to unplug from the online smut when he finds human connection in two women, but maybe I was looking at this from the wrong angle—that glaring ADDICTION, you know?
JGL released a thorough explanation for the title change, and along with it, his own explanation of the film—telling us exactly how he wants us to see it and what it’s supposed to mean, as if the title was really going to sway all of the work that went into the feature. But really, is this all necessary? It’s very polite of you, JGL, but since when do directors change the titles of their films to help us understand it better and then provide us with a very cookie-cutter mold for us to view the film through? I’m pretty sure Steve McQueen didn’t issue a statement telling us that although his film was titled Shame, don’t be confused— Brandon doesn’t always appear to be experiencing distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
But whatever, along with the explanation we also get a few stills from Don Jon, including a first shot of JGL and Tony Danza, who plays his father. We also get a look at Scarlett Johansson as one of the his romantic leads and of course, a nice one of him pumping iron as well.
Check out the explantation and stills below.
So, as you might’ve heard already, I wrote and directed a movie last year, and it’s coming out later this year. Which is absolutely crazy, and I still kinda can’t believe it. Anyway, I’m posting this today to let you all know that I’m changing its title. It’s now called… DON JON. I decided to change it, first of all, because DON JON is just so short and simple, and if you know me, you know I’m a fan of brevity. Second of all, it felt to me like the old title, “Don Jon’s Addiction” was throwing some people off a bit from the point of the movie. People were assuming it was a film about porn addiction and sex addiction, which really isn’t true. That’d be sort of like saying “The Maltese Falcon” is a movie about a statue of a falcon. DON JON is a comedy about how men and women treat each other, and how the media we consume can create unrealistic expectations that we put on one another. That’s why the story centers around a relationship between a young man (played by me) who watches too much pornography and a young woman (played by Scarlett) who watches too many romantic Hollywood movies. It’s a topic I personally find fascinating and hilarious.
And while I have your attention, I figured I’d show you the first production still we’re releasing of Jon’s father, played by none other than Tough Tony Danza. More to show soon. We’re just starting to work on the trailer now. And I’m heading down to SxSW with Tony this weekend with the film, so I’ll see some of you in Austin!thanks again.