Indian fans of David Fincher and Gone Girl, exhale. The Hollywood director’s highly acclaimed adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling account of a husband's attempts to find his missing wife is scheduled to be released in India on October 24. The adult-rated movie, which includes scenes of nudity, sex and graphic violence, will be cut in some places, but these cuts will be made with Fincher’s permission. The version of Gone Girl that will come out in India won’t be exactly what audiences in the US and the UK will watch, but it  won’t be a mutilated version of Fincher’s vision either.

That’s the promise made by Fox Star Studios, the movie's local distributor. “The movie was submitted for censorship, and certain cuts were demanded," said a senior marketing professional at the Hollywood studio said on the condition of anonymity since he is not authorised to talk to the media. "These suggestions have been sent to Fincher’s team, and he will be sending his cut, which we will submit again to the censors. We are aiming for an October 24 release.”

Gone Girl was initially supposed to have been opened on October 10.

Contractual right

Fox Star Studios has been careful to account for Fincher’s final-cut privileges in its distribution plan. The critically acclaimed director is among a handful of American filmmakers (including Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen) who has the contractual right to override contrary opinions from producers and distributors and edit and present his movies as he pleases. This privilege is not geographically bound to the US. Fincher’s last film, an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was supposed to be released in India three years ago. Sony Pictures, which was distributing the title, could not send the Central Board of Film Certification’s list of cuts to Fincher in time for its domestic schedule. Rather than opting for a delayed release, the studio sent The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo straight to DVD.

The CBFC's conservatism over what is permitted for general viewing (frontal nudity is still a no-no, for instance) has drastically influenced the kind of Hollywood titles that are released in India. Movies like Gone Girl, which has an R, or "restricted" rating in the US, usually come to India either messily chopped or never at all. Fincher's final cut privilege might placate fans of his muscular film-making style and his interpretation the dark, twist-filled novel.

Adults only

The Fox Star Studios representative said that the company would not tamper with Fincher's take.  “We had anticipated this a long time ago, so we had already put the process into place,” he said. “We want to give the best possible version of Gone Girl to Indian audiences.” The movie will be released with an "adults only" certificate in any case, given the nature of the material, he said.

India isn't the only country to miss Fincher’s original vision. Countries in the Middle East and South-East Asia routinely disallow nudity, violence and profanity in the movies. The editing team of Gone Girl is likely to stay busy with their snipping as it travels around the world, presenting the tantalising possibility that like the book, the movie too will offer multiple interpretations depending on the location of the viewer.