Early screenings of the buzz-generating “Thank You For Smoking” at the Sundance Film Festival have some Katie Holmes fans pouting, as a sex scene between Holmes and Aaron Eckhart has been sliced from the festival print.
Jason Reitman’s cigarette industry satire contained the racy scene when it was first shown at the Toronto Film Festival last year, but had inexplicably been edited out when it was screened in Park City at this year’s Sundance. Some speculate that the all-powerful Tom Cruise himself may have persuaded filmmakers to cut the scene in order to preserve the wholesomeness of his pregnant fiancée; Cruise was rumored to have persuaded Holmes to drop out of the now-filming “Factory Girl,” a biopic of Studio 54 party girl Edie Sedgwick, because of its controversial themes.
At a Q & A session following the Sundance screenings, director Reitman clued in a mostly unaware audience to the missing scene — which, unbeknownst to him, had mistakenly been lopped off when editors were assembling the Sundance print. Reps from Fox Searchlight, which bought “Thank You” at the Toronto Film Festival for $6.5 million following a fierce bidding war with Paramount Classics, were unaware of the missing scene and assured the movie-going public that the theatrical release would include the precious Holmes scene.
“Thank You for Smoking” is set for limited release March 17, 2006.