James L. Brooks Wants To Release A Musical Cut Of 'I'll Do Anything'... But He Doesn't Have The Rights

When James L. Brooks first conceived of his 1994 dramedy "I'll Do Anything," he saw it as an old-fashioned movie musical. And so he commissioned musicians such as Prince, Carol King and Sinead O'Connor to write original songs and tapped Twyla Tharp to choreograph a series of song-and-dance numbers for the film. Sounds great, right? Well, test audiences absolutely hated it. And so Brooks recut the film -- which stars Nick Nolte as a down-on-his-luck actor forced to care for his 6-year-old daughter when his ex-wife goes to jail -- excising every single one of the musical sequences in the processes.


Brooks fans have long wanted to experience this long-lost director's cut, but sadly it has never seen the light of day in theaters or on home video. So when MTV News recently caught up with brooks at the press day for "How Do You Know," we took the opportunity to ask him when -- if ever -- we'd be treated to a version of "I'll Do Anything" with all the original musical numbers intact.

Alas, the answer is probably not. "I wanted to do it, and then I couldn't get the rights," Brooks confessed.

If he ever does release the director's cut, would he be afraid of how it's received? "It's so funny you should ask because yesterday I spoke to the first human being who told me that he had seen the original cut with the songs in them -- and it's so long ago for me now -- but I said, 'How was it?'" Brooks laughed.

"You know, it's definitely a lose-lose situation for me because there's no answer that's going to make me happy," he continued. "'The thing you put out was much better. This was sh**.' There's no great answer for that. And it was a complicated answer. It was six of one, half-dozen of the other. But it's so funny... this film was locked up before the Internet happened, so how does anybody have a copy of it?"

We're not sure, but we'd love to get our hands on one.

Are you a fan of "I'll Do Anything"? And would you like to see the director's cut, complete with musical numbers?