In the case of “Napoleon”, Scott outlined an abbreviated dramatic version as a matter of practicality:
“It felt like it saved you a lot of hoops to say, OK, this is what we’re going to release in theaters, but ultimately I want to show you my entire vision of ‘Napoleon.’ Something else also comes up, which I’ve put under the heading of buttock pain factor. How long can you sit in a theater longer than two and a half hours before getting uncomfortable? Three and a half or four hours? (A movie) for you. Must be very good to endure three and a half hours.”
With “Kingdom of Heaven”, Scott says he wanted to similarly “let the story fly”, even though the lost narrative turned out to be entirely negative. As Scott previously said and reiterated to Deadline, there is one subplot he particularly regrets leaving out of the initial release. For Scott, these missing 17 minutes could have made for a “more meaty” film. What subplot is this?
When Balian reaches Jerusalem, it is ruled by King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton), a descendant of the Catholic Crusaders of Christendom (medieval Europe), who captured the city in the 11th century. However, the good king is a leper. He hides his deformity behind white robes and a metal mask, but it is public knowledge that his days are numbered and a succession crisis is imminent.