'The Exorcist: Extended Director's Cut' Announced for Blu-ray

Posted Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 02:30 PM PDT by

William Friedkin's classic horror masterpiece will be receiving the high-definition digibook treatment this fall.

Warner Brothers will bring 'The Exorcist: Extended Director's Cut' to Blu-ray on October 5.

When the movie was first released in 1973, viewers were blown away. Audience members were frightened out of their wits - and literally out of their seats. Some ran out of the theatre; others got physically ill or couldn’t sleep for weeks. Now with the maximum picture and sound quality that Warner Home Video’s spectacularly restored new Blu-ray™ and DVD versions provide, home viewers may experience the same visceral emotions again in seeing the brilliant effects and hearing the awesome sound of this classic and thrilling tale of good vs. evil. Newly remastered in 1080p from the original camera negative, the Blu-ray includes both the remastered Extended Director’s Cut as well as the remastered theatrical version of the film.

Says Friedkin, “After my final cut of the original The Exorcist, I took out 12 more minutes before we actually released it in theaters. Years later, Bill Blatty asked if I’d consider reviewing some of that rejected footage (which he always felt should have remained) with an eye towards putting it into a new version. Bill gave me the best piece of material I've ever received and because of that and because the film had such a major reputation over some 25 years, I agreed to revisit all these scenes. When I saw them, I came to realize that Bill was, in fact, right. With technical advances, scenes that didn’t work then could now be fixed with CGI and there were others that I thought strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film. Warner agreed and released a whole new theatrical print in 2000 which we called The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen. And I now agree with Blatty that this is the best and most complete version.” And I now agree with Blatty that this is the best and most complete version.”

Said Jeff Baker, WHV Executive VP & General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, “Generally speaking, sourcing relevant and provocative film assets for older films (30 years and older), is difficult, and more often than not, proves to be unsuccessful. The never before seen behind the camera treasure trove of material that consumers will see in The Exorcist Blu-ray release is one of the great finds in modern day home entertainment history. Laurent Bouzereau, an acclaimed documentarian, has blended this archival rare footage with updated present day interviews to create a masterpiece that will be treasured and studied for decades to come.”

Says Mr. Friedkin, “When I first read the book, I thought it made a positive statement about religion and humanity and how they are inter-related. I approached the movie a bit differently, from a practical point of view - that of asking more questions than giving answers. But both Bill [Blatty] and I wanted a film that would be so realistic it was impossible not to believe it.”

Specs have yet to be announced, but the first disc containing the Extended Director's Cut will include a commentary by William Friedkin, as well as Trailers, TV spots & radio spots from the film's 2000 release.

The first disc will also bring new Blu-ray exclusive content including: Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist – set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman; The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now – Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot; and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist – with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film.

The original Theatrical Cut (Disc 2) will include: Introduction by William Friedkin; audio commentary with William Friedkin; audio commentary with William Peter Blatty with Special Sound Effects Tests; The Fear of God: 25 Years of The Exorcist [1998 BBC documentary]; additional interviews with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty; original ending; sketches & storyboards; and trailers & TV spots from the 1973 version.

Both discs will come housed in a 40-page digibook featuring striking photos, cast bios, revealing production notes, and a personal letter written by Friedkin.

Suggested list price for the Blu-ray is $34.99.

You can find the latest specs for 'The Exorcist: Extended Director's Cut' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where it is indexed under October 5.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
The Exorcist (Blu-ray)
Tags: Disc Announcements, Warner Brothers (all tags)