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WHV Press Release: The Exorcist Extended Director's Cut (Blu-ray)


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#1 of 125 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 21 2010 - 01:34 AM


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If movies are, among other things, opportunities for escapism, then "The Exorcist" is one of the most powerful ever made…Rarely do movies affect us so deeply.”                                                                 «««« Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


The Scariest Movie of All Time Debuts on Blu-Ray™ For The Ultimate Viewing Experience Just In Time For Halloween

    

THE EXORCIST EXTENDED DIRECTOR’S CUT
2-Disc Blu-ray™ Book Includes Newly Remastered Director’s Cut; Theatrical Cut and

Three New Documentaries Including Never-Before-Seen Set Footage, Make-up Tests, Special Effects Reveals, New Interviews and More

Available from WHV October 5


Burbank, Calif. June 21, 2010 – The Exorcist, Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin’s masterpiece of suspense that haunted, intrigued, and thrilled the world, is coming to Blu-ray™ in a two-disc, must-have high-definition set, available October 5 from Warner Home Video. A true cinema landmark, this theological thriller is one of the top ten box office performers of all time.* The Exorcist went on to win two Academy Awards and became a multi-million dollar franchise.


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 theatres. 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.”


The Extended Director’s Cut contains three new documentaries: Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist, including new revealing set footage produced and photographed by cinematographer Owen Roizman, as well as camera and makeup tests, interviews with Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Roizman himself;The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot, including a visit to the famous “Exorcist steps”; and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist -- with Friedkin and Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and showing outtakes. The result is a new immersive viewing experience that takes you on the set of the film and offers a unique, up-close perspective of the filmmaking and special effects process that is rarely seen.


The Blu-ray™ edition will be packaged with a personal letter written by Friedkin inside a 40-page Blu-ray Digibook featuring striking photos, cast bios, revealing production notes and more.


The Exorcist will be available at the collectible price of $34.99 SRP for the Blu-ray™ version, and $19.96 SRP for the single disc DVD, which contains the remastered Extended Director’s Cut only. Order due date for both is August 31.


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.”



The Exorcist will also be available On Demand from cable and satellite providers, and for permanent download and digital rental through iTunes, Amazon Video On Demand, PlayStation Store and Xbox LIVE Zune Video Marketplace.


Details about The Exorcist

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 notto believe it.”


The Exorcist caused a cultural earthquake that is still felt today, shocking and enthralling audiences, who had never seen anything like it. Directed by Friedkin (Oscar®-winner for The French Connection) and written by William Peter Blatty, the film is based on his best-selling novel which sold nearly 13 million copies domestically and was the #1 book on the New York Times Best Seller List for 57 weeks, 17 of them at #1. The Exorcist won Blatty the Academy Award®for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for Best Sound. The film was also nominated for an additional eight Oscars® including Best Picture.


The film tells the now-famous story of a girl’s demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Oscarâ-winner for Best Actress Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) to investigate. But Karras, who has self-doubts about faith, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan’s possession. When Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), a priest with a mysterious past, is called to help, a horrific battle for her soul begins.



Disc 1 - Extended Director’s Cut (2000) plus Special Features

  • Commentary by William Friedkin NEW 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. BLU-RAY™ EXCLUSIVE
·     NEW The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now -- Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot. BLU-RAY™ EXCLUSIVE

·     NEW 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. BLU-RAY™ EXCLUSIVE

·     Trailers, TV Spots & Radio Spots from the film’s 2000 release

o        Trailers

§         The Version You’ve Never Seen

§          Our Deepest Fears

o              TV Spots

§         Most Electrifying

§         Scariest Ever

§         Returns

o        Radio Spots

§         The Devil Himself

o        Our Deepest Fears



Disc 2 - Theatrical Cut (1973) plus Special Features:

·   Introduction by William Friedkin

·   Commentary by William Friedkin

·   Commentary by 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

o        The Original Cut

o        Stairway to Heaven

o        The Final Reckoning

·   Original Ending

·   Sketches & Storyboards

·   Trailers & TV Spots from the 1973 version

o        Trailers

§         Nobody Expected It

§         Beyond Comprehension

§         Flash Image

o        TV Spots

§         Beyond Comprehension

§         You Too Can See The Exorcist

§         Between Science & Superstition

§         The Movie You’ve Been Waiting For



The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut

Street Date: October 5, 2010

Order Due Date: August 31, 2010

Rated R


Two-Disc Blu-ray™ Book

Catalog #: 1000036705

$34.99 SRP


Single Disc DVD

Catalog #: 1000116701

$19.96 SRP




Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.


Warner Home Video Blu-ray™ Discs offer resolution six times higher than standard definition DVDs, as well as extraordinarily vibrant contrast and color and beautifully crisp sound. The new formats also provide a higher level of interactivity, with instant access to extra features via a seamless menu-bar where viewers can enjoy features without leaving or interrupting the film.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 125 OFFLINE   Hollywoodaholic

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Posted June 21 2010 - 02:17 AM

"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."  - Friedkin


It's hard to read this and not think of the hype he put forth on how The French Connection was so much more like he wanted it to look with the new Blu-ray release (which looks like pointalist Georges Seraut shit it out on sandpaper after drinking Chlorox bleach).


But at least they are nervous enough to include the original Theatrical version, as well.



#3 of 125 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 21 2010 - 06:02 AM

I'm glad they included the theatrical cut which you please fans of this film even moreso.






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#4 of 125 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted June 21 2010 - 06:47 AM

I hope that the theatrical version isn't considered "bonus" material, and given a lesser remastering effort. This is a title I won't be pre-ordering, because I'm not interested in the "Version You've Never Seen". If I hear from reliable sources that the theatrical version is a top-notch effort, then I'll buy.



#5 of 125 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted June 21 2010 - 07:03 AM

Sounds like a solid release that retains most, if not all of bonus material of the previous versions.


But yeah, it's kind of annoying how TVYNS now seems to be the "official" version of the film. I hope the Theatical isn't given lesser attention. Freidkin can change the colors around so that the charaters look like Martians on TVYNS for all I care.

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#6 of 125 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 21 2010 - 07:27 AM

Well, so much for fans of the film being happy./img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


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#7 of 125 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted June 21 2010 - 07:29 AM

Complaining is the true hobby of HT Enthusiasts. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#8 of 125 OFFLINE   Scott-S

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Posted June 21 2010 - 07:44 AM

 

Quote:
 the Blu-ray includes both the remastered Extended Director’s Cut as well as the remastered theatrical version of the film.
 

I doubt they would do one "good" master for the Extended cut and a "bad" master for the other.


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#9 of 125 OFFLINE   Robert George

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Posted June 21 2010 - 07:57 AM



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 

Complaining is the true hobby of HT Enthusiasts. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif



Only a certain sort...



#10 of 125 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted June 21 2010 - 10:09 AM


 Well, so much for fans of the film being happy


Woah there guy, let's gently pump the brakes here. I said it sounds like a very good release. My nitpick is more based on what Freidkin considers to be the superior version of the film


STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!

#11 of 125 OFFLINE   Will*B

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Posted June 21 2010 - 12:04 PM

This sounds superb. I've been waiting for this since the earliest days of BD, and I'm glad they haven't skimped on the extras!


One question though: Is the theatrical cut on Disc 2 definitely a BD and not a DVD? I can't find any reference to it being a DVD, but it looks so similar to the old 25th Anniversary DVD that I'm getting worried. Warner wouldn't do that, would they.....?!?


At any rate, this looks to be a first class BD - and one of the best titles of the year.


 

 


#12 of 125 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted June 21 2010 - 12:19 PM



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 

Complaining is the true hobby of HT Enthusiasts. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif


I'm very happy to hear the announcement, and even happier to hear that the theatrical cut will be included. But as has been stated by Friedkin himself...he considers the director's cut to be the definitive version. In the past there have been such packagings, where greater effort was put into the "definitive" version, and a distinctly lesser effort put into what's considered essentially a "bonus" product.


There have been plenty of harsh denouncements of the director's cut of this film, and I happen to agree...and I'm not a notorious complainer on this forum...one who howls about every little thing.


#13 of 125 ONLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted June 21 2010 - 12:51 PM

The press release does state 2 Disc blu-Ray book. It sounds like Friedkin remastered both versions. I think it'd be cool if the original version was preceded w/ the original WBs logo. I doubt it will but would be cool all the same. The opening score worked better with that logo in my opinion.

I prefer the original version to the extended "Mtv" stye cut. Less is more sometimes. It is nice that the consumer is given the option, being that I am able to choose I would relax into the chance at viewing both versions and keeping a more opened mind with the exteneded cut. Plus side that he is calling it an extended cut instead of the version you've never seen.

Should be a really nice seller for WBs.

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#14 of 125 Guest__*

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Posted June 21 2010 - 01:32 PM

I also hope the original WB logo is there, and no CGI morphing effect towards the end. Also, would be nice to have the original color design and not the blue tinted look the film has had for the past 12 or so years.



#15 of 125 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 21 2010 - 01:47 PM

I'm not holding my breath for the original logo, but I would love it.  There are several films where I think it works much better than the current one.


With the exception of the thoroughly unnecessary superimpostions and the spider-walk scene, I actually prefer the newer version.  I love the restored scenes, which I feel add a lot to the characters and the mood, especially the scenes with Karras and Merrin and the ending.  But, jeez, those superimpositions have to go.


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Posted June 21 2010 - 02:27 PM

The print on AMC has the original logo so just maybe...



#17 of 125 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted June 21 2010 - 08:25 PM

Fantastic news


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#18 of 125 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 21 2010 - 09:38 PM



Originally Posted by WillG 



Woah there guy, let's gently pump the brakes here. I said it sounds like a very good release. My nitpick is more based on what Freidkin considers to be the superior version of the film

Did I quote you because you weren't the only one that responded with a nitpick.






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#19 of 125 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted June 21 2010 - 11:17 PM


Well, IF the Theatrical Version (MY preferred version, and apparently also of many fans) is indeed given a second-class treatment and is not restored to the level which 'The Extended Version' is --- then, why should we be happy? Of course we don't know if that'll be the case yet ... but I just want to add my voice to the concerns others have. We want the Theatrical Version to look just as great. Yes, it does stink that Friedkin is now embracing the extended version as the "proper" one.

And I really am very happy with this release. Looks like a great deal, having so many features as well as the two versions of the film.

Yeah, add me to the list of fans who really hope the original WB logo is restored to the original version, too.



#20 of 125 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 22 2010 - 01:07 AM

Speaking more generally than just about The Exorcist, some people actively look for a way to have a pessimistic take on everything. They could win the lottery but they'd find a way to turn that into a negative ("I'll probably get hit by a bus on the way to cash the ticket in"). I used to think that I was the most depressing and downbeat person on Earth and the internet has shown me that I'm an optimist compared to some folks.