A few months ago director Robin Hardy embarked on a journey to locate lost footage from his 1973 cult horror classic The Wicker Man. His journey was successful, and our friends across the pond will be experiencing the fruits of his labor first!
According to Screen Daily a worldwide appeal to retrieve missing film material for horror classic The Wicker Man has turned up an original print that will released by StudioCanal this autumn. The Wicker Man: The Final Cut will be released in cinemas on September 27 and on DVD and Blu-ray October 14 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the flick.
Hardy said: “StudioCanal contacted me last year in their search for the original materials that have been missing. I’m very pleased to announce that StudioCanal have been able to find an actual print of The Wicker Man, which is based on my original cut working with Abraxas, the American distributors, all those years ago. They plan, and this is the exciting bit, to actually release it. This version has never been restored before, has never been shown in UK theatres before, has never been converted to Blu-ray before. This version will – optimistically – be known as the Final Cut.”
The Wicker Man was originally released with minimal promotion as the second feature in a double bill with Don’t Look Now. The version exhibited to audiences was significantly shorter (88mins) than Hardy’s original vision (102mins). The negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios and were allegedly used as landfill in the construction of the nearby M4 motorway. StudioCanal now intends to mark the 40th anniversary by releasing the “most complete version of the film possible.”
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