Paul W.S. Anderson Says We'll Probably Never See a Full 'Event Horizon' Director's Cut
Earlier this year, boutique Blu-ray label Scream Factory announced they’d be releasing a special edition of Event Horizon, Paul W.S. Anderson‘s sci-fi horror flick about a space mission that goes to hell, literally. The film was a box office disappointment, but thanks to the miracle of home video, Event Horizon has built itself a nice little fanbase, and that fanbase has been clamoring to see some of the film’s long-lost footage. While the theatrical cut is plenty gory, Anderson’s original cut was even more graphic, with some intense portrayals of hell itself. All of that footage was cut and has been considered lost, but Scream Factory stated they were hoping to restore said footage for the upcoming Blu-ray – if they could find it.
Now, Anderson himself has weighed in, and he doesn’t sound very optimistic about that happening.
Released in 1997, Event Horizon follows a rescue mission into space. At one point, the starship Event Horizon opened up a gateway into a black hole and then vanished. Seven years later, the ship mysteriously reappears, and that’s where the rescue team comes in. The team boards the ship but the crew is (mostly) missing, and all is not right on the Event Horizon. As it turns out, opening that gateway actually opened a door to hell itself. While the work of Paul W.S. Anderson isn’t exactly critically acclaimed, it seems that most people agree that Event Horizon is one of his better films. But the version currently available to everyone wasn’t Anderson’s original cut.
Several scenes – many of which were considered too graphic and gory – were removed from the flick, and while there has been talk of restoring them, the scenes themselves are believed to be lost. Then, this summer, Scream Factory announced they’d be putting out a special edition Blu-ray of the film and added:
“New extras are in progress and will be announced on a later date. We can confirm today that we are doing a new 4K scan of the film! As for any much-inquired-about additional footage (in addition to what’s be presented on prior releases), we are looking into it as best we can. We welcome any leads you may have alongside our efforts.”
The original plan was to release the Blu-ray in September of 2020 – but the release got pushed back to March of 2021. While this new date gives Scream Factory even more time to try and locate those missing scenes, Paul W.S. Anderson himself remains a little doubtful. While appearing on Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew Podcast, the director said: “I think bits and pieces might still be discovered, but I don’t think there’ll ever be a return to the original version unless there’s something we constructed now.”
Anderson went on to joke about recreating the missing scenes now, comparing the idea to Zack Snyder’s “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, which is getting a release on HBO Max next year: “Who knows, in the world of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, maybe there’s the Anderson Cut of Event Horizon. All I need is a few million dollars and buckets of blood.”
The director also offered some insight into why the film ended up with so many deleted scenes:
“Bits and pieces of a lost cut of Event Horizon turn up, like on different VHS tapes there will be bits of scenes that are slightly different from earlier cuts. But I think the truth is, when we delivered the first cut to Paramount, they were just horrified by the movie. It was much darker and scarier than they ever thought it was going to be. An executive actually said to me, ‘We’re the studio that makes Star Trek,’ as if somehow I was like besmirching Star Trek as well. It wasn’t bad enough that I had made this horrible movie. So the movie ended up being trimmed a lot, and unfortunately it was before DVD really popularized deleted scenes and things like that so there was no incentive for studios to keep that material.”
I’m a fan of Event Horizon, and I’d love to see these deleted scenes, but it definitely sounds like we’re never going to get a full-fledged director’s cut. Scream Factory has yet to announce what special features will be included with the upcoming Blu-ray, though, so who knows – maybe something will turn up.
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