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July 18, 2009

The Exorcist comes to Blu-Ray ... sort of.

High-Def Digest reports that Warner Brothers plans to release The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen on Blu-Ray later this year. There is no official word yet on whether the disc will include the original 1973 version of the film, but given the announced title -- which was given to the film when it was re-issued in 2000 with extra scenes and special effects -- it doesn't seem likely.

If the original version of the film is left off the disc, then that would be a pity, since the revised version, despite a few improvements, is basically inferior to the original version, thanks to some cheesy bits that I discussed at my blog three years ago. What's more, the original version of the film is long overdue for a remastering as it is; the only edition of it on DVD, at least in North America, is a single-layer disc produced for the film's 25th anniversary in 1998. (The revised version was released on a dual-layer disc in 2000.)

But an even bigger potential problem lurks in the shadows here. What if the Blu-Ray contains not the second version of the film that was released in 2000, but some brand-new third version? What if it really is a version that we've never seen? There would certainly be a precedent for this: director William Friedkin caused a huge controversy earlier this year when he produced a rather ugly-looking version of The French Connection (1971) for Blu-Ray, and there's no reason to assume he wouldn't do the same thing to this film. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Related Tags: exorcist, french connection


Does anyone know why Blu-Ray movies keep being released like this? This is not an isolated incident. I bought Payback with Mel Gibson and it was a completely different version than the one on DVD and the DVD was definitely the better version! Hopefully they won't do this with the classics like Braveheart, Gladiator, etc. Just release the version on Blu-Ray we all love!