Home / Blu-ray / THE EXORCIST Blu-ray official details and release date

THE EXORCIST Blu-ray official details and release date

Warner Brothers Home Video have finally announced official details for the upcoming release of The Exorcist on Blu-ray.  The two-disc Digibook edition will packaged with a personal letter written by director William Friedkin inside a 40-page booklet and contain both The Version You’ve Never Seen (2000) and the original 1973 theatrical cut versions of the film. Thankfully, the 1973 theatrical cut has been remastered from the original camera negative. Hopefully it’s just a touch up and not too much grading has been washed over it.

Acclaimed documentarian Laurent Bouzereau has produced three new documentaries exclusively for The Exorcist Blu-ray, mixing saved footage from the Warner Brothers archives with brand new interviews from some cast and crew. They did not provide specific details on what footage has been found or used. Jeff Baker, WHV Executive VP & General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, had this to say about the archive material:

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.

All of this is coming your way on October 5, 2010. To ensure you don’t miss out, you can pre-order The Exorcist blu-ray from Amazon now.

Below is an official run-down of what each disc contains along with a glimpse of the cover art.

Disc 1: – Extended Director’s Cut (AKA The Version You’ve Never Seen) (2000) plus Special Features
  • Commentary by William Friedkin
  • 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 (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now “ Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • 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 (new; Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Trailers, TV spots & radio spots from the film’s 2000 release
Disc 2 – Theatrical Cut (1973) plus Special Features
  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • Commentaries:
    • William Friedkin
    • 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:
  • The Original Cut
    • Stairway to Heaven
    • The Final Reckoning
  • Original ending
  • Sketches & storyboards
  • Trailers & TV spots from the 1973 version

Earlier this year, Warner Brothers removed all existing DVD copes of The Exorcist from stores in the hopes that it would help boost sales of this Blu-ray edition once released. It certainly does look like the complete package for any Exorcist/horror fan– it will be interesting keeping an eye on the sales numbers once released.

About Jason Stringer

Former Webmaster of captainhowdy.com

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  • Justin

    Surprise surpirse, they're including the 25th Anniversary cut rather than the actual 1973 theatrical cut!

    But these special features sound delicious so I'm not complaining. Bring on October!

  • Stewiebee

    A must buy for all us fans.Please no contrast tweaking to enhance for bluray.

  • Sky Bluu

    Oh wow nice packaging, in the book style.

  • PMonks

    Providing both cuts is wonderful. I'm personally only a fan of the 1973 theatrical cut. Nice to see they have decided to remaster both cuts too. This is a must have!

  • Robin

    This is the final nail in the coffin for me, I'm definitely getting a BR-player now!

  • I'm with you, Robin. Been holding out until now.

  • Dozer64

    Hey Justin. Both cuts are included. I just hope the sound for the '73 theatrical cut is brought to current standards like “The Version You've Never Seen.” I, personally, thought Friedkin's editing choices for the original were FAR, FAR superior to any other the over-bloated new version w/ new “Demon” animation and previously deleted scenes. Ughhh! lol!

  • Father Bowdern

    Big Kudos to the Cap for this nice recap! I'm very excited about all the bonus features mentioned! It will be great to watch this on my BD-player and big screen with surround sound … something that upconverting can do for both DVDs, but without all the amenities of the BDs. Turn off the lights, turn up the volume and get ready!

  • Father Bowdern
  • Father Bowdern

    Original article here: http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=4776 that's worthy of keeping up with. Blu-ray.com is my first stop before buying a BD once it's released. However, it won't matter in this case because of the special features.

  • CamelWide

    Actually I was the first to break this news in the forums here,which I got from bluray.com,so your welcome!

  • CamelWide

    oops! sorry if I came off sounding rude,but I am so excited for this release! Cap you have an awesome website here!

  • Thanks! Sorry I didn't catch your forum post, otherwise I would have given appropriate credit.

  • Father Bowdern

    Yes, I agree (and I didn't read your comment as rude). No one is intentionally plagiarizing. 🙂

    I just like to hear that something (anything) is more concrete for the Blu-ray. We know it's been delayed, but giving this much advance notice and coming from a WB exec solidifies it more … today, that is.

    Father Bowdern

  • Artful_mark

    Nummy-Scrum-Scrum. I'm so glad the book doesn't come with a scene-by-scene scratch'n sniff! I kind of like the Version You've Never Seen. I wish they would have had Regan flip over and tongue flick. The blood is too much, too soon! And The Exorcist remains surprisingly undated, except for the nurses hat in the VYNS. I guess I'll be getting a blu-ray. I would have liked a documentary about how this film has been recieved around the world, and the spin-offs, parodies it has created. Thanks, Captain Howdy!

  • Father Bowdern

    Mark,

    The scratch-'n-sniff version sounds intriguing. Don't say it too loudly though, because WB will market that kind of version in about five years. I'm still betting on a 3D version regardless of what Friedkin says.

    And, Mark, you're right. The film is really timeless in a lot of ways (sans the cigarette-smoking scenes in the doctor's office, clothes, cars, yadda, yadda). We've already had a discussion on here about time-dating the film to add a sense of more documentary-style realism. But, God help us if WB adds The Shining type of time/day markers.

    Father Bowdern

  • Toonloon

    I read somewhere on this site that Friedkin wanted to change the colour timing on this as well.

    To my eyes, it looks like he already did that in TVYNS, so I hope there isn't further tinkering. I couldn't buy French Connection on BD because of all the colour bleeding.

    Also, is there any word on what the running time for The Fear of God is? We got a shorter version in the UK.

  • Mathmss

    In Amazon.com, there is a second photo of the digibook with the caption ” Blu-Ray and Extended Edition DVD”
    Any other information about this “Extended Edition Dvd” ?

  • Father Bowdern

    I believe WB insisted on having cinematographer Owen Roizman work on the BR after Friedkin€’s €œbrilliant color interpretation€ of The French Connection BR. Can we say, €œDisaster?€ Roizman worked on both The French Connection and The Exorcist during filming and he now will regain his rights to what he did best on this film.

    Regarding The French Connection: “The new color timing is so radically invasive that it sparked a war of words between Friedkin and the film's cinematographer Owen Roizman, who said of the Blu-ray, “I wasn't consulted. I was appalled by it. I don't know what Billy was thinking. It's not the film that I shot, and I certainly want to wash my hands of having had anything to do with this transfer, which I feel is atrocious.” To which Friedkin then lashed out at Roizman in a lengthy interview where he barely stops short of calling the man incompetent. I recommend listening to that interview in its entirety. Despite his years of experience, Friedkin demonstrates a shocking ignorance of photography, film, video, and Blu-ray in particular. He seems to believe that all movies on Blu-ray are recolored the way this one was as a matter of course. He is gravely mistaken (Joshua Zyber, High-Def Review).”

    Working from an original film negative, with Roizman€’s guidance, should make for the best transfer (at this time). I€’m not sure if TVYNS will be touched, despite yet another Friedkin-enhanced transfer that compromises the original work. Friedkin is amazing in that he hired the best of the best and then he fucks things up without consulting the pros once again.

    The two versions of the covers are of the BR and the piece of shit TVYNS DVD with its new title: The Exorcist €“ Extended Director€’s Cut. It€’s the same 12 minutes of crap that should have stayed on the cutting room floor when it was released. I know there are individuals who enjoy TVYNS, but I€’m a hardcore fan of the original because I saw it when it was originally released. I liken TVYNS to colorizing Citizen Kane and changing the ending with a worker rescuing Rosebud from the incinerator.

    The FOG should include everything from the U.S. version. I never did understand why there was a difference because it was BBC production. Maybe this time around, we€’ll get a version of The FOG that includes McCambridge as €œshe rots and lie stinking in the earth.€ (Sorry, I just couldn€’t resist!)

    Father Bowdern

  • Toonloon

    Ouch. Harsh words. A bit tasteless regarding Mr McCambridge too.

    When I first saw TVYNS I thought it was brilliant. The sound was amazing, the picture sharp, and for the most part I liked the extra stuff.

    The 2nd time I saw it, I noticed the change of pace, the excessive CGI subliminal stuff, the added sound effects (when the original was silent and eerie) and the change of the colour palette. I can't watch it now as I notice all these things, but I thank WB & Mr Friedkin for giving us BOTH versions. It would be nice not to read ungrateful griping when we could have just been given one version for the same amount of $$$.

  • C_boyan

    As far As I know it is “The Version You've Never Seen” renamed “The Extended Director's Cut” on a standalone dvd.

  • Father Bowdern

    Toon,

    Chill €¦ this is a blog to share our opinions just as you did when you wrote, €œThe 2nd time I saw it, I noticed the change of pace, the excessive CGI subliminal stuff, the added sound effects (when the original was silent and eerie) and the change of the colour palette. I can't watch it now as I notice all these things €¦€ Griping? No. Opinion? Yes.

    Also, are you aware of the fact that the McCambridge I'm talking about is actually a “Ms.” not a “Mr.”? She, the great American actress Mercedes McCambridge, is the incredible voice of the demon in The Exorcist and the word choice I used is a direct quote from the film that she voiced over for Linda Blair. The words are not meant to be tasteless as I wrote, “Sorry, I couldn't resist,” in parentheses for those who of us are quite familiar with this film. The meaning is very tongue in cheek – nothing more. Perhaps if you more well-versed with this film, you would have understood the “tasteless” comment. 🙂

    Quite a few Exorcist junkies berate Friedkin on what he did to his original masterpiece through TVYNS. If you are really interested in harsh words, listen to the link below as Friedkin clubs Owen Roizman about the head and neck regarding The French Connection BR transfer. This is exactly what you are referring to when you wrote, €œTo my eyes, it looks like he already did that in TVYNS, so I hope there isn't further tinkering. I couldn't buy French Connection on BD because of all the colour bleeding.€ This, my friend, is why those of us who been waiting for The Exorcist BR don€’t want a repeat of the same type of disaster for this film. With Roizman€’s insights as a cinematographer perhaps this won€’t occur.

    Father Bowdern

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/back-by-midnight/2

  • Toonloon

    My appologies Father Pedant. I'm very familiar with Mr/Ms McCambridge's work but I mistyped. I'm also well aware of the line you were quoting but just as saying “your mother sucks cocks in hell” to someone who has just suffered a bereavement, I thought your remark was of poor taste considering Mr McCambridge is no longer with us and has gone a long way to give us all a lot of pleasure in the work she did on this masterpiece of cinema. I should have added “disrespectful” to my “tasteless” comment.

    Thank you for your timely response, my friend. I look forwards to you educating me further on this film I know nearly nothing about and have never discussed at great length with Mark Kermode when I never used to see him in Soho on tuesday afternoons or in Soho House in the evenings.

  • Toonloon

    Oh and we once didn't discuss it in the cantine at the BBC building at White City when I didn't bump into him whilst visiting a friend who wasn't directing Top of the Pops at the time. Which is lucky for me because I know nothing about The Exerciserist.

  • Sacolton

    Will there be a “SUCKS COCKS IN HELL” version?

  • Father Bowdern

    Poor, sad, and misguided soul. I'll say a prayer for you.

    Father Bowdern

  • Father Bowdern

    Sure, Toon, sure.

    “We may ask what is relevant, but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar, the demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack
    us. The attack is psychological. And powerful. So don't listen, remember that, do not listen.”

    Father Bowdern

  • Father Bowdern

    Sacolton,

    That sounds quite marketable! Although I'm afraid they've already made The Sexorcist.

    Father Bowdern

  • The Sexorcist was one sick porno.

  • Toonloon

    Now you think I'm possessed??!! LOL!

    Oh dear.

    @Sacoolton: I wouldn't be surprised. I've seen special editions named even worse than that. Trading Places, the Looking Good, Feeling Good Edition anyone?

    Shudder.

  • The_pauley

    I'm dismayed that Warner are giving prominence to the woeful TVYNS both on the packaging and as Disc 1 of the set. And since when was TVYNS “The Director's Cut”?

    This is relegating the far superior original to the status of a bonus feature. I wonder how many newcomers to the movie will watch the extended cut and never watch the original because they think they've watched the definitive version?

    Happy it's finally coming out on Blu, but far from happy with how it's being marketed.

  • Gavvo-76

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this be released over here in the UK too!!!!! Amazon only lists the UK blu ray as the 25th anniversary 1 disc edition. If I can't have this digi-book edition I will be so p**ssed!!!!!

  • Gavvo-76

    Although there are elements I enjoy on the Extended Cut (luv the early scene at the doctors-should never have been cut), the original theatrical version IS the definitive version and should be on Disc 1.
    The Version You've Never Seen would have been so much better if the added 'Captain Howdy' faces and other CGI moments hadn't been included. Maybe one day we will get a definitive directors cut with ALL deleted scenes added (including the birthday outing in Washington) but minus all the extra CGI add-ons and pointless music effects.

  • Damien

    Gavvo-76, warner bros blu rays tend to be multi region, im in the u.k too but i think i'll buy this version because there's a good chance it will be multi region

  • Gavvo

    Hi Damien. Thanks for the info. Really hope it is. I think i'm now gonna pre-order the region 1 copy anyways. If the discs DON'T play at least i'll have the digi-book to look at! Altho, if they arn't region-free and this doesn't get a UK release, I might be tempted to splash out on a reg1 blu-ray player just for this! My number one movie of ALL time! Woohoo! Cheers again buddy for responding. Gav

  • Damien

    no problem, it really is a great movie and it's understandable it's your all time number one, and i think this version of the blu ray will be the must own version to have.

  • Lordwestenra

    New photo of the digibook and the discs:

    http://www.planetahd.com/blu-ray/caratula-el-ex

  • Gavvo-76

    Wow, the picyure discs look amazing! Nice 1 for posting the link buddy 😀

  • Carl Daigrepont

    So, you DO realize that your not being able to resist saying such a disgusting thing about Mercedes McCambridge does NOT get you off-the-hook..
    Unless you’re Emotionally Sick or Possessed, that is.
    Next time you feel the urge, just shove it up your ass and lick me, you mother-fucking worthless cocksucker- faggot.! lol