1980 classic ‘Caligula’ is heading back to the big screen with a new cut titled ‘Caligula: The Ultimate Cut’.
Filmmaker Thomas Negovan, in partnership with Kirkendoll Management LLC, have announced that the new cut will have its World Premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where it is an official selection. ‘Caligula: The Ultimate Cut’ is an entirely new edit created from scratch using over 90 hours of original camera negatives and audio recorded on location, and features extensive never-before-seen footage starring Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell, and Peter O’Toole.
The 1980 movie was the most expensive independent film in history with a budget of $17.5 million dollars. Penthouse founder and Caligula film producer Bob Guccione self-financed the movie, envisioning what he called “a new kind of film” combining sex and art. Guccione ultimately took control of the project and discarded the script to create an edit that incorporated adult content shot after the mainstream actors were finished filming.
The director (Tinto Brass) and writer (literary icon Gore Vidal) sued to have their names removed from the film, and the composer and editor refused to take credit.
“I’m proud of the work I did in Caligula, there’s no question about that,” said ‘Caligula’ actor Malcolm McDowell in a 2007 interview with Penthouse magazine. “There’s all the raunchy stuff, the blatant, modern-day porn that Bob introduced into the film after we’d finished shooting. That to me was an outrageous betrayal and quite unprecedented.”
Never intended to be conventional, or for the faint of heart, for the first time ever an audience will witness the movie that the actors believed they were making over forty years ago.
“The stories about ‘what Caligula could have been’ are legendary in film circles,” says Caligula: The Ultimate Cut producer Thomas Negovan. “In this new edit honoring the original script, Malcolm McDowell’s Caligula starts as a frightened young man who eventually seizes power but then finds himself in the inescapable pull of deviant behaviour, progressively becoming unmoored from reality, and ultimately coming to terms with himself in an existential sense. All of these elements, this entire narrative arc of the character, are completely absent from the version of the movie the world has known for decades. Malcolm McDowell is a powerhouse actor at the top of his craft in this film, and I’m excited for the breathtaking performance he crafted all those years ago to move from the realm of myth onto the big screen.”
“Caligula: The Ultimate Cut” runs two hours and fifty-seven minutes, and is a treatise on the corrupting influence of power and Caligula’s harrowing journey through depravity, madness, and destruction.
Visit caligulaultimatecut.com for more information.