Event Horizon and the Lost Director’s Cut

The original director's cut of Event Horizon ran to 35 minutes longer than the final version. But, it seems, the footage is lost...

20 years on, director Paul WS Anderson has arguably yet to make a film to top his underrated science fiction picture, Event Horizon. The movie, which starred Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), remains a taut and tense piece for the first hour or so – one with an excellent sound mix (I remember seeing it in a cinema with excellent surround sound, and finding the audio alone incredibly creepy) – before its ending goes really quite conventional as it heads into its final strait.

However, the rush to complete the movie in time for its release date gave Anderson just four weeks to put a cut together. When that rough assemblage – running to 130 minutes in total – failed to win over test audiences, the film was quickly hacked down and the version released in cinemas ran to just 95 minutes. That means there’s at least another 35 minutes of footage out there that could be put back into a cut closer to the one Anderson intended.

Sadly, it’s a case of not to be. In a new conversation between Anderson and Crave Online, the director revealed that the missing footage is gone, presumed lost forever.

“There was a lot more that was shot that isn’t in the movie. But you’ll never see the messed up version because we made Event before the kind of DVD revolution. You know, DVD ushered in this era when you had to have additional footage, deleted scenes, things like that,” he recalled. DVD was only just being introduced when Event Horizon made its theatrical bow, and extra features-packed discs were some way from being the norm.

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As Anderson recalled, “There was no call for that back when we were just doing VHS cassettes and LaserDiscs. So the material just wasn’t archived very well, and since the movie became a big cult classic, Paramount has asked us to come back in and do different versions and we looked for the material, and it just doesn’t exist.”

That doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, of course. Footage may turn up at any stage in pretty much any place. But in terms of material that Anderson can get access to, there’s none available right now.