Friedkin's SORCERER To Be Unleashed Once Again!
Here's how that part of the conversation went:
I got some good news that showed up in my inbox while I was re-watching Killer Joe on Blu, a good omen if there ever was one (wait, that was Richard Donner... you know what I mean).
I have lots of people who are wondering about the status of Sorcerer.
Paramount and Universal produced Sorcerer in 1977. They made a very bad VHS, and never wanted to make a DVD.
What they have allowed for the decades since Sorcerer, they've allowed the prints to be screened by universities, and film societies, and art houses. They even made a new print last year, for the American Cinematheque. They had lines around the block, and they could have run it ten days or more. They had this one screening, and I went to it, I did a Q&A, it was great, people loved it.
Now, there's this group in Los Angeles called Cinefamily, and they have several thousand members, and they screen classics. They requested a print of Sorcerer, and they were told by both Paramount and Universal that they no longer owned it and they didn't know who did, which is total bullshit, as they had made a new print last year.
So, I started to call people there, and I got the same answer from even the guy who's the head of Universal, who I've known for 40 years! So, he's in the dark about it.
So, I had to bring suit against both studios. If it's true, that neither one of them still own it, then I want to own it, simply to make it available on DVD and Blu-ray and to have it run by universities and film societies.
I'm not suing them for money.
I said in my lawsuit, which is in front of the 9th District Court of Appeals, that if there are any funds that I derive from this suit, that they'll be devoted to film preservation.
Where it stands now, the judge who caught the case has ordered that these settlement conferences are to be resolved by November 26th of this year. If they're not resolved, he has set the case over for trial, for a full trial in March of 2013.
I'm trying to get it back for the thousands of people that have requested it! I have at least a half a dozen great companies that want to distribute it on DVD and Blu-Ray!
My vote's for Criterion!I'm surprised that the studios didn't cave in right away. There's a lot of chicanery in what they did, when they put this film and many others in an offshore company that no longer exists, and could never do business in the United States. It was simply a company that they formed to distribute their films overseas.
Seems that the threat of that March 2013 trial has come and gone - Friedkin is now telling The Wrap that "a 'major studio' has gotten involved in creating a new recolored, digital print and that he hopes it will be ready in time for the Venice Film Festival this August.
I've been waiting decades to finally see this film in a manner that's befitting of it - I adore The Wages of Fear very much, yet have never seen Friedkin's take on it. Expect even before the release in August to have a Blu-ray release announcement as well - my vote, for the record, is still with Criterion!