(July 12, 2000 – Burbank, CA) – Due to its overwhelming success in limited release, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Exorcist – The Version You’ve Never Seen” will open in the greater New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Toronto and Washington, D.C. territories on September 22, 2000. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures. “On the day after Christmas,” began a 1974 Newsweek cover story, “a film called ‘The Exorcist’ opened in 22 cities across America. Since then, all hell has broken loose.” On September 22, 26 years later, the film that electrified a generation of moviegoers will open in approximately 600 theatres throughout North America. But with a difference: more than one full reel of long-rumored, legendary footage, excised before the film’s original release, has been restored by the film’s director, William Friedkin, and the long-lost version will at last have its day. “The Exorcist – the Version You’ve Never Seen” also incorporates a digitally remastered and remixed soundtrack enriched with new special sound effects, new atmospheric sounds and some new music. To put the audience in the middle of the action, the filmmakers transformed the original mono soundtrack into six-track surround sound. “Time has not dulled the impact of this film,” Fellman said. “This version – which reflects the author’s preferred vision for the film – is a fresh moviegoing experience unlike anything else out there and we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to a new generation of fans.” Written by William Peter Blatty, based on his #1 best-selling novel, “The Exorcist” featured an acclaimed cast that included Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair and Jason Miller (all of whom were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances), Max Von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb. The film was an enormous hit, both critically and at the boxoffice, grossing upwards of $150 million in the U.S., making it at the time the second-biggest moneymaker in film history, behind "The Godfather" (1972). The film won the Golden Globe for Best Film (Drama) and received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Friedkin, his second nomination after winning for “The French Connection,” and Best Adapted Screenplay, with Blatty winning the award. Friedkin first showed the newly restored version to Blatty in a Manhattan office building whose address, believe it or not, was 666 Fifth Avenue. “This is the version Bill Blatty always believed in,” Friedkin said, “and it’s taken me 26 years to see why and finally agree with him. The restored footage not only deepens the spiritual foundation of the film, but adds some truly terrifying moments as well.” “The Exorcist,” in its original shorter form, proved in a re-release in England last year that it had lost none of its power, winding up as one of the year’s highest grossers there. And now there will be more of it. Get ready! The release of “The Exorcist – The Version You’ve Never Seen” is enriched by an ever-changing web site (www.theexorcist.net) with multimedia, never-before-seen images, video footage and interviews with the creators of the film.
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