We have great news for fans of The Wicker Man. Earlier this year, StudioCanal and director Robin Hardy asked fans to help them locate an uncut version of The Wicker Man, and a copy was discovered. In celebration of the movie's 40th Anniversary, StudioCanal is releasing The Wicker Man: The Final Cut to theaters, as well as Blu-ray/DVD, later this year.
Due to the fact that the movie originally screened as part of a double bill, the version that originally appeared in theaters was shorter than Hardy's actual cut. While the extended footage has been seen in the past, the original negatives were lost. Here's what Robin Hardy had to say about the discovery:
via Screen Daily: “StudioCanal contacted me last year in their search for the original materials that have been missing.... I’m very pleased to announce that StudioCanal have been able to find an actual print of The Wicker Man, which is based on my original cut working with Abraxas, the American distributors, all those years ago... They plan, and this is the exciting bit, to actually release it. This version has never been restored before, has never been shown in UK theatres before, has never been converted to Blu-ray before."
The Wicker Man: The Final Cut will be released in UK theaters on September 27 with a UK Blu-ray and DVD release planned for October 14th. There is no word on if this will make it to the US this year, but we'll keep readers posted. For those that have not seen the 1973 horror cult classic, it was directed by Robin Hardy and stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland, and Ingrid Pitt:
"Cult horror classic in which a devout Christian policeman (Woodward) is summoned to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a child. While there he uncovers a bizarre pagan cult, led by Lord Summerisle (Lee). As preparations for a sinister ritual celebration reach fever pitch, the policeman begins to realise what role the islanders intend him to play."