Variety reports that Warner Home Video may release both versions of Exorcist: The Beginning on DVD. The studio said that the first version, directed by Paul Schrader, lacked the frights they were looking for, so they commissioned a second film with new cast members, a tweaked script, and a new director in Renny Harlin. That latter film will be released in theaters on August 20.
Production company Morgan Creek head James Robinson is seeking to have Warner Bros. release both helmers’ “Exorcist” films on DVD simultaneously. Among other potential confusions, this raises the specter of a complicated credits arbitration with the DGA, says the trade.
“I’m very proud of my film, and I think it deserves to be seen,” Schrader said. “If I get the DVD, I can say ‘God bless you Renny; may your film do well.’ ”
Schrader said he’s agreed in principle to the arrangement with Morgan Creek in order to get his version seen and as a way of settling the contractual issues of his being owed a preview and an official screening. He also said the pact will eliminate the possibility of a Directors Guild of America credit arbitration.
It’s unclear whether consumers would pay extra for two prequels. Also unknown is whether Warners would bundle both films in one DVD or simply make both films available individually.
For more on the changes made to the film, and the costs involved, click here.