26th Jun2024

‘Caligula: The Ultimate Cut’ gets an awesome trailer & poster

by Phil Wheat

Initially Released in 1980, Caligula was the most expensive independent film in cinema history but had a tumultuous journey to the screen. Written by the esteemed Gore Vidal and headed by the stellar cast of Malcolm McDowell, Dame Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole and Sir John Gielgud, Caligula was meant to be an epic showcase of the generation’s finest talent, addressing the corrupting influence of power amid the rampant sexuality of the Roman court.

However, Penthouse founder (and the film’s financier) Bob Guccione seized control of the negative, randomly inserting graphic scenes of unsimulated sex and gratuitous violence. The cast and film team disavowed what had become a blatant desecration of Vidal’s themes, who sued to have his name removed from the project. The extensive coverage of behind-the-scenes notoriety also had an unexpected effect: the film was a box-office success.

Caligula: The Ultimate Cut is a COMPLETE reconstruction of one of cinema’s most lavish-yet-notorious productions in a glorious 4K Ultra High Definition restoration, comprised of 100% of never-before-seen footage, uses alternate takes and camera angles, and features – for the first time – the complete film narrative.

This version of Caligula aligns closely to Vidal’s original script, especially with the addition of a prologue that illustrates one of Vidal’s missing scenes, created by noted graphic artist Dave McKean (Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman). Nearly 100 hours of original footage was discovered by the film’s reconstructionist, film historian Thomas Negovan, in the Penthouse archive, which showcases astounding performances from the film’s cast, fully realizing McDowell’s complex, charismatic ‘Caligula’ and resurrecting Mirren’s layered character arc, which now cements the film’s final hour.

Caligula: The Ultimate Cut opens in theaters throughout North America starting August 16th, followed by a release on 4K UHD Blu-ray and digital platforms. Check out the all-new trailer for the film and the AMAZING new poster by artist Bill Sienkiewicz (Sandman: Endless Nights, New Mutants) below:


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