Director William Friedkin’s The Exorcist celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, presenting the perfect opportunity to build upon the previous home video releases into what can be considered – for now at least – the definitive Blu-ray edition of the classic horror film.
The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Blu-ray will be released on October 8 (SRP $49.99) and include the extended director’s cut and theatrical cut of the film that were each included in the 2010 release.The extended director’s cut includes 12 additional minutes that Friedkin added back into the film after The Exorcist novel author William Blatty recommended revisiting the footage. Friedkin believes this originally removed footage “strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film” when it was added back in.
Two new featurettes join a long list of ported bonus features from previous releases. In addition, an excerpt from Friedkin’s book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir will be included in the package. The complete list of supplements is as follows:
- New: Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist – 40 years after his novel was published, The Exorcist author, screenwriter and producer returns to where it all began. First stop is a cabin/guest house in the hills of Encino, California, where Blatty wrote the novel. The author visits the place for the first time in 40 years and shares not only memories of writing the book, but also discusses how it inspired him. We then meet Blatty in two key and iconic locations; Georgetown University where the film was shot, and at the now-famous Exorcist steps. Throughout, Blatty reads from his novel, including an excerpt from a chilling newly published passage.
- New: Talk of the Devil – While at Georgetown University, William Peter Blatty heard about a true case of possession from Father Eugene Gallagher. At the time the film came out, the priest talked at length about exorcism, the true story and about Blatty; this footage is now available for the first time in many years. It is as revealing as it is shocking.
- Two Commentaries by William Friedkin
- Commentary by William Peter Blatty
- Introduction by William Friedkin
- 1998 BBC Documentary “The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist”
- Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist Set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman.
- The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now — Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot.
- Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist – with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film.
- Original Ending
- The Original Cut
- Stairway to Heaven
- The Final Reckoning
- Sketches & Storyboards
- Radio Spots
- TV Spots
- Premium: Excerpt of The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir
I will update this article with Amazon’s pre-order link and cover art for Exorcist: 40th Anniversary as soon as they are available.