[Movies] Robin Hardy Intends To Finish Wicker Man Trilogy
Posted by Joseph Lee on 08.23.2013
Forty years after the first film...
In an interview with Screen Daily, director Robin Hardy revealed he plans to finish his Wicker Man trilogy. The series started with The Wicker Man in 1973, followed by The Wicker Tree in 2011. Hardy is now moving ahead with the final film, Wrath of the Gods, which he will also write and produce.
He also plans to release a 40th anniversary edition of The Wicker Man, which was digitally restored and called "The Final Cut".
He said: "I am just at the opening stages of financing it (Wrath Of The Gods) and hope to make it next year. The first two films are all (about) offers to the Gods. The third film is about the Gods. I use the vehicle of the final act of Götterdämmerung (the last of Wagner's Ring cycle)."
The new film will shoot in the Shetlands. He said it won't be "heavily Wagner-esque" but will explore similar themes from the first two movies.
The Wicker Man: The Final Cut will get a UK release by StudioCanal in a 2K restoration on September 27. The original film followed a policeman (Edward Woodward) who went to a remote island village to find a missing girl that the residents of the town claim never existed. The film also starred Christopher Lee. The film was released with little promotion and as the second feature in a double bill with Don't Look Now. The version shown then was 88 minutes, much shorter than Hardy's original vision of 102 minutes.
The negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios. It was claimed that they were used as landfill to build the M4 motorway. Before the anniversary, StudioCanal searched for the missing negatives and even asked fans to help them find it. A 35mm print was found at Harvard Film Archives and was 92 minutes long. It was scanned in 4K and sent to London, where Hardy said it was the version he put together with Abraxas in 1979 for the US release. This was called the "Middle Version", which was made from a 35mm print of the original UK edit but never released.
Hardy said: "As far as I am concerned, I am completely satisfied with it."
He said he's excited at "finally seeing" his film in a version close to what he intended get released.