Lionsgate has announced that Apocalypse Now has been restored from the original negative and will be in theaters for a limited time before its digital and 4K release. Today, we have the trailer for this Final Cut, which Francis Ford Coppola introduces, explaining why this is coming to theaters as his favorite version of the classic movie.
Today’s film students have a new version of Apocalypse Now to study! In honor of the film’s 40th anniversary, Lionsgate is releasing Apocalypse Now Final Cut in theaters on August 15 and 18. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Digital 4k Ultra HD will be available on August 27 and will feature new bonus material. The stunning visuals have been restored from the original negative for the first time, and this latest version is exactly how legendary director Francis Ford Coppola always wanted the iconic film to be seen. The master filmmaker says this.
“It’s my favorite version because I feel the first one we released was clipped too short and REDUX is a little too long. This one is ‘just right.'”
Since its initial release in 1979 at Cannes, Apocalypse Now has been nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three Golden Globes for Best Original Score, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. It’s currently one of AFI’s top 100 films, and carries a powerful cast including Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen (Grace and Frankie), Academy Award winners Marlon Brando (The Godfather), Robert Duvall (The Judge), and Academy Award nominees Dennis Hopper (TV’s Crash), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), and Harrison Ford (Star Wars).
Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novel, “The Heart of Darkness“, Apocalypse Now is a cinematic masterpiece that explores the damaged psyche and ruthlessness of its main characters during the Vietnam War. It follows Captain Willard (Sheen) as he takes a journey upriver to find and eliminate Colonel Kurtz (Brando) who is assumed to have gone mad in the jungle. Willard is accompanied by air cavalry officer (Duvall), a photographer (Hopper), and a handful of kids including a young Fishburne. The further they go, the more perilous and hallucinatory the journey becomes, causing Willard, already suffering from PTSD, to transform.
Apocalypse Now had a bumpy road to release. By that point, Coppola had already created The Godfather parts 1 and 2, and yet, studios were apprehensive to finance the war film. After getting the green light, its shooting location in the Philippines created its own set of problems. Production was quickly over budget and behind schedule, a typhoon wiped out some of the sets, and there were constant rewrites. Reportedly, both Sheen and Coppola suffered from health problems and mental troubles throughout filming. In a discussion with each other, provided by Lionsgate, Sheen recounted an instance when he asked the director who his character was. Coppola responded with:
“Marty, it’s you. Whoever you are at the moment, that’s who we got. If the sun is shining, don’t hold the umbrella up because the script says it’s a rainy scene. If it’s raining, don’t pretend the sun is shining because the camera is going to photograph you at that moment in time… and the camera is going to tell the truth.”
The unconventional approach to filmmaking created around 240 hours of footage that took multiple editors and years to complete. Now, with the stunning restoration, we can revisit the iconic story as Coppola intended. Check out the clips, photos, order tickets or purchase the 4K version at Lionsgate.