apocalypse now final cut

Francis Ford Coppola has tinkered with Apocalypse Now in the past, but now he’s ready to deliver what he considers the final cut. Coppola went back to his Vietnam War epic to craft a new, definitive version, which will debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. There’s no word yet on what will happen after the Tribeca screening, but it’s safe to assume the Apocalypse Now: Final Cut will find its way to Blu-ray eventually.

The making of Apocalypse Now was an arduous experience. The film went over-budget and over-schedule; co-star Marlon Brando showed up on set unprepared; an star Martin Sheen suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Since then, it’s gone on to be regarded as a masterpiece, and one of Francis Ford Coppola’s best movies. Coppola shot and edited over a million feet of film for Apocalypse Now, and as a result, there are several different versions of the movie. Besides the standard theatrical cut, there’s also a five-hour workprint. And then there’s Apocalypse Now: Redux, which runs a full hour longer than the theatrical cut, and restores several deleted scenes.

But Coppola still wasn’t satisfied, and decided to return to the film once again. The new (and potentially final) result is Apocalypse NowFinal Cut. This new cut will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. According to the Tribeca page for the event, this is a “new, never-before-seen restored version of the film, entitled Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, remastered from the original negative in 4K Ultra HD.”

Will it have new scenes? That’s not clear, but according to Coppola himself, it’s going to be shorter than the Redux cut. Speaking with Deadline, the filmmaker said: “When asked which version I personally wanted to be shown, I often felt that the original 1979 was too abruptly shortened, and Redux was too long, and settled on what I now felt was the perfect version, which is what we’re showing at Tribeca later this month, called Apocalypse Now Final Cut.”

Following the screening, Coppola will have a conversation with Steven Soderbergh to discuss “the huge undertaking of restoring Apocalypse Now: Final Cut and why the time was right for Coppola to do this now, forty years after the original version and eighteen years after Apocalypse Now Redux.”

I enjoy both the theatrical and Redux version of this trippy, existential war saga, but I’m very curious to see this final cut. I won’t be attending Tribeca, but I’m going to assume this cut will eventually end up being released on 4K Blu-ray.

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