'It's just not there': Paul W.S. Anderson on why we still haven't seen 'Event Horizon' director's cut

It's been 25 years since Event Horizon first hit theaters, and the movie is growing in popularity. Although it flopped in 1997, Paul W.S. Anderson's haunted house in space has developed such a large and vocal fan base that Amazon is now developing a TV series to give us more of the terrifying sci-fi horror concept. But while more Event Horizon stories could be fun, they're not what some of the film's most devoted fans really want: a director's cut.
It's no secret that the film had a rushed post-production process en route to a Summer 1997 release date as other films were pushed back on the calendar and Paramount Pictures had to ensure they would release a film during Blockbuster season. That meant Anderson and co. had to act quickly to complete the film and, over the studio's objections, had to crop out some of the more extreme images collected for the various glimpses of the titular ship's infernal landscape. That left a large amount of deleted footage on the cutting room floor, and while there have been rumors of this footage reappearing in a big way over the years, it hasn't happened yet.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the 25th anniversary, Anderson explained why so much of this footage is seemingly lost forever: The film came right on the cusp of DVDs, which made deleted scenes valuable bonus material, but came a little early for that Scenes that really matter for home release. So the additional footage from Event Horizon was basically never prioritized.
"The problem with the deleted footage is that when Event Horizon was released, we were close to the DVD revolution," Anderson said. “We went to VHS as an accessory. And there was no room on VHS for all those deleted scenes, there was no reason for the studio to keep them. If we had shot the movie a few years later, they would have been all over the deleted scenes. But by the time DVD came out and audiences started demanding special editions for the film, they didn't have much of this stuff archived. So it's just not there.
Though boutique Blu-ray houses like Scream Factory have made a concerted effort to get their hands on the footage at various locations, and whispers are rife across the internet that it might still be out there, Anderson sounds confident we never will see more of Event Horizon than what is already in the world. A possible solution? Somehow reunite the cast, age them by 25 years and reshoot the lost footage.
"I think to really go back to the old cut, you would probably have to do what they did with the Snyder Cut, where you have to shoot some footage again," Anderson explained.
Though this might prompt some fans to jumpstart a "Release the Anderson Cut" campaign for the film, the director remains proud of what Event Horizon is in its current form, despite early stumbling blocks at the box office.
"But I have to say, as difficult as the post-production was and as quick as it was, I think the film that came out is an incredibly strong film," he said. "I reduced the running time of the disturbing images, but didn't actually remove a lot of footage. All I did was sometimes a three second cut turned into a three frame cut. I think ultimately by compressing the material, and making those visions of hell almost these subliminal bursts of imagery, I think it actually increased the power and horror, rather than diminishing it. I think it had the opposite effect of what the studio envisioned.
Event Horizon is now available in a 4K Steelbook Limited Edition in honor of 25 years of space horror.
Looking for something terrifying to watch? Peacock has plenty of horror movies that will scare you appropriately, including The Amityville Haunting, The Changeling, Firestarter, and several Saw movies.
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Paul W.S. Anderson
British film director, producer and screenwriter

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