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Dave McKean Working On Reworked, Remade, Recut Movie, Caligula

Coming out of Lake Como Comic Art Festival is the news that Dave McKean, of Sandman, Mirrormask, Cages, and Neverwhere fame, is working on the new revived, remake Caligula movie.

Caligula was a 1979 movie starring Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, John Steiner, and John Gielgud. An attempt by Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse magazine, to make an intended a sex movie with high production values and highly acclaimed actors, it was famously butchered at the production level, including hardcore scenes inserted into the film. It was critically panned, despite later praise for its political satire and historical portrayal.

Dave McKean Working On Reworks, Remade Movie, Caligula
Caligula screencap

But now, an attempt to recut the movie is underway using the originally shot footage of the movie.  Producer Thomas Negovan told Fangoria, "It originated really because I'm a huge fan of Malcolm McDowell, and I mean, who isn't? He said in an interview that the movie that was released was a complete betrayal. He said he fully stood by his performance and it was a truly great performance." As for the material they are working with "It was like the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark – huge stacked boxes of original camera negatives, 11,000 black and white photos, 16mm footage of everything that happened behind the scenes. The photos are a source of excitement to see the interaction of what was going on behind the scenes. I knew that with this material we could find out if Malcolm was telling the truth. There was incredible acting in those reels. More interesting than the film itself is the story of the making of the film. Honestly, looking at how it's shaping up, I don't think there's a single frame from the original that is in our new version… For legal reasons we have to say it's the same movie… but, they very famously shot 90 hours of footage which is an absurd amount."

And Dave McKean will be working on a rare scene from the film for which they don't have the footage for, using his digital movie manipulation skills.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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