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Both Versions of Exorcist Prequel to Reach DVD

In a story that will never die, Morgan Creek has announced that it will release both the Paul Schrader and Renny Harlin versions of its EXORCIST prequel on DVD, reported VARIETY. Schrader was the original director on the project, but his version was not the fright fest Morgan Creek was looking for. The production house then hired Renny Harlin to punch up the film, which led to an almost entire re-shoot of the film with a revamped screenplay.

Schrader said that the new arrangement is a way of settling issues in his contract that ensure him a preview and an official screening. It also negates Directors Guild of America arbitration on who should receive the director's credit on the theatrical release, which will start playing Aug. 20.

According to Schrader he said, "They made it clear -- no spinning heads and no pea soup. So that's what I delivered, but then they changed their mind."

What wasnt yet been decided is whether the two prequels will be sold separately or in a two-disk set.

"This is going to sound unbelievable, but we made a movie -- twice. If you see the two movies, you wouldn't believe it's the same dp," James Robinson, head of Morgan Creek.

One of the main motivations for releasing Schrader's version on DVD is that it cost between $32-35 million to make. With Harlin's coming in between $52-54 million, the total budget for the venture gets close to $89 million. Releasing both versions on DVD will help recuperate some of the extra costs. Not to mention a good deal of curiosity buzz from film fans.

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Rick DeMott
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