1980 Cult Classic “Caligula” Returns To The Big Screen For Its World Premiere At Cannes Film Festival With Unprecedented Edit “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut”

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“Caligula: The Ultimate Cut”, Starring Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole And Malcolm McDowell, Has Been Restored To The Originally Intended Film With Never-Before-Seen Footage

Caligula: The Ultimate Cut

“The stories about ‘what Caligula could have been’ are legendary in film circles. This entire narrative arc of the character, are completely absent from the version of the movie the world has known for decades."

Filmmaker Thomas Negovan, in partnership with Kirkendoll Management, LLC, announced today the world premiere of a new edit of the notorious 1980 film “Caligula”, titled “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut”, as it makes its debut as an official selection at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. This unique release is an entirely new edit, created from scratch using over 90 hours of original camera negatives and audio recorded on location, and features extensive never-before-seen footage starring Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell, and Peter O'Toole.

The 1980 movie was the most expensive independent film in history with a budget of $17.5 million dollars. Penthouse founder and Caligula film producer Bob Guccione self-financed the movie, envisioning what he called “a new kind of film” combining sex and art. Guccione ultimately took control of the project and discarded the script to create an edit that incorporated adult content shot after the mainstream actors were finished filming. The director (Tinto Brass) and writer (literary icon Gore Vidal) sued to have their names removed from the film, and the composer and editor refused to take credit. Variety magazine called the release “a moral holocaust” and film critic Roger Ebert disparaged the film as “sickening, worthless trash,” yet the movie broke box office records and became synonymous with decadent spectacle, while the misfire of the Guccione-driven edit became the stuff of legend.

“I’m proud of the work I did in Caligula, there's no question about that,” said Caligula actor Malcolm McDowell in a 2007 interview with Penthouse magazine. “There's all the raunchy stuff, the blatant, modern-day porn that Bob introduced into the film after we'd finished shooting. That to me was an outrageous betrayal and quite unprecedented.”

Helen Mirren called the film “an irresistible mix of art and genitals,” and enjoyed the experience of making the film, despite describing showing up to work as being sent down to Dante’s Inferno and vomiting immediately after meeting co-star Peter O’Toole in his all-too-convincing costume as the syphilitic Emperor Tiberius.

Never intended to be conventional, or for the faint of heart, for the first time ever an audience will witness the movie that the actors believed they were making over forty years ago. “The stories about ‘what Caligula could have been’ are legendary in film circles,” says Caligula: The Ultimate Cut producer Thomas Negovan. “In this new edit honoring the original script, Malcolm McDowell’s Caligula starts as a frightened young man who eventually seizes power but then finds himself in the inescapable pull of deviant behaviour, progressively becoming unmoored from reality, and ultimately coming to terms with himself in an existential sense. All of these elements, this entire narrative arc of the character, are completely absent from the version of the movie the world has known for decades. Malcolm McDowell is a powerhouse actor at the top of his craft in this film, and I’m excited for the breathtaking performance he crafted all those years ago to move from the realm of myth onto the big screen.”

“Caligula: The Ultimate Cut” runs two hours and fifty-seven minutes, and is a treatise on the corrupting influence of power and Caligula’s harrowing journey through depravity, madness, and destruction. Visit caligulaultimatecut.com for more information.

About Kirkendoll Management
Founded in 1987, Kirkendoll Management LLC (KM) is a privately held management and investment company headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kirkendoll Management is the exclusive licensor of THE PENTHOUSE CLUB® and PENTHOUSE®- branded products and media assets worldwide, and through its subsidiary, Penthouse Films International, LLC (PFI), is the exclusive licensor of Caligula and Caligula: The Ultimate Cut. For more information on Kirkendoll Management and its various subsidiaries, visit https://kirkmgmt.com.

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Tamar Aprahamian