2019 represents the 40th anniversary year for director Francis Ford Coppola’s all-time war epic, Apocalypse Now, and to celebrate the occasion, Coppola has apparently committed himself toward a task he’s already taken on once before: Re-editing his movie. Yes, 18 years after he re-cut the movie to create Apocalypse Now Redux, Coppola is taking another crack at it. The final version, which will screen first at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 28, 2019, is titled Apocalypse Now: Final Cut
The original, 1979 cut of Apocalypse Now was never exactly a short film, running 2 hours and 33 minutes. Redux, on the other hand, added an additional 49 minutes of material in addition to re-cutting scenes from the original, bringing the total run time to 3 hours and 22 minutes. The changes were received with somewhat mixed reaction from fans and critics, who still praised the film as a whole but in some cases questioned the necessity of the added materials, especially the “French plantation” sequence. Others think of Redux as the definitive version of the film.
One has to assume, though, that Coppola must have still been dissatisfied on some level. After all, why would you feel the need or desire for a “final cut,” like Ridley Scott on Blade Runner, if you were satisfied with your own work on Redux? The very existence of Final Cut is an admission that Coppola must still feel like some stone was left unturned.
What his plans for the film are, though, is impossible to say. We don’t know if Final Cut will represent an even longer, more epic version of Apocalypse Now, or perhaps a shorter and more streamlined one, as a result of Coppola listening to some of Redux’s critics. All we know is that Final Cut was remastered from the original negative in 4K Ultra HD, which presumably means it will look as great as it ever has. Following the film’s premiere, we’re sure to get many answers when Coppola takes to the stage at Tribeca, where he will be interviewed by 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, 40 years after the original version and 18 years after Apocalypse Now Redux.”
A wider release for Final Cut hasn’t yet been announced, but one has to assume that given the anniversary the film is celebrating, that it will make its way to home video at the very least. In the meantime, refresh your memory with the trailer for Redux, below.