A remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's impeccable “The Wages of Fear,” “Sorcerer” has heretofore remained in the fabled margins of Friedkin's career, mostly due to its tumultuous production and squabbles with leads Roy Scheider and Bruno Cremer. It also flopped at the box office, taking in just $12 million on a $22 million budget. However, as Friedkin recently tried to revive the film for a new audience, he found that domestic and international partners Paramount and Universal hadn't claimed the rights to the film in over 20 years. Understandably frustrated, he filed a lawsuit last May “simply to free the picture,” and after an extended period of silence, it appears the director has finally succeeded.
“Re: 'Sorcerer.' The original negative is in good condition, and it's now being budgeted to make a new digital master,” Friedkin tweeted yesterday, before following up shortly with news that the film “will not be released by Criterion.”
An extensive DVD version of the film has obviously been in Friedkin's purview for quite a while, so while Criterion may not be putting the disc out, it's probably safe to say it will have a host of great bonus features in addition to the transfer. A proper behind-the-scenes doc would be absolutely key, and maybe some deleted scenes (some of which are floating out there already), but more intriguing for fans is the idea that “Sorcerer” will finally fill a gap in Friedkin's filmography.