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Caligula: The Ultimate Cut, starring Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren, is released in August

Vertigo Releasing has announced the release of Caligula: The Ultimate Cut, a full 4K reconstruction of the notorious 1980 classic starring Malcolm McDowell (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE), Academy Award-winners Helen Mirren (THE QUEEN) and Sir John Gielgud (ARTHUR), and Peter O’Toole (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA).

Produced and recut by art historian Thomas Negovan 44 years after the original release, this version utilises entirely never-before-seen footage to honour the original vision of director Tinto Brass and screenwriter Gore Vidal, who both removed their credits after highly controversial edits made by producer Bob Guccione severely compromised their original story. This extensive reconstruction, including alternate takes and camera angles, was created from 4K scans of the original camera negatives and features the complete film narrative for the very first time, with both McDowell and Mirren’s performances greatly expanded on screen.

CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT follows the young, wary Caligula (McDowell), who, shadowed by the murder of his entire family, eliminates his devious adoptive grandfather (O’Toole) and seizes control of the declining Roman Empire – descending into a spiral of depravity, destruction, and madness.

Producer and reconstructionist Thomas Negovan says, ‘For decades, audiences have seen a wholly distorted view of Malcolm McDowell’s efforts as Caligula. Using over ninety hours of footage hidden for decades in a dusty warehouse, CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT delivers a completely different and masterful performance that will remind everyone why IF…., A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and O LUCKY MAN! made McDowell a legend of cinema. And Helen Mirren, only a minor character in the 1980 release, now moves forward into a powerful position as the major impetus of the film’s third act that Brass and Vidal always intended.‘

CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2023 in their Classics strand and Vertigo Releasing is planning to release the title in select cinemas and on digital on August 9th 2024.

The restoration of CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT was produced by Sunshine Mesa Films and overseen by Thomas Negovan, with principal photography by Tinto Brass and from an original screenplay by Gore Vidal. The image and sound restoration was undertaken by Technorganica using original camera negatives and audio.

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