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Event Horizon’s Jason Isaacs Has Some Wild Stories About ‘Definitely Illegal’ Deleted Scenes

In the decades since its release, one of the best sci-fi moviesEvent Horizon has continued to earn a steady stream of hype, thanks to the loss of director Paul W.S. Anderson’s original cut. While there are myriad stories about what the director’s cut contained (and why it’s seemingly lost to time), actor Jason Isaacs recently chimed in with some interesting information about those “definitely illegal” lost scenes. 

While promoting his latest film, the BritBox Cary Grant biopic Archie, Isaacs shared some more with Yahoo about his time filming the 1997 sci-fi horror mashup. When asked about this storied alternate version, the Harry Potter alum described what he’d heard about the deleted material as follows: 

They shot it on a soundstage next to us, and there are things that are definitely illegal to do now, probably illegal to do then, with a whole bunch of people with certain things wrong with their body or their mind. … And Paul’s best mate was shooting the second unit, and he kept coming back to our stage going, ‘You will not believe what I saw this morning’.

The infamous behind-the-scenes story of Event Horizon’s altered theatrical release includes a multitude of factors that led the picture to be cut into its currently existing shape. As if it wasn’t bad enough the movie had to meet a tight theatrical deadline thanks to Titanic shifting into a December release date, there were also horrified reactions from unsuspecting Paramount executives when they saw the flick for the first time. (Said suits reportedly did not see any footage from the picture until its legendary test screenings. More below.) 

According to further lore surrounding the production, some of the material cut from the film later was apparently so extreme, it led to test audiences being sick. As Jason Isaacs would also mention, there was a disturbingly hellish orgy sequence that recalled the fate of the titular ship’s crew and apparently caused much of the panic. With his commentary now shedding some light on what is potentially missing from the final version, I can see where that potential illegality may have come into play. 

The subject of Event Horizon’s extended cut persists, especially in a post-Snyder Cut world. It’s even gotten to a point where Jason Isaacs questioned the purpose, and even the existence, of Paul W.S. Anderson’s longer cut. Expressing those criticisms, Isaacs shaped his thoughts thusly:

I don’t know about this director’s cut. If you watch the film it does occasionally flash — literally flash frames — to what happened to the ship when it went to hell and there’s all kinds of what looks like, ‘is it an orgy? Is it a massacre? What’s going on?’ … I don’t think putting more of that in there will make it work, and I don’t think more people’s visions make it work. Maybe Paul’s got some footage somewhere. I don’t think so, he’s never mentioned it to me. I think it’s a bit of a myth, this director’s cut, that’s the film. But I might be wrong, I didn’t direct it.

To be completely honest, all of this leaves me unsurprised that Jason Isaacs was hearing such bonkers tales on the set during filming.

Even after all this time, Paul W.S. Anderson would love to reshoot the deleted material, creating an Event Horizon “Snyder Cut” to restore his vision in full. With that notion landing support from Horizon star Sam Neill, all that would need to happen is for Paramount executives to approve that venture, and start reaching out to the rest of the cast. But it’s hard to tell if the suits would go for it.

Plus, based on this new variation of the BTS tale, some scenes may need to be altered, if not left out altogether. Perhaps this time out the deal can be sweetened by finally letting Isaacs keep the disgusting Event Horizon prop he tried to bag the first time around.

The story of Event Horizon’s potential director’s cut continues to develop and take interesting turns. For now, the theatrical cut we all know and love is all we’ve got, but it’s still as wonderful today as it was back in the day. At the time of this writing, you can stream the film through access to a Paramount+ subscription; proving the point that every season has room for a story of intense, cosmic dread.

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