‘Event Horizon’ Director Says They Would Need to Pull a ‘Snyder Cut’ to Restore Missing Footage

Paul W.S. Anderson would love to restore the cult classic’s long-lost material

event horizon joely richardson Laurence Fishburne
"Event Horizon" (Paramount Pictures)

The only thing worse than the initial reviews for the 1997 sci-fi horror film “Event Horizon” was its terrifying box office performance at the time. But over the last 25 years, the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed sci-fi horror film has slowly grown into something of a cult classic, and there’s always the remote chance that the filmmaker could deliver a longer, fully restored version — under the right circumstances.

In a recent interview, Anderson revealed that because the film arrived at the end of the VHS era, there wasn’t a viable consumer home for bonus features and deleted scenes that were popularized by the DVD boom. As a result, studio Paramount Pictures didn’t exactly place a great deal of importance on archiving special editions and extra footage. Though that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for “Event Horizon” to return with new material.

“So it’s just not there,” Anderson told Entertainment Weekly. “I think to really reinstitute what the old cut was, you’d need to probably do what they did with the Snyder Cut where you have to go and shoot some material again.”

Anderson is referring to “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” released on HBO Max in 2021. The four-hour film, featuring some newly shot material and a completion of previously shot footage, is an extended version of Snyder’s original plans for “Justice League” prior to his departure from the film midway through production. Joss Whedon was brought on to complete the movie, which arrived in theaters in 2017 to poor reviews and disappointing ticket sales.

Though before you run off and begin plotting an online campaign to #ReleasetheAndersonCut, you should know that the theatrical version doesn’t appear to have made sweeping changes to his original vision.

“I reduced the running time of the disturbing images, but actually didn’t take much imagery out,” Anderson said. “All I did was, what had been a three-second cut, sometimes became a three-frame cut. I think ultimately by compressing the material, and making these visions of hell almost these subliminal bursts of imagery, I think it actually increased the power and the horror, rather than decreasing it. I think it had the opposite effect of what the studio was imagining.”

“Event Horizon” follows a group of astronauts investigating a ship that has reappeared after it had gone missing years earlier. When the crew begin to explore the seemingly abandoned vessel, it soon becomes apparent that something inexplicably evil has taken place.