Steven Soderbergh Working On Directors Cut Of 1991 Film, Kafka. Is A Criterion Release Inevitable?

There is a sort of formula when questioning what films may or may not ever see the light of day as a Criterion Collection release. Is the film from a director previously in the collection? Is the film previously unavailable or extremely hard to find? Will this new film either be a director’s cut or a new print restoration?

Well, according to The Wall Street Journal (via The Playlist), it looks like we can begin the process of positing weither or not one of Steven Soderbergh’s most beloved films, his 1991 gem Kafka, is set to make an appearance in the collection. The outlet is reporting that the filmmaker himself will not only be releasing a new director’s cut of the film, albeit in two years, but he will also be shooting new footage for this very cut.

Personally, not only do I think Soderbergh is an absolute master filmmaker, but Kafka is one of his very best works. The film was never really available on DVD, or at least not in any sort of mass quantity and with Soderbergh being a beloved member of the collection (Schizopolis, Traffic, Che, rumored addition to an upcoming Spalding Gray film box set), this seems like a no brainer. Nothing is currently set in stone, but I can’t help but think (and hope) that Criterion will be all over this release. Fingers are crossed that the above formula actually sticks, because I can’t wait to see the Criterion ‘C’ stamped on the DVD cover of this thing.

In other Soderbergh news, IMDb Pro lists a new film on his slate, a project titled EST, currently slated to star George Clooney and produced by Ocean’s series producer Larry Weintraub. Not much is known about the film, other than that it follows the life of Wener Erhard, who founded a series of “personal growth” seminars in the 1970s. That is litterally all that we know, and with his full slate, this one may be pretty far off. Or it could already be done for all we know. Soderbergh likes to secretly shoot films, like his never-to-show-to-the-public love letter to a recent stage play directing gig he had, called Tot Mom, that was made to only show the cast and crew of his Australian play he recently directed. Hopefully we’ll actually be able to lay eyes on this one though.

Source: WSJ / The Playlist

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