The Original Film Negative of 'The Beastmaster' is Lost and Director Don Coscarelli Needs Your Help Finding It
The Beastmaster is a 1982 movie about a warrior named Dar, the son of a king who is taken to live with another family as a baby in order to be protected from a priest trying to kill him in order to prevent a prophecy from being fulfilled. After he grows up, his adoptive father is killed by savages, and Dar is left to discover the past on his own, including somehow having the ability to communicate telepathically with animals, which will help him immensely on his path toward revenge.
Since the movie’s release, there have been two sequels and a syndicated TV show, but it’s the original that fans love for all its cheesy fantasy glory. Hopefully that love will lead fans to help director and co-writer Don Coscarelli track down the original film negative of the movie, which has gone missing entirely. Can anyone out there talk to animals?
Entertainment Weekly learned of Don Coscarelli’s quest to find the lost Beastmaster film negative. Here’s how the negative came to be lost, according to the filmmaker himself:
“The rights holder sent [someone] to pick up the negative and the guy put it in his vault in the San Fernando valley. Then he sold the house and now he [doesn’t] know where it is.”
While this may not seem like as big of an emergency as if we lost the original film negative of Back to the Future or Raiders of the Lost Ark, a film is a film, and The Beastmaster deserves to have its original negative back in the hands of the filmmaker who made it. Coscarelli is hoping that putting the word out there through WhereIsTheBeastmaster.com will help him track it down. The website allows tips to be sent in for anyone who might have a line on where it is. Here’s what you should be looking for:
The cult status of The Beastmaster cannot be understated. The film starring Marc Singer (V), Tanya Roberts (Charlie’s Angels) and Rip Torn (Men in Black) was not a box office hit, but it became a favorite when it aired on TBS, TNT and HBO throughout the 1980s and 1990s. And if fans ever want to see a restored version of the movie get released, they need to help get this negative back in Coscarelli’s hands. The director says:
“The finest quality material is the original camera negative which was out there, on the set, going through the camera. That’s the beauty of film. Even though it’s a medium from a hundred years ago, 35 mm film carries a lot of information and, if it’s carefully taken care of, those original negatives, you can really get a beautiful image out of them. There’s a back-up plan, but it’s just not as good as the original.”
Apparently this is meant to go hand-in-hand with the development of a new Beastmaster movie that Coscarelli is working on with the original film’s producer and co-writer Paul Pepperman now that they have the rights to the movie back in their hands. They still have to take it out to studios and production companies to land a deal. Presumably, the hope would be to have repertory screenings and maybe some kind of anniversary release on Blu-ray and DVD in the next couple years when the film celebrates its 40th anniversary.
If you know anything about the location of the original Beastmaster film negative, let them know over here.
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