Zoetrope & Lionsgate Strike Deal to Release Coppola's Classic Works on DVD and Blu-Ray

THR announced that Lionsgate has struck a new deal with Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Corp. for North American distribution rights to a number of Coppola’s works, the first of which to see Blu-ray release is “Apocalypse Now,” arriving October 19th.

The home entertainment behemoth is also acquiring rights to “Apocalypse Now Redux,” and Coppola’s latest theatrical release, the underseen “Tetro,” which was released on DVD in May, and an early Coppola gem, the unimpeachable “The Conversation,” which will likely receive a generous re-release on video in all formats.

Coppola personally supervised the new transfers of “Apocalypse Now” for its release on Blu-ray, and the ’70s classic of madness in the jungle set against the backdrop of Vietnam will be released in two Blu-ray editions– a two-film set, and a three-disc “Full Disclosure” edition, which will also include one of the all-time great documentaries about filmmaking and reckless hubris, George Hickenlooper’s “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

The mesmerizing doc, somehow endorsed by Francis Ford Coppola himself, deals with the making of that almost-disaster-that-became-classic and shows just how close to failure that entire production was and, some say, how close to madness Coppola and his team were. “Apocalypse Now” emerged from a decade of exciting, experimental, financially and creatively risky studio cinema that threatened to torpedo an entire generation of dreamers, and “Hearts of Darkness” unforgettably catalogs a very candid Coppola, unchained from the success of “The Godfather,” rebuilding himself as a suicidal Icarus, sharing his death wish with a consistently under-prepared and volatile crew.

A message to all aspiring filmmakers: learn as much as you can about failure. There’s so much to glean from history’s tales of films that fell apart, or even films that precariously hung on the edge for the entirety of their filming. Making movies involves a precarious combination of elements that need to go right, and even with some of the more honest DVD extra features, we don’t hear enough about how the best laid plans of producers and directors go awry.

Check out a clip from ‘Hearts of Darkness’ below.