Jake Busey tells us that there is a legitimate five-hour version of Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners out there. Given the success of his extended cuts of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and King Kong, you’d think Universal would jump at the chance to extend another Peter Jackson movie.
“Yeah, there’s a shit load of material you haven’t seen,” Busey told Bloody Disgusting.
“I think you need to petition and lobby Peter Jackson for an original director’s cut. You want to ask him to release the five-hour director’s cut. It should be a miniseries broken up into three films.”
It’s pretty normal for early cuts of a film to run four or five hours. Those are called assemblies, with every scene and take strung together before it’s whittled down. Busey asserts that there is five hours of legitimate Frighteners material.
“I think his first on it was seven or eight hours,” Busey revealed.
Busey outlined some of the subplots that could make a more epic version of The Frighteners. Since most of the characters involved were ghosts, it may involve finishing visual effects shots from 1996.
“There was so much material, but see they may have cut it before they did the post,” Busey said. “They may not have done all the animating and all that so it might not even be available but they filmed so much material on John Astin and his judge with the dog and the old west. He had this whole thing in the courtroom. He had a whole segment in his house and in the old west town. The movie goes back in time to the old west when he was really a judge and alive. There’s so much more with the ghosts, with Chi McBride. It was just way too much movie to try to cram into two hours. John Astin shot like a month’s worth of stuff that didn’t even make it into the film just because of time. It just got to be such a long-running thing, so they had to cut it down. You should definitely ask Peter for the five-hour director’s cut.”
As the film’s villain, Johnny Bartlett, Busey does not recall any missing footage of his own. He just wants to see all his costars’ work.
“I had little edges here and there but there was nothing that I said, ‘Oh shoot, I wish they’d have put that in there.’ They pretty much used all of my stuff to the best of my knowledge. It is 20 years ago now.”