If you only know the version of The Wicker Man that starred Nicolas Cage and a bunch of bees, I want you to leave right now and rent, download or stream Robin Hardy’s original 1973 classic The Wicker Man, starring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward. There’s a world of difference between that film and the travesty that Neil LaBute foisted upon the world. Unfortunately, Robin Hardy didn’t really make much since The Wicker Man, but now he has plans to complete the proposed trilogy of The Wicker Man, 2011’s The Wicker Tree and the upcoming The Wrath of the Gods.
Speaking with ScreenDaily (via Cinema Blend), Hardy discussed the future of his projected trilogy. Here’s what he said:
I am just at the opening stages of financing it, and hope to make it next year. The first two films are all about offers to the Gods. The third film is about the Gods. I use the vehicle of the final act of Götterdämmerung.”
Götterdämmerung is the last act of Wagner’s The Ring trilogy, translated as Twilight of the Gods.
Hardy seems pretty confident that he’ll get the film made, despite the largely mediocre movie that is The Wicker Tree, the second in the trilogy released a few years ago. He says that The Wrath of the Gods will address the same issues of paganism and ritual sacrifice explored in the first two films.
The announcement of the trilogy comes with the 40th Anniversary edition of The Wicker Man to be released on Blu-Ray in the United Kingdom. They’re billing this version as the ‘Final Cut’, which I presume means the possibility of more of Britt Ekland’s breasts.
Despite The Wicker Tree, I’ll be interested to see what Hardy manages to come up with. The Wicker Man is still a classic, widely touted as one of the best British horror films ever made. It’s a shame that too many Americans only know the version with Nicolas Cage, which sullies the reputation of a truly excellent film. Whether or not The Wrath of the Gods measures up to Hardy’s original classic remains to be seen, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
The Wicker Man Blu-Ray comes out in the UK in October; maybe someday we’ll get it in America too.