Director Francis Ford Coppola has a mix of cinematic classics, strong contenders, and so-so films in his filmography.
One of the more high profile duds is 1984’s “The Cotton Club” which boasted an all-star cast including Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Nicolas Cage, Tom Waits and Laurence Fishburne amongst others.
The story follows the people who visited the famous night club in Harlem along with those who ran it. The film famously had a troubled production, taking five years to make and the budget ballooned from $25 million to $58 million. Though reviews were good, the film opened in fourth place at the box-office and never recovered – ultimately grossing $25.9 million overall.
In the last few years, Coppola has reportedly spent over $500,000 of his own money to restore the film to the original cut which runs 25 minutes longer. This new version, “The Cotton Club Encore,” debuted at Telluride in 2017.
Deadline this week reports that this new take, which cuts extraneous scenes and adds several high-energy music and dance numbers, is being “scrutinized by several distributors” with several of them believing it will find a new audience.
In addition, they say the overseas rights, which have spent decades in a tangled legal nightmare, have also been cleaned up. Coppola is also re-examining his three “Godfather” movies – fully aware of the 50th anniversary of the first which is not too far off.