Admittedly when 54 -- the risqué ensemble drama about the Studio 54 starring Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers and Salma Hayek -- came out in 1998, it was a flop. Opening to poor reviews and ultimately landing at 13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the film only made $16.8 million at the box office and earned Razzie Award nominations for Phillippe and co-star Ellen Albertini Dow.
In the 17 years since, 54 has become something of a cult classic despite the 44 minutes director Mark Christopher was forced to cut and 30 new minutes of reshoots added to the theatrical release. VHS bootleg versions of the extended cut circulated among film buffs and petitions to get Miramax to release to get Christopher’s version appeared online.
“I’ve never seen this kind of editing and reshooting on another film I’ve done,” Phillippe told Vulture. “The characters were fundamentally changed in a way that wasn’t true to the original script. Not even close.”
And following an overwhelmingly positive response at both the San Francisco Film Festival and the prestigious Berlin Film Festival this year, the director’s original vision has been restored and arrives intact for the first time on June 2.
In the cut scene -- premiering exclusively on ETonline -- fans get to preview Christopher’s vision for this dark, twisted tale about Shane (Phillippe), who becomes Studio 54’s “It” boy after sleeping and seducing his way to the top of the club's drug-addled party era. The new version even includes a previously deleted kiss between Phillippe and real-life friend Breckin Meyer.
54: The Director’s Cut arrives on digital HD on June 2 and will continue to screen at festivals throughout the world.