Updates are added to the bottom of the page, each sectioned off and dated.

Now here's what we know FOR SURE so far.

MGM owns the rights to "The Return of the Living Dead", they've confirmed a 2002 DVD release date and that the film will be presented in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and enhanced for 16x9 TV's. This is the only definite news to date.

What we don't know is thus;

MGM does not know what kind of material they have for the film or what condition they might be in (for extra features.) However, material does indeed exist. There is an alternate ending (which Dan O'Bannon wanted to use but the studio wouldn't let him), deleted scenes, a gag reel, theatrical trailer, quite a bit of production material from designer William Stout. Interview footage of cast/crew members can easily be filmed. Cast members James Karen, Thom Mathews and Linnea Quigley have done reunions for horror conventions in the past and DP Jules Brenner and designer William Stout both told me they'd love to be involved as well. O'Bannon has also told me that he'd love to do an audio commentary track for the DVD.

No specific release date has been set but August, 2002 seems likely (NOT confirmed.)

Fans, now is the time to write MGM and ask that the DVD be a "special edition". Ask for deleted scenes, director's commentary, anything and everything! Let 'em know you want the DVD done right! Please access the "Contact MGM" section to learn how to let your voice be heard.

Recently the campaign has been mentioned on DVD Drive-In and Living Dead.com so a BIG thanks to them for helping out!

An MGM tech who's doing the transfer for the DVD was given (from me through a friend) O'Bannon's contact information as he wanted Dan's input on the work. Hopefully from there Dan will get hooked up with whoever is actually producing the DVD and give us a 'special edition' we can all look forward to.

UPDATE: 1-11-02 I spoke with Dan earlier this evening and he told me that MGM did, in fact, contact him via phone. He told me he will return their call this Monday and begin discussions about the DVD! I accomplished my goal of getting Dan and MGM together, yahoo!

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 2-22-2002

A major reunion of cast/crew of "Return of the Living Dead" will be taking place this June in Baltimore. Click on the banner below to get the full story!

It looks as if I'll be speaking with James Karen ("Frank") via phone soon. Naturally I have a ton of questions for him and I *hope* he'll agree to an interview for my site. James has had a loooong acting career which is a testament to his durability and talent.

I also plan on contacting O'Bannon again soon for a DVD update. I still have yet to hear if any progress has been made on his possible involvement with the MGM DVD. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Now as for the DVD.....I have heard some things about what *could* be on the disc and what MGM is considering however I was asked not to mention specifics. However, I think we can reasonably hope that there will be *some* additional features on the disc.
Please people, KEEP writing/e-mailing MGM. Ask them to add as many extras to the DVD as possible.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 2-23-02

I spoke with Dan O'Bannon on the phone today. Though he was busy writing, he took a few moments to speak with me for which I was thankful.
He did indeed talk to the folks at MGM and that the most likely thing he'll do is do an audio commentary track. He also said that he specifically wants to add the alternate ending as well as a few other cut scenes but he doesn't know if that material can be found, he's hopeful though. Also mentioned were Dan's wishes to both color correct the film and tone down the level of music in some scenes which unfortunately garbled some of the actor's lines. He said he'd know more in a few weeks when things begin to move forward.
Shockingly he said all of this was because of me. I shrugged it off but he said he never would've known of this had I not contacted him. He also said *I* should do a commentary track to which I laughed but he said he liked what I had to say about the film. Can I say I feel humbled?

I called James Karen earlier but he wasn't home at the time. I hope to talk to him soon.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 3-2-02

Well I finally spoke with James Karen today. What a wonderfully friendly man I must say. He certainly had some interesting things to say about the film. One of his more famous lines from the film "Watch your tongue boy if you like this job!" was ad-libbed.
He had nothing but nice things to say about the film and the people involved with it.
I asked him for an interview and he agreed. We'll have to do it the hard way as he's not on the internet and I don't have any recording devices to do it over the phone so regular U.S mail is how it'll be done.
I really enjoyed speaking with him and am thankful he took the time to do so.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 4-02-2002

I wanna take a moment to address a statement made at the 'UNEEDA' fan site.
The webmaster there has stated that "MGM truly doesn't care about petitions" and that the DVD will be 'bare bones' other than a commentary and trailer.
Let me say this, studios DO take notice of on-line petitions if they're big enough. Witness what happened when Warner Brothers released "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" on DVD in full screen format only. The negative response was HUGE, a petition was started (had something like 11,000 signatures) and what happened? A few months later Warner put out a widescreen version. If you support something, get a lot of consumers involved, the studios WILL listen, afterall, they want to make money.
Click HERE to see what a couple of petitions accomplished.
The "not caring about petitions" comment was solely the opinion of the webmaster at 'UNEEDA'.
As for the 'bare bones' comment, NOTHING has been confirmed by MGM regarding content for the DVD. In fact, work on the transfer (as of last month) hadn't even started yet. MGM has made no public comments confirming what the disc will contain but I know for a fact that MGM was interested and actively looking into adding deleted footage and the original ending. Dan O'Bannon told me this himself.
All I'm saying is, don't take everything you hear on the internet as gospel, especially from sources who are not "in the loop" (so to speak.)
When I hear something from Mr. O'Bannon, I will post it here or one of the major DVD news sites will have coverage of it.
I do not know what materials MGM will eventually add to the disc, if any at all. There are no promises, many things can come up and prevent inclusion of various tidbits. Maybe MGM can't locate all of the deleted footage, maybe they'll just have the original ending. Maybe it'll just be an audio commentary, who knows? This is all the more reason to e-mail and write to MGM and/or sign the online petition. The more MGM execs know of the demand, the more willing they'll be to put more effort into it.
MGM's budget for the disc is not infinite, it won't be some super-duper two disc "Holy crap!" release BUT the producer of the disc is a big fan of the movie and was very excited to have Dan's involvement (again, Dan told me this) so you can be sure they'll try their best to make the disc as good as possible.

So keep writing, tell your family, friends, online buddies, whoever! Keep spreading the word and we all might get what we've been hoping for. Negativity never gets things done, keep positive and go for it...which is what I've been doing the past year on this web site. This all isn't just for me. It's so the movie gets treated like the classic it is and for my fellow fans.

Stay tuned.

Now I'd like to acknowledge the following web sites that have, to date, helped promote my campaign. Please visit their sites and say thank you.
All Horror Movies, DVD House of Horror, Women of Horror, Really Scary, Arrow in the Head, The 80's Movie Gateway, Alien Online, Monsters at Play, The Cinema Laser, Dark Horizons, snsusa, Online Horror Source, DVD Shrine, Davis DVD, Terror Zone, Gore Zone, Creature Corner, Cinescape, Living Dead.com, DVD Drive-In, Horror Asylum, Ultra Violent Magazine and Ain't It Cool News
Thanks guys!

Finally, interviews with James Karen and Linnea Quigley are being worked on.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 4-2-2002 Newsflash

I received a phone call from Dan O'Bannon today and learned some cool stuff.

First, Dan and William Stout recorded the audio commentary for the DVD about two weeks ago! It sounded like he enjoyed doing it.
Dan had to rush off to another studio as he was scheduled to work on the video transfer (color correction and all that.) He said the movie will probably look the best it ever has. He then mentioned that in a few weeks he will go into a sound studio to work on the audio from the film. He said the differences will be subtle.
He did mention that MGM wants to release the DVD soon (no release date was mentioned as a possibility) but he said he'd ask tonight and try to call me back tomorrow with news on that. He also mentioned the idea of the original opening/ending shots being reworked but didn't know if this would be on the upcoming DVD or perhaps a seperate release sometime later.

As always, when I know something, so will you.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 4-12-02

Just heard from MGM today. The DVD will be released this fall. No specific date yet but at least we have a rough idea now.

NEWSFLASH!

Ok folks, Dan called me today for an update so here's the latest.
He has finished remastering BOTH the video and audio for the film. It's been color corrected, scene-by-scene and the audio has been cleaned up. According to Dan, it's the BEST the movie has ever looked and sounded.
Now, the bad news.
MGM is under the gun, so to speak, to hurry up and release the DVD very soon. The marketing department apparently wants to put it out in the near future. What this means is, MGM may very well NOT use the newly restored prints that Dan worked on. Dan told me that what they were originally going to put out was horrible in terms of quality, that they hired some guy to work on it before him and Dan found it to be lacking severely.
So it was a good thing that Dan came in to do the restoring job, he was given the go-ahead for the project but as I said, they may not end up using it for the DVD.
As fans, we want Dan's restored version of the film, to see and hear it the way Dan wanted and really, who wouldn't want the film to look and sound as good as possible? Can't the marketing people understand this? Put out a GOOD DVD and it'll sell well but release an inferior print when people KNOW a better version could've been used will piss ALL of us off.
Now understand, none of this is definite. In fact, Dan will be speaking to an MGM honcho about using the restored print BUT we HAVE to write/e-mail MGM about this, tell them we want the best possible master available which would be the new stuff Dan oversaw personally. After waiting for so long to get this on DVD, MGM had better treat it right.
Please, be kind and respectful when writing but make yourselves very clear, we want Dan's restored print of the movie for the DVD, no excuses. His work is done and readily available so use it!

E-mail MGM at 4you@MGM.com or at homeentertainment@mgm.com.

You can also call MGM's customer service line at 1-877-646-4968.

You can write to MGM's marketing department at;

MGM Home Entertainment
c/o Marketing Department
2500 Broadway
Santa Monica, California 90404

'ROTLD' fans, we must act and we MUST ACT NOW! We *have* to let MGM know that we want the remastered/restored print of the movie that Dan O'Bannon did and that this is the ONLY way we will buy the DVD. We do not want an inferior version. Again, please be respectful if you call or write but be very clear in what you're saying.
Dan has worked very hard to make the movie look/sound the best it ever has. Tell MGM to use Dan's version for the DVD!

Also, there has been some talk of a featurette called "Designing the Dead" that will be on the DVD. I asked Dan about this and all he knows is that both he and William Stout simply sat down in front of a camera and answered some questions. I don't know if MGM will add anything to that or not.

----------------------------------------------------

DVD UPDATE: 5-2-02

Ok everyone, I spoke with Dan O'Bannon on the phone this afternoon and here's what I learned.

Dan had a meeting with Gray Ainsworth (I think I spelled his last name right), the VP of tech services at MGM.
Apparently when word got out that MGM might not use Dan's restored print, fans rallied and really let MGM know what they thought. This made Gray somewhat uncomfortable. He showed Dan the comments on his computer including the bit about the two having a meeting soon...the very meeting they were having! lol. See? Just goes to show you, if the fans speak up loudly enough, the studios WILL notice!

Anyway, something should be cleared up right here and now.

MGM has settled on the print to use for the DVD.
There was some misunderstanding on my part in regards to the video quality of the print MGM will use and for that I apologize. The video quality is NOT from an old, grainy transfer. MGM went back to the original film negative and remastered it. Dan has seen this himself and said it's very "clean" and looks good. His *only* gripe was with the colors, meaning the color saturation isn't as perfect as he wanted it. Regardless, Dan himself feels the video quality is very good so fans need not worry. Yes, he did oversee a new print with color correction however, due to time constraints, that will not be used. Again, do not mistake this as MGM using a poor quality video transfer. MGM completely cleaned up the film from the negatives so we should all be very happy with how the DVD will look.

The even better news, MGM *will* be using Dan's new sound mix for the DVD.
Dan's original mix for the film was never used originally as the producers changed it after he had finished. In some scenes the music was too loud, making it difficult to hear what the actors were saying. This has all been fixed. Also, some sound effects have been enhanced or otherwise replaced entirely. For example, the sound of the atomic blast at the end of the film has been given more bass, Tarman's voice is now more in tune with how Dan wanted him to sound, etc. Dan feels that the sound is now better and richer than ever, he's "very pleased...quite tickled" with it.

As for what type of sound mix the DVD will have, Dan said it will be digital mono. Now some of you might wonder why it wasn't remixed for Dolby Digital 5.1. Dan explained that 1) It would've taken more time and money than was available and 2) He didn't feel it was necessary saying that even Stanley Kubrick never bothered with mixing his movies that way.

Regarding how the film will be presented as far as aspect ratios go, there will be both 4:3 full screen and 1.78 anamorphic widescreen versions on the disc. Ok, I know some of you will wonder why the original 1.85 OAR is not being used. This is NOT MGM's decision, Dan gave the ok for it. He was going to insist on the 1.85 presentation but wanted to compare the two ratios before deciding. After seeing both, he felt there was very little difference between the two and decided on 1.78. Keep in mind no information will be lost off the sides of the picture since it was filmed open matte. This is what Dan wanted and as I'm sure most of you will agree, as long as it has been approved by the director, it's all good.

Now here is the most interesting bit. Something that really excited me at the mere possibility of it happening.

MGM is allowing Dan to gather all the elements necessary to produce what essentially is a "director's cut". This would include the original opening AND ending edited back into the film. The color corrected print would also be used. HOWEVER this would solely depend on how well the first DVD sells. If it does nothing, there won't be a special edition reissue BUT if the sales please MGM, they will produce Dan's "director's cut" sometime down the line so basically everyone, BUY THE DVD WHEN IT COMES OUT so they'll go ahead and reissue it as a special edition. This is a business and MGM needs to see that there is a financial upside to do this project. I know it kinda sucks to "double dip" but considering what we will be rewarded with if it sells well the first time, it will be well worth it!

Dan O'Bannon also went over what extra material the upcoming DVD will have again. 1) audio commentary by Dan and production designer William Stout. 2) New interviews with them both for some kind of featurette. 3) A stills gallery featuring many of the sketches and artwork Stout made for the film.
The theatrical trailer will also probably be included (it's virtully a standard extra on most DVD's anyway) but Dan wasn't sure yet, he said he'd ask. Also, he still doesn't know of a specific release date but he'd ask about that as well. I got an e-mail from MGM saying it's due this Fall.

Dan wanted me to tell everybody this and that fans can rest easy so let me repeat myself, the video quality for the DVD is NOT bad at all, it's a "good", cleaned up print from the original negative. His new sound mix WILL be on the DVD and most importantly, if the DVD sells well, MGM will release Dan's preferred cut, the one he always wanted so please guys and gals, buy the DVD when it comes out so a more elaborate special edition will be released. This is truly a case where "double dipping" will be more than worth it.

Gray Ainsworth (I keep thinking his name is "Amesworth" for some reason) is a good guy and he does support the DVD. MGM won't let us down with the quality or content. Again, if we support the upcoming DVD, we will ALL be rewarded with Dan's "directors cut" so let's thank MGM with a simple e-mail, letter or phone call for their efforts in giving us a high quality DVD. Tell them you'll buy the disc (then actually DO buy it) and encourage them to re-issue the special edition later. If you're wondering why they just don't let Dan cut the new version now, simply put, there just isn't enough time to do that as they've already put the DVD on this year's release schedule.

Buy the upcoming DVD everyone, I KNOW you all want the director's cut. If the disc sells well, that's exactly what we'll all get later on!

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE 5-7-02

What you've all been waiting for! MGM now has set a release date for "The Return of the Living Dead" DVD!

It will come out on August 27th. It will have all the extra features I've been talking about on my site for a while now;
audio commentary by writer/director Dan O'Bannon and production designer William Stout
new video transfer mastered from the original negative
newly created sound mix by O'Bannon
featurette (though I'm not sure everything it will contain, I do know O'Bannon and Stout recorded new interviews for it)
theatrical trailer
and though other internet reports aren't mentioning it, O'Bannon told me the DVD is supposed to have a stills gallery of Stout's sketches/artwork from the film.
Movie to be presented in 4:3 full screen and 1.78 widescreen (internet reports seem to be going with 1.85 widescreen but O'Bannon told me he went with 1.78 instead.)

I just got off the phone with MGM and they confirmed the internet reports on the release date. Now we all know when our day of joy will come. Sure it won't be a huge special edition but remember, if it sells well....say hello to "The Return of the Living Dead: Director's Cut"!

By the way, I did ask about a VHS re-release as well and the bad news to all you non-DVD people out there, there won't be one. MGM is "phasing out" VHS! I'd suggest if you want "ROTLD", you buy a DVD player soon.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 5-22-2002

Ok folks, here's the artwork for MGM's "ROTLD" DVD.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 5-23-2002

The DVD is now available for pre-order at amazon.com. Go here for a direct link. Check out the low price of $11.21.
Other sites like DVD Empire sell it for even less.

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 6-5-2002

I heard from Dan today. He's got a few copies (from MGM) of *his* new print of the movie on VHS now (just for his personal use.) While it will have the same soundmix that the DVD will feature, it will have the color corrected print that's NOT used on the DVD. Dan will be sending me a copy and I will post my thoughts here as soon as I see it. I will also do the same for the DVD when it's available to me.

Finally, the CreepCon convention (featuring a "ROTLD" reunion) takes place *THIS* weekend in Baltimore. There's still time for you to be there! Check out the CreepCon web site HERE.

----------------------------------------------------

6-28-2002

Creepcon came and went. After speaking with some folks (like Willam Stout and Jules Brenner) I learned that not everyone made it. Dan O'Bannon had to drop out unfortunately. I also understand that attendence wasn't particularly huge but this was the first ever Creepcon so growing pains are to be expected.
Still, our ROTLD guys and gals did have a good time and enjoyed seeing other cast/crew members so something positive came of it.
There was some cool merchandise that came from it, like a signed ROTLD poster from everyone who attended the reunion (I couldn't afford it myself, shame that.)

I'd like to thank everyone who offered to help out by sending a copy of the ROTLD workprint a few weeks ago. I did get one (thanks Lou!) and enjoyed watching it, even with the video quality being what it was.

The ROTLD DVD seems to be selling well in pre-orders. A week ago it was in the top 10 at DVDempire and was almost in the top 100 at Amazon.com. Keep it up guys, we may still get that 'director's cut'!

----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 7-3-2002

Ok folks, if you didn't have "The Return of the Living Dead" on VHS or tape if off TV a few years ago, now's your chance to record it so you'll have something to tide you over until the DVD's release next month.
ROTLD will be broadcast, unedited, on the pay cable network The Movie Channel this Friday, July 5, at 10:30 pm (eastern time.) Set those VCR's!

----------------------------------------------------