Caligula is reimagined with The Ultimate Cut

The aftermath of a battle between director Tinto Brass, screenwriter Gore Vidal, and producer Bob Guccione, Caligula has been transformed into a completely new version. Caligula – The Ultimate Cut, a new cut of the cursed epic about the fall of the Roman ruler, is presented in Cannes Classics in a restored 4K version.

After assassinating the Emperor Tiberius (Peter O’Toole), his adopted grandson Caligula (Malcolm McDowell) seizes power and drags the Roman Empire down with him into madness through acts of violence, lechery, and humiliation.

Released in 1980, this classic remains notoriously famous for its nightmarish filming. Artistic differences and delays cost a fortune during production, resulting in a hybridised film, a violent and decadent epic that caused a scandal. More than forty years later, producer Thomas Negovan was able to get his hands on unreleased reels held by Penthouse Films International, the production company for the film. Thus began the long process of restoring and editing hitherto unknown scenes.


“By concentrating on the actors themselves, the new version restores dignity to the performance.”


Far removed from the artistic quarrels of Tinto Brass, Gore Vidal and Bob Guccione, Thomas Negovan approached this new version from a neutral perspective. His desire to elevate the actors gives greater strength to the narrative and provides a new approach to the Emperor Caligula’s madness. Another feat is that not a single shot from the original film was used, which makes Caligula – The Ultimate Cut a completely new feature film.

A presentation of Penthouse Films International. Restoration produced by Penthouse Films International. The image and sound restoration was undertaken by Technorganica using the original camera negatives and the original audio. This project was supervised by Thomas Negovan. Film distributor in France: Bac Films. International sales company: Goodfellas.