Ridley Scott has announced the re-release of his 1973 masterpiece ‘Bike Round’, an advertisement for the sliced bread company, Hovis, which will see extra footage, alternative takes of many scenes, and restoration of what Scott calls his ‘final and definitive version’.
The new director’s cut follows the previous director’s ‘absolutely final’ cut (2002) and the original director’s ’emphatically complete and categorically last’ version (1993) and will see the advert restored to the original three hours, thirty seven minutes of bread delivery.
The advert will premiere at London’s IMAX cinema, followed by a Q&A session with the director and a selection of uncomfortable-looking Hovis middle managers. Much of the discussion is anticipated to focus upon Scott’s removal of the voice-over from the footage which was originally inserted as a cost and time-saving measure. Scott explained that the use of this narration was ‘actually studio intervention’ and never his vision for the advert, which ‘should tell the story of struggle, redemption and child labour without using such hackneyed methods as a cinematic crutch.’
The massive increase in length comes despite the removal of several scenes towards the end of the advert, which were stolen wholesale from Stanley Kubrick’s 1972 advert for prophylactics, starring Jack Nicholson as an over-eager cycling johnny salesman. ‘People could easily tell that those last shots were not my own’ Scott confessed. ‘If you look closely you can tell it’s not the small boy smashing that door in with an axe and leaving bread, but Nicholson dropping off batches of gentlemen’s raincoats instead.’
Scott says he is very glad to finally be putting his most famous work to bed. ‘It’s been fun in part working on this again, but at the same time it’s a frustrating process, and I’m just looking to moving onto re-editing my son’s wedding footage, re-writing my Christmas thank you letters from 1948, and then re-visiting ‘Bike Round’ once more for some much needed unnecessary tinkering for the 41st anniversary ‘really the last time we tweak this I promise’ version.’