Sci-fi horror Event Horizon was a critical and commercial dud when it first released in 1997, but Paul WS Anderson’s film has gained a cult following in the intervening years.
As new fans continue to discover the film – which sees a team of astronauts uncovering a gateway to hell while on a rescue mission – new details begin to emerge which suggest it was simply ahead of its time.
As one fan pointed out on Twitter, Jurassic Park star Sam Neill requested the Australian flag on his character’s costume be changed to reflect a more utopian vision of the future.
Today I learnt:— Jay | Y Ci Mawr ~ 🏴 (@Jayfuz) September 1, 2020
For the Sci-Fi Horror film 'Event Horizon' Sam Neill requested that the Australian flag on his character's uniform remove the Union Flag from the corner & for it to be replacedwith the Aboriginal flag, the way he thought it should look in 2047. pic.twitter.com/S9L83aQKic
As the Australian Dr. Billy Weir, designer of the stricken Event Horizon spacecraft, his character wears an Australian flag on his flight suit. Neill felt, in the future, the Union Flag would have been replaced by the Aboriginal flag in the design, and he says he still feels the same way in 2020.
“This is indeed so,” the actor wrote on Twitter in response to the tidbit of trivia which has been retweeted nearly 14,000 times. “And I wouldn’t do it any differently today”.
This is indeed so. And I wouldn't do it any differently today . https://t.co/sz1guYVlM1— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) September 2, 2020
The Australian Aboriginal Flag, black and red horizontal stripes with a yellow circle in the centre, represents Aboriginal Australians. It was designed in 1971 for the lands rights movement, but has since become one of the officially proclaimed flags of Australia, and flies over many official buildings.
In the film, Joely Richardson’s British character Kathleen Quinlan wears a flight suit bearing a European flag rather than the Union Flag, representing a more united future than one we see in 2020.
Event Horizon enjoyed a troubled production and edit after it was rushed into cinemas by Paramount when it became clear that James Cameron’s Titanic – which the studio was co-financing with Fox – was not going to meet its release date.
The original 130 minute cut of the film was cut down to 96 minutes, and while Anderson conceded the original cut was too long, he thinks a 106 minute edit with some of the deleted scenes restored would have made for a better final cut.
However, the lost scenes have never been found in a satisfactory state for a ‘director’s cut’ to be completed.
Event Horizon is currently streaming on Now TV with a Sky Cinema Pass.