You do realise you're all getting up in a tizz about the edit of the film when no-one actually involved in its production has released any information beyond Hardy's vague announcement? Here's
a good page on the various edits of the film. Note that Hardy talks about working with Abraxas in his video, which if you take literally on face value is probably referring to the Abraxas edit which is roughly 5mins shorter than the "Director's Cut". Now, the most informative post in that Facebook thread is the following (this is discussing the US release):
John Alan Simon wrote:Just to set the record straight - Speaking as the former U.S. distributor - The complete unedited cut was the version released on VHS (by Media Home and later by Magnum) and on DVD (as a companion disc) by Anchor Bay. We were able to video master (non HD at the time) from the single uncut long version 35 mm print "discovered" still sitting over at Corman/New World by Jon Davidson - with the help of former British Lion rep David Blake (who later became my partner). The U.S. theatrical release version by Abraxas differed in some small respects - but mainly by the lack of the six minutes on the mainland "prologue". This was the theatrical cut approved by Robyn. This was a creative/technical decision by Robyn - since adding it would have been six minutes worth of inferior quality footage struck from dupe negative created from the long print - Hence, unfortunately, no dupe negative material was ever struck of the mainland beginning.
OK, so we know Studio Canal have unearthed a "film print", which means they have one of the following:
1. The Corman print, which is the long version (Director's Cut) from which the dupe negative referred to by John Alan Simon above was struck for the later US re-release in 1979.
2. The Abraxas print, which is the 1979 US Theatrical version (roughly 5mins shorter than the DC). This is the version Hardy himself put together from the Corman dupe negative for a US theatrical re-release back in 1979.
If Studio Canal have found the Corman print then they have what is probably the best quality source for any longer version of The Wicker Man in existence, and they have the material to release the Director's Cut fully in HD. If they have the dupe negative they probably have the second best, but only the material to release the Abraxas cut fully in HD. The question is what edit
of the film will they release? In the video announcement Hardy refers to his work with Abraxas, seemingly because he personally feels that version is his "director's cut". If so, that's what we're getting.
Either way we should see the benefits of a HD master struck of one of the longer cuts of the film from actual prints or dupe negatives on Blu-ray or for a theatrical re-release. That in itself should be reason to celebrate.