WTF Happened to The 13th Warrior (1999)?

Back in the nineties, John McTiernan was perhaps the most well-regarded action director in Hollywood. He had an unmatched string of hits that included Predator, Die Hard, Die Hard With a Vengeance, The Hunt for Red October and more. At the same time, Michael Crichton was a household name thanks to a little book and film you might have heard of called Jurassic Park. Putting the two of them together to adapt Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead must have seemed like a sure-fire hit to Disney, especially with Antonio Banderas, then hot off The Mask of Zorro to play the swashbuckling lead. Alas, this Viking tale was cursed from the get-go, with bad test screenings resulting in Crichton, who was also a director (Westworld, Runaway) taking over the film and re-shooting/re-working it into what was eventually released as The 13th Warrior.

It’s a crazy, “only in Hollywood” tale made even more remarkable by the fact that even in its compromised form, the movie is pretty damn good. However, fans have long clamoured for a director’s cut that may or may not still exist, despite notoriously poor test screenings. Is one even possible? We dig into the story in this week’s WTF Happened to this Movie!

This episode of WTF Happened to this Movie was written by Daniel Woburn, edited by Juan Jimenez, narrated by Mathew Plale and produced by Ben Cantler. Watch previous episodes below and let us know in the comments if you’d be interested in a 13th Warrior/ Eaters of the Dead director’s cut.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.