Warner France has revealed that it is planning to bring to Blu-ray Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), starring Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Alfie Bass, and Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice (1971), starring Dirk Bogarde, Romolo Valli, and Mark Burns. The two releases are expected to arrive on the French market later this year.
It's the living end, a fancy-dress ball for blood fiends in Count Von Krolock's Transylvanian castle. Surely no mortal would be foolish enough to infiltrate this hemogobbling horror of a soiree. But partygoers notice something in the ballroom mirrors: the reflections of human - vampire killers - dancing among them. Director/co-writer Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown) spoofs vampire movies with this droll balancing act of shocks and laughs. He also portrays Alfred, mousy apprentice to a doddering researcher of vampirism (Jack MacGowran)...and the love struck defender of gorgeous Sarah (Sharon Tate) when the count (Ferdy Mayne) tries to make her the ghoul of his dreams. It's all fang-tastic fun!
Luchino Visconti directs this acclaimed version of Thomas Mann's novel. Gustav van Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde) is an aging German composer who is visiting Venice. Having given up on his existence, he is stirred from his torpor by a young boy named Tadzio (Bjorn Andresen) who seems to represent his ideal of physical beauty and purity. The character of von Aschenbach was modelled on Gustav Mahler, whose music is heard throughout the film.
Except, it's Warner FRANCE. This means all the packaging, and in all likelihood the films themselves, will be in French. Any number of their existing editions leave out English titles and soundtracks, and just go with the original French overdubs. They don't like English, and go out of their way to omit it. In the UK, where it was made, in English, the Polanski film has always been known as "Dance of the Vampires", so I'm not optimistic...
@sjt: you are totally wrong... I don't know where you get your info but Warner France is known to release their movies in the same way they do in the US: same audio, subtitles, extras and very often leaving those extras without any French subs which is deeply anoying for people understanding only French (population I am not a part of btw). I'd suggest that you get your facts right. However, the packaging will indeed be in French (which is an obvious and market-driven decision when selling movies in a country where the native language is not English).
My guess is that those releases will probably be the same ones as some future US release (if Warner does own the rights to release those titles in blu in the US).
It will be region-free.
Actually, there have already been times during which some Warner/MGM title was available in some Europe countries or Japan before it was released in the US. Quo Vadis, Gigi and An American in Paris were some of those titles. The discs themselves were identical to the US versions, with the same set of dubs and subtitles.
There are a few locked Blu-rays distributed by Warner in France (and thus carrying the Warner logo), but they are titles from other French publishers (M6, Metropolitan...) that get carried with a Warner slip cover for their budget collection, but they don't belong to the Warner or MGM library. A Single Man rights for France belong to Warner, but the movie itself doesn't belong to the studio. Death in Venice and The Fearless Vampire Kilers are, on the other hand, MGM titles that are now in the Turner-Warner library worldwide.
Warner France also had some kind of autonomy for the main library and had some titles on DVD that weren't available in the US for a long time (such as Moonfleet or Party Girl) but there have been no sign of such editorial freedom for their Blu-ray titles. I've actually yet to see a real Warner title on Blu-ray that's authored specifically for France, not the whole of Europe.