My Two Cents
Wednesday, 09 June 2021 10:33

[UPDATED WITH PARAMOUNT STATEMENT] – Yellow Alert! Amazon France lists Star Trek I-IV set for 4K Ultra HD in September, plus new Paramount Presents BDs

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All right, so we’re going to be back later today with some more new disc reviews, but there’s some potentially significant news breaking at the moment that I wanted to address posthaste this morning.

You remember how I said yesterday that I’d been interviewed for an article on Trek Report about the potential for the classic Star Trek films to be remastered and released in 4K Ultra HD? And I also said that I’d circle back to the subject, but that essentially there was no new news to report at this time?

So the short of what I indicated in the interview was that Paramount definitely wanted to remaster all of the classic Trek films in 4K, and that they’ve clearly ramped up their catalog releases on BD and 4K during the pandemic, and are continuing to remaster their classic catalog films. It was simply a matter of cost, but it was my belief that they’d get around to it eventually. Just don’t hold your breath, right? I mean, how many times have we heard that they were talking about it, and then nothing ever happens? So, sound advice.

And then just this morning, Amazon France dropped a listing for a box set of the first four Star Trek films in 4K Ultra HD with a street date of September 8. [Read on here...]

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No, I’m not kidding. Here’s the listing (click here). It indicates a 4-disc set that would include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (for which we already know there’s a beautiful 4K remaster), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

As you can imagine, I already have an inquiry in to our Paramount sources. I’m going to assume for the moment that Star Trek: The Motion Picture would be the original Theatrical Cut. When last I talked with the studio about remastering the Director’s Edition (which was a year ago), they wanted to do it but were having trouble working up the courage to spend the money required, which wasn’t exorbitant but was still considerable--especially amid the pandemic, which cut budgets and saw personnel downsized at many studios, Paramount included.

It would make a certain amount of sense to start with the Theatrical Cut. It would be straightforward to remaster in 4K (just scan the original camera negative), and releasing it on disc (and monitoring sales) would be a great way to gauge fan interest in the titles. Releasing the first four films only would also make a certain kind of sense, as while the first film stands alone, the next three form a cohesive larger narrative. Then they could release another box set of the next three films, and a final box set of the last three, all of which gives the studio time and growing confidence to commit to (and finish) work on a proper 4K remaster of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition.

So the upshot is, yes... I think this is actually possible. Again, I want to stress that I have inquiries in with the studio to confirm and will update you here as soon as I hear back. I would also like to stress my original advice: Try not to hold your breath until we hear something from the studio officially. There have just been far too many disappointments with regard to Star Trek on disc not to maintain a healthy skepticism. But fingers crossed.

[Editor’s Note: The official studio update from Paramount is in, as follows: The French Amazon listing has been taken down. No news to announce at this time.

So... no announcement, no denial. My take as editor of The Bits: Stay tuned. I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ll hear of it in the coming weeks and months.

And as always, remember to breathe. LLAP.]

In the meantime, Paramount has also just announced the newly-remastered Paramount Presents Blu-ray release of George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun, Robert Altman’s Nashville, and Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone in August. The first two titles are expected to street on 8/10, with Bugsy Malone following on 8/31. A Place in the Sun will feature “a brand-new Filmmaker Focus featuring film historian Leonard Maltin talking about George Stevens and the innovative film techniques he used for this unforgettable story of ambition, passion, and betrayal” plus legacy extras. Nashville will include the new 24 Tracks: Robert Altman’s Nashville featurette and the previously released commentary by Altman. Bugsy Malone will feature a new Filmmaker Focus as well. You can see the cover artwork here...

Bugsy Malone (Blu-ray Disc) A Place in the Sun (Blu-ray Disc) Nashville (Blu-ray Disc)

Okay, we’ll definitely be back with more later. In the meantime, stay tuned...!

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