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page updated: 9/29/10



The Rumor Mill!

A Few Words About the Rumor Mill

9/29/10

Okay... the following should be considered VERY tentative. However, we've now heard it from multiple independent sources, including reliable industry insiders, so.... Sources are telling us that director James Cameron has been (or it about to begin) working on a new high-def transfer and master of The Abyss, presumably for eventual Blu-ray Disc release. As many of you know, The Abyss is a title that doesn't even have an anamorphic widescreen DVD release (neither does True Lies for that matter) so it's LONG overdue. We've been hearing this might soon happen from industry insiders for a couple of months now, but the most recent report on this comes from a longtime Bits reader (thank you, Jon H!) who actually had the chance to meet Cameron a few weeks ago. He asked specifically about the possibility of The Abyss coming to Blu-ray, and Cameron said that he was about to start work on a new transfer using the same process he did with the Aliens Blu-ray. Cameron then proceeded to say that he was really excited about how good Aliens looks on the format. So... fingers crossed... maybe we'll finally see those remaining Cameron titles on Blu-ray in the next 12 months or so...

As always, none of this should be considered official until the studios make their official yadda, yadda... You all know the drill by now. Stay tuned!

9/23/10

So... for those of you who might be wondering about the release dates for a few of the remaining, as-yet-unannounced Summer films on DVD and Blu-ray, retail sources have checked in with a couple hints. First, our sources are telling us to expect 20th Century Fox's The A-Team, Universal's The American and Sony's The Other Guys to hit stores on or around 12/14. Sony's Salt is currently expected to follow on or around 12/21. Do keep in mind, these dates could shift a little bit and should be considered tentative until the studios make their final, official announcements.

Stay tuned...

8/20/10

All right... as most of you Stanley Kubrick fans are no doubt already aware, Warner Home Video has released Blu-ray Disc versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut and Full Metal Jacket. Universal recently released Spartacus, albeit in a mediocre Blu-ray edition with a substandard quality HD master. Meanwhile, Sony's done a fine job of Dr. Strangelove on Blu, and Criterion is preparing a Blu-ray release of MGM's Paths of Glory on 10/26. So a lot of you have probably been wondering, where are Warner's Blu-rays of Lolita and Barry Lyndon?

Well... that's a question we here at The Bits have been asking the folks at Warner Home Video for months now. And today, they surprised us with an answer! Yes, both Lolita and Barry Lyndon are currently being prepared for Blu-ray Disc release by the studio in 2011. And here's the even better news: They hinted that the films are going to be available both as singles AND as part of a new Stanley Kubrick Blu-ray Collection! We're waiting on more details, and no doubt it will be a while before the release gets officially announced, but it appears that Warner plans to really do their Kubrick catalog up right on Blu-ray in the new year!

What with Criterion having licensed Paths of Glory from MGM for DVD and Blu-ray release, could they have obtained rights for Kubrick's The Killing and Killer's Kiss from MGM as well? And with so much new Kubrick Blu-ray product on the way, might Universal see fit to give Spartacus a fresh high-def transfer and re-release the title in a better Blu-ray edition? (Believe me, judging by the hundreds of e-mails we've gotten in recent weeks, a LOT of you would love for that to happen. Rest assured, I strongly suggested it to the studio on my recent visit.)

In any case, the next year or so should prove to be very exciting for fans Stanley Kubrick who, like us here at The Bits, are eager to see ALL his films in high-definition!

Stay tuned...

4/17/10

This is a rare Saturday post with some important breaking news: Lucasfilm's Steve Sansweet has reportedly confirmed, during a panel today at the C2E2 comic convention in Chicago, that the company is now working on a Blu-ray Disc box set of all six Star Wars films loaded with extras, for release "in the not too distant future." We're awaiting any kind of official statement from Lucasfilm - one MAY appear on Star Wars.com in the coming days. Nonetheless, MANY people who were in the panel began Tweeting reports of the news almost the moment the words left Sansweet's mouth. IGN has also reported the news with an actual quote from Sansweet: "We have been at work for a couple of years working on - I won't call it the Ultimate Set because we keep finding stuff - but, a very full set of all six movies on Blu-ray with lots of extra material. We're finding all kinds of scenes from dailies that have never been seen before. Beyond all of those things that you know about... there are some real treasures." There is no other official information at this time, but we'll post additional details when and if they come in. HOWEVER...

Our own industry sources have actually been checking in with us in recent weeks on this very subject. Our latest information is that Lucasfilm tentatively plans the official Blu-ray release to happen in October 2011. Now, we've been hearing reports like this on and off for years, and until now little has come of it. So we've been waiting to say something here on The Bits until we had a hint of more official confirmation. But now that Sansweet has begun talking about the release, we feel more comfortable reporting on the word from our sources. Plans could obviously change and again, even though Sansweet has hinted that it's coming, none of this constitutes an official announcement. But if current plans remain unchanged, our sources say you'll be enjoying The Force in 1080p next October.

Again, we'll post additional updates as they come in. As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


1/19/10

Okay... retail sources are telling us to expect Disney's animated The Princess and the Frog on 3/16 (available will be single-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions, along with a 3-disc Combo Pack including DVD, Blu-ray and a Digital Copy. Their live-action Old Dogs is also expected on 3/9.

Meanwhile, Universal is expected to release Brothers on 3/23.

Retailers are expecting Warner's Ninja Assassin on 3/16, followed by Sherlock Holmes and Under the Sea: IMAX on 3/30.

Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is tentatively set for 3/30.

Finally, retail sources in Europe are reporting that James Cameron's Avatar will arrive on 2D DVD and Blu-ray from Fox sometime in June. We can't vouch for this, but if they're accurate it's possible the title will street some time around then in the States as well. We're expecting that a Blu-ray 3D version will arrive later in 2010, in time for the holidays.

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


1/5/10

[Editor's Note: See update below.]

Okay... so here's the deal. The image below was first posted on 12/28 on the Spanish DVD website ZonaDVD, which claimed that it was an official sellsheet (from Universal Studios Home Entertainment's European operation) for a Back to the Future Trilogy Blu-ray box set release later this year. We've had a number of readers e-mail it over, wondering if it's real, and it's been a topic of discussion on several of the DVD forums over the holiday break. Now the thing is, it was posted by Zona on the Spanish equivalent of April Fool's Day (Dia de Los Santos Innocentes), so a lot of people immediately dismissed it as a joke. Here's the image...

Univeral (Europe) BTTF Blu-ray Sell Sheet

Many of you will no doubt be aware that we've ALREADY confirmed with multiple industry sources (click here and here) that the Back to the Future films ARE currently planned by Universal for release on Blu-ray later this year, as 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the original film's release. (In fact, we posted information on this here at The Bits as far back as June of last year.) Having seen thousands of official studio sellsheets, this one just didn't have the look of a fake to us. So over the last few days, we've gone back to our industry sources for confirmation on it, one way or the other.

[EDITOR'S UPDATE - 1/5/10 - 3 PM: Sources we checked with at Universal initially informed us that they believed the sellsheet to be authentic, which is why we addressed the issue early this morning. However they've just gotten back to us again this afternoon with word that the sheet IS fake. The reason it was thought to be authentic is that it was based on an authentic sellsheet for the recent DVD re-release, so the formatting was authentic. Regardless, we're made to believe that the title IS currently planned for Blu-ray Disc release later in 2010 - another factor that added to the confusion. So to summarize, the sellsheet is fake but the title is, in fact, real. Official announcements will reportedly be made in the months ahead. So just be patient and rest assured that we'll post updates as they come in, and official details when the announcements are finally made. In the meantime, we hear that ZonaDVD has already patted themselves on the back for their ingenuity, though we're not sure the incident enhances their reputation. We will admit, however, that a Jaws 19 3D short is EXACTLY the kind of silly thing we could see a studio coming up with to include on a new release like this, so give the some artist credit! In any case, despite the initial confusion, we've (finally!) gotten to the bottom of the issue here at The Bits. So there you go.]

As always, stay tuned...


12/18/09

Alrighty... hot on the heels of our report from earlier this week about the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, not to mention TONS of others, coming to Blu-ray in 2010 and 2011, our industry sources have checked in again with still MORE word on great classic catalog titles on the way to Blu-ray next year. This has been confirmed with several different sources now, so while the street dates are all TBA, we know that these titles are planned and actively being worked on for release in 2010...

Warner Bros. has a Dr. Zhivago: 40th Anniversary - Ultimate Collector's Edition on the way to Blu-ray next year, along with Poseidon, Where Eagles Dare, Kelly's Heroes, Absolute Power, The Rookie (the Clint Eastwood film), National Lampoon's Vacation and National Lampoon's European Vacation, the long-awaited (on BD) Excalibur, Mars Attacks, The Maltese Falcon and the first season of the TV show Friends.

And Paramount (and DreamWorks) - in addition to the classic Indy Trilogy - has Stardust, Collateral, Shrek, Shrek 2 and Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds and Saving Private Ryan due on Blu-ray in the year ahead. Not too shabby. 2010 is definitely going to be an expensive year for catalog BD fans!

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


12/15/09

Okay... so, a day after the April 2010 release of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (theatrical films) was announced by Warner Home Video, we're going to look farther ahead - out to as far as 24 months - to consider what's in the works software-wise for the Blu-ray format. I want to stress that all of this is, of course, subject to change given that we're still WELL in advance of official announcements. But with the holiday season upon us, which means that LOTS of new consumers and enthusiasts are buying BD players and joining the Blu-ray Disc community, we wanted to hint at some of what's in store for the year or two ahead in the way of catalog releases.

So let's start with what we think are the most exciting developments first. Based on information gathered from scores of industry sources over the last few months, we have strong reason to believe that Lucasfilm and Paramount are planning to bow the classic Indiana Jones Trilogy on Blu-ray in 2010, followed by at least some or all of the Star Wars films in 2011 (either the classic or prequel trilogies... or possibly even the long-awaited complete saga box set). As we've already been reporting for a while now, Fox's Alien Anthology box set is also due in 2010. And with the two Hobbit films due in 2011 and 2012, it's reasonable to assume that The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions will be out on Blu-ray by the end of 2012 as well. One can also expect that the studios are going to try to capitalize on the DVD/3-D Blu-ray release of James Cameron's Avatar (sometime next year) to bow other Cameron catalog films in HD, so possibilities could include The Abyss, True Lies and even Titanic. What's more, in addition to the Indy films, our sources say that you're very likely to see key additional Spielberg catalog films arrive on Blu-ray in 2010 and 2011, as the director is a major supporter of the format. Word is that Jaws, the Jurassic Park films, War of the Worlds, Minority Report and Saving Private Ryan are all possible suspects. We also know that Apollo 13 is coming to BD early next year from Universal (April will be the 40th anniversary of the original NASA mission), and with the original Back to the Future film celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, don't be surprised to see at least one (if not all) of those films as well. And that doesn't even begin to include all of the vintage classics being prepared by Warner, Sony and other studios for BD release - including Ben-Hur, The African Queen, Lawrence of Arabia and others - nor the classic Disney animated features already announced for release in 2010 and beyond. Bottom line... the next few years are going to be HUGE for major catalog titles on Blu-ray. So start saving up your money now, folks.

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


12/14/09

This is just a quick update on a title we've talked about several times before, but as it's still a few months away from being officially announced, the news belongs here. In an interview with the L.A. Times over the weekend, actress Sigourney Weaver revealed that she's going to be recording brand new audio commentary tracks for each of the four Alien films - tracks that will be added to Fox's nearly complete Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set. We've confirmed this news with our industry sources, who have also informed us that the box set is going to blow away fans of the previous DVD Quadrilogy. Not only have all of those previous extras have been included, but TONS of new material has been added as well exclusively for the Blu-ray release - extras that should make the BD WELL worth upgrading to. The set will be released in mid-to-late 2010, and rest assured we'll keep you up to date on it.

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


12/2/09

We finally have official confirmation from Disney that Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are coming to Blu-ray in early 2010. Bits reader Stephen K. (thanks Stephen!) has checked in with a report that he found preview trailers for their Blu-ray release on Disney's BD-Live website (accessible via titles like UP). We've checked ourselves and it's definitely there. Both titles will include new special features as well as preview trailers for Toy Story 3, which arrives in theatres in June. Simple process of elimination will tell you that this means the titles are due in stores sometime before June. By the way, the BD-Live site also has a trailer for the forthcoming Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition in 2010, though no specific release date is given.

One other note: A lot of you have asked about the Blu-ray Disc release status of New Line's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which we've been tentatively (though unofficially) expecting to arrive in March. Sources tell us that an announcement will be made soon, so stay tuned for more information.

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


11/4/09

It occurred to me the other day that we hadn't had a Rumor Mill update in a while, so here's one for you...

We've reconfirmed with our studio and industry sources that the long-awaited Alien Anthology box set is on track for Blu-ray release sometime in 2010 from Fox, including all four films in the series, all of the Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set bonus content and substantial new, BD-exclusive material as well. Also in the works are Blu-ray editions of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge and obviously James Cameron's Avatar. In fact, Avatar could actually be one of Fox's first releases in the new Blu-ray 3D format spec in 2010 (Note that the BD-3D spec will REQUIRE that all titles be backwards compatible with standard 2D Blu-ray players - so no worries if you aren't ready to buy new 3D-capable players and displays yet in 2010). And at yesterday's Blu-Con 2.0 conference in Hollywood, Fox reps confirmed that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is being readied for Blu-ray release in 2010 as well.

Also at Blu-Con, we learned that Sony recently completed a new HD master of Steven Spielberg's Hook, so it's possible that film could see release on Blu-ray sometime in 2010.

Universal reps also suggested that they're going to be getting more aggressive with their bigger catalog offerings on Blu-ray in 2010, so it's POSSIBLE that titles like Jurassic Park and Back to the Future COULD finally see the light of day in high-def next year. And we have no specific source on this next title, but it's worth mentioning that the 40th anniversary of NASA's ill-fated Apollo 13 mission happens next March, so Ron Howard's Apollo 13 might be a smart Blu-ray release to expect around then...

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


7/9/09

This is just a really quick post, but it's a good one for you fans of comedian Garry Shandling. Our industry sources have confirmed to us that Shout! Factory is getting ready to announce the DVD release of It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series. This is not a sampler or a "best of" set, but the whole shebang - EVERY episode - and word is Shandling himself was closely involved in creating special features! Watch for the official news and details to break in the next week or two.

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


6/25/09

Here's some news we think is pretty exciting: We've confirmed with our sources that Paramount is - at long last - finally preparing The African Queen: Centennial Collection with a tentative street date of 10/13 (date subject to change). [Editor's Note: We had direct confirmation on the record from the studio earlier this year that they were working on the transfer, but this is the first word we've had of the final release.] We believe this is currently a DVD only release, but a Blu-ray could still be planned for later in the year or next year. Also coming are new Centennial Collection DVD editions of Chinatown and Sorry, Wrong Number. We're told at least Chinatown is planned for Blu-ray release in 2010. Meanwhile, though it hasn't yet been announced, we're told once again that It's a Wonderful Life is tentatively planned for release on Blu-ray in November (the title is already available on DVD).

Meanwhile, we also have word from our sources that Warner is still working on new Blu-ray catalog editions of the classic Logan's Run, as well as The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen and Heat, all for release sometime later in 2009. [Editor's Note: We have officially confirmed Logan's Run with Warner Home Video as of this afternoon, though the title is still TBA. It will be released on BD this year.]

As always, the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


6/24/09

So you want some details on the extras that will be included on Paramount's forthcoming Star Trek Blu-ray Disc? Okay... The Bits and Trek Movie have DEFINITELY got 'em for you this morning. You can safely assume that much of this material will appear on the deluxe DVD version as well (though it's likely there will be movie-only full frame and widescreen DVDs too). As was the case with the previous Star Trek Blu-rays, this comes to us initially from European sources, via a pair of fine German DVD/Blu-ray websites (Area DVD and Filme-Bluray - and thanks to reader Ulrich H. for the heads-up). Such information commonly leaks out of the studios' European divisions early, and we've been able to confirm the general accuracy of it with our own sources (give or take a few English featurette name changes and the like - these are translated from German, but we're told some are exact and most are close). So here's a tentative list of what you'll get on the Star Trek Blu-ray...

1080p video (2.35:1 aspect ratio), Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio, audio commentary (with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burke, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci), 6 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Casting, A New Vision: Savage Pressure, Equipment and Costumes, Sound, Music and Gene Roddenberry's Vision), 4 Where No Man Has Gone Before featurettes (including The Shatner Conundrum, The Red Shirt Guy, The Green Girl and Trekkie Alert!), 7 Starships featurettes (Warp Explained, Painting Work, Accelerated Bridge Construction, The Captain's Chair, Operating the Buttons, Shuttle Shuffle and Accelerated Narada Construction), 5 Aliens featurettes (The Alien Paradox, The Girl with the Big Eyes, Big Bro Quinto, Klingons and Drakoulias Anatomy 101), 2 Planets featurettes (Additional Business and Confidentiality), 9 deleted scenes (including Spock's Birth, Klingons Capture the Narada, Young Kirk, Johnny and Uncle Frank, Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock's Fight, Interrogation and Escape from Prison, Sarek and Amanda, Bedroom and Kobayashi Maru: Original Version, Kirk Apologizes to Green Girl and Sarek Sees Spock Prime), a gag reel, a BD-Java Starfleet Vessel Simulator, 4 trailers (Teaser, The Wait is Over, Prepare for the Beginning and Buckle Up), an Xbox 360 Star Trek: D.A.C. game trailer and BD-Live options (TBA)

Note that Amazon.de currently has the street date for Star Trek set at 10/5, so you would expect the U.S. street date to be around the same time, although our sources suggest that the date could move into late October or even November, as Paramount juggles a busy new release slate for the 4th quarter (which - keep in mind - also includes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Monsters vs. Aliens, Imagine That and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, as well as a TON of big catalog titles). In any case, we'll certainly update you as soon as we have any additional information.

In the meantime, here's the cover art Amazon.de is currently using for the Blu-ray version, which appears to use elements from the U.K. theatrical one sheet. We caution you that this is likely temp artwork only and the final U.S. artwork will almost certainly be different...

Star Trek 2009 - German Temp BD ArtStar Trek: The Original Series - Season Two Remastered (Blu-ray Disc)Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Three Remastered (Blu-ray Disc)

While we're talking Star Trek this morning (and as you can see by the other covers above), we also have word that CBS has tentatively set Star Trek: Original Series - Season Two for Blu-ray release on 9/22 (Season Three is due to follow either at the very end of the year, or early in 2010). Also coming to both DVD and Blu-ray is the the 4-film Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection, as well as re-issue individual editions of the films Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, The Undiscovered Country and First Contact on both DVD and Blu-ray. The street date for those is still TBD, but will almost certainly be closely tied to the release of the Abrams film on disc.

As always, please keep in mind that all of the information above should be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make their official announcements. Stay tuned...


6/18/09 (UPDATED 6/19/09)

We just wanted to post a quick update today on yet-to-be-announced catalog Blu-ray titles for the rest of 2009 - those that are likely for this year, and those which our sources have been able to confirm have been bumped into 2010. Here's the breakdown of titles that are still tentatively set for release this year (watch for official announcements in the next month or two):

Braveheart, Gladiator: Extended, Forrest Gump, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, It's a Wonderful Life, TNG Star Trek films, Star Trek: TOS - Season 2 (Paramount), Galaxy Quest (DreamWorks), Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Quick and the Dead, Easy Rider, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Punch Drunk Love (Sony - titles in Yellow newly added), Gone with the Wind, North by Northwest, Heat (Warner Bros.), The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Theatical Editions, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Green Mile (New Line)

The following titles have been moved into 2010 (or later, or were already tentatively set for 2010)...

To Live and Die in L.A. (MGM - Feb), Alien Quadrilogy, more Rogers & Hammerstein musicals (Fox - 2010), The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Chinatown, Flashdance (Paramount - TBA 2010), Ben-Hur, King Kong, Goonies (Warner Bros. - TBD - note that Goonies sees its 25th anniversary in 2010), Toy Story 1 & 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, Destino, Beauty and the Beast (Disney - TBA 2010), Back to the Future Trilogy (Universal - strongly rumored, as 2010 marks the original film's 25th anniversary)

As always, all of the above information is to be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned.


6/4/09

We've got some updated street dates for more forthcoming Paramount and DreamWorks catalog Blu-ray titles, and it looks like it's going to be a great line-up. Among those BD releases due later this year are Braveheart (9/1), Deep Impact, Escape from L.A. and 48 Hours (9/15), Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 2, Gladiator: Extended Edition and Galaxy Quest (9/22), and Forrest Gump and It's a Wonderful Life (11/3). What's more, the Star Trek: The Next Generation - Original Motion Picture Collection (which will include Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis) is planned for release sometime in November or December, timed to coincide with the DVD/Blu-ray release of J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek (still TBA). Some of the classic Trek films (released on Blu-ray last month as part of the box set) will be available as single-film BD releases at that time as well. We'll post more details as they come in.

As always, all of the above information should be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned.


4/27/09

Our industry sources have informed us that Braveheart is due to arrive on Blu-ray Disc on 8/11 from Paramount. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Brugundy, Gladiator and Galaxy Quest are all tentatively planned for Blu-ray release in September, followed by South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut likely in October and Forrest Gump in November. And with a little luck, a Star Trek: Next Generation Motion Picture Collection will arrive sometime before the end of the year (likely around the same time as J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek and Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 2 & 3), containing Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis.

Also today, sources are telling us to expect Warner to release New Line's Rush Hour on Blu-ray on 7/7, followed by Rush Hour 2 in early August. Also tentatively due in August are Chuck: Season 2, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2 and Fringe: Season 1. Additional catalog titles we've been told to expect on Blu-ray before the end of the year from Warner and New Line include Nightmare on Elm Street, Snakes on a Plane, Sphere, Gremlins, Magnolia, Heat, Boogie Nights, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Logan's Run, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, The Green Mile, North by Northwest and more (all TBA).

As always, all of the above information is to be consider unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned.


4/16/09

Okay... this is a quick one. Sources are confirming that Warner is soon to announce the DVD and Blu-ray release of Watchmen on 7/28. Also expected on Blu-ray from Warner (and New Line) sometime in July and August are Rush Hour 1 & 2, Grumpy Old Men, the long awaited 300: Ultimate Edition BD (likely 7/28 as well) and the previously revealed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles.

As always, all of the above information is to be consider unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned.


3/16/09

Here's some news that you Lord of the Rings fans have been waiting for. Word from a couple of readers is that select FYE stores had signs up last week revealing that Warner Home Video will be releasing New Line's Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-ray Disc in December. Some stores may even have begun taking preorders. This includes all three films. The titles are not yet listed on the company's website, but our industry sources have informed us that the studio's current plans do indeed call for all three films, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, to be released on Blu-ray in early December on Blu-ray in their original theatrical versions. There will likely be little in the way of extras, as both the extended versions and the special edition material are being held by director Peter Jackson for use in a future "ultimate edition" BD box set, planned for release when the two Hobbit films arrive in theatres and on DVD and Blu-ray starting in 2012. As you know, Warner alluded to the Rings films arriving on Blu-ray in 2009 late last year, in promotional inserts included with some of their recent BD titles. Let's hope they aren't overly DNR-ed. (That's a little message for you guys doing the digital mastering for Warner/New Line HD titles, in case you did realize it. On behalf of Blu-ray fans everywhere, PLEASE get the message and dial back the Digital Noise Reduction knob!) Thanks to Bits reader Dan R. and others for the heads-up.

Also, as many of you know, Anchor Bay is currently working to bring The Children of the Corn to Blu-ray sometime this summer. Our sources say that at least one other catalog title, a classic anime, may be released on Blu-ray later this year from Anchor Bay as well. Hint: The Net is vast and infinite, but the Major is always watching...

As always, all of the above information is to be consider unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned.


3/12/09

Okay, let's have another update on Paramount's catalog Blu-ray plans for 2009. Our industry sources are now telling us that Fatal Attraction is coming in June from the studio, with the second and third installments of Friday the 13th following in July. Other titles we've recently confirmed are in the works for Blu-ray release this year from Paramount (street date TBA, but they ARE coming) include South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, the Gladiator: Extended Edition and Forrest Gump. And as we've reported in the daily column recently, the Braveheart: Special Collector's Edition is also expected this year from the studio. Those are great titles all, and on behalf of The Bits staff, let me just say to the Blu crew up on the Melrose lot how impressed we all by the number and overall A/V quality of your catalog titles in 1080p. May we put in a good word for Galaxy Quest (eventually), The Peacemaker and Once Upon a Time in the West?

Finally, speaking of Paramount, our industry sources tell us that the studio will deliver David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 5/5, each as a 2-disc set.

As always, all of the above information is to be consider unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


2/19/09

Okay, Alien fans... you'll be pleased with this. You may have read at the excellent Bloody Disgusting website today that the first three films in the Alien series are rumored for release later this year on Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox. We've actually hinted previously here that you might see them on BD in 2009. Now, however, we CAN confirm that our industry sources have informed us that Fox's current plans call for not just the first three films, but the ENTIRE Alien Quadrilogy set to be ported over to Blu-ray Disc for a late 2009 release. This would include all four films in the series - the complete set will all extras - and likely new material created exclusively for the Blu-ray release as well. We understand that the work is still on-going and (as always with these Rumor Mill posts) all of this is subject to change. But with a little luck, the Quad set should make its debut in 1080p before the year is out.

Stay tuned!


2/11/09

Those of you into genre TV will be pleased to learn that Warner and the BBC are currently planning the DVD and Blu-ray release of Torchwood: Season 3 in July. Beyond that, Warner is working on Chuck: Season 2, Fringe: Season 1 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2 for release on both DVD and Blu-ray sometime in the third quarter (likely August).

And on the catalog film front, we've now hearing from our industry sources that Paramount is planning the May release of Paycheck, Changing Lanes and Three Days of the Condor in addition to those titles we mentioned last week. What's more, we have word that the studio is currently planning to release Braveheart on Blu-ray this summer as well.

Any Star Trek fans in the house? Official announcements have yet to be made, but artwork has already started leaking out of European studio sources. We've posted the Blu-ray cover art for Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One Remastered previously here on the site, but when Season Two and Three are released, here's what they'll (likely) all look like...

Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One Remastered (Blu-ray Disc)Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Two Remastered (Blu-ray Disc)Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Three Remastered (Blu-ray Disc)

Finally, sources are telling us that Buena Vista is currently planning or starting work on new Blu-ray editions both Toy Story 1 and 2, in anticipation of the 2010 theatrical release of Toy Story 3, as well as the original Tron, planned to tie into the 2011 release of Tron 2.0. We also hear that work has finally begun on a new Blu-ray release of Armageddon, for release later in 2009 or early 2010.

As always, all of the above information is to be consider unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make official announcements. Stay tuned...


2/2/09

Good news for you Indy fans... our industry sources have confirmed that the planned Indiana Jones Trilogy Blu-ray release this holiday season is the real deal. Look for it in the 4th quarter, obviously from Paramount and Lucasfilm.

While we're looking ahead, our sources tell us that Paramount also has both Wayne's World films planned for Blu-ray release in the next few months (likely in May), along with Enemy at the Gates and The Machinist. All are already available on DVD.

We're hearing early word that Collateral and both Riddick films (Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick) are coming to Blu-ray in the next few months (from DreamWorks and Universal respectively).

Sources tell us that Buena Vista will debut Doubt on both DVD and Blu-ray in early April (likely 4/7), and that Genius Products and The Weinstein Company have The Reader planned for April as well (both formats, likely 4/14).

Finally, /film is reporting on a comment by director Quentin Tarantino at the recent Sundance Film Festival that his Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair is still planned for release at some point in the future. /film has posted a video clip in which he talks about a new animated sequence he produced for the cut with Production IG. Do check it out. The title will eventually be released by Genius and Weinstein, presumably on both DVD and Blu-ray. We haven't confirmed this particular bit of info, but as it comes from Tarantino himself, it's worth repeating here. Thanks to Bits reader Chris M. for the link.

As always, everything we've reported above from our sources should be considered unofficial and subject to change until the studios in question make actual announcements and issue the relevant press releases. Stay tuned...


1/30/09

Okay... here's an interesting bit of information that leaked on the Net yesterday. The Cool Toy Review website posted shots from a Lucasfilm sales presentation that revealed the Holiday 2009 release of a second LEGO Indiana Jones video game... and the complete Indiana Jones Trilogy on Blu-ray Disc. The post was pulled down faster than you can say Lost Ark, but a few other sites still link to the URL it was at, including The Private Universe. We're trying to confirm this with our industry sources, so we'll let you know when we do. Lucasfilm has already let it be officially known that Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season One is coming to Blu later this year via Warner (our sources say it will likely hit stores in November), so this would mean that Lucasfilm is embracing the format in a big way this year. Our sources have previously informed us that at least some of the Star Wars films may be on deck for Blu-ray release starting in 2010, but that's still a ways off. As is always the case with Lucasfilm news, we'll believe it all when we see the actual discs on the shelf.

Speaking of Warner, our friends over at Blu-ray.com have recently indicated that Heat is being remastered for Blu-ray release this year. We can confirm it - watch for it to street very late in 2009. Other cool catalog titles that we know to be in the works at the studio include Sphere, Grumpy Old Men and Logan's Run. This is in addition to the MAJOR classic titles that Warner confirmed last year were likely to hit Blu-ray in 2009, including The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and North by Northwest.

As always, all these titles are to be considered unofficial and subject to change until actually announced by the studios in question.

Stay tuned...


1/27/09

Industry sources are telling us that Paramount is getting ready to announce a number of new catalog Blu-ray titles for release in March and April, including Things We Lost in the Fire, A Mighty Heart, Mean Girls, The Last Kiss and Strange Wilderness. Primal Fear and South Park: Season 12 are already announced for Blu-ray release on 3/10, with Van Wilder: Freshman Year Unrated following on 3/17, The Kite Runner on 3/24, and Arctic Tale on 4/21. You MAY see the official Star Trek Blu-ray announcement in the next few weeks as well.

Also, we expect that 20th Century Fox will make their new X-Men Trilogy Blu-rays official in the next week or two with a detailed press release and cover art. They're currently expected to street in April (likely on 4/21). We'll post all the details in our daily My Two Cents column as soon as the come in.

As always, all of this information should be considered unofficial until actual studio announcements are made.

Stay tuned...


1/21/09

Industry sources are telling us that Warner is soon to announce a pair of animated Watchmen-related titles for release on DVD and Blu-ray in March, including Watchmen: Motion Comics and the Watchman: Black Freighter/Under the Hood double feature. This is part of a promotion/tie-in to the theatrical release of the new live action film on 3/6. Watch for official details in the next few weeks.

Speaking of Watchmen, word is that when Warner releases the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film later in 2009, they'll also release a more elaborate and updated Blu-ray version of 300, presumably with those new interactive special features that director Zack Snyder said he was planning back at Comic-Con 2007.

Also, sources have confirmed that HBO's Blu-ray slate for 2009 will include both the recent John Adams and Generation Kill miniseries. Look for them to arrive in stores likely in June.

Stay tuned...


12/31/08

A few of our retail sources have checked in over the last few days to report that Warner is tentatively planning to release the CG-animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season One, Volume One on DVD (and possibly Blu-ray Disc) on 3/25. This would presumably include the first 10 or 12 episodes of the series only (and be the first release of several), as the season is continuing well into 2009. We're checking with the studio, so consider this strictly grain-of-salt until we get direct confirmation or an official announcement is made. Still, potentially cool news.

Stay tuned...


12/11/08

This is just a quick update to let you all know that our industry sources tell us that 20th Century Fox is getting ready to release The Robe (1953) and The Sound of Music (1965) on Blu-ray Disc in early 2009! [Editor's note: Shortly after we posted this, our sources came back with word that it's actually South Pacific, not Sound of Music, that's up for BD release first. We'll look into it further.] Neither title is yet official, but both are tentatively planned for release in March or April, so watch for announcements in the next few weeks.

As always, keep in mind that these titles and dates ARE unofficial and are subject to change until they're actually officially announced by the studios in press releases and retail solicitations.

Stay tuned...


12/3/08

Our sources have reported to us that Universal and DreamWorks are working on a Blu-ray version of Ridley Scott's Gladiator for release sometime in the first half of 2009. We've actually been hearing this from our sources here for a while, but Bits reader Christian O. e-mailed us this morning from Germany to report that copies of Universal's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor there include a promotional flyer that reveals the title as "coming soon" to the format, so we felt this would be a good time to mention it.

We've also been hearing recently that the folks at Disney and Pixar are already hard at work on the eventual Blu-ray releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 (possibly due in late 2009, but more likely 2010), which are designed be part of the build-up to the theatrical release of Toy Story 3 in 2010.

And our studio sources have confirmed that Warner Home Video is getting ready to bow a Gremlins: 25th Anniversary Edition Special Edition Blu-ray in sometime in early 2009 as well. We're also told that a similar edition of The Goonies is not far behind. (The Goonies is already available in Japan - it streeted there in October).

For those of you who have recently made the leap to Blu-ray Disc, we thought we'd give you a little round-up/update/summary today of some of the great titles you can look forward to on the format in the next year or so. Many of these titles we've reported here at The Bits previously, while a select few of them we're revealing for the first time. All are known to us to be in the planning or production stages for release on Blu-ray, and much of this information has come to us directly from studio sources... though please keep in mind that none these titles are as yet set in stone. That said, titles to watch out for in the next 12 months or so include Escape from New York, The Silence of the Lambs, a Star Trek "Kirk and Spock" box set (including films 1-6), six more catalog Bond titles (see Monday's Rumor Mill post), the theatrical versions of The Lord of the Rings films, possibly some or all of the Alien films, Sin City, Chinatown, Deep Impact, The Ten Commandments, Sunset Boulevard, Apocalypse Now, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Stardust, The Longest Yard (remake), Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance, The Elephant Man, Battlestar Galactica (the new series), possibly Titanic, Gigi, An American in Paris, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Strangelove, Ghostbusters 1 & 2, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Matix: 10th Anniversary, a more elaborate version of 300, the original King Kong, Rush Hour, Forbidden Planet, Grand Prix, Excalibur, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Woodstock, North by Northwest, Ben-Hur, all the major theatrical releases for the next year and much, much more. The point is, if you love Blu-ray, there's a LOT of great titles in the works.

As always, keep in mind that these titles and dates ARE unofficial and are subject to change until they're actually officially announced by the studios in press releases and retail solicitations.

Stay tuned...


12/1/08

So... here's the latest on the next round of James Bond catalog Blu-ray releases from our industry sources. It appears that Fox and MGM have tentatively set the following titles for the second wave of Blu-rays: Goldfinger, GoldenEye, License to Kill, The World Is Not Enough, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. As with their excellent first round of titles, these will include all of the previous DVD extras along with a few new features and select featurettes upgraded to full 1080p. And here's the best news: You won't have long to wait for them. Word is they're tentatively set to street sometime in March or April, timed to coincide with the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of the latest film, Quantum of Solace, which is currently in theatres. Nice!

As always, keep in mind that these titles and dates ARE unofficial and are subject to change until they're actually officially announced by the studios in press releases and retail solicitations.

Stay tuned...




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