A movie that started (and almost killed) Star Trek the first second life will be remastered again. Star Trek.com (way Gizmodo) says Paramount has green-lit Robert Wise’s “complete restoration” of 2001. “Director’s Edition” Star Trek: A Movie. The website says the project, which will take between six and eight months, will be formatted in 4K, with Dolby Vision HDR and the new Dolby Atmos soundtrack. David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren R. Dochterman, who worked with Wise on the DVD version in 2001, will all return to work at 4K Spruce.
Movie (TMPThe film’s sophisticated production meant the film was barely finished before its premiere, and Wise printed himself at the premiere. Wise said the film was “unfinished,” and despite a healthy box office, it took the sticking of critics who found it too slow and talkative. At the dawn of the DVD era, Wise, Fein, Matessino and Dochterman collaborated on a remake of the film that better demonstrated Wise’s original vision. This included remastered visual effects and a remastered and remodeled note by Jerry Goldsmith. The effects for the 2001 version were produced by the pioneering organization CGI Foundation Imaging, which was (then) the performer of Star Trek for all computer-generated work.
(After the theatrical screening, ABC aired a “Special Longer Version” of the film that is known to include additional scenes with apparently unfinished effects. The most obvious is the beginning of Kirk’s EVA, where the airlock is surrounded studio scaffolding, intended to be replaced with matte paint.)
It was a well-maintained myth in fan circles that it was a 4K version Director’s edition was impossible because CGI assets and film footage were scanned and edited for standard definition. The bankruptcy of the Foundation Imaging, which occurred shortly after the release of the film, also shattered hopes of any reissues of a higher definition. However, as Alpha memory lists, producer David C. Fein confirmed in 2017 that the digital material needed to facilitate 4K remastering still exists.
Given how TMP the reputation has been slowly rebuilding over the last three decades, a 4K version of the film is very welcome. If only because, in addition to a smart and interesting vision of the future, the model and results are so good that they deserve to be seen in the best possible resolution. We can’t wait to experience this in 4K when it arrives at some point between December and next March.
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