Tonight sees James Cameron’s 1989 underwater sci-fi epic “The Abyss” returning to cinemas for a one-night-only engagement in the United States and over the next several days in countries like Australia.
The 171-minute ‘Special Edition’ version of the film is screening, the first time it has ever done so in cinemas as it was made originally for the movie’s LaserDisc release.
The re-release will come ahead of the film (and fellow Cameron titles “Aliens” and “True Lies”) scoring a 4K digital release next week on December 12th followed by a physical 4K UHD disc release in March.
The event marks the end of the long road for fans of the film who’ve spent many, many years of waiting for a decent home video release of the movie. “The Abyss” never made the jump to Blu-ray and has been unavailable or very hard to find digitally.
Speaking with IGN this week, Cameron discussed how he’s fully aware fans have been asking for the 4k Special Edition version of “The Abyss” for a very long time and explained why it took so long:
“First of all, it’s a very particular process for me. It takes about a week of me there all day, supervising the transfer, correcting every shot, every little bit of repositioning and working on every pixel of the image, and I don’t want to just phone that in and I don’t want to have somebody else do it for me.
We were quite under the gun making Avatar 2, 3, and parts of 4 in the middle of a pandemic and with an interrupted production, and it was really around the clock.
He adds that he tried to tell fans to wait as “The Abyss” and “True Lies” aren’t “going anywhere” and they weren’t “trying to capitalize on some big rush here.” Instead they’ve taken the time to do them right:
“We did it right and now it’s possible to group them all together as almost like a library in a way. Which was not my plan, it just worked out that way.”
“The Abyss” is screening in 4K in cinemas tonight in the U.S. and will screen in Australia at IMAX on Friday and at select locations like the Cremorne Orpheum and Randwick Ritz on Saturday.
“The Abyss,” “True Lies” and “Aliens” will all score 4K digital releases on December 12th followed by 4K UHD disc releases on March 12th 2024.