Rumor: Prequel trilogy, The Force Awakens coming to Blu-ray 3D in the fall? The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens had wide releases in 3D, but the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith conversions have only been shown at fan events.
Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.
Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.
Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.
Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)
The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.
The first six Star Wars movies are getting yet another Blu-ray makeover. The limited edition commemorative steelbooks look neat, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll have any new content. The ‘Complete Saga’ collection is also getting a facelift for re-release.
The steelbooks will be available for preorder on August 7 for a November 10 release, and the Complete Saga collection of all six films (so far) will drop on October 13.
The U.S. can now get the Star Wars films in digital formats, and while Han doesn’t shoot first, there is one noticeable change… A new Lucasfilm fanfare replaces the 20th Century Fox one on all the movies save A New Hope. (Which, as we all know, Fox has distribution rights to in perpetuity.) Is this what we can expect on The Force Awakens? Almost certainly.
Lucasfilm broke the news we were expecting with a commercial during tonight’s big college basketball game: All six of the existing films will be available “globally” in Digital HD this Friday, April 10.
Vendors being name-dropped in the media include iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, and the Playstation Store.
Yes, the original trilogy will be the most recent Blu-ray editions, because if they ever do release pre-SE versions, they will not play coy about it.
All three prequel films will be screened in 3D at Celebration Anaheim, we hear from the Star Wars Insider via Yakface.
Although The Phantom Menace 3D went into wide release in February 2012, the remaining 3D releases were “postponed” in early 2013, not long after the Disney sale/Episode VII announcement. Attack of the Clones 3D was shown at Celebration Europe in July of that year, but this will be the first chance for the public to see Revenge.
The original trilogy screenings at Celebration Anaheim will be in standard 2D.
Natalie Portman: “No director wanted to work with me,” after The Phantom Menace. In a piece featuring remembrances of late director Mike Nichols, Portman talks about how he vouched for her.
FiveThirtyEight takes on Star Wars. This is all from one survey, probably not well populated by hardcore fans. Take it as you will, but it’s pretty interesting.
The Phantom Menace turning 15 is our second significant anniversary since Episode VII was announced (Return of the Jedi turned 30 last year,) so here are few TPM links: James’ reflections on The Phantom Menace 3D; J.W. Rinzler on George Lucas’ thoughts on midi-chlorians; Jake Lloyd on Episode I in 2009 and our own anniversary post that year; Amidala’s costumes in Vogue.
Head below the cut for a few more videos of note.
Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace is available on Apple’s App Store now, with the rest of the saga to follow.