Wednesday, 4 May 2016

New remastered version of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN due in June

Paramount Pictures have confirmed that they will be releasing a brand new, remastered version of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in June as part of the celebrations of Star Trek's 50th anniversary.

This a new, 4K scan of the original film negative. The movie will be presented in both its original theatrical version and the director's cut, which is generally considered definitive.

The Wrath of Khan is easily the best of the twelve Star Trek movies released to date (and certainly wipes the floor with its hideous semi-remake, Star Trek Into Darkness) and a remastered re-release is certainly way past time (although the previous blu-ray release was already quite decent). However, surprisingly, Paramount have confirmed that they are not planning any further remasterings for the other Star Trek movies, where the picture quality is highly variable. There are some suggestions that Paramount may consider further remasterings if Star Trek II sells well.

In terms of further HD remasterings for the remaining Star Trek series, CBS are releasing Star Trek: The Animated Series on blu-ray later this year. They are also, very late in the day, finally issuing a one-volume complete series box set of Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu-ray in June. Next Generation blu-ray sales in the States were considered to be disappointing, which led to plans for a HD remastering of Deep Space Nine to be put on hold. However, anecdotally at least, almost every American Star Trek fan I know has been saying they were holding out for the complete series box set because the individual sets were released at a very high price point. It may be that once the complete TNG set has been out for a while we may see improved sales and a move to remaster DS9 and, if that's successful, Voyager later on.

Considering that September marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, it appears that CBS and Paramount have been more than slightly lacking in celebrating the fact. The new Star Trek movie, Beyond, is released in July but has had bafflingly little pre-release hype or build-up. There's the new TV series, of course, but that won't launch until January. Whilst various TV specials and documentaries have been mentioned, there's not much too hard info on what is being done for the anniversary. Compared to the celebrations for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary in 2013, it all feels a bit lacking for one of the biggest science fiction franchises in history.

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