The 1996 film “The Ghost and the Darkness“ will be officially coming to Blu-ray Disc on May 10th via Scream Factory (Shout! Factory). The film, directed by Stephen Hopkins, starred Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson, Bernard Hill, and Emily Mortimer.
The tech specs for the release include a 1080p HD video presentation in the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio and likely a lossless sound mix (or mixes), although not yet specified to any configuration(s). The bonus materials are currently “in progress” and will be announced at a later time. So, stay tuned for an update on that. You can now find the Blu-ray Disc available to preorder over at Amazon or directly via the ShoutFactory.com website.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy“ is officially coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray on December 1st via Warner. Specifically, the trilogy is coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray in the form of a standard release on the format, a 4K UHD Blu-ray Giftset (pictured below), plus as a 4K UHD Blu-ray SteelBook exclusive to retailer Best Buy (also pictured, further below). The box set will include the films “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” (2001), “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002), and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) — all directed by Peter Jackson. The three films starred Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Sala Baker, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, John Bach, Brad Dourif, Marton Csokas, and Bernard Hill.
UPDATE #7: Alright. I have now received the official announcementdirectly from my contact at the studio (Warner) and I have the PRESS RELEASE which you will find at the very, very bottom of this already lengthy post. I’ll try to be condensing this and putting as much based on the final word of this announcement in the coming hours. So, without further ado! Alright, the tech specs for both trilogies (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) will both include 4K presentations in the HDR10 and Dolby Vision forms of high dynamic range, along with Dolby Atmos sound. In fact, here’s a short bit (from the press release) regarding that.
“The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.”
Next! The films as I can tell, from the hi-res images that Warner has provided me, will be like this in terms of the 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs included. And, yes, ONLY 4K discs will be included in these sets with no Blu-ray counterparts. The Lord of the Rings films will get 3 discs for each film in its trilogy, consisting of the first disc for each being the Theatrical version and the second & third discs being used for the Extended Cut split into two parts. Then, for The Hobbit films, it will be 2 discs for each film in that trilogy. It will consist of the first disc (for each) being used for that film’s Theatrical version and the second disc (for each) will be used for the Extended version (of that film). I know that’s a bit much to all take in at once. But, prepare for more.
Okay, so, it’s become apparent that there will not be any bonus materials included on these releases, likely because they didn’t have the Blu-ray counterparts for a purpose. That’s because they [Warner] actually plan to do a 2021 release of these films bundled together in what is being called the Six-film “Middle-Earth (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)” 4K UHD Blu-ray set. It will contain some specially created new extras and the original Blu-ray bonus materials on newly pressed remastered versions of the film included. The info regarding this can be found quoted below (from the press release).
“In addition, it was also announced that a 4K UHD “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition featuring the theatrical and extended versions of all six films, along with new bonus content, previously released Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy, and remastered Blu-ray discs of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be released in the summer of 2021. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy featuring remastered Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and extended versions of the 3 films will also be released in the fourth quarter 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
Deep breath. Now more on that, via the press release headline.
“Six-film “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition with new Bonus Content to be released in 4K UHD in Summer 2021
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Remastered Blu-ray™ to be released in 4K UHD in fourth Quarter 2021 to celebrate 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
I know. I know. Okay, so moving on with what all I just learned from this official announcement. Some stuff I had previously reported, well all of it really, but namely this can still be used and I’ll leave it as-is.
According to the actor Sean Aston (in an announcement video seen below), it is known that “Peter Jacksonoversaw the remastering” of all six of these films for the 4K releases, and they have all reportedly received a 4K DI (digital intermediate) new master for each. Meaning, it’s true 4K and was mastered in it for all of the films.
Now, finally, regarding the official info. It appears that no bonus materials will be included with these 2020 releases of the films. I’m trying to get a complete confirmation on that directly from Warner, but it sure seems that to be the case. Sorry to any fans this may upset, but this has been a hard year — I’m sure — to get physical media produced and projects finished like new extras, and so forth.
You can now find the standard 4K UHD Blu-ray version of the trilogy available for preorder over at Amazon. There will also be the aforementioned 4K UHD Blu-ray Giftset version of the trilogy, which is NOT exclusive to any retailer. It’s not only listed on Amazon but now is even listed over at retailer Best Buy!! And, there will be the 4K UHD Blu-ray SteelBook which is exclusive to Best Buy. That’s now back available for preorder and showing as in stock again. Below you can find the full glimpses at both the Giftset and the SteelBook versions of the 4K sets. Reminder, only one of these is an exclusive — despite all the confusion from earlier yesterday!!