For quite sometime there have been reports flying out of Lucasfilm Ltd. that fans can expect a 3D re-release of the Stars Wars saga striking a theater near them. What's been holding up any official confirmation is executive producer George Lucas--much like director James Cameron--waiting patiently for theater chains to catch up with 3D coverage across the globe. Well, the patience has paid off and you can consider it confirmed, Maniacs.
Just weeks after Cameron revealed his 3D release of Titanic on the 100th anniversary of the famed sinking, 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm have announced 2012 as the target year for the theatrical relaunch of the Star Wars series into the 3D format.
The Hollywood Reporter says "The Phantom Menace," would be first out sometime in early 2012. After that, each film would be released in order at the same time in consecutive years, depending on how well the first rerelease does.
Each conversion takes at least a year to complete, with Lucas overseeing the process to make sure each is as perfect as possible. He has said that the "Avatar" experience convinced him that "Star Wars" is ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.
Starting with "Phantom Menace," Lucasfilm would use several higher-end conversion houses to work on the project. By late winter or early spring in 2012, the exhibition industry should have all the 3D screens anyone could want for such a release.
At the current time, film releases are limited to 2,000-2,500 3D locations owing to an insufficient installed base of projectors and screens. Movie theaters are adding 3D screens at a clip of 500 a month in the U.S. Foreign exhibitors also are pushing into 3D as quickly as possible now that financing for the installations is flowing.
Lucasfilm previously confirmed a comprehensive Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year, which would include upgraded picture and sound quality, new deleted scenes and special features.