One of the holy grails in terms of Blu-ray releases yet to appear is James Cameron’s “The Abyss,” the 1989 sci-fi drama which first released a solid if problematic theatrical cut followed two years later by a highly acclaimed special edition on home video.
The film follows a civilian diving team being tasked with locating a lost nuclear submarine along the edge of an abyssal trench. The group is forced to include a bunch of Navy SEALs to help in the rescue, but the investigation reveals the presence of something not of this world living at the base of the trench.
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn co-star in the film which boasted ground-breaking special effects and incredible underwater photography. One of the top titles on VHS, the film only ever had a non-anamorphic disc release on DVD back in the very early dates of the format right back in 2000 – and even then it was only available in very poor quality by today’s standards.
Fans have long been clamouring for a Blu-ray release but over the years both Cameron and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have blamed each other for the release being stalled, and Cameron’s many years-long commitments to the “Avatar” sequels not to mention “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Terminator: Dark Fate” producing commitments, haven’t helped.
In recent years an HD version of the theatrical cut only has popped up on streaming on HBO and Netflix, and in 2017 Cameron himself said they’ve done a wet-gate 4K scan of the original negative with many hoping the disc would be out by 2018. It never showed up.
Finally, it looks like something is happening. Skip Kimball is a veteran colorist of over two decades and currently works at Deluxe’s Efilm. His work includes “Stranger Things” to “Deadpool 2” and he’s worked with Cameron numerous times including in the editorial department on “Avatar” and “Alita: Battle Angel” along with working on the remaster of “Terminator 2” and the 3D version of “Titanic”.
Now he’s revealed what appears to be a 4K HDR remastering of “The Abyss” is underway, showing a photo of the film’s opening credits playing in a studio at Efilm with the caption: “This is happening on stage one this weekend” along with hashtags like “theabyssbluray,” “colorgrading,” “4k,” “hdr,” “remaster” along with “blackmagicdesign” and “davinciresolve15” which refers to Hollywood-grade video editing software.
Hopefully this means 4K Blu-rays and VOD releases are on the way. Cameron has also previously indicated a long overdue remaster of “True Lies” is also in the works.