The stellar Star Wars sequel will still release in the UK – but in 2K only
A few weeks ago we brought you the news that Disney has optioned the 4K restored version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to UK cinema chains to stimulate the cinematic sector. With cinema chains finally allowed to open their doors for the first time since the onset of lockdown, fans rejoiced when Disney stepped up with a string a backdated classics – but today, we are hearing that the house of mouse has rolled back on the plans.
According to Variety, the House of Mouse scrapped plans for the 4K release – the first time a UHD version of the original trilogy favorite was to been screened in cinemas – after talks broke down with exhibitors in the last few weeks. Both Vue and Cineworld were onboard to screen the Star Wars classic, but with both outlets shifting their re-opening dates back to July 31, negotiations with Disney have apparently fallen through.
So, where does that leave us I hear you ask? Fear, not cinephiles – Vue has confirmed that it still intends to screen The Empire Strikes Back – but the film would only be screened in 2K. Fans wanting to immerse themselves in the glorious 4K version can do so on the studios’ Disney+ streaming platform, or via the Skywalker Blu-Ray boxset which was released a few months back.
In all fairness, this rollback was to be expected. Sadly, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to decimate the cinematic release slate – Disney has already been forced to delay the release of ‘Mulan‘ which is currently slated for release on August 21 – and with ‘Tenet‘ now expected to hit multiplexes on August 12, there is little room to fit in library classics. And yet, Star Wars fans everywhere will be forgiven for seeing this backtrack as a defeat – the 4K release represented a chance for adult fans to share the movie with their children – and although the 2K version will still make this a possibility, some of the prestige of the event has been lost.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter @philthecool where he uses the force and babbles frequently!