The 3D re-release trend seems to have come and gone rather quickly. Just recently we learned that Disney had canceled its plans to re-release The Little Mermaid in 3D, and now Lucasfilm (also owned by Disney) is rethinking its re-release plan for the Star Wars films. The trend of post-converting popular older movies to 3D and putting them back in theaters was kicked off by The Lion King to great success, but subsequent re-releases like Beauty and the Beast and Finding Nemo didn’t really catch on. We learned today that Lucasfilm would rather focus their attention on the new Star Wars films, so they’ve decided to postpone plans to put the previous Star Wars films back into theaters. Hit the jump for more.
Per StarWars.com, Lucasfilm wasnts to focus all its efforts on the new Star Wars trilogy:
Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall’s scheduled release of Star Wars Episodes II and III in 3D. Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.
It’s unknown how long this postponement will last, or whether the 3D re-releases will ever see the light of day. This is kind of a bum deal, since the only Star Wars re-release we got was Episode I: The Phantom Menace in February 2012. That film didn’t do great in its theatrical re-release, but that’s what Lucasfilm gets for starting with the prequels instead of first giving fans the chance to see the original trilogy on the big screen again. I’m no oracle, but I can almost guarantee that the 3D re-releases would’ve been a much greater success had they started with A New Hope.
Alas, Lucasfilm and Disney are now focused squarely on getting this new trilogy of Star Wars films right. We finally learned that J.J. Abrams will be taking the helm of Episode VII, and given that all of Disney’s recent tentpole films have been in 3D (including those from Marvel and Pixar), it’s a pretty safe bet that Episode VII will also be released in the format. Abrams shot Star Trek Into Darkness in 2D and post-converted to 3D under a directive from Paramount, so I wouldn’t be shocked if a similar situation happened here as well. The big question is whether the filmmaker will shoot Episode VII on film or digital.
What do you think, Star Wars fans? Should the new films be film or digital? Should they be shot in 3D or would a post-conversion suffice?