It’s that time again. Every so often, we get a rumor about an HD Star Wars theatrical cut release, and every time the fans spin into an excited fervor only to be disappointed by a lack of payoff. However, this time the rumor comes from a pretty legit source — legendary director John Landis, who casually dropped some knowledge during a Q&A last night.
While at Universal Studios Orlando to talk about the new version of the Halloween Horror Nights American Werewolf in London maze based off of his iconic horror film, Landis was asked if he would ever want to go back and touch up the monster effects with modern technology. In the middle of his answer, he dropped the Star Wars bomb that fans have been waiting to hear.
Check out his full quote below.
“First of all, they wouldn’t let me. George owns his movies, so he can do what he wants … My personal opinion is George hurt his movies by doing what he did. However, George said to me, ‘But they’re my movies.’ I thought, ‘That’s fair.’
Did you know Disney, by the way, is putting out the original Star Wars the way it was? So, Disney, they’re like, money on the floor.”
Now, if, if, and that’s a major if given that Landis didn’t say when, where, or how he heard this — but if Landis is in the know, it will be a huge win for fans. Here’s the thing though, Fox still owns the theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights to the original Star Wars trilogy until 2020, and they own the rights to A New Hope in perpetuity, which means Disney would have to make a deal, and a pretty sweet deal at that, to regain the rights to an unaltered release.
However, if Landis is right about one thing, it’s that an HD re-release of the Star Wars theatrical cut means lots of easy money for everyone involved. With the Star Wars fandom at peak fervor in anticipation of The Force Awakens, and Disney currently doubling down on the Star Wars franchise (see: a new Star Wars movie every year, theme park plans, etc), now would be an excellent time to make that release…and reap heaps of sweet, sweet Star Wars cheddar.
And for what it’s worth, Mr. Landis, please don’t go mucking about with Rick Baker‘s original effects, even if the studio would let you. They’re gorgeous and horrific and perfect just the way they are.
My recording of the Q&A was muddied by the frenzy of voices that followed Landis’ statement, shout out to Aaron Sagers at Blastr for the assist on the full quote. Stay tuned for more coverage from Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 25th Anniversary, and what we learned in the lengthy Q&A with Landis.