While we’ve all been clamoring for newly-remastered editions of the classic and Next Generation entries of the Star Trek film franchise in high definition, only one of those first ten films went through a major restoration back in 2009 for the movies’ Blu-ray release: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Even though the other nine films had some minor (and sometimes more than minor) color and clarity upgrades, Khan was the only one to be rescanned from the original film negative for that release. As director Nicholas Meyer told TrekMovie.com at the time, it was sorely needed since the available footage was in “terrible shape” and needed the extra attention.

Well, a few weeks ago, Meyer announced on his Facebook page that The Wrath of Khan was back under the microscope, being prepared for a 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) release coming soon.

I have seen some sort of future and it’s pretty impressive. I was at the Technicolor Digital Lab today reviewing color for the forthcoming HDR version of ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,’ commemorating the series’ 50th anniversary next year.

In terms of richness and clarity what I saw surpasses anything I can recall, though everyone will have to buy a new tv that is HDR compatible. Wouldn’t you know. Space turns out to be REALLY BLACK. HDR, incidentally, stands for High Dynamic Range. This stuff is measured in something called NITS (don’t ask), and whereas current delivery systems account for one or two hundred plus NITS, HDR is over a thousand.

The wonder of it is, this all can be extracted from the original (cleaned up), film negative. It was always there, but delivery systems couldn’t project all that was there. Or words to that effect. Stay tuned.

It’s unclear if by “next year” Meyer means in 2016 – the fiftieth anniversary year – or sometime in 2017. This is certainly good news for fans of this preeminent entry in the Star Trek catalog, and Khan will join 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness as the first classic Trek film to be released in this UHD format – though while the two modern Trek films are only announced for a Samsung digital collection so far, 4K disc availability is likely not that far behind, with media release tracker VideoETA projecting a June debut.

A comparison of picture dimensions, from the standard-definition 480p DVD release up to a 4K UHD presentation:

comp-small

4K releases — described as such by the available picture size measuring up to 4096 by 2160 pixels — are already hitting store shelves as recent releases such as The Martian and X-Men: Days of Future Past are out now in distinctive black packaging.

4k-releases

As for The Wrath of Khan, we’re certainly pleased that the film is being prepped for an Ultra HD presentation, but fear that like last year’s special TWOK Blu-ray Steelbook release, it may be the only one we get to see in this new release format.

We were all disappointed in seeing yet another repackaged Star Trek film collection from Paramount last month, but leaving the other nine movies behind may sting even more.

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  • Chuckt43

    I’m very happy to hear Paramount is doing this. Now I only hope they do a proper release with solid extras and nice packaging. Also I hope the included blu-ray (as 4K discs have been including both UHD and BR discs) has the new transfer. Of course I look forward to all the films being released on UHD. The current blu-ray releases (no extended cuts, DNR) are just sad.

  • bbock

    I’m not expecting any great things from Paramount Pictures. They are BROKE and seeking an investor to take a chunk of the company. That’s not a good sign.

    • The Fox

      they are broke and cant afford anything. lol, there is a reason they pulled little prince next week

      • James Levere

        Is that why Paramount/CBS are going after AXANAR because of the fine product they are producing and are afraid of what it might do to the industry?

        • The Fox

          no, paramount is going after axanar because axanar has the support that beyond doesnt.
          It united the fractured fan base and looks amazing.
          According to test audiences who paramount showed beyond too, they all compared it to axanar and axanar was the better recieved film.
          CBS is not an entity in this, CBS is simply on for IP reasons as they own what Paramount is claiming axanar infringed.
          CBS want out of it, and in fact it was one of the reasons for the division, so that cbs could seperate itself from the lawsuit, and as such paramounts case would fall apart.

          • FrostUK

            Impressive that they’ve seen Axanar, as the film hasn’t been completed yet. In fact, the sets haven’t even been finished.

          • The Fox

            prelude to axanar.

          • Dartanion74

            Actually they are being sued because Axanar is making money from the film itself. They raised $1,000,000 to produce it – then started to sell merchandise based on the project – which is a very clear violation of copyrights and fair use. I like Axanar too- but they did go somewhere they shouldn’t. It’s also telling that Tony Todd is no longer on the project. Rumor is that he has been fielding castings with CBS on the new show.

          • The Fox

            actually if you read the amended complaint, not one word of profit or salary is mentioned.
            they never sold merchandise beyond what they had in cost of creation, something they have allowed for 2 dacedes, new voyages btw also has paid actors, so does renegdes, at full union salries as does captain pike, none of these films are getting sued.
            Oh and Tim Russ did a song to promote renegades, unlicensed so……

          • Your Worst Nightmare

            Page 41, paragraph 62 of the Amended Complaint reads: “On information and belief, Defendants enjoy a direct financial benefit from the preparation, duplication, and distribution of the infringing Axanar Works.”

          • MJ

            Yep. The Fox is making up all this as he/she goes along. Complete, uninformed conjecture.

            The Fox is a Charlatan.

          • The Fox

            thats the initial complaint.

          • Your Worst Nightmare

            Page 12, paragraph 64 of the initial Complaint (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2660454-Startreklawsuit.html) reads: “On information and belief, Defendants enjoy a direct financial benefit from the preparation, duplication, and distribution of the infringing Axanar Works.”

            Page 41, paragraph 62 of the Amended Complaint (https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Paramount_Pictures_Corporation_v_Axanar_Productions_Inc_et_al__cacdce-15-09938__0026.0.pdf?token=AWxCqvyxbMX7vuffJSM3sxg5SxJ4uw7Lwurg8VfuvxR9xW1xy6JARoaMzwnBSV9Ve5msgav990neBt9rRk2-9MmujuW6EaBMuHmgHLU0a8wSy3DcPozQ3oLtCPeGr5_8uaiXylGXrnr8ZSXWu_P2Q3Nq) reads: “On information and belief, Defendants enjoy a direct financial benefit from the preparation, duplication, and distribution of the infringing Axanar Works.”

          • MJ

            WHAT A COMPLETE LOAD OF CRAP. LMFAO

          • The Fox

            read it. its freely available.

          • MJ

            NO, it is not.

            If your are claiming otherwise, then provide your links to legitimate aritcles (not gossip on fan sites) that confirm what you said here:

            “According to test audiences who paramount showed beyond too, they all compared it to axanar and axanar was the better recieved film”

            “CBS is not an entity in this, CBS is simply on for IP reasons as they own what Paramount is claiming axanar infringed”

            “CBS want out of it, and in fact it was one of the reasons for the division, so that cbs could seperate itself from the lawsuit, and as such paramounts case would fall apart”

            Provide evidence. Not interested in you just pulling more made up crap out of your keyster. Cite articles with links that provide sourced evidence for the above three outrageous claims. Not interested in conjecture.

    • Charles Baxter

      They are not as broke as they are leading people to believe.

      • Bad Superman

        Are you paraphrasing a line from the movie? Very clever 😉

    • Paramount gets no sympathy from me. They shoveled out mediocre Trek for years and milked the franchise for all it was worth. I’d very much like to see the company fail so that the Trek film series might end up in better hands.

  • The Fox

    paramount should get CBS to do the full HD treatment to all 10 films.
    Formally give the films an absoolute canon, and while we at it, lets give nemesis the actors cut that Stewart wanted, and lets get all versions of the motion picture onto the blue rays

  • kadajawi

    That’s neat, but the other movies need some loving too. Except for Nemesis. Lets just forget about that one.

    But most of all, DS9 could do with remastering.

  • bytes

    I feel like the team CBS hired for TNG restoration, knows how to scan from negative, better than Paramount. TWoK did not stand out to me as a fresh rescan. Especially after seeing how brilliant TMP looked. Far as I know, TMP was not a negative rescan. I have been watching TNG on Blu recently, and I still am in awe.

    • Vanguard

      > TWoK did not stand out to me as a fresh rescan

      Not only that, but they changed the colours to the ubiquitous modern “blue/orange” palette with WoK.- totally changes the original look of the movie.

      • bytes

        I did not realize that.

        • Vanguard

          One example – If you watch the ship scenes with Regula, you’ll see that it is now a boring gray moon-lookalike rather than the *brown* planetoid it originally was.

          • Simon

            It was only brown on home video due to the red push on the old transfers.
            It’s supposed to be boring and gray “Class D – a great rock in space” as Spock says.

      • James

        The colours are horrible in the TWOK blu ray. The reds have been dialled back so that everything is tinted blue. There are some geat comparisons on the TrekBBS showing the loss of detail in dark scenes. TUC is a DNR nightmare, which is tough for me as it’s my favourite

        • Vanguard

          Totally agree. It’s sad that my Collector’s Edition DVD looks SHARPER than the blu ray thanks to those awful colour changes.

  • James Levere

    I don’t have a 4K receiver or a 4K TV as of yet, but, so looking forward to the day to be able to watch movies and TV shows in the new format. TWOK will look FANTASTIC in 4K. All other Trek movies and TV shows should eventually be transferred to 4K video.

    • M Britton

      There is no hurry. Its new and got plenty of bugs in the one 4K UHD blu ray player out there. The 4K TVs still have their issues as well but 4K does look brilliant on TV series filmed and streamed in 4K (Bosch on Amazon Prime looks amazing!).

    • MJ

      Unless you have a 100-inch screen that you can sit at least 12 feet away from, the human eye can’t tell the difference between 1080P and 4K inside of those range/size constraints. Fact.

  • Guest

    I’d love to see this scene in widescreen HD and to know why it wasn’t used in the Director’s Edition of TWOK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRYlPifDUBg

    • Jon1701

      Interesting but it doesn’t flow as well as the original. Does this come from the abc version ?

      • Ham

        Yes. I assume it was used because (a) Kirstie Alley had become a big deal on “Cheers” at the time of the broadcast, and (b) the alternating closeups were a lot easier to pan-and-scan for ’80s TV than the wide master used in the original edit.

      • Guest

        As Ham said, yes. However, after doing some Internet searches that brought up torrent sites containing ABC’s scenes, I have reason to believe that this particular take was only used in their February 24, 1985 airing. Later airings on ABC apparently still used the other alternate/deleted footage that wound up in the 2002 director’s cut DVD.

        • DC Forever

          Yep.

    • bytes

      To me it’s just a bad take. It looks like an attempt at having a scene with a naturally occuring “awkward” moment. Bad enough, that it in itself is awkward and very unnatural. Also he appears to glimps at the camera. Just my opinion.

    • Hayde Christiansson

      That version of the scene is a lot better.

  • Given all the work done for the TWOK BluRay release, is was disappointing that it wasn’t the Director’s Cut, and was instead the original theatrical cut.

    • Jon1701

      The theatrical cut is far superior.

      • Mrplatitude

        Yeah, I know lots of people are the opposite, and that’s fine, but I prefer the theatrical cuts of both II and VI as well.

        • Jon1701

          I sort of don’t mind the “Admiral Cartwright” edits in Valaris’s mindmeld as it is hard to hear what they say but the “clanggggg’ is just odd.

      • Vanguard

        Or… why not have both?

    • The Bandsaw Vigilante

      I’m wondering if it might indeed be the longer version this time around — on the Blu-Ray audio commentary, Meyer is actually shocked that he’s not watching the Director’s Cut, and it’s possible that he made sure that his preferred version gets released in the new 4K edition.

      We’d only be talking around 2-3 minutes of added footage anyhow, something that could very easily get scanned in at the same time as the rest of the negative, and Paramount could include both cuts (plus both commentaries and both sets of on-disc extras) to help justify the double-dip.

      • DC Forever

        Good idea.

    • Muldfeld

      I had no idea that there was a director’s cut. What’s on the 2-disc version released in, like, 2004?

  • M Britton

    So that means Paramount IS jumping on the 4K UHD blu ray format. Right now it seems only four (Fox, Warner, Lionsgate, and Sony) studios are brave enough to back the newer format. Even us early adopters are totally confused how to set our 4K TVs to enjoy the best of this “HDR” stuff. Maybe someday Samsung or someone will let us in on the secret.

    • You buy a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, or sign up for a streaming service (like Netflix or Amazon) that offers 4K content.

      • M Britton

        We have the new Samsung UBD-K8500 4K UHD blu ray player and the apps work fine but its just getting the 4K UHD blu rays to looking their best is where the problem lies. Must have tips on proper calibrations when watching HDR content. Rest of the 4K (Vudu and Amazon) look amazing!

  • Justin Olson

    Honestly, we saw this coming a mile away, didn’t we?

  • Mrplatitude

    This is interesting news…would be awesome if they did a 4K Blu-ray release for every Trek film. I haven’t upgraded yet but definitely plan to at some point in the future.

  • Just a Guest
    • Vanguard

      You realize those “infringements” or similar ones could be applied to EVERY SINGLE fan-made project right? Why stand with CBS on this?

    • MJ

      Great to hear. I fully support CBS on this as well. More fans need to speak up and be on the right side of this. Well done!

  • That’s great and all, but if they’re not remastered, what’s the added value… except being in 4K, which most people can’t yet afford TVs, etc. anyway…

  • Martin Spence

    What about the other star Trek Movies? No love for those?, what about DS9 and VGR?. when are these getting the HD treatment?. Its always Star Trek Two…..

  • Brian Thorn

    It would be nice to see Paramount invest in upgrading TWOK’s effects, a’la the TMP Director’s Edition. A re-do of the Genesis Presentation with 3D? New footage of leaving Spacedock instead of stock footage from TMP. A much more realistic Genesis Cave. Those would all be fairly easy to do.

  • DC Forever

    Awesome

  • DC Forever

    Love it!

  • Muldfeld

    Paramount are such greedy bastards. Profit isn’t enough; it has to be massive profit.

    I’m still awaiting a DS9 re-release, although I’m thrilled to have my DVDs.

  • Trek

    Nice, and I want to see both TNG tv show and feature films in 4k/HDR too!! And if possible everything of TOS also! Voyager and DS9 would be fine for me in 1080 p.

  • Michael Spadaro

    Okay.

    Will they fix the motion control arm gaffe from the TMP stock footage?

  • Dan Hitchman

    Just a nit pick, but UHD media has a resolution of 3840×2160.