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page updated: 4/15/03



Rumor Mill
(Archived Posts 1/15/03 - 5/24/02)


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(LATE UPDATE - 1/15/03 - 1:45 PM PST)

Just a quick update here. We've gotten reliable word from industry sources today, that when The Ring debuts on DVD from Dreamworks on 3/4 (in separate widescreen and full frame versions), the studio will also release Hideo Nakata's Ringu, the original Japanese film that inspired it. FYI, The Ring will include a behind-the-scenes featurette, DTS sound and the Ringu trailer. Ringu itself will be widescreen. Watch for an official announcement soon.

How reliable is this? Well... you can already pre-order both The Ring and Ringu on DVD at many online retailers, including DVD Planet. 'Nuff said.

Stay tuned...


(EARLY UPDATE - 1/15/03 - 12:01 AM PST)

Sources at Paramount have given us some hints about upcoming titles for 2003. First of all, there are serious plans to bring a number of classic TV series to DVD this year, including Frasier, Cheers and Soul Food. There are no dates or other details yet, but certainly good news for fans.

Star Trek fans will also be happy to know that complete seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are on schedule for release throughout the remainder of 2003. Season One arrives on 2/25, as you know. Additional seasons will arrive every two months thereafter, with Season Two set to street on 4/1, Season Three due on 6/3, Season Four on 8/5, Season Five on 10/7, Season Six on 12/2 and Season Seven at the end of December.

And on the movie side of things, Roman Polanski's The Tenant is back on the schedule for release in 2003, as are both Brady Bunch feature films.

Finally, we're hearing that DreamWorks' The Ring is tentatively set for a 3/4 debut on disc.

Stay tuned...



1/14/03

Word is beginning to circulate from sources that Disney will soon begin releasing the Miyazaki animated films on DVD, as 2-disc special editions. According to several sources, the first wave of these titles will arrive in April (4/17 to be exact), and is expected to include the recent Spirited Away, as well as Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky (a.k.a. Laputa). If this turns out to be accurate, it's absolutely wonderful news for animation fans.

For those of you not familiar with the work of Hayao Miyazaki, know that he's widely regarded as one of (if not the) greatest animators in the world, and not just in Japan. Many of Disney's best animators consider him their inspiration. His work is well worth a look for those who love animation and film in general. Even though it's only a movie-only edition, we suggest checking out Miramax's Princess Mononoke for starters.

Stay tuned...



1/10/03

Let's get right to this thing, shall we? We've gotten word from retail sources on two big upcoming titles for 2003. Look for Columbia TriStar's Black Hawk Down: Special Edition to finally hit stores in June. And James Bond will Die Another Day on DVD from MGM in May if all goes well.

And on the TV front, we've got word that Paramount's C.S.I.: The Complete First Season will street on 3/25, while their Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season Two will arrive in April.

Stay tuned...



1/8/03

Word is coming in from R2 that Warner's planned Looney Tunes releases, the first of which was set for release in February in R2, have been pulled from the release schedule indefinitely. Our guess is that the company will re-announce these titles in R2, and announce them in R1, later in 2003. The release of Looney Tunes to DVD is obviously a big deal, and the studio no doubt wants to get its ducks lined up in a row so as make the most of the announcement. But our sources are telling us that the releases are definitely in the works, so stay tuned.

Also, we've got a report from several Bits readers who attended a special screening of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood last night. Director George Clooney and star Sam Rockwell were on hand for discussion afterwards, and they revealed that the first cut of the film was 165 minutes in length (the final running time is 125 minutes). According to those in attendance, Clooney said that the 125-minute cut is his favorite. When asked about the deleted footage, he noted that a few of the scenes (but definitely not all) might find their way on to the eventual DVD release. Clooney apparently doesn't like it when deleted scenes get edited back into the film for the DVD, because that makes it seem like the film that was released was not as the director intended. Thanks to everyone who e-mailed us on this.

Stay tuned...



1/7/03

Could the greatest gorilla movie of all time finally be on its way to DVD? Just maybe. Word has reached us that a King Kong DVD finally might be in the works for later this year. There's nothing official yet from Warner, but 2003 is the title's 70th anniversary, so a release this year would make a lot of sense.

Stay tuned...



1/6/03

File this one in the WAAAAAYYYYY rumor category, but Region 2 retailers including the Virgin Megastore are already taking pre-orders for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on DVD. This would be the 2-disc theatrical version, which they have slated for June 30th release. You can indeed expect a 4-disc extended edition later in the year. If this U.K. date holds true, you can expect the U.S. date to be similar. Keep in mind though, that nothing is official until New Line announces it.



12/19/02

Sources are telling us that in addition to the in-progress special editions of Dances with Wolves (April '03) and Escape from New York (December '03), MGM is also developing To Live and Die in L.A., Wild at Heart and Valley Girl as special edition releases in 2003. More on these titles in the coming weeks...



12/9/02

Retail sources are checking in with street dates on a few big 1st and 2nd Quater 2003 DVD releases. Keep in mind, all these dates are tentative.

2/25 - Knockaround Guys

3/11 - South Park: The Complete Second Season, Swimfan, The Transporter

3/18 - White Oleander, Smallville: The Complete First Season

4/1 - Red Dragon

4/22 - Friends: The Complete Third Season

5/13 - La Femme Nikita: Season One

6/17 - South Park: The Complete Third Season

Thanks to everyone who checked in with this. Stay tuned...



12/4/02

Here's a couple brief but cool bits of news, both confirmed with the studios. First, DreamWorks is currently hard at work on a DVD release of Steven Spielberg's Taken miniseries, which is now playing on the Sci-Fi Channel. The release is set for next year.

Also, you fans of Paramount's Tom Clancy film series will be happy to know that Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Hunt for Red October are all in the process of being overhauled as special edition releases for 2003.

And this from the Fox chat the other night - there's word from the studio that 2003 could be a big year for the Alien films. Other POSSIBLE titles for 2003 (remember, most of these are NOT yet officially announced - just planned or tentatively planned) include Big Trail, Cavalcade, 3 Women, A Wedding, Kagemusha, Valley of the Dolls, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, The Panic in Needle Park, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Heaven Can Wait, Terror Train, Cemetery Man, One Million Years BC, Predator: SE, Predator 2, Song of Bernadette, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Laura, My Darling Clementine, Cocoon, Cocoon 2, All That Jazz and possibly True Lies: SE. I encourage you all to read the chat, as some titles are confirmed and others are only tentative.

Among the list of TV releases for 2003 (a few ARE confirmed), look for 24: Season Two, The Shield: Season One, The Simpsons: Season Three, NYPD Blue: Season One and more X-Files, as well as (possibly) Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, Futurama, Son of the Beach, Dark Angel, Angel, Family Guy, King of the Hill and Millennium. Once again, please refer to the chat text for the context in which these titles were mentioned.

Finally, you can reasonably expect eventual DVD releases of new 2003 Fox films like Daredevil, Master and Commander, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and X-Men 2 before the end of next year.

Stay tuned...



12/2/02

A list of titles comprising allegedly Warner's Region 2 release slate for 2003 began appearing around the Net this weekend, and it's interesting enough that we decided to post it here. A word of warning: this is NOT from our sources and these titles have NOT been confirmed officially. BUT... we do know that some of these special edition titles are indeed in production, so the list could very well be legitimate. Note that since this is a R2 list, specific titles and street dates may differ from their R1 counterparts. In particular, the TV titles may not be released in the States for syndication reasons. Here's the list.

3/TBD - Masters of the Universe

4/7 - Tom & Jerry, Volume 1

4/28 - Adam's Rib

5/19 - Smallville: Season 1, Volume 1

5/26 - Robin Hood Prince of Thieves: Special Edition (2-disc)

5/TBD - Babylon 5, Season 2

6/30 - The Color Purple

7/7 - Giant: Special Edition (2-disc), The Right Stuff: Special Edition, The Deer Hunter: Special Edition

8/4 - Smallville: Season 1, Volume 2

9/8 - Tom & Jerry 2

9/29 - Omega Man, Soylent Green, The Hunger

9/TBD - Babylon 5, Season 3, Scooby-Doo: Harlem Globetrotters, Scooby-Doo: Meets the Boo Brothers

10/6 - Casablanca: Special Edition

10/20 - The Sopranos, Season 4, Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico

10/TBD - Stephen King Legacy (8 films)

11/TBD - Goodfellas: Special Edition, Connery 3-pack, The Matrix: Reloaded gift set, Matrix: Reloaded/Revisited 3-pack, Name of the Rose, A Christmas Story, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Greystoke: Special Edition

Some damn good titles in that batch if this list turns out to be the real deal. We can only assume that The Color Purple and A Christmas Story are new special editions, since they're already released. We'll let you know when we get any kind of official comment from Warner.

Stay tuned...



11/29/02

We're hearing all kinds of additional buzz from our sources that Warner Bros. is gearing up to finally announce the DVD release of classic Looney Tunes shorts in early 2003. And we've just gotten word that no less than four titles in the series have already been revealed for Region 2:

2/17 - Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny
3/19 - Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck
4/14 - Looney Tunes: Tweety Pie & Sylvester
5/12 - Looney Tunes: Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner

There's no official word from Warner yet as to whether these discs will be the same for Region 1, but we expect to hear something soon. If this information holds true, it would seem that Warner is following Disney's fan approved example with its Walt Disney Treasures line, which has thus far featured collections of Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphonies and soon Goofy. Whether the above titles are multi-disc sets, and how many shorts they will each contain is TBA. But we feel confident, based on what our sources are telling us, that Looney Tunes fans are going to have a lot to celebrate in 2003.

Stay tuned...



11/11/02

We've got street dates for you on a few upcoming Fox TV series DVD sets. First up, Fox's Angel: The Complete First Season arrives on DVD on 2/11. M*A*S*H: The Complete Third Season will arrive on 2/18. NYPD Blue: The Complete First Season will follow on 3/18. We have word that The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season will street sometime in April of next year. The X-Files: The Complete Seventh Season will follow in May. And looking down the line, word is from our sources that Chris Carter's Millennium is also being prepped for DVD release before the end of 2003.

And in another TV-related note, Video Business is reporting that NBC's Will & Grace is going to be released on DVD next year through Lion's Gate. We say, let's see The West Wing next.

Stay tuned...



11/4/02

We have it on good authority that Fritz Lang's restored version of Metropolis will finally reach DVD from Kino (here in R1) on February 18 as a special edition release. This is the new, German restoration that is currently making a tour the art house circuit.

Additionally, we have it on good authority that a several classic Akira Kurosawa films will arrive on DVD in 2003. Kagemusha from Fox, Dreams from Warner Bros (watch for an announcement soon) and MGM's Rhapsody in August. The good folks at Criterion are also working on a number of new Kurosawa DVDs as well, including Dodes'ka-den, for next year. Expect Wellspring's new restoration of Ran to finally hit DVD (apart from the Amazon-only collection) in 2003.

Sadly, we've been told by sources that a decision has been made to push back the release of MGM's Escape from New York: Special Edition until December of 2003, rather than January as had been reported by director John Carpenter recently. Just FYI...

Finally this morning, look Fox's The Day the Earth Stood Still to finally arrive on DVD in March (with director commentary) as part of Fox's Studio Classics line. As you know, the first batch of titles from this line will be All About Eve, Gentleman's Agreement and How Green Was My Valley. An Affair to Remember will follow in the second batch. Look for My Darling Clementine to be part of this line in 2003 as well.

Stay tuned...



10/25/02

Sources have been telling us for a couple days now that Paramount may be allowing director William Shatner to go back and revisit Star Trek V: The Final Frontier for its upcoming special edition DVD release. It's been reported elsewhere on the Net and our sources say talks are definitely happening. No final decision's been made yet, but it looks good. Many of you Trek fans know that Final Frontier is the weakest of the film series, but part of that was apparently due to budget cuts the studio made at the last minute. Personally, I think the script was weak, but who knows what some overhauled CGI effects can do. Cross your fingers.

Also, our sources have checked in with word that Artisan's Stargate: Ultimate Edition DVD (which was originally expected on 10/22) is still coming. Expect the official announcement from Artisan in the next 2-3 weeks.

Stay tuned...



10/21/02

You fans of director John Carpenter, who are waiting patiently for MGM's promised Escape from New York: Special Edition, will be pleased to hear what this reader has to say. Bits reader R.J. sent this in over the weekend:

"I was at a screening in NYC at the Walter Reade Theater where they were showing The Thing and preceding the event was a Q&A with director John Carpenter. According to him, the MGM Special Edition disc of Escape from New York is scheduled to be released January 2003 and it will include 10 minutes that was originally cut from the theatrical release, showing a robbery leading to the arrest of Snake Plissken. This scene was shown in dribs and drabs during a featurette on the previous laserdisc release by New Line, that included commentary w/ Carpenter and Kurt Russell. Whether it will get put back in the movie or included as a separate deleted scene is unknown. But you heard it first from the prince of darkness himself, John Carpenter."

Cool news! We're waiting to hear back from MGM with confirmation on this, and we'll post details as soon as we have them. Thanks, R.J.!

Stay tuned...



(LATE UPDATE - 9/30/02 - 2 PM PDT)

We know some of you have been looking forward to this title for a long time. So here's the deal. MGM's Dances with Wolves: Collector's Edition is tentatively slated for April release to DVD. Look for a 2-disc edition featuring approximately 6 hours and 20 min of running content. We've confirmed the following specs. You'll get the extended director's cut of the film in anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1 aspect ratio), Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary with director Kevin Costner and producer Jim Wilson, a second audio commentary with DP Dean Semler and editor Neil Travis, a 28-minute "making of" featurette, a 70-minute documentary, an original music video, a Dances scrapbook, a poster art gallery, an Easter egg and several TV spots and trailers.

And in other MGM news, our sources are telling us that Barbershop will arrive on DVD from MGM in January on 1/7.

Stay tuned...



(EARLY UPDATE - 9/30/02 - 12:45 PM PDT)

We've got a look for you at Paramount's complete December slate. Most of these have already been announced, but here's the list...

12/3 - Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Six, The Duellists: Collector's Edition, Serpico and War and Peace (1956)

12/10 - K-19: The Widowmaker, The Emperor's New Clothes, Damaged Care, Bleacher Bums, MTV's Jackass, Volumes 2 & 3 (there is no Volume 1 - a joke by the Jackass people)

12/31 - Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Seven

Look also for a recent animated title to arrive on 12/31 (you can probably guess which one). In January, we've been told to expect more good news for fans of MTV's The Real World, as well as fans of Elvis. And complete seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are on tap for early 2003 as well, but these will probably not start arriving in stores until March.

Also, on behalf of Star Trek fans, we asked Paramount about the possibility that The Animated Series will find its way to DVD. Don't expect it anytime soon. TAS is very low on the priority list.

Stay tuned...



9/27/02

Here's a short but sweet update of The Rumor Mill for you... we've heard from our sources to expect Universal's Blue Crush and The Bourne Identity on DVD in January, with DreamWorks' Road to Perdition following in February in time for Academy Award consideration. Perdition will also include a full-length audio commentary by director Sam Mendes.

Stay tuned...



9/16/02

Okay... it's been a couple weeks since we updated The Rumor Mill. So how about a good one today?

We've been hearing rumblings from our sources that Warner Bros is getting closer to their Looney Tunes animated catalog titles finally being released on DVD. We have no details yet on the release format (we're hoping for big box sets), but it looks as though Bugs and the gang could finally see the light of day next year.

Speaking of Warner animated titles, look for The Iron Giant: Special Edition to be released in 2003 as well.

In addition, our retailer sources are telling us that New Line's Austin Powers in Goldmember DVD will street on 12/3.

And we have what we believe are the close-to-final stats on the Back to the Future DVD set. This is (in fact) the UK spec listing (thanks to reader Fran):

Disc One

Back to the Future movie, The Making of Back to the Future (a rare behind the scenes look), Making the Trilogy: Chapter 1 (retrospective look featuring cast and crew), all new feature commentary with director/writer Robert Zemeckis & producer/writer Bob Gale, hilarious outtakes, deleted scenes, original make-up tests, Did you know that? Universal's animated anecdotes, (watch the movie and learn more interesting facts), production Archive (photographs, original storyboards & props), storyboards-to-final-feature comparisons, theatrical trailer

Disc Two

Back to the Future II movie, Back to the Future II featurette (a rare behind the scenes look), Making the Trilogy: Chapter 2 (a retrospective look featuring cast and crew), hilarious outtakes, deleted scenes, Hover Board test on location, production archive (photographs, original storyboards & props), storyboards-to-final-feature comparisons, theatrical trailer

Disc Three

Back to the Future III movie, Making the Trilogy: Chapter 3 (a retrospective look featuring cast and crew), hilarious outtakes, deleted scenes, ZZ Top music video for Doubleback, production archive (photographs, original storyboards & props), storyboards-to-final-feature comparisons, theatrical trailer

We expect the U.S. spec list to match this closely, with the possible addition of a few other items as well. By the way, BTTF.com has a 5 1/2 minute preview trailer online for this set now. Be sure to check it out.

And finally today, we've got what our sources are telling us is the final deleted scene list for the Star Wars: Episode II DVD. Scenes in yellow have already been confirmed:

1. Padme addresses the Senate
2. Obi-Wan talks with the Analysis Droids
3. Obi-Wan learns of the "Lost Twenty" Jedi
4. Obi-Wan and Mace discuss Anakin at the Starfighter Hangar
5. Anakin and Padme with Padme's Family
6. Anakin and Padme on Trial on Geonosis
7. Extended version of the Yoda/Dooku lightsaber duel
8. Jedi Raid on the Droid Control Ship

If the rest of that list pans out... that's a damn cool list of deleted material. Rumor is the extended Yoda/Dooku duel features Dooku fighting with two lightsabers. Just having ANY more of short stack in action is cool to us...

Stay tuned...



9/4/02

We're hearing from a number of our retail sources that Paramount has tentatively set February 25th of next year as the launch date for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on DVD. Expect the complete first season on that date (or thereabouts), with subsequent seasons following every couple of months throughout the rest of 2003. The format and extras for these boxed sets should closely resemble the current The Next Generation DVD sets. And you can reasonably expect Voyager in 2004.

Stay tuned...



(LATE UPDATE - 8/22/02)

We've got a look for you at MGM's expected DVD release slate for December - some good stuff here! Look for 24 Hour Party People, The Crocodile Hunter (crikey!), The Producers Special Edition, as well as the following catalog titles: Alphabet City, Bad Influence, Blue Steel, Body of Evidence (R and Unrated), Company Business, Dead of Winter, Miami Blues, Rush, State of Grace and The Whistle Blower. The following "classic" line titles can also be expected: The Children's Hour, A Kiss Before Dying, Legend of the Lost, Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song, The Road to Hong Kong, The Thief of Bagdad and Where's Poppa. That's a nice little batch by any measure.

Stay tuned...



(EARLY UPDATE - 8/22/02)

Bits reader Johnnie Y. reports that he recently had the chance to speak with representatives of Rhino Home Video about their upcoming DVD plans. Reportedly in the works for 2003 are an H.R. Pufnstuf complete series DVD box set (planned for March release) and the entire first season of Land of the Lost (planned for Fall 2003 release), with the second season to follow a few months after that. This sure is a great time for TV fans!

Also this morning (following up on news we've reported previously), word is Paramount's currently laying out plans for the DVD release of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine next year. Look for the release to be patterned closely after this year's on-going DVD release of The Next Generation, meaning you can likely expect complete season box sets every few months throughout 2003. I'm already jonesin' for season one of Enterprise in anamorphic widescreen, but looks like we'll have to wait a couple years at least. Doh!

Stay tuned...



8/20/02

We've got a quick tidbit for you Stargate: SG-1 fans. Word from the show's producers at the recent Comic-Con convention is that Season Three of the series is tentatively set for DVD release in January.

Also today, we've got word that Buena Vista is already working to bring its animated Lilo and Stitch to DVD, possibly before the year is out. And don't forget that with Disney's The Lion King set to debut in IMAX and "large screen" theaters in December, you'll have the film as the studio's next Platinum Edition in 2003.

Stay tuned...



8/14/02

Another MGM update this morning. Sources are telling us that among MGM's tentatively slated DVDs for 2003, you'll find Akira Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August, the 1939 Wuthering Heights and (as mentioned previously) Wim Wender's Wings of Desire. MGM recently obtained the rights to Wuthering Heights from HBO and released the film on VHS. This should come as good news to those of you who have been looking to pay upwards of $150 for the now out of print HBO DVD on Ebay.

Speaking of Kurosawa, we understand that his Kagemusha is under consideration for future DVD release from 20th Century Fox. Criterion is expected to release almost everything earlier than Dodes'ka-den. And don't forget that Wellspring's (formerly Fox Lorber) new anamorphic widescreen re-issue of Ran is due in 2003. Now if we could just get Warner to release Dreams, we'd be all set. Hint, hint...

One other little bit of good news. Artisan is going to be releasing the first volume of Speed Racer episodes on DVD in R1 before the year is out. And if you fans buy enough copies, the rest of the series MIGHT follow next year.

Last note - BlackStar is now taking R2 pre-orders for Steven Spielberg's Minority Report on DVD. Street date is listed as 11/25, which could mean that U.S. consumers will find it on store shelves here in R1 (from DreamWorks) around the same time. November is REALLY going to be an expensive month for DVD fans.

Stay tuned!



8/12/02

We've got some details on MGM's forthcoming Dances with Wolves: Special Edition DVD for you today. Look for the 2-disc set to street early next year, complete with the 232-minute European version of the film in anamorphic widescreen (by comparison the U.S. release clocked in at 181 minutes), a pair of newly-recorded, feature-length audio commentaries (including one with director/star Kevin Costner), multiple "behind-the-scenes" documentaries, trailers and much more. Should be a very cool release for fans. We'll have more specific details for you in a future update.

Stay tuned!



8/2/02

Yes... it's true. We're hearing from a number of good sources who tell us that Buena Vista's recently announced Ed Wood DVD caught the notice of none other than the film's director, Tim Burton. The good news is that Burton's decided that he would like to add more content to what was already announced. The bad news is that, because of this, the disc will probably be delayed until early 2003. But let's focus on that good news, shall we? Now maybe Ed Wood's gonna be the kind of disc it should have been in the first place! We're willing to be it will be worth the wait.

Stay tuned...



7/31/02

Our friend Garth Franklin over at Dark Horizons is reporting that HBO's Band of Brothers miniseries will finally arrive on DVD on 11/5. There's been no official word from the studio yet, but the disc will reportedly contain the 80 minute documentary We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company, an interactive field guide for enhanced viewing, a 30 minute Making of Band of Brothers featurette, actor Ron Livingston's video diaries and footage from the premiere on Normandy.

Stay tuned...



7/26/02

A number of retail sources have checked in with us on what they're being told is the official street date for Lucasfilm and Fox's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones DVD. If they're right, look for the 2-disc set to hit store shelves on November 12th (note that our friends at The Force.net are hearing similar reports). I expect official details to be leaked or announced in the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned...



7/12/02

Howdy gang! You fans of foreign cinema should be pleased to learn that MGM will release Y Tu Mama Tambien on DVD on 10/8, in two versions (R-rated and Unrated). Look for an announcement soon.

Also today, just in case you didn't read it in the daily column the other day, Lucasfilm asked Latino Review to remove the Star Wars: Episode II DVD insert artwork, basically admitting that it's the real deal. So the spec list you see below should be very close to what's announced in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned...



7/9/02

The Latino Review website has been posting scans of what it claims is the DVD case insert for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode II DVD. Don't ask me how they got this - we've got no idea. We're working to determine if this is legitimate or not with our sources, but there's enough detail here that we've at least decided to post the purported specs here:

2-discs, anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1), Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and 2.0 audio, THX-certified with Optimizer, feature-length audio commentary (with writer/director George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, sound designer Ben Burtt, animation director Rob Coleman and effects supervisors Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow), 8 deleted scenes with introduction by George Lucas, Rick McCallum and Ben Burtt, From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in Episode II documentary, State of the Art: The Previsualization of Episode II documentary, Films Are Not Released: They Escape sound documentary, three featurettes (on storyline, action scenes and love story), Star Wars.com 12-part web documentary, Across the Stars music video, poster art and print campaign gallery, 3 theatrical trailers, launch trailer and 12 TV spots, R2-D2: Beneath the Dome "mocumentary" trailer, production photo gallery, Visual Effects Breakdown montage, DVD-ROM weblinks to special DVD-only website, scene selection (50 chapters)

So is this the real deal? We'll let you know as soon as we know.

Stay tuned...



7/2/02

Our sources have checked in today with details on Artisan's High Noon: 50th Anniversary Edition which is currently in production. The disc will reportedly feature a pair of newly-recorded audio commentaries to include: Tim Zinnemann (the son of director Fred Zinnemann), Johnathan Foreman (the son of co-writer Carl Foreman) and Maria Cooper-Janis (the daughter of star Gary Cooper). Other extras are TBD. Should be a cool disc.

The official South Park website has announced that South Park: Season One will be released on DVD on 11/12. Word is that each of the of set's 3-discs will include audio commentary by series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Any updates will be posted here in The Rumor Mill until Warner makes an official announcement.

And finally today, we've had several retailers check in with word that HBO's landmark miniseries, Band of Brothers, will find its way to DVD on 11/19. Other DVD sites are also hearing this same date, so this looks like the real deal (at long last). Watch for an official announcement soon.

Stay tuned...



6/25/02

A little more Fox news for you today. You fans of director Robert Wise will be pleased to know that a special edition of his classic The Day the Earth Stood Still is on tap for release in 2003.

Also coming from the studio in 2003 are a trio of Coen Brothers DVDs with at least some special edition content - Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink and Raising Arizona.

Coming from MGM in early 2003 will be Ridley Scott's Thelma and Louise: Special Edition. In addition, a special edition of Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire is on tap for later in the year. That's a title I've been waiting for a LONG time. Also, be aware that the studio's Dances with Wolves: Special Edition is still set to be released before the end of this year (reportedly with both the U.S. and European versions of the film included).

Stay tuned...



6/24/02

We've got some good Fox news for you today. We've been able to confirm with our sources that the studio is working on a DVD release of the first season of 24. Look for it to hit stores in time for the broadcast debut of season two. Fox is also working to bring Malcolm in the Middle and NYPD Blue to DVD in complete season sets.

The studio's Ice Age will get a major 4th quarter release on DVD, packed with extras. Expect an official announcement for the title sometime this week.

As far as the Predator: Special Edition that's been released internationally, don't expect a similar release here anytime soon. With two versions of the film already released on DVD in R1, the studio is going to wait and see if the international release sells better than expected before releasing a third version on the States.

In other news, the Office Space: Special Edition is unfortunately languishing in extended limbo, due to various issues that need to be worked out. Don't expect it anytime soon. Likewise, their True Lies: Five Star Collection disc, which is awaiting the availability of director James Cameron.

Finally, we've confirmed that some Musicland Group stores (Suncoast, Media Play, etc) are already taking pre-orders for Star Wars: Episode II on DVD. They're reporting a street date (as we've been saying) of 11/26. Unofficial word from retailers (which we've posted here before) is that you'll get a 2-disc set in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX surround sound, THX-certification and director's commentary (possibly multiple commentaries) on Disc One. Disc Two will include deleted scenes, an hour-long documentary, web featurettes, trailers, TV spots and more. Think of this disc as the best kept secret that's never really been a secret. So you kids quit buying those bootlegs off Ebay - you'll be spinning the real disc soon enough. ;-)

Stay tuned...



6/21/02

Since the mountain's in the news today, we've got a quick note on an upcoming Ridley Scott title from the studio. The Duelists: Collector's Edition is now in production and word is, Paramount's shooting for a release before the end of the year. Another Paramount Scott title, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, MAY follow sometime in 2003.

Also, we've been getting a TON of e-mails lately from readers who are wondering why the James Bond Collection gift sets aren't available anymore. The reason is that MGM placed them on moratorium last year. But, with Die Another Day on its way to theater screens, watch for the DVDs to be re-released accordingly. Announcements should begin soon.

Stay tuned...



6/18/02

We've got more word on Paramount titles from a host of sources, not the least of which are retail contacts. Look for the release of the long-awaited Grease DVD on September 17th. And as we mentioned yesterday, Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive are indeed coming in the 3rd Qtr - October 8th to be specific, along with Urban Cowboy, Flashdance and Footloose. The studio will not confirm at this time, but announcements are expected sooner rather than later. Looks like its a toe-tappin' good time on disc from the mountain this Fall.

In other news, Fox is working to release a DVD version of their hit series 24 sometime before the year is out. A Region 2 release has already been confirmed, and The New York Daily News has an online story that refers to an eventual Region 1 release. According to the article, Fox Television Entertainment Group Chairman Sandy Grushow has indicated that "a DVD version will also soon be available in the U.S., which will help offset the show's expensive production budget."

And finally today, we've got word on the extras for Universal's October 1st DVD release of Brotherhood of the Wolf. Look for anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (in English and the original French), deleted scenes, filmographies, production notes and trailers.

Stay tuned...



6/17/02

We've got word from a host of sources that Paramount will be releasing Major League, Trading Places and Sunset Boulevard in the 3rd Qtr (think September - November). Staying Alive and Saturday Night Fever are still alive for the 3rd or 4th Qtr as well. We're hearing that Sunset will include an all-new documentary on the film (with new interviews with Glenn Close and others) as well as an audio commentary by Ed Sikov, the author of the Billy Wilder biography On Sunset Boulevard.

In Fox news, the studio is hard at work on their X-Men: Special Edition, which will include deleted scenes, audio commentary and much more. Word is, it may even include a sneak peak at X-Men 2, which is now in production). Look for it in time for the holidays. Fox also has more war movies in the pipeline, along with a few older classics for early next year. My Darling Clementine anyone?

Also, we'd heard the date before, but our friends over at BTTF.com have apparently confirmed it - the Back to the Future Trilogy will street 12/17.

And in other Universal news, word is that Brotherhood of the Wolf will be released on 10/1. No word on features, although we're hearing you'll at least get deleted scenes.

Stay tuned...



6/15/02

We're hearing from a number of our sources that Buena Vista is finally gearing up to release some of its ABC/Touchstone TV product on DVD. When contacted officially, studio reps will only confirm that TV series product IS in the works, but will not confirm specific titles. We expect to hear more in the next month or so. BUT we're not gonna leave you hanging - the buzz is that the ENTIRE series (both seasons) of Sports Night is on tap, along with the complete first seasons of Once and Again and Felicity. Other shows may be released as well. We'll be sure to post here as soon as we know more. If that Sports Night news pans out, I'm gonna be one SERIOUSLY happy camper. ;-)

Stay tuned...



6/13/02

Just thought you South Park fans would like to know - we've confirmed with our sources inside Warner Bros. that the studio is currently working to bring the ENTIRE animated series to DVD in complete season sets. No word yet on features or street dates, but there's reason to believe that the first season will street before the end of the year. We'll post more when we can confirm it.

Stay tuned...



6/10/02

We've got a little bit of information on New Line's Blade 2 from retail sources. Expect a 2-disc set with director's commentary, deleted scenes, production featurettes, cast & crew interviews, trailers and more. Word is street date will be 9/3. Watch for official announcements soon.

In other vampire news, look for Warner's Queen of the Damned on 8/27, in two versions - full frame and anamorphic widescreen.



5/24/02

You Region 1 Back to the Future fans will be happy to learn that the eventual U.S. DVD release (according to retailers tentatively set for 12/17, but it now looks like Universal may be pushing to get it out a month earlier) will probably include more than the international version. We received this report from Bits reader Will last night:

"The Back to the Future screening at USC today was informative and fun. We screened a brand new 35mm print that was struck from new elements for the Hi-Def video transfer to DVD. Representatives from Universal said the DVDs are scheduled for a Thanksgiving release in the States. Also, for the very first time, Zemeckis openly discussed why Eric Stoltz was dropped from the film and recast--hopefully, this bit will make it onto the DVD. And while the Q&A session was promoted primarily as a venue for the DVD commentary tracks, they also videotaped the entire conversation and said that some of it may appear on the DVD as such. One more interesting tidbit that seemed rather hush-hush: writer/producer Bob Gale, who was quite articulate and humorous, said that the primary reason why the trilogy had not been released on DVD until now was due to studio politics. Apparently, when DVDs were first produced, Universal was one of the studios that decided to hold off on releasing popular titles until they knew if the market was going to be profitable. As a result, they opted to license some of their films to be released by Columbia. When Columbia released Jaws overseas and it became a huge seller, Universal then decided to wait until their contract with Columbia expired so that they could release their own movies and reap the profits. Bob Gale specifically said that the contract expires on June 30th of this year! I doubt this will be included on the DVD."

Thanks for the report, Will!

Stay tuned...


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