The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Finally Heading to 4K Blu-Ray
Peter Donnell / 12 months ago
It started to seem like it would never happen, but The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies are finally heading to 4K UHD Blu-Ray. It’s obvious why Warner held off on the release though. This is easily one of their biggest assets, and to release it before having a huge install base would be dangerous to their profit margin. However, 4K TVs are dominating now, and 4K players are increasing their install base too. Furthermore, the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation are expected to have 4K Blu-Ray players built-in.
The Lord of the Rings
The 4K remasters are to include the standard theatrical release and the (superior) extended cut version. However, it’s not clear yet if that is on the same disc/box or separate retail releases. Of course, Warner have been delivering some truly remarkable 4K re-releases recently. The Nolan movies, Blade Runner etc. With that in mind, we would expect the usual HDR and Dolby Atmos we’ve seen them use for their other high-profile releases. We may even see Dolby Vision, although we’ll have to wait for that one to be confirmed.
4K and Beyond
Remember, the original movie was shot on 35mm film, mostly. So getting a really good 4K master from the original footage should be possible, as it is with much older films these days. However, The Hobbit was actually shot in 5K at 48 FPS and in 3D. So between them, the two movies are prime pickings for the 4K UHD market. With any luck, they’ll re-render the CGI assets, but that could prove costly.
Release Date and Availability
All the movies will be released, and no doubt, there will be some kind of bundle offer too. They’re currently expected to release on the 25th of June, 2020. I can’t wait!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)
- The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)
Updated the list above to reflect the proper names of the movies, not the hilariously odd international names I copy-pasted by mistake