Editor's note: This article has been updated to include some late-breaking comments from our friends at BCI (see below).
2008 may just be the year of 'He-Man' on high-def, with BCI said to be seriously weighing a next-gen release for the classic cartoon character.
TVShowsonDVD.com has the first concrete details on the indie distributor's plans to bring the 2002 television version of 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe' to disc. Spanning three separate single-disc volumes with 13 episodes a pop, the site reports that a feature-packed, remastered version of the series is currently being planned for a February 2008 DVD debut, and that there is a "better than 90%" chance of a release on Blu-ray and/or HD DVD.
According to information provided by BCI, testing of the episodes in high-def yielded "much better-quality visuals with extra depth to the scenes, more dynamic colors and greater background details."
While we're optimistic that 'He-Man' will find his way to next-gen disc, we've had our hopes dashed by BCI in the past. The distributor, which has yet to release a title on either HD DVD or Blu-ray originally announced a series of cult classics for release on HD DVD in late 2006, including 'Galaxina,' 'That's the Way of the World' and 'Golgo 13, but those titles were ultimately delayed without explanation, and have yet to see next-gen release.
More recently, the company announced it would finally make its high-def debut with the dual-format November release of 'Ultimate Force.' So far as we know, that release is still on track.
UPDATE (9/28/07, 9:58PM ET): We've just heard from BCI, and they've confirmed that indeed it's all systems go for the November 13 next gen release of 'Ultimate Force.' According to an high-placed exec at the company, BCI's earlier next-gen releases were delayed due to a lack of interest at retail due to limited shelf space, but they now believe demand should be much higher.
Needless to say, we'll let you know as soon as a confirmed street date and details come in for 'He-Man.'
In anticipation of a future announcement for 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,' we've added a listing for the title under the "Release Dates Pending" section of our Blu-ray Release Schedule and HD DVD Release Schedule. Stay tuned!
(Thanks to Dave for the tip!)