In a surprise announcement, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment says it will bring the very first Steven Spielberg film to high-def disc this November with a 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.'
Due in stores November 13 (on both Blu-ray and as a standard-def DVD re-issue), the 30th Anniversary Edition will be the first home video release to include all three versions of the Spielberg classic: the original 1977 theatrical cut, the re-edited 1980 theatrical Special Edition, and Spielberg's own 1998 Director's Cut.
Technical specs were not yet available at press time, but among the extras will be a new Introduction to the 30th Anniversary Edition by Spielberg, the retrospective documentary from the previous DVD Collector's Edition, and --exclusive to the Blu-ray release -- an original 1977 featurette "Watch the Skies" plus new storyboard-to-screen comparisons.
List price for the Blu-ray will be $49.99.
The news of 'Close Encounters' comes as something of a surprise. Earlier this year, rumors circulated that Universal was planning an HD DVD debut of a trio of Spielberg blockbusters, 'Jaws,' 'E.T.' and 'Jurassic Park.' Those reports were quickly squashed, however, by the studio, citing a lack of approval of the filmmaker.
Now, it seems that at least for 'Close Encounters,' Spielberg is embracing Blu-ray. We can only hope, however, that -- regardless of format -- it is merely the tip of the high-def iceberg for the legendary filmmaker.
We've added 'Close Encounters' to our Blu-ray Release Schedule, under November 13. Stay tuned for final details and box cover art shortly.
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)