Disney and Lucasfilm have scrapped their plans to release The Empire Strikes Back in 4K this summer. The original plan was to bring the movie back to UK theaters in an effort to help the reopening process. Technically, the 1980 movie will be back in theaters, but it will be the 2K version instead of the promised 4K. This will surely be a letdown for Star Wars fans who were looking forward to seeing the movie in stunning 4K for the first time ever in theaters.
As for the reasoning behind pulling The Empire Strikes Back 4K version from theaters, it appears there was a breakdown in talks with exhibitors. For now, the only place to see any of the Star Wars movies in 4K is on Disney+ and the recently released Blu-ray box set. Movie theaters have been shut down since the beginning of the year all over the world and are only now attempting to reopen in most places, though most North American theaters aren't planning on opening their doors again until the end of July.
Disney just pushed back their Mulan remake after Warner Bros. moved Christopher Nolan's Tenet back. The long-awaited movie from Nolan is supposed to be the one to get people back into movie theaters, but as time goes on, it's looking like it may not even open this summer at all. Cases are on the rise and many cities are going back into lockdown mode for the second time, so theaters might not be opening again for quite some time, unless something changes in the next few weeks.
The Empire Strikes Back is celebrating its 40th anniversary and bringing it back into theaters should help UK cinemas, even in 2K. It's not every day that fans get to see a Star Wars movie on the big screen, so this should still be a pretty big event when all is said and done. The sequel to the original Star Wars is often regarded as the best in the original trilogy, if not the whole franchise, though that is a topic of debate by hardcore and casual fans alike. Regardless, if the movie theaters are safe, people will more than likely head back in to see The Empire Strikes Back.
UK movie theaters are pretty much in the same boat as North American theaters when it comes to waiting for Christopher Nolan's Tenet to truly reopen. The director and Warner Bros. originally intended to have the movie open in theaters on July 17th, but that was later shifted to the 31st and then pushed back again to August 12th. It will be interesting to see if the studio is able to bring the long-awaited movie into theaters this summer at all. If so, will people be flocking in to see it? Variety was the first to announce The Empire Strikes Back news.