During Paramount Pictures Star Trek Day stream, many cool things were shown off. However, one of the most exciting teasers lets fans see a pivotal part of Star Trek history in a whole new light. The company debuted a clip from Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Director’s Edition, giving viewers a taste of how this landmark movie will look in 4k.
First released in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the first big-screen adventure for Kirk and his crew. After the original TV series was canceled in 1969, Gene Roddenberry lobbied the studio to continue the franchise with a film. However, Paramount was unsure and went back and forth on the idea several times. It wasn’t until the series did well in syndication and Close Encounters of the Third Kind became a smash hit at the box office that Paramount changed their mind, realizing that big-screen sci-fi could make money. The film had a strange and tumultuous production history, and the script was still being altered and edited while the movie was being shot, and the film only just made its deadline.
Because of this, the director Robert Wise felt like the film was only a rough cut and not as good as it could be. Something he rectified in 2001 when he released the director’s cut of the film.
When an alien lifeform cloaked in a cloud of energy appears in space and decimates several Klingon warships as well as a Starfleet monitoring station, Captain Kirk retakes command of the Starship Enterprise and heads out to work out what is going on. However, by doing so, he ends up drawing the ire of the Enterprise’s new commanding officer, Willard Decker. But, the more the crew investigates the cloud, the stranger the situation becomes.
The film did well commercially, but it was a critical failure as many reviewers found the script to be flimsy and the film to be terribly paced at best and nonsensical at worst. However, the film generated a cult following and has cemented itself as a sci-fi classic.
This restoration and 4K update are being worked on by David C. Fein, Mike Matessino, and Daren R. Dochterman. It will use modern computer effects to restore and improve the movie and bring it up to 4K resolution. The clip shown at the event was one added in the 2001 director’s cut. It presents a clear vision of how far computer effects have come as the new version of the scene is clearer and more dynamic, creating a stunningly immersive depiction of space. Hopefully, the rest of the film will look just as good when it releases.
The film is slated for release next year and will be a Paramount+ exclusive.