Turns out J.J. Abrams is a very big fan of the 1979 horror flick Phantasm. He’s such a big fan, in fact, that he’s had his studio Bad Robot working for quite a while to create a 4K restoration of Don Coscarelli's cult classic.
Ain’t It Cool News broke the story that Bad Robot is putting the restoration together, working from the original camera negative. Coscarelli confirmed the project in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, calling the initiative a “fantastic” effort with a new, 5.1 audio soundtrack.
So, what do they plan to do with this souped-up cut? Coscarelli said they’re already eyeing a theatrical rerelease to show it off, in addition to a Blu-ray release so you can really dig into how pretty this film can look.
As if that weren't crazy enough, there’s also a sly Star Wars: The Force Awakens connection here (because, of course). New Star Wars villain Captain Phasma is a sly reference to Phantasm, with the chrome look a semi-homage to the iconic chrome sphere from the horror film.
No word on an exact release date, though Coscarelli says the restoration should be done by early 2016. So official word should be forthcoming. A few stills from the restored cut have also been released. Check those out below (and above) and let us know what you think: