J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Gave ‘Phantasm’ the 4K Restoration Treatment
J.J. Abrams counts himself a fan of many things (Spielberg, Star Wars…uh, Spielberg…), but you may not have been aware that the director is quite fond of Don Coscarelli’s classic 1979 horror film Phantasm. Always one to delight in keeping secrets, the director has one specific secret he’s kept very well — since no one thought to look for it. Abrams and his Bad Robot production banner have discretely overseen a 4K restoration of Phantasm, which premiered last weekend in Austin, Texas.
As confirmed by AICN, Abrams and Bad Robot used the master negative of Phantasm for the beautifully restored version, which premiered last weekend at the site’s annual Butt-Numb-a-Thon festival — 24 hours (sometimes longer) of nothing but movies, ranging from upcoming releases to vintage classics and rare gems. A few of my friends attended the fest and were quite impressed with the job Abrams and Bad Robot did on Phantasm, and AICN offered a few photos to give you an idea:
Abrams is such a fan of Phantasm that he named Gwendoline Christie’s character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens after it — he dubbed her Captain Phasma due to the similarities between her chrome armor and the magical ball in Coscarelli’s cult classic.
Meanwhile, Coscarelli himself confirmed to EW that the restoration will be fully complete “in the next month or so,” and we can expect to see it in theaters early next year, followed by a new DVD and Blu-ray release.
For the uninitiated, Phantasm centers on a young boy and his friends, and their battle against an enigmatic grave robber known as the Tall Man, who packs numerous terrifying weapons (like the previously mentioned chrome ball). It’s one of the more effective and sometimes overlooked horror films, but hopefully this new restoration will give it the attention it really deserves.