The Abyss 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray | UK release reportedly cancelled

The Abyss
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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of James Cameron’s The Abyss will not be coming to the UK, it seems. One scene has cost it its release.

Sigh, sigh, sigh.

A couple of weeks ago, the much-awaited new 4K transfer of The Abyss debuted on video on demand services in the US, but has remained absent from UK equivalents. Furthermore, whereas two other long-awaited 4K discs of James Cameron films – True Lies and Aliens – have gone up for pre-order in the UK, there’s been no sign of The Abyss.

Now we know why: it’s not getting a UK release.

The reason goes back to a sequence in one version of the film, where a rat has to breathe underwater. This has seen the film hit problems in the UK before, and when Disney submitted the 4K reissue to the BBFC this time around, the response – as per The Digital Bits – was that the scene in question needed to be cut, else The Abyss wouldn’t get a fresh certificate.

The BBFC hasn’t commented on this, to be clear.

Still, going back to Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits, he’s reporting that Disney was okay with removing the scene in question from the disc – it doesn’t affect every cut of the film – but the ultimate say is with James Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment.

When the question went to Lightstorm? Well, you’re reading this story, so you can probably guess. Lightstorm Entertainment vetoed the cut, and thus Disney had its hands tied. The release in the UK is, as we currently understand it, not going to happen at all. Those in the UK eagerly awaiting the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray releases of The Abyss will have no choice but to import from, well, pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Whether Disney will at least submit a cut of the film without the scene for cinema exhibition is unclear. But without Lightstorm on board, it’s very, very unlikely.


More as we hear it. But don’t hold your breath…

The Digital Bits

(Hat tip to Mark Pledger)

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