Toshiba’s Blu-ray player did not bring HD DVD back from the dead, however Indie film makers WETNWILD FILMS and Anthem Pictures are resurrecting the HD DVD format with at least one brand new title: Deadlands 2: Trapped due out on October 27, 2009, in a limited run of only 500 copies.
What started out as a small discussion at the AVS forum has turned in to bigger news in the HD DVD world. Director/writer Gary Ugarek, an HD DVD fan himself, passed along a press release on Friday afternoon about his zombie horror film, Deadlands 2: Trapped. Here are some of Gary’s quotes:
- “Some people thought I was flat out nuts and were asking, why HD DVD? Are you not a Blu-Ray supporter? I answered I am, but when you have a dedicated fan base for a format, like HD-DVD does, and you see the passion of its supporters I immediately knew I wanted to do this for the fans. I want to give them something special.”
- “Right now we have 30gb of space to fill up, so Anthem and I are working together to see what can be included, and if we have the space I will keep adding more to the list to make it a packed to the brim HD DVD release of the film.”
- “I know it’s a gamble with HD DVD having lost out on the format war, but based on feedback from HD DVD fans we expect this to be a huge moment for them, the film and HD DVD. Kind of ironic that a zombie film would be helping HD DVD try to come back from the dead, even if for a short period of time, but who knows, if the program is a success maybe other indie filmmakers and distributors can do something similar for the HD DVD fans and keep it alive for the hard core.”
And more info directly from the press release:
“Over the last 18 months, since HD DVD’s demise, I and small group of HD DVD enthusiasts have scoured every part of the planet trying to obtain the left over releases of HD DVD material. We were early adopters of the format and still felt to this day the format shouldn’t have been left to die off. So I set out to do some research and realized the following:
During HD DVD’s release over 1,000,000 player units were sold and over 800 titles were released for the format. At the end of its tenure the market penetration still remained strong, and the format built a dedicated fan base.
So I set out to see if these HD DVD owners would be interested in a brand new release. I presented all the information about the film, gave them access and links to trailers, the press kit and the technical aspects… and you know what… THEY LOVED THE IDEA. The feedback was unbelievable. Within 36 hours of putting the question out there, I received over 200+ emails, within 96 hours 380+ requests from HD DVD fans asking me to make this happen.
I presented the idea to Anthem Pictures, the distributor, and they liked it, and immediately jumped behind it.”
One wouldn’t think a $6,000.00 zombie film would be a candidate for such a release, but Deadlands 2 is that candidate. The HD DVD release will be limited to 500 copies only, with each disc noting the fact it is a LIMITED COLLECTORS EDITION. Also, each disc will also come with a Certificate of Authenticity numbering which copy the purchaser received. Since it is such a limited item, HD DVD fans will want to jump on this opportunity as this will be the first HD DVD to be mastered and press for release since March 2008, which is when production of the format ceased. Thus making the HD DVD release of Deadlands 2 a rarity.
Because of the limited production run and the extensive cost to produce HD DVD, the disc will retail through the distributors website for $29.95 + S&H and will be available for both US and International customers. HD DVD unlike Blu-Ray does not use a region coding system, so one master is just made and the disc even if purchased in the US will play in any HD DVD player around the world.
Based on the research data Ugarek has conducted he is expecting a good response and Anthem Pictures is setting up a special page on their website for HD DVD fans to pre-order their discs to make sure they have their copy reserved for when the film hits the street on October 27th.
Deadlands 2: Trapped stars Jim Krut (DAWN of the DEAD) and Josh Davidson (Prekins 14)