New Steelbooks for 'Star Wars,' 'Bond'6 Aug, 2015 By: John Latchem
A couple of cinema’s biggest franchises are receiving a major home video marketing push before their latest installments hit theaters this fall. In particular, the six live-action “Star Wars” chapters and nine James Bond films will be re-released on Blu-ray in special steelbook packaging.
You’ve seen the steelbook around — that special metal packaging with special box art designed to stir up interest from collectors. Using steelbooks to re-package catalog titles is as commong as using them as retail exclusives for new releases.
The common thread here is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is behind the distribution of both collections, working with Disney on “Star Wars” and MGM on Bond.
The 23 official Bond films are being re-released on Blu-ray and in special boxed sets Sept. 15, in advance of the Nov. 6 theatrical release of Spectre, the 24th film in the series.
Nine of the films will be available as limited-edition Blu-ray steelbooks with box art inspired by their opening title sequences. This assortment includes the most recent films starring Daniel Craig as Bond — Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall — as well as six films featuring the villainous SPECTRE organization — From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever and For Your Eyes Only.
In addition, all 23 films will be available as part of The Ultimate James Bond Collection boxed set, which includes a 24th slot for Spectre (expected on Blu-ray early next year), as well as digital copies of all the films, a bonus disc containing the previously unavailable on disc 90-minute Everything or Nothing documentary, and a pocket-sized James Bond 50 Years of Movie Posters book.
To promote the upcoming film, the boxed set will also include two new featurettes based on interviews with renowned Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade — “The Shadow of SPECTRE” concentrates on the history of SPECTRE, and “The Story So Far” recaps significant moments from the three Craig films.
This collection will be sold exclusively at Amazon.com.
Collections for each actor to play Bond also will be released on Blu-ray and DVD with new artwork showcasing the actor. (even George Lazenby and his one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, gets the collection treatment.)
The new Bond Blu-ray and DVD collections organized by actor and number of films:
The “Star Wars” steelbook Blu-rays arrive Nov. 10, in the lead-up to the hugely anticipated Dec. 18 theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.
The steelbooks for the first six episodes will include a different character for each film. Aside from Yoda on Episode II, they’re all bad guys, interestingly enough — Darth Maul for Episode I, General Grievous for Episode III, Darth Vader for Episode IV, an Imperial Stormtrooper for Episode V and the Emperor for Episode VI.
Preorders for the “Star Wars” steelbooks begin Aug. 7. These look to be re-releases of the previously available discs, which include commentaries from George Lucas and the cast and crew.
In addition, the nine-disc Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray collection will be re-released Oct. 13 with new Darth Vader box art. The bonus discs contain more than 40 hours of previously released bonus material, including deleted scenes.