Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, arguably the greatest home theater showcase outside of documentaries like Planet Earth, is finally coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray.
Details emerged late Monday via Den of Geek, whose Instagram account posted leaked images from Best Buy-exclusive listings for the trilogy’s SteelBook version. While Best Buy store listings were soon found by enterprising fans, those were eventually taken down, but they were followed by nonexclusive versions at Amazon: $90 for the normal trilogy, spread across nine Blu-ray discs, or $140 for a “gift set” version, which collects all of the normal cases in a larger, book-like case that may or may not include a replica of the One Ring.
Whichever set you buy, you can expect both theatrical and extended cuts of each film in the set, along with “digital code” redemption options for both versions of each film. Should you be on the lookout for a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, all disc-based Xbox consoles since the Xbox One S (including the brand new Series X, but not the disc-less Series S) support the standard, while the PS5 is the only PlayStation console to do so.
Unfortunately, listings at Amazon in both the United States and Europe currently lack back-of-box explainers about what to expect technically.
[Update, 3:40pm EDT: A report from The Digital Bits claims that the set will include both HDR-10 and Dolby Vision tone-mapping, along with a brand-new Dolby Atmos surround mix for audio. The report also claims that Peter Jackson has overseen the 4K remastering project with 4K scans of both the original camera negatives and the original CGI readings from the films. Whether we’ll see the same color correction applied to the original trilogy’s Extended Edition Blu-ray set, which fans previously called into question, remains to be seen.]
Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is getting the up-res treatment as well: $90 for the standard 4K UHD Blu-ray set (with two discs per film, offering both theatrical and extended cuts), with no sign of its own “gift set” version just yet.
Listing image by Warner Bros. / Aurich Lawson