‘The Abyss’ One Night Only Theatrical Re-Release Date, Explained

Director James Cameron is no stranger to the sci-fi realm. Responsible for The Terminator franchise and Avatar, Cameron literally has three of the four highest grossing movies of all time thanks to the Avatar series and Titanic. But a lesser hit on his filmography, The Abyss, is getting its turn in the spotlight.

The 1989 sci-fi blockbuster is coming to theaters once again for one night only in the U.S. During the promotional tour for Avatar: The Way of Water, Cameron mentioned off-hand that he had a 4K master of The Abyss he was working on releasing in 2023 at some point. While the re-release was scheduled to come in the first half of the year, Titanic‘s 25th anniversary re-release was deemed more important.

However, the underwater thriller starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn is getting its time in the sun. Set for release in theaters on December 6, The Abyss is returning for only one night. With a fresh coat of paint on the entire film in the form of a 4K remaster, Cameron is encouraging anyone whether they’ve seen the film or not to enjoy it in this form going forward.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, Cameron said “If you haven’t seen the film before, this is the way to experience it. And if you have, you’ll be seeing the film I actually set out to make, with some big surprises not seen in the original release version.” Most likely Cameron is referring to content included in The Abyss: Special Edition, which was a limited release back in 1993 featuring about 28 additional minutes of content in the film. Since that version would be turning 30 in 2023, many believe this is what motivated Cameron to release the film in theaters again.

For those who’ve never experienced The Abyss, the film focuses on a U.S. search and rescue team working with an oil platform crew to find a U.S. Naval submarine that sank in the Caribbean Sea. However, as they explore deeper into the ocean, they come across new, unexpected threats to their own lives, let alone their mission. Of course, this wasn’t Cameron’s first take on extraterrestrials, as he directed the Alien sequel Aliens just 3 years prior.

Highly regarded for its special effects (which isn’t surprising considering it’s James Cameron), The Abyss actually won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1990. The film has remained a cult favorite over the past 34 years, praised as an underrated piece of Cameron’s. The Abyss: Special Edition hits theaters in the U.S. on December 6.

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