Filmmakers David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh closed this year’s Tribeca Film Festival with a Q&A covering a number of topics where Fincher also revealed he was working on a 4K remaster of his 1995 film “Se7en” according to IndieWire.
This news comes as a surprise as Fincher doesn’t like revisiting his older work. That said, “Se7en” may be an exception. While the film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1996, Fincher was involved in a major two-disc DVD special edition in 2000 which then used still fairly new digital color correction with the help of colorist Stephen Nakamura.
With the new disc, Fincher says the plan is to go back to the original negative and use modern technology to fix some of the most glaringly problematic elements that will show up unflatteringly on a 4K image.
However, it’s pretty clear that it won’t be an “ET” or “Star Wars” style special edition with drastic changes. Rather, it will be the same movie, but with a few background elements receiving a digital touch-up:
“We’re doing ‘Se7en’ right now, and we’re going back and doing it in 4K from the original negative, and we’re over-analyzing it, over-sampling it, doing all the due diligence, and there’s a lot of s—it’s gotta be corrected.
Because there are a lot of things that we can now add thanks to high dynamic range. You know, streaming media is a very different thing to 35mm negative film in terms of what it can actually hold. So there’s, you know, a lot of blown windows that we kind of have to go back and ghost in a bit of the cityscape there.
He adds that the biggest problem is the cheapness of the sets that became evident on a massive screen at such a high resolution:
“On a 100-inch screen, you’ll look at it and be like, ‘What the hell, they only had money for white cardboard over there?’ So that’s the stuff on the print stock. It’s just blown to be there. And now you’re looking at it, saying, “I can see, you know, 500 units of what the f—.”
From the sounds, we get something closer to “Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition” where it’s about fixing shortcomings at the time rather than adding something new.
Fincher adds that he’s “fundamentally against changing what ‘Se7en’ is”, but a remaster can spruce up a few things:
“You can fix, you know, three percent, five percent. If something is egregious, fix it. But, you know, I’m not going to take all the guns out of people’s hands and replace them with flashlights.
Next Fincher has “The Killer” with Michael Fassbender coming to Netflix later this year while Soderbergh has the upcoming limited series “Full Circle” debuting on Max soon.