Val Kilmer celebrates Tombstone’s 30th anniversary, but where is the 4K version?

Val Kilmer celebrates Tombstone’s 30th anniversary, but where is the 4K version?
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Val Kilmer is celebrating Tombstone’s 30th anniversary, but fans want to know why Disney hasn’t released a 4K version yet.

Val Kilmer celebrates Tombstone’s 30th anniversary, but where is the 4K version? 1

He’s your huckleberry and also apparently your guide. To mark the 30th anniversary of Tombstone, Val Kilmer, who played gunfighter/dentist/Wyatt Earp BFF in the 1993 western, posted behind-the-scenes footage he shot during the making of the film.

Stamped with “August 26th, 1993”, the footage shows trailers marked “DOC” and “WYATT”, for lawman Earp as played by Kurt Russell. The footage then shows Russell outside of his trailer, with cameraman Kilmer assuring him, “You’ve arrived! You’re a pro!” Russell then shows photos of himself and the real Earp side by side, challenging the viewer to figure out who is who, even referencing an old Memorex ad just to further date the clip.

The cast of Tombstone is a stacked one, with Sam Elliott and Michael Biehn in key roles, not to mention a slew of actors who have sadly passed since, namely Bill Paxton (Wyatt’s brother Morgan), Powers Boothe (“Curly Bill” Brocius, who died at the bullet of Earp), Charlton Heston (rancher Henry Hooker), and narrator Robert Mitchum in one of his final roles. But it’s really Kilmer who gives the standout performance, turning in what is easily one of the finest turns of his career.

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Tombstone remains one of the most revered westerns of its decade, a highly entertaining and terrifically shot portrayal of the Wild West. The history that inspired the movie is also well worth reading about — or watching, as we covered it in an episode of “WTF Really Happened To This Movie?” We also dissected the production itself in a companion video, which you can watch at the bottom of the article. Yet, the film has never gotten a proper 4K release from Disney, despite being one of the biggest catalogue titles (presumably).

Released by one of Disney’s offshoot companies, Hollywood Pictures (remember them?) Tombstone opened on Christmas Eve but fell behind The Pelican Brief and Mrs. Doubtfire, remaining at the #3 spot for two consecutive weeks before ending its domestic run with $56.5 million, more than doubling its budget. The old DVD version of the film contained a “director’s cut” by George P. Cosmatos, which is controversial unto itself as Kurt Russell famously claimed he directed the movie himself following the director’s death (a claim Val Kilmer backed up). The Blu-ray, which contains a very outdated HD transfer, contained the theatrical cut only. Last year, there were some rumours that Disney was planning a 4K reissue ofs the film for it 30th anniversary, but that didn’t happen. Unless they get on the ball, Disney may be better off giving the film to an indie label. Many of their Touchstone/ Hollywood Pictures movies were issued by Kino Lorber on Blu-ray. However, I think Tombstone is actually a huge title for them; they just need to finally get around to doing it justice.

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Other than Val Kilmer, a number of prominent stars have portrayed Doc Holliday, including Walter Huston, Kirk Douglas and Dennis Quaid, who played him the following year in Wyatt Earp, in which Kevin Costner played the title role.

What is your favorite scene from Tombstone? Share your pick in the comments section below.

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