The 4K restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Ran” hitting Blu-ray in May and here is the trailer

by on April 7, 2016

Stephan Jukic – April 07, 2016

One of the legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces, “Ran” has gotten serious 4K ultra HD remake and will be coming to Blu-ray in the U.S on May the 2nd.

StudioCanal, the company behind the restoration of the famous 1985 movie revealed quite a while ago that they were planning a Blu-ray release of the film, which was remastered into a digital 4K scan by the French film services laboratory Éclair under the close supervision of StudioCanal.

The restoration is based on an original negative of the movie and much of the rmastering work was done manually, frame by frame with the original director of photography for the movie, Mr. Ueda, being on hand to approve the color grading.

It should also be noted that this isn’t the first restoration to 4K ultra HD sharpness of a Kurosawa film. “The Seven Samurai” was also recently restored and released to the new digital resolution.

“Ran” tells what is in essence the famous Shakespeare play “King Lear” but with a reimagining by Kurosawa as a historical epic set in 16th century Japan. The movie tells the story of Japanese warlord Hidetori Ichimonji, who decides to retire from rule and divide his kingdom among three sons, who then viciously fight among each other in a war that destroys their family and all that their father built through betrayal, hunger for power and greed.

A still from the restored "Ran"

A still from the restored “Ran”

The 4K restoration of “Ran” originally ran in the United States in February 26th of this year at New York’s Film Forum and was managed through Rialto Pictures.

While none of the parties involved in the restoration or soon-to-come Blu-ray release of the movie have specified if the disc version will emerge in May in HD Blu-ray or full-blown 4K UHD Blu-ray disc format, it is extremely likely that the 4K Blu-ray version will win out or at least follow very shortly in the footsteps of the HD disc edition.

At the time of the original restoration, 4K BD discs had still not started going on sale and there was still some doubt about their future. Now however, dozens of titles in ultra HD resolution are emerging with many more planned for 2016 and 2017 by several different studios. Given that this movie is actually a true 4K scan of original negatives, it’s more of a candidate for 4K BD release than many new release movies that are upgraded to 4K from 2K resolution recordings but which are nonetheless already going on sale in 4K disc format.

We’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, here is the Rialto trailer for the spectacular 4K UHD cinematic restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran”.

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  • MrSatyre
    April 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Mind blown that the trailer is not available in 4K.


    • Stephen
      April 8, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Agreed MrSatyre. I was hoping for the same thing. Let’s hope that at least the Blu-ray release of the movie comes out in 4K BD instead of just HD. It would be insane to see that it didn’t after all that restoration work. Fans of Kurosawa (such as myself) could start building a collection of his best films in UHD.


  • Marvin
    May 23, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Any updates of when Ran Restored 4k comes to the U.S. ? Thanks


  • Jacen
    May 10, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Well, here it is May 10, 2018, and still there is no restored version of the film on Blu ray (or DVD for that matter) for American fans. What’s up, Studiocanal? Did you forget about us? Are you expecting that we will just plunk down more money for a region free player so that we can buy the UK disc? For that matter, what’s up, Criterion? You’ve been releasing plenty of films of questionable artistic value recently, and once upon a time you had Ran–so why not a restored version?


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