STUDIOCANAL today announce the 4K restoration of Paul Verhoeven's (ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL, STARSHIP TROOPERS) BASIC INSTINCT. Commissioned by STUDIOCANAL, the film was restored through 2019 and 2020 from the original 35MM negative and supervised by the director himself, with invaluable input to the bonus material from Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas. As boundary-pushing today as it was in 1992, BASIC INSTINCT redefined the erotic thriller subgenre and remains a must-see for audiences globally.
The film will soon be launched theatrically in France with STUDIOCANAL's partners Carlotta, coinciding with the French home entertainment release (June 16th 2021), and will also be in cinemas from June 17th 2021 in Australia and New Zealand, followed by a theatrical release from Rialto Pictures in the US later this year. STUDIOCANAL will also launch the film on Ultra HD™, Blu-Ray, DVD and Steelbook editions in the UK (June 14th 2021), Germany (June 17th 2021), Australia (July 7th 2021) and New Zealand (July 14th 2021)
In addition to a new trailer, two brand-new artworks have also been created to promote the release which were designed by celebrated, French graphic artist Flore Maquin. Maquin is noted for her iconic Cannes Film Festival poster designs of 2018 and 2019 amongst a host of other film work.
To coincide with the new restoration, a brand new 52 minute documentary, BASIC INSTINCT: SEX, DEATH & STONE has been created by STUDIOCANAL, TCM and Rockyrama and is being sold globally to broadcasters, having received its network premiere in France in December 2020. This documentary includes exclusive interviews and personal anecdotes captured in 2019 and 2020 with Paul Verhoeven, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, editor Frank J. Urioste, writer Joe Eszterhas and cinematographer Jan de Bont, and will feature on the Home Entertaiment releases for the film as a special bonus feature.
The aim was to create an image just as crisp as audiences had enjoyed in 1992. The first step was to scan the 35MM image negative of the film in 4K DPX LOG 16 bits on Scanity – but the restoration team at Hiventy Laboratory in Joinville-le-Pont noticed a problem with the negative. STUDIOCANAL project manager, Sophie Boyer, explains - "we quickly realized that the negatives corresponded to the short version of the film. In addition, some shots from the most erotic scenes were censored in the United States. We went looking for these cuts: their negatives had disappeared, but we found them in the internegative. Thanks to this, we were able to restore the full-length version of the film, the only version that Paul Verhoeven wanted to have restored."
All damages on the negatives were identified: stains, scratches, dusty shots and instabilities. DIAMANT film software was used to remove these defects. The laboratory undertook over 100 hours of manual removal of the dark stains. Light filtering was applied to remove the superficial defects, with particular care taken to retain the grain and the texture of the original image. The film was colour graded for theatrical, home entertainment and 4K HDR release using previous digital releases and 35MM prints as a reference. The colour-grading required a painstaking homogenization between the different versions (the director's cut vs. censored versions). The sound was similarly restored - the dynamic of the mixes was improved, and the sync checked throughout, with corrections made using Protools plug-ins for a 5.1 + 2.0 version, from sources 3324.
Michael Douglas stars as San Francisco detective Nick Curran, a troubled cop with a history of trigger-happy shootings. The death of a former rock star sends him into the orbit of the victim's lover, novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), who immediately becomes prime suspect in the murder. But Nick's lust for danger draws him further and further into Catherine's orbit as he becomes dangerously obsessed with her. Can he prove her innocence and free her of suspicion? Or is she involved in the murder after all?
The film also stars Jeanne Tripplehorn as police psychologist Dr Beth Garner, George Dzundas as Nick's partner Gus, Denis Arndt as Lieutenant Phillip Walker and Leilani Sarelle as Roxy Hardy. The cast is rounded out by great character actors like Bruce A. Young, Stephen Tobolowsky, Wayne Knight and Chelcie Ross.