Posted on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Germain Lussier
Rumors exploded all over the internet Tuesday that the legendary HBO series, The Wire, was being remastered into high definition for an upcoming marathon. Well, sorry to burst the bubble of all you Bubbles fans out there, but the statement is only half true. HBO has confirmed that, yes, the David Simon series – which originally aired and was released on DVD in standard definition, full screen – is in the process of being remastered for high definition widescreen. Unfortunately, that process is still ongoing and will most certainly not begin airing later this month as rumored.
The original The Wire remastered report came from HBOWatch.com who happened to find this promo.
However, Indiewire (among others) actually contacted HBO directly and were told while The Wire is in the process of a remastering, plans to air it are currently indefinite. The above commercial was released prematurely, is incorrect and episodes are “currently under review.” There’s also no info on when we’ll see them, what resolution they’ll screen at or how we can get our hands on them. So it’s good news bad news. The Wire remastered is coming, we just have to wait a while.
Of note – when the show hit Amazon Prime and Direct TV a few years back, it was in widescreen because the show was originally shot in Super 16 and then finished in 16 x 9. The original airings were scaled down to the 4:3 of the time. So the raw materials are out there.
The Wire began in 2002 and ended its five season run in 2008. Though it was largely overlooked at the time, the show slowly but surely built an audience based on its incredible critical reviews and can’t miss word of mouth. Despite never winning an Emmy award (it was only nominated for two), the show is now considered to be one of, if not these, best television shows in the history of the medium.
Simon’s show attempted – and succeeded – in making a show about a city. Over the course of five seasons, and through the interlocked stories of characters at the police department, shipping docks, City Hall, schools and newspapers, The Wire created a profile of a city under siege. A city with potential drowning under corruption, unsolvable social problems and crime. It also made stars of actors like Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams, Dominic West, Amy Ryan, Aidan Gillen and so many others.
The Wire is a show that deserves to be seen in the best possible format and HBO knows this. It’s one of their crown jewels. Eventually, we’ll see it with its full potential. But even until then, a lower resolution and bars on the side of your TV can’t hurt the indescribable power of the show.
For more on The Wire, check out this episode of the /Filmcast where Dave and the guys welcomed noted TV critics to talk about the show.