'Do The Right Thing' Returning To Theaters With 4K Restoration For 30th Anniversary

Spike Lee's monumental Do the Right Thing is turning 30, and to mark the occasion, Universal is re-releasing the movie into theaters with a new 4K restoration. The same 4K restoration is also headed to Blu-ray on the Criterion Collection, but if you've never had a chance to see Do the Right Thing in theaters, this is your chance.

In 1989, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing hit theaters and helped solidify the filmmaker as a force to be reckoned with. A deft blend of comedy and drama, Lee's film focuses on racial tensions bubbling over in a Brooklyn neighborhood during one hot summer day. To this day, it remains one of Lee's very best films, and is often included on lists highlighting the greatest films of all time. On top of all of that, the movie feels more relevant than ever. And now it's coming back to theaters.

Deadline reports that Universal and the Criterion Collection are set to roll out a re-release of the film that includes "one-week engagements as well as single-day showtimes June 30 at select AMC, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, and Alamo Drafthouse theaters. There also will be 35mm screenings at select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and Brookline, MA."

Do the Right Thing

Regarding the re-release, Jim Orr, Universal's President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution said:

"When Spike Lee's revolutionary Do the Right Thing was released by Universal Pictures 30 years ago this June, it ignited a national conversation on race and race relations in America that challenged our assumptions about ourselves and our country and heralded the arrival of a generation-defining filmmaker...Universal is honored by Lee's enduring relationship with the studio, and we are thrilled to re-release his masterwork Do the Right Thing with this extraordinary new restoration."

In Do the Right Thing, "Salvatore "Sal" Fragione (Danny Aiello) is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria's Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian actors. Buggin' Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighborhood should showcase black actors, but Sal disagrees. The wall becomes a symbol of racism and hate to Buggin' Out and to other people in the neighborhood, and tensions rise."

The 4K restoration will hit theaters on June 28, 2019. The Criterion Collection Blu-ray arrives July 23, with the following special features.

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1995 featuring director Spike Lee, Dickerson, production designer Wynn Thomas, and actor Joie Lee
  • Introductions by Lee
  • Making "Do the Right Thing," a documentary from 1989 by St. Clair Bourne, in a new 2K digital transfer
  • New interviews with costume designer Ruth E. Carter, New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., writer Nelson George, and filmmaker Darnell Martin
  • Three programs from 2000 and 2009, featuring Lee and cast and crew members Barry Alexander Brown, Chuck D, Dickerson, Richard Edson, Frankie Faison, Jon Kilik, Kevin Ladson, Steve Park, Rosie Perez, Luis Ramos, Monty Ross, John Savage, Roger Guenveur Smith, and John Turturro
  • Music video for Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," directed by Lee, with remarks from rapper Chuck D
  • Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1989 featuring Lee along with actors Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Edson, and Joie Lee
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Original storyboards, trailer, and TV spots
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Vinson Cunningham and (on the Blu-ray) extensive excerpts from the journal Lee kept during the preparation for and production of the film