James Cameron’s ‘The Abyss’ Coming Back to Theaters With 4K Remaster

The Big Picture

  • James Cameron’s The Abyss is returning to theaters on December 6, 2023, in a special edition which includes a 4K transfer, more content, and surprises for fans.
  • The original version of The Abyss underperformed at the box office in 1989 but has gained a significant audience over the years.
  • The special edition of The Abyss includes 32 minutes of extra content, making the runtime 2 hours and 51 minutes.

James Cameron’s “first ocean movie”, The Abyss, is making its way back to theaters on December 6, 2023. The upcoming The Abyss: Special Edition is a 4K transfer, which was personally done by Cameron, and includes more content and “surprises” that were not present in the original version. The Abyss: Special Edition was screened at Beyond Fest earlier this year.

Cameron made the announcement of the film’s return to theaters on social media on November 13. The director assured fans that they would be seeing the movie he “actually set out to make.” Cameron explained,

If you haven’t seen the film before, this is the way to experience it and if you have, you’ll be seeing the film I actually set out to make — with some big surprises not seen in the originally released version. I hope you’ll take advantage of seeing The Abyss, my first ocean film, back in theaters.”

Released in 1989, The Abyss is a bit of an outlier in Cameron’s portfolio. The film underperformed at the box office, making just shy of $90 million globally. However, over the years, as Cameron gained more mainstream popularity, the film built quite an audience for itself. Bringing it back to theaters in times of scarcity at the cinemas is a smart stroke, to say the least.

How Long Is ‘The Abyss: Special Edition’?

The Abyss: Special Edition runs for 2 hours 51 minutes — that’s 32 minutes of extra content. The original version runs for 2 hours and 17 minutes. The movie became available to stream online shortly after its screening at Beyond Fest in LA where Cameron also had a brief Q&A session. Both the original version of The Abyss and the extended 4K special edition are available to stream on Prime Video.

As mentioned above, The Abyss was released back in 1989. This was before Cameron began exploring his love for deep sea diving through his films, and only had Piranha II: The Spawning, The Terminator, and Aliens to his name. The Titanic and Avatar director is now the second-highest-grossing director in the history of cinema, right behind Steven Spielberg. It’s also worth noting that three of the four highest-grossing movies of all time were directed by Cameron. These include Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water, and Titanic.

The Abyss follows underwater oil drillers who are called in by the U.S. Navy for a rescue mission but are met with an advanced alien species in the deep waters. The film was a pioneer in special effects for its time and clinched the 1990 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The Abyss: Special Edition will soon hit theaters in the U.S. on December 6. Check out the official trailer for the remastered 4K version below:


The Abyss

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and faces danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Release Date
August 9, 1989

James Cameron

Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester, Todd Graff, John Bedford Lloyd



Main Genre

Adventure, Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

20th Century Fox

James Cameron

A place on Earth more awesome than anywhere in space.

Watch on Prime Video

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