Tony Scott may be gone, but Top Gun lives on. Prior to his suicide on August 19, Scott had been working with Paramount Pictures on converting one of his most well-known films into 3D as preparation for a potential sequel.
With his sudden death though, everything changed.
Paramount had enlisted the services of Legend3D, a company who specializes in converting conventional 2D films into 3D. The company counts Hugo and Alice in Wonderland among its more well-known credits.
Paramount and its partners are now left with a completed 3D converted cut of Top Gun, but the dilemma they now face involves when and if to release it.
The New York Times reports that the studio submitted a copy of the film to film censors in China in hopes of perhaps releasing the film in early 2013. China has proven to be a boon for 3D films, even converted classics, as evidenced by the record-breaking $67 million first-weekend gross for Titanic 3D. There has been no response from the Chinese Film Commission, which strictly limits the number of foreign films that screen in the nation's theaters.
Domestically, the biggest issue with a 3D re-release of Top Gun comes in balancing the presentation of the film as a celebration and memorial to Tony Scott while not coming off as insensitive or exploitive.
Paramount has also considered releasing the film on a limited run on IMAX screens, similar to the re-release run that Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark enjoyed a few months ago.
While the memory of Top Gun will live on in revival theaters nationwide, what would you do if you were in Paramount's shoes? Would you only release the film internationally? Would you move forward with a limited domestic 3D re-release? Or would you shelve the 3D version for a few years?