Sent this morning to Wade Williams, the Kansas City-based film archivist who owns the largest independent library of science-fiction film rights, and more particularly owns the rights to Invaders From Mars (’53) as well as, I presume, all material elements:
“Greetings, Wade — Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere here. Journalist for 35 years, former projectionist at Sono Cinema in Norwalk, former employee of Sid Geffen, friend of the late L.M. Kit Carson and big fan of William Cameron Menzies’ Invaders From Mars.
“When, if ever, will Invaders be HD scanned and made available for HD streaming? Or perhaps even for a Bluray? The 50th anniversary DVD came out…what, 12 or 13 years ago and nothing has happened since, and the world is moving on.
“I’ve been told by a couple of fellows who seem to know the realm that you’ve been unreasonable about cutting a deal with someone to remaster Invaders From Mars for HD digital and/or Bluray. They say your terms are not of this world. But perhaps this isn’t true and you’ve got some kind of HD plan in the works. Do you? Is there any way this impressionistic sci-fi classic will someday be transferred to HD, or should fans just say adieu and forget about it?
“I’m sure you would agree, Wade, that Invaders From Mars is not all about you and your bank balance. The movie was made long before you became a successful archivist, and tens of thousands still cherish it. Then again this fan base will eventually die which, of course, will let you off the hook.
“The word on the street is that you’re cut from the same cloth as the notoriously intransigent film-rights squatter Raymond Rohauer, and that you’re essentially preventing this fascinating ‘50s timepiece from being properly remastered to an HD format because of an unrealistic and backdated idea of what it’s worth in today’s digital streaming market.
“What can you tell me? — Regards, Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere”