A special screening of director James Cameron’s iconic The Abyss: Special Edition is one of the headline events of this year’s Beyond Fest event in Los Angeles. The legendary filmmaker will also be in attendance to discuss the classic.
The original version of the science fiction film landed in theaters in August 1989, with the Special Edition following in 1993. Unadjusted for inflation, The Abyss has grossed $90 million against a budget reportedly in the region of $43 million to $47 million. The second-highest-grossing film director of all time, Cameron’s films have grossed over $8 billion worldwide.
The filmmaker’s presence at the 1,341-seater Regency Village Theatre is a rare personal appearance. The screening event will also include what is billed as “an extended conversation” with the director.
Nominated for four Oscars and winning one for Best Visual Effects, the groundbreaking epic starred Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The Abyss tells the story of a US search and recovery team deployed after an American submarine sinks in the Caribbean. Before too long, they are locked in a race against the Soviets to retrieve it, but what lies in wait for them deep below the ocean’s surface is something otherworldly.
Other legends being spotlighted and celebrated by the Beyond Fest, the biggest genre film festival in the US, include Michael Mann, who will attend a screening of his classic serial killer movie Manhunter, which featured Brian Cox as incarcerated killer Hannibal Lecktor five years before Sir Anthony Hopkins played the role. Guillermo Del Toro will also attend a screening of Pacific Rim, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Director Brad Bird will also bring The Iron Giant to the festival. The beloved animated classic also marked Bird’s directorial debut. The work of genre moviemaker Roger Corman will also be celebrated with screenings of Piranha with director Joe Dante, Grand Theft Auto, The Raven, and a special screening of a new 35mm print of Rock’ n’ Roll High School. A 30th anniversary screen of True Romance is also expected to be a crowd-puller.
As well as those luminaries and their work, Beyond Fest, now in its eleventh year, is known for showcasing some of the buzziest new releases to packed houses, and this year is no different. This year’s offering includes five world premieres, three North American Premieres, seven US premieres, and 18 West Coast Premieres, with the total number of features topping out at 55 across three venues. The Abyss: Special Edition is the only film in the festival that will be screened at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, with the others either taking place at the Aero Theatre or Los Feliz 3, in partnership with the American Cinematheque and NEON.
Beyond Fest, which welcomed more than 19,000 movie fans last year, will kick off on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, with the highly anticipated sci-fi action thriller The Creator from Godzilla and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards. The event will wind down on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, with the closing night film Dream Scenario starring Nicolas Cage, who delivers what has been described as “a career-defining performance.”
Other new movies expected to be popular with attendees are director Andrew Haigh’s metaphysical romantic drama All Of Us, which stars Andrew Scott, Jamie Bell, Claire Foy, and Paul Mescal, who has two films in the festival, with the other being Garth Davis’ psychological drama, Foe. Tickets for Director Macon Blair’s new take on the Troma classic The Toxic Avenger, the North American premiere of the 4K restorations of The Raid: Redemption, and The Wicker Man, celebrating its 50th anniversary, are also expected to be hot commodities. Filmmaker Jeffrey Reddick will also attend a special screening of the 2000 supernatural Final Destination, the movie he created that spawned a multimillion-dollar film franchise.
Tickets for Beyond Fest 2023 go on sale via the American Cinematheque website on Friday, September 15, 2023, at 10 AM PST.