'The Revenant' to Get HDR Dolby Vision Release

A Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos version of Alejandro G. Inarritu's wilderness-set survival thriller The Revenant has been created and will be released by Fox and New Regency in select cinemas that support the format.

Dolby Vision is a new high-dynamic-range (HDR) format, meaning that it can reproduce a wider range between the blackest blacks and whitest whites in an image. The Revenant's cinematographer, Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki — who has won the last two consecutive Oscars in cinematography for Gravity and Birdman, and this year is vying for another with Revenant — has long wanted HDR as part of his palette. In a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lubezki called HDR "a dream for any cinematographer, any creator of images."

The Revenant was lensed with Arri Alexa cameras, and roughly 40 percent of the film involved the new 6K large format Alexa 65, according to Inarritu. These cameras can already accommodate HDR imagery. The Dolby Vision version is created during the digital color grading and mastering steps in postproduction.

Previously, clips from Lubezki's work on Gravity were actually converted to the Dolby Vision format for demonstrations to Hollywood stakeholders before the format was announced in 2014. Dolby Vision launched theatrically in the spring of 2015 with titles including Disney's Tomorrowland and Disney/Pixar's Inside Out. More recently, Dolby Vision versions of titles such as Disney/Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Twentieth Century Fox's The Martian were also created.

Dolby Vision — combined with Dolby's immersive sound format Atmos and the company's proprietary premium large-format theater configuration — makes up Dolby Cinema, the company's large-format theater offing. Currently in the U.S., there are nine Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime locations (Hollywood's Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre additionally offers Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos). There are also four Dolby Cinema locations in Europe. As Dolby Cinema theaters are currently showing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant's Dolby Cinema rollout might not immediately start when the movie opens on Dec. 25.