Here’s news to make fans of The Wire excited yet again. Back in September, a leaked trailer accidentally broke news that HBO was planning to air a digitally remastered version of The Wire, the first time the series would be available in a widescreen/HD format. Now, the network has confirmed the announcement, and will air a marathon of the entire remastered series. Starting December 26, HBO will air all five seasons of The Wire over a five day session.
Watch the new teaser below, which opens with some characteristically bleak words from Police Commissioner Burrell.
The process of converting the entire series from its original aspect ratio of 4:3 to the now common-to-TV 16:9 ratio raised some flags with creator and persistent show-runner David Simon. He broke down the entire process of the conversion and his initial apprehension in a lengthy blog post.
After involving himself in the conversion process, Simon explains that the conversion effect isn’t always great.
“There are other scenes, composed for 4:3, that lose some of their purpose and power, to be sure,” he wrote. “An early example that caught my eye is a scene from the pilot episode, carefully composed by Bob, in which Wee Bey delivers to D’Angelo a homily on established Barksdale crew tactics.”
Studious as ever, Simon provides video comparisons on his blog. Watch the scene in question below, first in the original 4:3 and then in an updated version that will air later this month. (Simon’s gripe here is the way that the new version lessens the effect of D’Angelo standing under the “chicken” sign in the frame.)
In the fall, Vanity Fair pointed out that the news might signal the release of the iconic David Simon creation on Blu-Ray, a possible follow-up to the network’s release of The Sopranos in the same format. Meanwhile, Simon is working on yet another HBO project, this one a miniseries called Show Me A Hero, a six-episode series about the controversy of low-income, public housing being built in Yonkers in the 1980s.