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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Imax to show Star Wars' Clones
Imax Cinema in London
London's Imax cinema opened in 1999
Cinema company Imax has secured the rights to show Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones on its giant screens.

Director George Lucas has also agreed to use new Imax technology to re-master the sci-fi film for Imax screens.

Imax believes its new technology ensures films are as sharp to watch its screens as they are on normal cinema screens, something it has not always achieved in the past.

Imax theatres, which have curved screens which rise up to eight stories high, have traditionally played science and nature films which it produces itself in either 3D or 2D format.

Hayden Christensen
Attack of the Clones was released in May
But it has been trying to branch out into showing Hollywood blockbusters to expand its audience appeal.

Landing Stars Wars is seen as something of a coup because the film franchise has such a loyal fan base who would want to see the film on a giant screen.

The Canadian-based company, which has cinemas around the world, has recently suffered losses, last year posting a deficit of $11m (£7m) but has recently turned this around to a $3m (£1.9m) profit for the second quarter of 2002.

Imax is hoping that other film companies will follow the example of LucasFilm and allow their movies to be transferred into Imax-friendly formats.

"You couldn't find a movie better suited for the Imax format," said Bruce Snyder, president of Star Wars' distribution company 20th Century Fox.

It could also become a money booster for Imax because it owns the technology, called DMR.

Space disaster movie Apollo 13 was the first live action film to be digitally converted for the Imax screen.

Star Wars Attack Of The Clones DVD sleeve
The DVD will be released in November
But converting a conventional film can cost up to $3m (£2.1m).

"For us, the holy grail has always been the simultaneous release of live action films," Imax co-chief executive Richard Gelfond said.

In November, Imax sees its first simultaneous release of an animated film, Walt Disney's Treasure Planet.

Imax has signed up with one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood in an attempt to show blockbuster movies.

The Creative Artists Agency, which represents stars such as Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow, has relationships with many top directors and studios whose films it would be keen to show.

The company is hoping it will be able to persuade film companies to let it show up to six Hollywood films a year.

See also:

07 Aug 02 | Film
22 Mar 02 | Film
20 May 02 | Scotland
09 May 02 | Reviews
19 May 02 | Reviews
10 May 02 | Film
13 May 02 | Film
09 May 02 | Reviews
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