When Darren Aronofsky brought his debut feature “Pi” to Sundance Film Festival in 1998, he negotiated for the rights to eventually revert back to himself. Now, 25 years later as the owner of the numbers-inspired psychological thriller, he’s sold the film to A24.
As part of the acqusition, A24 has remastered “Pi” (stylized as π) and plans to release the film in theaters and on digital platforms this year. The 8K and Atmos restoration version will play on the big screen on Pi Day, which is March 14, to commemorate its 25th anniversary.
“25 years ago, when we were just kids at Sundance, I was inspired by my hero Jim Jarmusch to fight for the rights of the film to return to the filmmakers,” Aronofsky said. “It took almost a quarter of a century, but time flies. In anticipation of this moment, we went back to the original black and white reversal 16mm film and scanned it at 8K. We also turned our original stereo mix into an Atmos experience. Everyone thought we were a little crazy but the film has never looked or sounded better. I am excited to team up with A24 and release this on Pi Day in Imax. I look forward to seeing everyone back in the theater soon.”
The one-day only screening, titled “Pi: The 25th Anniversary Imax Live Pi Day Experience,” will include a live Q&A with Aronofsky, cinematographer Matthew Libatique, composer Clint Mansell, actor Sean Gullette and other special guests live from Los Angeles, followed by a screening of the restored film.
Audiences will be able to see (and hear) “Pi” in the best possible quality. The movie is formatted through Imax’s proprietary digital remastering process (DMR) and remastered for Imax sound.
A surrealist psychological thriller, “Pi” follows a mathematician who becomes obsessed with searching for patterns in the universe as past of a quest for meaning. Aronofsky’s first film earned him the director’s award at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay. He went on to direct a range of mind-bending thrillers and dark dramas, including “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Wrestler,” “Black Swan,” and “Mother!”
A24 produced his most recent film, “The Whale,” a drama about a college professor who suffers from severe obesity. It’s been nominated for three Oscars, including Brendan Fraser’s lead performance as Charlie and Hong Chau’s supporting turn as his caretaker Liz.
Imax and A24 have previously collaborated on Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and this year’s Academy Awards darling “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The two companies plan to work together in the future on both new and repertory releases.
Watch a trailer for “Pi’s” 25th anniversary screening: