Sunday, April 29, 2007

Late Weekend Links -- John Carter and Bruce Wayne

Let's throw up a few more animation links here on a Sunday afternoon. You know, to complement yesterday's batch.

First up is the Brad Bird live-actioner (suggested in comments below). Brad will -- apparently -- tackle the Edgar Rice Burroughs epic John Carter of Mars.

As for that live-action film (possibly an entry from the "John Carter of Mars" series?), Bird says it's next, and it will be for Pixar.

The company is evolving into a place where all kinds of movies, not just animated ones, can come out," Bird says.

But Brad Bird isn't the only longtime artist who's moving over to the live action director's chair. There's also comic book master Frank Miller:

Now there's a sweet satisfaction in the fact that the new Hollywood approach is to hire fan-boy directors and show fawning respect for the source material. "Sin City's" Robert Rodriguez even insisted on sharing director credits with Miller on those films (a maverick stand that cost Rodriguez his membership in the Directors Guild), and that led directly to a somewhat shocking development: Miller has now been tapped to write and direct his own film based on Will Eisner's classic noir hero "The Spirit."

Addendum: What's interesting about the above is, Brad Bird spent a lo-ong time developing Spirit as an animated project (as he noted here):

Barrier: You mentioned "The Spirit," and I wanted to ask you about Will Eisner.

Bird: "The Spirit" is only comic-book crime fighter I would say I know well. I got interested in that because I was interested in movies. I read an interview somewhere with a film director that I liked [who] talked about "The Spirit" being "cinematic." So I started to read it, and I thought, wow! It was cinematic. I loved the angles, the use of shadow, and the fact that its characters were expressive; they didn't have the rigid facial expressions normally associated with superhero comics. It was kind of cartoony, especially in the years 1946, '47, '48. Eisner also had all the draftsmanship chops. They were like short stories; often the Spirit only came in at the beginning or the end. I liked that; I felt like it was weird and unpredictable and interesting. So I got all the reprints of "The Spirit" I could lay my hands on.

Barrier: You said you'd tried to develop a feature of "The Spirit" some time ago and couldn't make it fly. Is that the sort of thing that would be conceivable now that The Incredibles has broken the ground for it? Bird: I don't know. I think they're developing a live-action version of "The Spirit." For me, it almost seems like it's past. I blew a lot of energy and time on it, and I kind of think in my mind it should always be a hand-drawn thing, and right now, Hollywood idiocy being what it is, that's considered the kiss of death. I don't think you could get any money for a big animated feature if you insisted on it being hand-drawn. For whatever reasons, people perceive CG as being the magic thing that will turn any bad idea good. Maybe five years from now they'll realize that any medium is fine if the characters draw you in and the story is well told. But right now, I think it's probably very difficult to find financing for an ambitious hand-drawn film...

Lastly, The Hollywood Reporter publishes a short piece on the costs and complications of creating three dimensional films:

The holy grail for the cost of converting a feature to stereoscopic 3-D appears to be $50,000-$75,000 per minute, according to Buzz Hays, senior producer of 3-D stereoscopic feature films at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

This range, he said, looks like the point where companies are willing to invest in 3-D, though he emphasized that production needs to be made more efficient to meet this goal.

Costs, time and technology were among the topics during a frank discussion about the 2-D-to-3-D stereoscopic conversion process, presented Thursday by the Visual Effects Society Education/Technology Committee. The standing-room-only event was staged for members of the VES, DGA and Producers Guild of America.

Don't wear yourself out at work next week. Save something for yourself.

3 comments:

Benjamin said...

That John Carter stuff is only speculation from the interviewer, because they happened to have bought the rights to that... imdb.com has been saying for a while now that his live-action film will be "1906". Of course, until it's officially announced, you never know, but I think it's likely imdb is correct.

Steve Hulett said...

Could be. The Burrough's novels are far enough back to be in the Public Domain. So anybody can develop a project.

Freudian Slip said...

I just hope this actually happens!
Matt

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