Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (July 1)
“Manny, Ellie, Sid, Diego and Scrat – we’re taking all of the characters people know and love to the next level in Ice Age 3,” explains co-director Carlos Saldanha.
“But there are no gimmicks here,” Saldanha is quick to point out. “We’re not trying to go for the classic ‘poke in the eye’ moment with things popping out of the screen. I carved out the sequences to create the best story I could make, so we have a film that is great in 2D, even better in 3D.”
As the title suggests, the plot this time includes a bunch of romping, rampaging dinos, while saber-toothed squirrel Scrat this time has more on his fervid little mind than pesky acorns – he’s fallen head-over-heels for a cutie called Scratte.
Saldana promises it’ll be “extremely funny, full of action and energy”, and – not being a man to duck hyperbole – he also guarantees that
“Simon Pegg’s crazy one-eyed weasel Buck” will “honestly blow you away.” And given the first two movies took over a billion dollars, who’s to argue?
Final Destination: Death Trip 3D (August 28)
Snakes On A Plane director David R Ellis grabs the reins of the most expensive installment yet in the ‘fate’ franchise. 3D slashers Scar and My Bloody Valentine have set the bar lower than a midget limbo champion, so Death Trip really can’t miss.
You know the drill: after escaping a horrific race-car crash that should have killed them, dumb teens start dying horribly. We’re guessing, mainly on the end of various long, pointy, sharp things.[page-break]
Tron 2 (2011)
Take a look: light cycles are even more awesome in 3D. With some eye-yanking stereoscopic footage recently previewed by Disney, Tron’s sequel upgrades to 3D just as the original blasted CGI technology into the future three decades ago.
Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprise their roles, but it’s Troy’s Garrett Hedlund who stars as the man sucked into the mainframe, where Serinda Swain and Beau Garrett wait for him as “temptresses from the computer world”. Loading…
Alice In Wonderland (2010)
Who better than Tim Burton to bring Lewis Carroll’s nightmarish Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland to the screen? And if you thought Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka was friggin’ freaky, wait until you get a load of his Mad Hatter.
Burton readily admits to not especially liking any of the previous Alice adaptations. “It’s always been about a passive little girl wandering
around a series of adventures with weird characters,” he sighs, taking time out on the LA set. “There’s never any gravity to them. What we’ve tried to do is make her a real person in that she’s going through this.”
Burton’s new take incorporates characters and situations from both Alice’s Adventures and its literary sequel, Through The Looking Glass,
but the plot is essentially a new one and his Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is older too, a girl on the precipice of womanhood.
She tumbles down the rabbit hole to encounter a “slightly haunted” wonderland populated by Carroll’s iconic characters, brought to life through a combination of motion capture, CG creatures and real actors.
Burton regulars Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the Red Queen, are joined by Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum and Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts. And all in glorious 3D.[page-break]
Mastermind (November 2010 )
Robert Downey Jr, Ben Stiller and Tina Fey is about as good as comedy casts get. Good idea, too: an animated satire on superhero movies. Oh no, wait. The Incredibles already did this. But Pixar’s super-’toon was 2D.
And this DreamWorks extravaganza will use the same pioneering 3D wizardry that made Monsters Vs Aliens such a stormer. Co-written
by Coens collaborator Alan Schoolcraft, it sees a notorious villain losing his mojo and getting depression after he accidentally kills his nemesis.
Look for Shrek Goes Fourth and Puss-In-Boots to follow from DreamWorks’ new 3D-blockbuster factory.
Up (October 16)
John Lasseter tells us: “You can add all the colour and special effects in the world, but you have to start with story. I’ll never let anything go into production that’s not working in the story reel.
No amount of great animation will save a bad story. It has to be working well. And when it is working well, it’ll get a hundred times better when it’s animated properly.” And then better again in 3D?
“It’s an amazing journey,” says Lasseter. “Pete Docter [Up’s co-director] co-created Toy Story and created Monsters, Inc. This is his film and it’s so unique and unusual and just beautiful in its emotion.”
There’s also plenty of laughs… “Oh yeah,” confirms Lasseter. “Up is funny. I mean it’s really funny. It’s a hilarious, wonderful adventure.”[page-break]
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (October)
Only a crazy fool would miss a 3D disaster movie starring ‘ain’t-gettin-on-no-planesucka’ Mr T. Anna Faris, James Caan and Bruce Campbell also jibber-jabber this homage to Hollywood apoca-pics.
“There’s certainly a little bit of Twister in there,” says co-director Phil Lord. “Independence Day. There’s quite a bit of Armageddon. We cite Michael Bay as a huge influence.”
You saw the title: expect to be ducking mashed-potato storms, a ketchup tornado and giant meatballs. So crazy it just might be amazing.
Cleo (2011 )
“In retrospect, probably the only really positive thing that anyone got out of Solaris was the fact that I got to hang out and talk to Cameron for a couple of years,” grins Steven Soderbergh wryly, as he tells Total Film about his remake of ’50s epic Cleopatra.
“If there were ever a genre to be ready-made for 3D, it’s the musical. I’ve always wanted to make a musical. And for the remake of Cleopatra that I’m envisioning, a sort of crazy-ass Viva Las Vegas musical, 3D is perfect.” He grins again. “Don’t you want to see that?” [page-break]
Avatar (December 2009)
The man standing next to James Cameron predicts Avatar will be the biggest 3D live-action movie ever made. He’s not alone. Ridley Scott recently saw some footage.
“It’s... Amazing,” he breathlessly told Total Film. Steven Soderbergh put it another way: “The shit is mindblowing.”
More than a thousand people have worked on Avatar. The budget of $200m is whispered to be a wildly conservative estimate. By the time audiences see it in December, 14 years will have passed since Cameron wrote his initial treatment.
“We can’t do this,” his crew told him back in 1995. “We’ll die.” Cameron made the biggest movie of all time instead. But it now seems as if Titanic – like the underwater IMAX documentaries he’s filmed since – was just another stepping stone to create the technology he needed
to realise Avatar.
Lensed on an empty studio in the 16,000 sq ft hanger where Howard Hughes built his wooden ‘Spruce Goose’ airplane, Avatar takes place far in the future on the mythical planet of Pandora.
It’s a war movie that pits an army of callous human exploiters against 10ft blue indigenous aliens. Pandora’s exotic jungles and mysterious oceans are a fusion of CG environments and real locations shot in New Zealand and Hawaii.
The cast are a combo of actors (led by Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington) and photorealistic digital ‘synthespians’. According to Cameron, Spielberg, Jackson, Scott, Soderbergh and everyone else who’s seen a glimpse of Avatar, you won’t even know which is which.
And you won’t care. That, explains Cameron, is the power of 3D. “It’s so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2D viewing doesn’t,” he buzzes.[page-break]
Tintin: Secret Of the Unicorn (2011)
"Every movie I made up until Tintin, I always kept one eye closed when I was framing a shot,” says Steven Spielberg. “On Tintin, I have both of my eyes open.”
You heard him. Hollywood’s greatest storyteller thinks 3D has finally taken the blindfold off. On the phone to Total Film, he says, “3D fizzled out in the ’50s and the early ’60s but it’s roaring back and is going to stay for a long time.”
He’s already wrapped his first stereoscopic movie and is entering a two-year post-prod period with producer Peter Jackson.
“At some level, I believe that almost any movie benefits from 3D,” says Jackson, who’ll direct Tintin 2 before co-directing the third with Spielberg. “As a filmmaker, I want you to get lost in the film, participate in the film rather than just observe it.”
Secret Of The Unicorn is the first in this trilogy of 3D adaps about Belgian artist Herge’s quiffed comic-book adventurer, with King Kong’s Jamie Bell starring as Tintin himself.
Spared the indignity of playing Tintin’s clue-sniffing dog Snowy (the mutt will be CG animated by Weta), Andy Serkis is drunken sailor Captain Haddock. Daniel Craig, Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones pack out the knockout cast, while Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play the identical twin detectives Thomson and Thompson.
How exactly? “It’s motion capture – so we’re all wearing grey clothes and grey helmets with cameras all over,” reveals Frost. “It’s great!”
And we’re not arguing. Written by Doctor Who scribe Steve Moffat, then rewritten by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the script is based on two Tintin adventures: Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.
Our advice? Go grab them, because 2011 is a long wait for a movie that could be as earth-shattering as Avatar.
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