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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Michael Jackson In 3D Tonight On The Grammys

Jim here. Even though it is in anaglyph, I will give this event its due as it is Michael Jackson after all. Tonight on the Grammy Awards (CBS), Michael Jackson will be remembered by stars and fans alike with the airing of his EARTH SONG in 3D.

You can pick up 3D glasses for the show at Target stores today. There are only 15 million of them available however so if you intend on getting a pair, do it early.

To be clear, this is NOT modern 3D folks.
This is a similar type of experience that was presented at the Super Bowl last year with the MONSTERS VS. ALIENS commercial. I was NOT impressed by the effort and quite frankly sends a confusing message as to what modern 3D is about. However this is not about a movie per se, but rather to remember a great musician - so I am all for that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

DUNE 3D Getting Very Hot!

Jim here. Got this story via IGN (thanks ProjectCould!) and SlashFilm picked up on it as well! Could it be that the revisiting of Frank Hebert's DUNE is going to happen in 3D? I don't think there is any other choice is there? I mean, 2D science fiction is so... passé! :-)

IGN spoke with Pierre Morel (TAKEN - which I simply loved) who just took over the reins of the project from Peter Berg (who is now doing BATTLESHIP).

Says Morel on using S3D:
"I don't know," he laughs. "It's so early in the project that we haven't had that conversation yet. I'd love it to be 3D, of course. It's the kind of movie that has the scope to be 3D. Will they do it in 3D? I'd push for that, but I don't know. As a viewer, I've just been watching Avatar with my kids twice in the theater already and had a blast. It's an amazing experience."

Yes - safe to say it will go 3D. I am sure that Paramount will want the "AVATAR effect" for their bottomline. DUNE in three dimensions and a re-imagining with today's CG? Can't wait for that. Love the choice of director too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

MICROWORLDS: The Unseen World Beneath Our Feet In S3D!

Jim here. Here is the world exclusive on PassmoreLab's MICROWORLDS - a stereoscopic 3D look at tiny life that we know is there, but seldom think about. Indeed it can seem quite alien when it is zoomed in! Especially in S3D...

Here is their press release:

PassmoreLab, the San Diego-based multi-media production studio that specializes in 3D production and 2D to 3D content conversion, announced today the release of MicroWorlds -- their latest 3D film about the incredibly complex wonders of nature.

MicroWorlds is a live-action 3D educational science film that explores the world of life that goes on, unseen, all around us. From the earthworms in our backyards to the alien beauty of a garden snail, MicroWorlds examines the patterns, cycles, and daily rituals that are repeated on every scale, both in nature and in the lives of all creatures. Examined closely, nature reveals these patterns through the hands of time, the rotation of our planet and the flora and fauna that surround us.

Image: A lady bug pollinates a flower in the 3D film, "Microworlds". Click to zoom.

The film takes an extraordinarily intimate look at these worlds of nature beneath our feet by examining the seemingly invisible domains of four insects -- Earthworms, Ladybugs, Butterflies and Garden Snails -- and tells the amazing stories of the daily routines of these essential creatures and the vital role they play on our planet.

“From the clouds of cream in a coffee cup to the spiral of the galaxies, nature is interconnected,” said Greg Passmore, president of PassmoreLab, and director of the film. “The film gives viewers a completely immersive 3D experience and a greater appreciation of the symmetry of life and the crucial role different species play in nature.”

Astonishing beautiful and remarkably up close, the film was shot in California with a custom 3D microscopy rig specially designed for the film. High precision stages, state of the art macro lighting and a year of intense shooting yielded never before seen imagery.

“Ladybugs look a little different when they are 30 feet tall on screen and in 3D” smiles Passmore. “The idea was to try to give the audience a completely different perspective of the lives of our four hosts, show them in great detail, and at very, very close range.”

Mixing stereoscopic microscopy, time lapse and some serious bug wrangling, the film shows insects 'up close and personal’. Everything was shot at high def, precisely synchronized and with a broad dynamic range to capture and present a micro-reality to viewers.

Image: A Garden Snail shows his teeth and munches on a leaf in PassmoreLab's 3D film "Microworlds".

“Filming was a challenging and educational experience. In one scene we can very clearly see teeth in a snail’s mouth as it devours a leaf.” Says Passmore. “Seeing a butterfly using its proboscis in a flower is nothing new, but to see it actually draining the contents of a tiny droplet of water from a leaf is quite compelling.”

The film also shows ladybugs going about the business of pollination as well as hunting down their favorite meal – the common aphid. But it also shows much more than just miniature jaws in action. MicroWorlds also shows earthworms, deep in the ground, aerating the soil and actually eating, digesting and excreting the most important natural fertilizer on our planet – worm cast. PassmoreLab also created a complete teacher’s guide full of trivia, games and mind-benders germane to the film. It is a companion piece available for middle-schoolers that want to dig a little deeper into the science of the film after seeing it.

“This movie is uniquely positioned to entertain and educate,” said Steve Glum, Head of Branding and Distribution for PassmoreLab. “We think audiences worldwide – kids and adults -- will be thrilled to see these tiny creatures in 3D.”

2010 will be a busy year for PassmoreLab. The independent studio will also release two additional live-action 3D science and nature-themed productions – ‘The Extreme Nature of Bats’, and ‘Physics of Surfing’ -- as well as rolling out a number of 3D conversions, with the most high-profile title being the 3D conversion of the original 1968 George Romero zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead, Now in 3D!” which will see release in the US and Europe starting in March.

Image: A tiny mite hitches a ride on the back of an earthworm in the 3D film "Microworlds".

MicroWorlds will be available in 3D Digital in March. For more on PassmoreLab’s MicroWorlds, please visit www.passmorelab.com/microworlds.

About PassmoreLab
Passmorelab, the “World’s Largest 3D Content Provider”, is a San Diego-based multi-media production studio that specializes in 3D production and 2D to 3D content conversion. The studio custom-designs and builds its own RED camera 3D rigs for both conventional and rugged film productions, shooting everything from feature films, television and science documentaries, to underwater diving, extreme sports and cave exploration, click for reel. State-of-the-art facilities include a full 3D production studio, video/film post-production, optical development lab, and a software development environment. Production includes 2D, 3D, high dynamic range time lapse, stereoscopic microscopy and cutting-edge simulation technologies for real time SFX. Passmorelab’s proprietary technology for 2D to 3D video and film conversion is unmatched in the industry, in both turnaround times and conversion costs. PassmoreLab has additional offices in Russia and the Philippines. For more information, visit www.passmorelab.com.

Looking forward to seeing this!

PassmoreLab is a sponsor of MarketSaw

Thursday, January 28, 2010

3D Geek Alert: Pre-orders Now Available For Samsung's First S3DHD Blu-ray Player!

**SAME DAY UPDATE: And just as soon as we post it - Amazon takes down the link! Damn - it looks good. Same $ ballpark as a Sony PS3.

Jim here. Got a hot one for you and if you want to be the first on your block to have stereoscopic 3D for your upcoming super S3DHD home theater, check this out! (click image to zoom)

Amazon has started taking pre-orders today for the new Samsung BD-C6900 1080p 3D Blu-ray Disc Player and I have a feeling this is going to be one hot item! This is an industry first as far as I know.

The Samsung BD-C6900 player is fully compliant with the new Blu-ray 3D standard (and Blu-ray profile 2.0) and comes with built-in Wi-Fi. You can order it for $399.

You will also need a S3D TV as well running at 120 or 240Hz (or better) along with its active shutter glasses.

This is awesome! Can't wait to get this stuff in my living room!! :-)

Manchester United Vs. Arsenal... In S3DHD This Sunday In UK Pubs!!

**UPDATE: Jan 30 - The game will be shot with 3ality Digital's camera platforms and image processing software!

Jim here. Wow - this should kick start things! Not only is the BBC's rugby match (England Vs. Wales) being broadcast live to theaters across the UK next weekend, but now there is football! Manchester United and Arsenal will be battling it out via a stereoscopic 3D HD live broadcast of the football match on Sky Sports new S3DHD channel!! The difference is the BBC's rugby will be in theaters and Sky's will be in pubs on S3DHD TVs.

All of the football action is happening this Sunday in the UK with a limited selection of nine pubs outfitted with LG 47" LD920 S3DHD TVs (this is a actually a sneak peak - they won't be released until April). The pubs are located in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. April will see the launch of the S3DHD channel in HUNDREDS of UK pubs.

Further, the Sky 3D S3DHD channel will offer 3D movies, other sports, documentaries and other entertainment later in the year, along with the BBC's S3DHD efforts. It is important to note that the 3D content is available to Sky+HD subscribers for NO extra cost - initially at least. To read a FAQ about the channel, click here.

The pub locations are NOT being announced to control crowds and to allow regular patrons of the pubs to enjoy the game.

Says Sky Spokesman: “Eight specially engineered 3D camera rigs will house 16 of Sky’s high-definition cameras, to provide comprehensive stereoscopic coverage from all angles. The 3D broadcast will be supported by Sky’s dedicated 3D production team and purpose built 3D outside broadcast truck, which will enable live mixing between camera positions, slow motion replays and the use of innovative 3D graphics. There will also be a dedicated commentary team to support the 3D edit.”

As you know, The World Cup will also be shot in S3DHD this summer. And of course ESPN will have a their own S3DHD channel starting in June with their broadcast of the World Cup game between South Africa and Mexico.

My question is: Where is the NFL? Why haven't we heard from these guys yet? Even NBA or MLB action would look awesome in S3D. Hard to name a sport that wouldn't, actually. Now is the time guys to start ramping up for the 2011 SUPER BOWL in S3DHD! It is time for an official announcement :-)

3ality Digital is a sponsor of MarketSaw


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New TRON LEGACY Poster From Disney!

Jim here - Disney has released another image for TRON LEGACY and it looks stunning. I kinda like the yellow over the blue myself.

Click the image to enlarge.

This movie lists at the top of my err... list, of 2010 MUST SEEs. I have been hearing nothing but rave reviews from my sources and have been told that the 3D is unrivaled in it. Yes, that includes AVATAR.

Can the story hold up to the promise though? Time will tell. It has tough shoes to fill with an older generation's love affair with the original. It will be a spectacle though guys. No doubt. Out in theaters December 17.

Oh and if you haven't read the recent interview with director Joseph Kosinski talking 3D check this out over at MTV movies blog.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

EXCLUSIVE CONFIRMED! Warner Bros Will Announce Three 3D Movies That Are Currently 2D - Two Are Major Tentpoles!

**ANOTHER SAME DAY UPDATE: Did HEAT VISION try to steal my thunder? See the photo showing our post times - I am clearly ahead of them with the Warner news. Don't know for sure if they tried to act fast to cover up the fact I beat them or not. I certainly hope they didn't do that on purpose (click to enlarge).

**SAME DAY UPDATE: Count this one as CONFIRMED!
THR's Heat Vision Blog has confirmed that not only will CLASH OF THE TITANS be in S3D, but so will BOTH HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOW movies!

Accordingly, TITANS has been pushed back one week to April 2. The conversion is now only costing a mere $5 million to achieve per movie. That is nothing compared to the upside.


Jim here. I have to say I love this rumor and you heard it here first guys! Warner Bros is apparently going to announce before the END OF THIS WEEK that three of their current roster of 2D movies will become 3D movies!

This comes from a new source for us with whom I have dealt only once before. Here's hoping! Anyway, we will know soon if I can trust this guy :-)

I am assuming that one of them will be CLASH OF THE TITANS as you heard here on January 16. The stereo testing for TITANS went amazingly well.

Man oh man I hope the other is INCEPTION should this come to pass. :-) What do you think?

Celebrate The Massive 1-2 Punch With Us: AVATAR Passes TITANIC For Top Movie Of All Time!!

Jim here. What more can be said? AVATAR is now the top grossing movie of all time (AVATAR's Monday gross was $3.2 million domestic and an est. $16.9 million foreign, which put it at $1.859 billion, compared to TITANIC's $1.843 billion - BoxOfficeMojo). It really has earned it too. Only someone like a James Cameron could even get a project like this off of the ground let alone pull it off. Cameron knows that the second one of his movies does not make money, the wheels fall off.

I could go on and on about how AVATAR got to this point but really it has been talked about ad nauseum already on this site and others. But what I will talk about quickly is this new box office record we have here.

AVATAR will pass $2 billion. Think about that for a moment. That is almost DOUBLE the nearest non-Cameron movie (LOTR: THE RETURN OF THE KING). Double. Everyone else is relegated to $600m to $1b in the top 50.

There is no point in the naysayers trying to cast doubt on the record as you just cannot compare movies from different decades. Too many variables come into play and no, it is not just the difference in the price of a ticket. When STAR WARS was playing for example it was very common to have theatrical runs of months - indeed George Lucas' epic played for over a year straight. Imagine the results if AVATAR were in a position to do that? There simply wasn't the number of movies made back then as there are today and to compare them is ludicrous.

Even if you take a modern comparison with say THE DARK KNIGHT, it is a stretch to compare the two. TDK played in 4,366 theaters - many with multiple screens. AVATAR in contrast played in a maximum of 3,461 theaters - some with only one 3D screen.

Yes, AVATAR is enjoying a 3D premium for screenings and so they should. It is fundamental marketing. If the demand is there, fill it.

The people out there that blasted S3D and/or AVATAR before during and now after its release are being proven wrong without a shadow of doubt. Movies are entertainment and nothing has ever delivered like AVATAR or stereoscopic 3D before.

There is no doubt now as to the viability of S3D. It is time for the whiners and complainers to pack up their flyer mileage and go somewhere remote. The number one movie of ALL TIME is now stereoscopic. 3D has arrived, will stay and has forever changed Hollywood. To those still frothing at the mouth at our success? Get over it. :-)

Now comes the fun part!
Watching all the other genres of movies come over to S3D!! We now firmly have horror, animation and science fiction I believe. Don't forget that AVATAR won Best Picture at the Golden Globes for DRAMA - it will be a very interesting evening come Oscar night this year.

We have come a long way guys. I remember back in March of 2007 conjecturing on why AVATAR is important. I called the movie a catalyst for 3D and a game changer as far as ramifications for the industry is concerned - even more than STAR WARS and THE MATRIX. I essentially based this whole site on this movie. Seriously. I heard about the movie and thought - that's it! That is what I want to do. I want to ensure the world knows about this movie now and can watch it develop from infancy to whatever future it holds.

But the top grossing movie of all time?? I had my moments dreaming about that happening. But I was realistic too at the same time - TITANIC had truly pulled off a miracle run and to repeat it would be almost impossible. Had I downplayed the effect that 3D had on people and at the box office? Perhaps. But we did not have a firm grasp on just how many screens would be up at the time of AVATAR's release either - or just how much of a total audience would see it in 3D. I think it is running about about 80% right now.

Think about how many cinema owners have made the call to convert to 3D during the run of AVATAR - many of whom may have been on the fence pragmatically. Not anymore. People want to be entertained and S3D delivers time and time again.

I feel quite nostalgic right now!
How about taking a little ride in a time machine...


Let's take a look at MarketSaw's AVATAR scoops over the years:

- The FIRST look at the outdoor green screens being used in Wellington, New Zealand (here, here, here, here and here).
- The FIRST look at the AVATAR lots in Los Angeles.
- Production Details of the ships, mess hall, buildings, avatars, animals and plants of Pandora.
- Lighting of AVATAR.
- AVATAR T-Shirts!! (here, here, here and here) Second one has a look at the first silhouette of the BANSHEE and the third a look at a Navi silhouette holding a bow.
- Exclusive FIRST LOOK at the AVATAR Motion Capture Suits! (here and here)
- Exclusive Set Signs.
- Exclusive outdoor set shot of a plant from Pandora? Hard to say if this was actually in the movie though in retrospect - may have been a positional tool for mocap. It WAS used for AVATAR though.
- Exclusive: Horner Using Navi Language in AVATAR soundtrack!
- Exclusive HI Resolution Image of the AVATAR performance capture VOLUME!
- Exclusive Interview with AVATAR artist Mark Goerner!
- Jim Cameron Talks To Michael!
- Exclusive disclosure of the set location (security command area) in official photo.
- Exclusive FIRST LOOK at AVATAR's hand held weaponry!
- Exclusive FIRST LOOK at the BANSHEE's homeland (fairly certain this is what is in the photo)
- THE GRAND-DADDY of all the exclusives! THE FIRST LOOK AT A NAVI!
- Exclusive Interview with AVATAR Concept/Production Designer James Clyne!
- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK at AVATAR's AMP SUIT!!
- Exclusive Open Letter From AVATAR Crew Person!
- Exclusive After Party Photos From CineExpo Amsterdam! Including Full AMP Suit!
- Exclusive Colonel Quaritch Photo!!
- Exclusive Trudy Chacon Photo!!
- Exclusive: AVATAR 2 will NOT take place on Pandora!
- Exclusive: Second AVATAR trailer (the good one) release window!
- Exclusive: Interview with professor Debra Fischer of Yale on the astronomy of AVATAR!
- Exclusive Interview with Pascal Blanche, art director of AVATAR: The Game!
- Exclusive: AVATAR wraps up production!
- Jon Landau gives MarketSaw a shout out!!
- EXCLUSIVE interview with JIM CAMERON!

...and that was just our AVATAR scoops! We had much more additional material from other sources and websites to augment our coverage. And of course all of our industry leading coverage of other 3D movies, 3D gaming and home entertainment!

I actually held back what would have been the biggest scoop of them all
- the video clip of AVATAR being shown at Comic Con 2009. Its quality was not the best and far off to one side and it was in 3D so quite blurry at times. I decided to hold it back from the public for the sake of the movie and I am glad I did. Sorry to put you through that guys! I think we set a record for comments on that post too at over 300.

So yeah, we had some other sites upset at how good our coverage was and now everyone can see exactly WHY we did all of this work: AVATAR was worth it! It IS the best movie of all time and the box office backs it up. Do you see why Michael and I are so excited and have been for years? I am so glad you came along for the ride with us!

Here's the good news! It is NOT over. We will be here as the top source of AVATAR 2 and 3 too. Anything from Mr. Cameron will be covered here with the same intensity. Why? Because Michael and I love movies and nobody delivers better than James Cameron. Stay tuned - it's going to be a ride!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Concept Art: Pixar's CARS 2

Jim here. We have what seems to be an artistic story panel for the upcoming stereoscopic 3D Disney/Pixar CARS 2. It was obtained through Disney's Annual Report and via PixarPlanet.

That is Japan's Mt. Fuji in the background (Click to enlarge). They are obviously introducing a new Formula 1 character pictured racing behind Lightning McQueen - speed should definitely be a factor! :-)

The storyline goes like this (WARNING - SOME SPOILERS!):
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), his pit team and new pit boss Mater head around the world for the Race of Champions, to take place in five different countries and involve the champions of different disciplines like Formula One and rally driving. First up is a race in Tokyo, starting at Mount Fuji and heading downtown; then there's a German race through the Black Forest; then "Porto Corsa" in Italy, which is based partly on the Monte Carlo Grand Prix; then a 24-hour race around Paris (so somewhat like Le Mans then) and finally a thrilling climax in London, approaching Buckingham Palace (where the guards appear to be Land Rovers).

But all this racing is not the only focus. Mater, who we know from the series of cartoon shorts Mater's Tall Tales (more on that in our blog in a minute) is prone to exaggeration, gets involved in a "Hitchcockian" case of mistaken identity, saves the life of a British secret agent called Finn McMissile (who looks a heck of a lot like an Aston Martin) and becomes embroiled in a huge spy thriller. Only no-one believes him. That too comes to a head at Buckingham Palace.

Along the way there are towtruck-abroad pictures to be taken at the Oktoberfest in Germany (where Mater wears "Materhosen") and harassing the aforementioned Palace Guards.

Brad Lewis (the Producer of Ratatouille - my fav Pixar movie!) is directing and the movie is slated for release June 24th, 2011. I have a great feeling about this one!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: GREMLINS Will Rise Again - In 3D!!

Jim here. Speaking of combining horror with comedy (GHOSTBUSTERS 3D), up comes another prime example of that genre - GREMLINS. Again I have very good information from a top source that tells me another GREMLINS movie is coming to the silver screens and it will be in stereoscopic 3D! It is in the early stages with still lots of hurdles to pass, but it is being developed. This is not a 3D conversion of the original to be clear.

Seems like a good idea to me - especially in light of the GHOSTBUSTERS news we broke on Wednesday. The original GREMLINS was directed by THE HOLE's Joe Dante, with executive producer STEVEN SPIELBERG and writer CHRIS COLUMBUS.

The story centered around a pet purchased at a curious shop in NYC's Chinatown which had some quirks, namely rapid reproduction when introduced to water (one new creature per drop of water) and turning into gremlins after midnight if they feed.

From what I have been hearing, THE HOLE has been getting good critical reviews and it is so nice to have Joe Dante back behind the camera! It would make sense to bring him back for the S3D version of GREMLINS but I have not heard any more details. When I get more you will be the first to know :-) Looks like edgy family fun is on it's way back with GREMLINS and GHOSTBUSTERS, both in S3D of course!

Special thanks to my sources who keep us all in the loop!! You know who you are.

Friday, January 22, 2010

England Rugby LIVE IN 3D!! Verses Wales Feb 6 and Ireland Feb 27 In CINEMAS

Jim here. In what O2 is billing as the first live 3D sports broadcast in the UK, the RBS 6 Nations matches of England vs. Wales and Ireland will be available across the country.

The screenings will be shown at Cineworld and Odeon cinemas and ALL VENUES WILL HAVE LICENSED BARS. Take note North American theater chain owners.

Here are the details:

England v Wales, Saturday February 6, 2010
O2 Priority Tickets on sale: 9:00am Mon 25 January
General Sale: 9:00am Fri 29 January

England v Ireland, Saturday February 27, 2010
O2 Priority Tickets on sale: 9:00am Mon 15 February
General Sale: 9:00am Fri 19 February

I have to admit, I am an England fan - but Ireland is strong this year! Wish I could be in the UK on those dates to catch the game. Should be very exciting for the fans!! Have a pint for me will ya? Thanks for the heads up Callum.


Update On Sony's S3D Gaming Plans: LITTLEBIGPLANET and GOD OF WAR III??

Jim here. A quick update on what Sony has been up to with stereoscopic 3D gaming of late! Recently Sony has been showing off WIPEOUT HD, GRAN TURISMO 5, SUPER STARDUST HD and MOTORSTORM: PACIFIC RIFT in S3D and getting rave reviews.

Now the children's game LITTLEBIGPLANET is up and running in stereo. Apparently the dimensional effects were amazing, and along with GRAN TURISMO 5 really set the tone for what to expect in future 3D projects from Sony.

Says Eurogamer's Rich Leadbetter: "In the original LittleBigPlanet there can be an element of confusion about which of the game's platforms 'live' on which of the three planes of depth. Stereoscopic 3D puts an end to that, ensuring each of the parallax elements occupies its own distinct area within the 3D space."

And of course one would hope that GOD OF WAR III goes stereoscopic as well - including the game's director, Stig Asmussen (NowGamer).

Says Asmussen:
"I imagine it would be kind of like looking through a window seeing a miniature world or something like that, a three-quarter perspective, little world or diorama. It will not be in God Of War III unless someone is sneaking something in that I don’t know about. But if it’s really easy to do and there’s an interest there’s no reason why we couldn’t discuss in the future adding a patch or re-releasing the game to work with the 3D stuff. I’d love to see it happen. I think it would be cool as sh*t."

So while it has not been confirmed yet at all, I take it as a great sign of things to come when the game's director is on board already. Let's get crackin' Kratos!! Thanks to all who sent and continue to send S3D gaming links! Appreciated a great deal :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Avatar: Future Earth Pic and Article!

Michael here. Thanks to jsayson15 for pointing this out! Future Earth looks beautiful in a very Blade Runner-esque way. The following details from BUF, the French visual effects studio that worked on these scenes, make me very excited to see them:

EARTH SHOTS
The Earth Shots (one shot for the Pedestrian Crossing and 13 for the Alley) were Set Extensions that were designed specifically for 3D screening. Only the foreground was actually shot - against green screen. BUF created and integrated the background set according to the references provided by the production, adapting them to the filmed shots (aerial train, holographic commercials and surrounding buildings).

CROSSWALK
For this scene, only two medium close passes of the crowd were shot. The only visible part of the set includes the street in the foreground and the changing of the traffic light. To simulate the strip lighting, the extras were lit by blinking colored lights.

Taking into account the initial camera move on the foreground crowd plates, the shot features a wide introductory view on the crowded futuristic city. Because the stereoscopic view is more demanding than in 2D films, the depth and placement of the buildings has to be very precise and coherent. Once the main buildings were placed and the overall architecture defined, the crowd was created, thus matching the live takes and perfectly integrating them into the 3D environment ambiance.

BUF's Art Department, led by Olivier Gilbert, also designed the holographic commercials (the “Media Sky") and billboards that populate the city. For the Full-CG commercials, we shot a few characters to integrate them in the designs of the ads. All of the Mediasky was developed with the stereo in mind, accentuating the impression of depth by enhancing the parallax between them. This is why some commercials might seem very flat if seen in 2D, while in 3D they show much more depth.

These two Earth sequences have trains that run through them. Each train was modeled and textured independently then filled with 3D extras. Next, each train was animated, lit and integrated into the shots. Due to the very bright and busy environment with heavy strip lighting and commercials, the lighting and placement of reflections were crucial to achieving realism. Additionally, the placement of the raised train tracks and their supports as well as the skyscrapers had to be very precise to ensure that the depth would be realistic when projected in stereo.

Finally, we created the Laser Pedestrian Crossing. The challenge here was that director Cameron wanted the crosswalk be floating six inches above the ground. This meant that all of legs of the characters would cross through it. This work was quite complex as we had to match-move the live characters in stereo to ensure that the interaction between the Laser Crossing and the legs would work.

EARTH ALLEY
Only the foreground of the set was shot live (the entry to the alley, back door and actors) were shot. The rest of the shot is Full CG. To achieve the best results for set extension, careful attention was paid to maintain the continuity between the filmed foreground and the CG set background. The architecture, the wet reflective materials such as walls, the ground, pipes, the blinking lights and the ground full of puddles we created had to match the live plates for shape and texture. Reflections in this very humid, dark environment also required great attention to detail. We had to ensure that the waves in the puddles would distort the reflections of the commercials in a natural manner and appear correctly in stereo. Haze and mist were also added to recreate the dark and humid atmosphere of the sequence, all in stereo. From the three points of views of the sequence, the most dramatic features are the trains and the Mediasky. It was very important to place the commercials and light the set to match the lighting on the actors. Since the shots were filmed against green screen, the resulting images were very green so quite a bit of color-correction was required to restore the actual color of the alley.

In addition, the continuity between live action and CG had to work for all points of view. Since these shots show a lot of depth, the camera calibration required a lot of precision because even a tiny difference in the spacing between the two cameras could result in a huge difference in depth perception.

With these scenes, the Tsu'tey death scene, and the extended love scene, there sure is a lot to be excited for in the upcoming Blu-ray!

New ALICE IN WONDERLAND Featurette: Johnny Depp's The Mad Hatter

Jim here. Quite a few visuals we have seen before, but still nice to see Depp talking about the role for the first time via featurette.

Depp talks about loving the character because all of his emotions are clearly on his sleeve but personally I think it has more to do with Tim Burton ringing him up: "Got another one for you..." :-)

Still, the casting is good. Depp can just about play anything really. If you look at his body of work it is truly quite amazing. I was most taken aback by SWEENEY TODD.

Here is part of what Depp had to say about the Hatter: 'He's mad. He's unpredictable. You see instantly what he's feeling. Like a mood ring, his emotions are very very close to the surface. He's a fascinating character. Being able to play the Mad Hatter and breathe life into that was a dream come true.'

Look for a series of these featurettes from Disney. And look for ALICE IN WONDERLAND in theaters March 5.

ALICE rates as one of my top must sees of 2010! Stay tuned for the 2010 S3D Movie Guide coming out shortly.

James Cameron Talks Cut Tsu'tey Death Scene

Michael here. This is a very interesting bit of Q&A with Cameron. He talks about Tsu'tey's death scene where he passes the baton of leadership to Jake. It's interesting that this is the one scene that WETA completely finished that got cut. I guess this means the other deleted scenes weren't finished. Watch below--Cameron's section starts at 2:37:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3D Shorts: SPIDER-MAN Has It's Webb-slinger! Peter Jackson Aims At 3D Gaming? And Green Lantern Thinking 3D?

Jim here. Some rapid fire S3D shots comin' at ya!

First up: Marc Webb (500) DAYS OF SUMMER) has signed on as SPIDER-MAN's helmer!

From Comingsoon: Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, said, "At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker's life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter's shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man's adventure. We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey."

Webb said, "This is a dream come true and I couldn't be more aware of the challenge, responsibility, or opportunity. Sam Raimi's virtuoso rendering of Spider-Man is a humbling precedent to follow and build upon. The first three films are beloved for good reason. But I think the Spider-Man mythology transcends not only generations but directors as well. I am signing on not to 'take over' from Sam. That would be impossible. Not to mention arrogant. I'm here because there's an opportunity for ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man."

Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, added, "I'm excited that Sony has chosen a director with a real penchant and understanding for the character. This is a brave, bold direction for the franchise, and I can't wait to see what Marc comes up with next."

SPIDER-MAN is slated for a summer 2012 release and pegged at a reported $80m budget.

If Stan Lee is good, then I am good. 'Nuff said.

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NEXT: Peter Jackson Aiming At Some 3D Gaming?

Gaming came up during a recent interview with Peter Jackson over on AICN, and it makes me think if he is taking yet another cue from James Cameron - I know they are good friends. Cameron has long postulated that movies and games are on a collision course - and even now many assets can be shared for the concurrent development of both at the same time for any given umbrella property. AVATAR went 3D in both the movie and the game - why not Jackson's Wingnut Games company entirely? He is certainly enjoying MODERN WARFARE 2 right now - which I play in stereo3D with my NVIDIA 3D Vision setup. Peter obviously loves 3D as he is doing TINTIN right now.

Could happen - I would love to see his imagination at work in gaming!

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FINALLY: GREEN LANTERN Thinking 3D?

Frosty over at Collider had the opportunity to speak with Martin Campbell who is directing GREEN LANTERN and specifically on 3D:

Martin Campbell: “[Warner Bros. and I] haven’t really talked about it.” But with the worldwide success of Avatar, it’s hard to imagine every studio not re-examining their big budget properties to see if they can release it in 3D and make a few extra dollars."

Sounds very interesting! Campbell also says that GL will be closer to IRON MAN than BATMAN BEGINS with "one foot in reality". Be sure to check out the whole interview here.

EXCLUSIVE: GHOSTBUSTERS Going 3D!

Jim here. If you want a tentpole, in your neighborhood, Who ya gonna call? Stereographers!!

Yes - I have word from one of my top sources that a friend of his at a certain well known effects house (I can't say who it is, but their initials are ILM) said that GHOSTBUSTERS 3 is proceeding as planned - but - with the added benefit of stereoscopic 3D!

I am digging for more intel and hopefully will have it soon. As you can tell, I love the franchise - the first is the best of course.

I don't know about you - and maybe you were too young to have enjoyed the first two in theaters, but GHOSTBUSTERS took us by storm! It was infectious and hilarious. Personally, if the script is funny and the originals at least make cameos or more, than I am very happy. I just hope it doesn't suck. I hope the introduction to this generation is at least as successful as the first was.

Sony's Columbia Pictures has Lee Eisneberg and Gene Stupnitsky penning the script. Word has it that Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver are all returning - but I have no intel on that or anything further as of yet.

I would have liked to have heard that conversation around the Reitman holiday table what with Jason Reitman set quite firmly against stereoscopic 3D. Ivan must still carry a lot of weight though - 3D is coming and it is going to be as big as the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man.

Someone has got to pull Jason aside and tell 'em: "I ain't afraid of no depth."
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Avatar: Anatomy of a $2 Billion+ Hit

Michael here. Let me posit the following thought: James Cameron is in possession of the formula for a multi-billion dollar movie. He simply gets it at a level that no other director approaches.

While Avatar was in production, Cameron said in an interview that he hadn’t forgotten the lessons he’d learned from the success of Titanic. Indeed, while the unparalleled-until-now success of Titanic initially surprised Cameron, I believe he soon came to understand exactly why it became the highest grossing movie of all time.

Avatar is the fruit of that understanding. And let me be clear: every "big" movie that Cameron does from this point forward has a very good chance of becoming a $2 billion+ worldwide hit. Take the following elements, add water, and let the billions roll in:

1) An Unprecedented Budget. This is a key element. In order to bring an audience into another world as completely as Titanic or Avatar do, you need a budget that will be able to realize the director’s vision completely. To make a billion dollar hit, the “other world” must astound and awe the audience. The only way to do this is to create something authentic and amazing that they haven’t seen before - something that creates a sense of wonder - and this means a budget big enough to create something new. Titanic’s $200 million budget was unprecedented, and Avatar’s budget, although uncertain to those outside the production, is certainly at least as high as that of any movie to date. To win big, you have to bet big. Cameron went “all in” with both Titanic and Avatar, and he won both times.

2) Escapism. Titanic transports you to another place and time, as does Avatar. Both films intricately construct a specific world, then invite the audience to come along for the ride. Movies inherently are about escapism. The more tangible the world on the screen, the more the audience will want to come back again and again. 3D is perfect for increasing the escapism factor of a film. Any wannabe $2billion+ grosser from now on has to be 3D.

3) Characters. Casting and chemistry are key, but the characters start on the page. Of course we have to care about the characters, but how this is achieved is the question. The answer is that we have to relate to them. We have to see something of ourselves in them. People all over the world right now are relating to Jake Sully….maybe they, like him, were told they couldn’t do something. Or perhaps they relate to his “normal guy”ness – the fact that he isn’t an egghead scientist or corporate bureaucrat, but just a good guy who has been bludgeoned by life’s circumstances. In any case, Cameron makes relatable characters. Jack and Rose from Titanic are eminently relatable: Jack the poor boy with a zest for life, Rose the trapped rich girl. The audience needs a “way in” to a movie, and both Titanic and Avatar provide it. In fact, the very concept of an avatar is the perfect gateway for an audience: as soon as Jake enters his avatar body, the audience does the same. There’s a reason Cameron makes the first shot of Jake’s avatar waking up be from the first-person: he wants the audience to feel what it is like to wake up in an avatar body, and to attach to Jake’s character even more firmly.

4) Setups and Payoffs, set to music. Those moments in a movie where you get shivers? Those most likely come when something in the movie pays off. And most of the time these moments coincide with catchy music cues that add to the emotion of the scene. Examples of payoff moments: The thanator bowing its head for Neytiri. Jake taming the great leonopteryx. Neytiri cradling human Jake in her arms. Quaritch making his daring escape from the flaming Dragon in his AMP suit. These are emotional moments that pay off setups from earlier in the movie (for instance, Jake’s escape from the thanator earlier in the movie sets up how fearsome a predator it is, making when Neytiri gets to ride it such a powerful moment). Cameron is a master at setup and payoffs. In Titanic, the entire movie sets up the moment where we see Rose sleeping, surrounded by pictures of her living an exciting and fulfilling life. Then we enter her dream (or does she die?), and she is back on the Titanic. Cue music and tears from the audience, and 1.8 billion dollars.

For a movie to make over a billion dollars worldwide, it needs to weave its setups and payoffs with great dexterity. Every scene in the movie should be setting something up or paying something off. Cameron is a master at dexterously incorporating necessary exposition into his screenplays: witness Jake’s video logs, or the modern-day bookends of Titanic, both of which perform setup/payoff duties while providing necessary exposition. Not a shot is wasted in Cameron’s films. Which leads us to…

5) Density. Titanic and Avatar (and The Dark Knight) reward multiple viewings because they are packed with information. Every shot is filled with stuff happening. Every line of dialogue provides some new piece of information. And when all this is whizzing past at 24 frames per second, some of it is bound to go under-noticed or underappreciated on the first viewing. When both Titanic and Avatar ended, both times I immediately thought to myself, “I have to see this again!” This is because I not only thoroughly enjoyed what I just saw and wanted to experience the same emotions again, but I knew that I missed stuff and that future viewings would yield even greater rewards.

6) Story. Tell a story that works on an archetypical, mythic level. The Hero’s Journey for Avatar, a Greek tragedy for Titanic. In both cases, they are textbook examples of story types that have persisted for millennia because they simply work.

So, the recipe for a $2 billion movie seems simple, right? Yes, but the devil is in the details. Actually making a film that contains the above elements is an extremely difficult task. I hope, however, that studio executives take a look at Titanic and Avatar and decide to fund more super expensive, envelope-pushing projects.

What is certain, however, is that James Cameron gets it and that I can't wait to see Avatar again. Oh, and I'd bet his next project will be pretty cool too.

So what similarities do you see between these two mega-blockbusters? And what other factors are required to make a movie click with worldwide audiences to the extent that Avatar and Titanic did?

Confusing: China Pulling AVATAR From 2D Screens To Make Way For CONFUCIUS

Jim here. In a move that really shouldn't surprise me that much given how China is being run, AVATAR is being pulled from 2D theaters in favor of Chow Yun-Fat's CONFUCIOUS.

Apparently the state run China Film Group has told 2D theaters across the country to cease showing AVATAR under the order from Beijing.

January 23 will be the last day for AVATAR in 2D for China.
At least the 3D remains (550 screens) and they should remain sold out for a LONG time. For now.

Word has it that the Chinese government is not happy with showing the people fighting back against losing their lands as they do now to developers and government interests.

Would have been interesting to see these two films battle it out in China - but now it seems that they won't allow that to happen. Glad we live in the free world!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

AVATAR Wins Best Picture Globe; Cameron Wins Best Director!

Michael here. Congrats to James Cameron on winning Best Director. Avatar is a towering achievement, and an incredible effort was required to will it into existence, to shape every aspect of the world of Pandora over its 4 and a half years of production.

Will Avatar win Best Picture: Drama? It deserves it for sure!

AND AVATAR WINS!!! Hell yeah!!!

LOL: James Cameron & Sigourney Weaver On SNL!!

Jim here. There is no introduction needed for the movies they spoof on this clip. HILARIOUS!! Check it out:



Love Cameron's shoulder shrug at the end haha! The four piece band was a nice touch too :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cameron Talks Next Project, AVATAR "Fan Version", & More

Michael here. Avatar, which is now destined to top Titanic by a landslide (Cameron himself says that "It's gonna happen. It's just a matter of time") , took home six Critics Choice Awards last night: best action movie, cinematography, art direction, editing, visual effects, and sound.

MTV interviewed Cameron on the red carpet and managed to get some interesting new info:

1) Regarding a director's cut: "The director's cut is what we release. What we do is we do a special edition, where you could select a longer version of the film that had some scenes reinstated. But it's really more of a fan version than a director version. [The fan version will be] 10 or 12 minutes longer. Something like that."

2) Regarding whether Avatar 2 will be his next project: "There's a possibility of doing another picture in between. But I think we'll certainly get busy talking about what the strategy is, when it makes sense to do it, and laying any technical groundwork that needs to be done. These are big projects."

3) About the sex scene: "I think we took out a good ten seconds out of that scene. So I think it's one of those cases where the fantasy vastly exceeds the reality."

4) His advice for people with the "Avatar Blues": "Take a walk in the woods. Reaquaint with the nature we have right here."

Watch MTV's video of the interview here.

I hope Avatar cleans up at the Golden Globes tomorrow!

What Is Going On? Warner Bros Announces Possibility Of CLASH OF THE TITANS In S3D

Jim here. I told you I would dig deeper into the CLASH OF THE TITANS in 3D story! I have a good friend in the industry in Europe. He told me that earlier this month, Warners was secretly asking cinema chains if they had the 3D screens available for another 3D movie in March. Assuming that this was TITANS, clearly there is a problem with this scenario and my source has hit it on the head: ALICE IN WONDERLAND opens a mere 3 weeks prior to TITANS and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON opens the SAME DAY. Both of those competing movies are S3D.

NOW Warners is being very blatant about their plans. My source was just at a trade show in Munich and he let me in on an interesting tidbit of information: Warner Bros. announced that they are seriously considering converting CLASH OF THE TITANS to stereoscopic 3D to everyone they met at the show.

Now either Warner Bros. has an issue with internal communication, or this previous news (via Slashfilm) is dead wrong! Or at least misunderstood. Louis Leterrier (TITANS director) said: 'We tried [to do 3-D for Clash]. We tried hard. We just won’t have time. Maybe we possibly can re-release it in 3-D.' This tells me that perhaps Leterrier was trying to shoot NATIVE 3D and wasn't able to. Now they are talking conversion. *Perhaps*.

One thing is for sure though - Warners is still talking 3D. Don't count this one out yet. Conceivably they have already begun the conversion process concurrently with post-production. Will let you know more as it happens!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

BLACK FRIDAY 3D Starts Shooting In April

Jim here. I just got word from Ethan Terra that shooting starts April 16 for his horror film BLACK FRIDAY 3D which he is directing. Blood Worx Films has just secured financing for the deal and are discussing the number of screens.

The story is about a couple who are viciously assaulted while vacationing over the Fourth of July weekend. The local authorities proceed with an in depth search that holds no evidence of the attacker. Diane's older brother Kevin enlists the help of four college friends to seek out the elusive masked murderer. As their search progresses the youths come across a remote lodge that holds pure hellish terror and the friends soon find themselves face to face with the infamous serial killer Tyler Hillburg.

BLACK FRIDAY 3D was written by Joe Knetter and stars Tom Sizemore. Howard Smith (MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D, DARK COUNTRY, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, MATRIX RELOADED) is the DP. Release is slated for January 1, 2012.

I have been looking forward to this one! I am anxious to see what Ethan can achieve with this in 3D. Shooting is slated for Lake Tahoe and they will be using RED cameras :-)


Quick Post - AVATAR: CREATING THE WORLD OF PANDORA On The FX Channel This Saturday

Jim here. Just a quick heads up that the FX channel is hosting a behind the scenes look at how James Cameron and his team performance captured and created AVATAR. AVATAR: CREATING THE WORLD OF PANDORA starts at 11pm, Saturday, January 16.

This is a must see if you are curious about how they spun their magic! be sure to check it out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: What To Expect From AVATAR's Blu-ray *AND* Can TRON LEGACY Blow AVATAR's 3D Out Of The Theater??

**UPDATE: Jan 15 - To clear up a question on timing, it looks like it is going to be standard protocol for release. I heard back from my source and as far as he knows, first up will indeed be the theatrical version with the potential for some added extensions (perhaps as standalone components). And YES there will be a "director's cut" or extended cut and this is probably coming later if they don't release up front. This was never in doubt. Don't forget that there is tons of room on a Blu-ray!

Jim here. I just got a rather cool inside update from the very same source who gave me the video clip of AVATAR's footage from Comic Con 2009. Time to mull over some rumors and clarifications direct from one of my top, top sources!

- AVATAR 2 will definitely be helmed by James Cameron and no one else, contrary to rumors saying otherwise. The story arcs that are being developed for potential sequels are EPIC. More info coming soon!

- What's on AVATAR's Blu-ray disc? It will obviously be SPECTACULAR! The best of its kind with in depth features, extended and deleted scenes - the movie will be much longer because of it. We know he left a lot of scenes off the theatrical cut to make length commitments. Further, most of these additional scenes will be in the first half of the movie, for example future Earth. Finally it will also clear up a few plot holes like how Tsu'tey got his headset towards the end of the movie, etc.

- What about 2010? What S3D movie should pique our interest the most? Two words: TRON LEGACY - Believe it or not, and I find it hard to believe, but internal word is that TRON LEGACY's 3D will blow AVATAR away. Those were his words. This coming from a guy who is connected and knows a great deal from the inside out about AVATAR. I am struggling with trying to figure out just how TRON plans on topping AVATAR in 3D. The concept art for TRON 2 is incredible apparently. Expect it in our theaters December 17.

Because of what he is saying about TRON LEGACY, I am placing the Disney movie at the top of my MUST SEE 3D 2010 movies guide - look for this soon!

You know I have the best sources on the planet for AVATAR
- therefore, through transitivity, I have the best sources
for the sequels :-) And believe me, the exclusives will be coming soon enough. Think I am kidding? Lightstorm will be hard at work soon for AVATAR 2 as the potential turnaround is only 2 years! Much of the pioneering work has been done with the original movie and the sequels will enjoy the fruits of their labor. I don't have to say it, but - STAY TUNED. :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DRIVE ANGRY: More Details On Nicolas Cage's 3D Thrill Ride

Jim here. Our good friend Steve over at Collider had a chance to sit down with DRIVE ANGRY producer Mike De Luca. The movie is a Nicholas Cage vehicle (pun intended) and is directed by MY BLOODY VALENTINE's Patrick Lussier.

What it boils down to is that DRIVE ANGRY will be an in-your-face 3D thrill ride in a very similar vein as MY BLOODY VALENTINE was (same writers too). So if you must use the term gimmicky (*shudder*), you can use it here - but just barely.

Here is what De Luca had to say about the movie: 'It’s hyper pulpy. It’s kind of like hyper-pulp, just kind of blood drenched, heavy, heavy car chase action that if you’re a fan of early Shane Black scripts. If you’re a fan of from the 70’s Two Lane Blacktop or Vanishing Point and you’re a fan of Dust ‘Til Dawn or Sin City, this kind of like glorious exhiltation of pulp movie-making. It aspires to be in that cannon, so that’s my torch way of describing why I’m excited by it because I like all those things. And Drive Angry to me had a blend of things I liked about Two Lane Blacktop and Duel and Vanishing Point and things I loved about Dust ’til Dawn and things I loved about Sin City. And where we’re not as opulent as some of those films, we’re trying to be of that spirit.'

And on the brand of 3D employed:
'Well, of course these are the writers and the same directors of My Bloody Valentine, so it’s designed to…we’re not the high minded 3D of James Cameron. We’re the low 5, very fun, in your face kind of exploitation 3D.'

I think we are in for a thrill ride with this sucker and I am looking forward to it! We need a no holds barred 3D release once in awhile and this fits the bill. Cage is capable of pulling off great movies so here's hoping this is one of them! Be sure to read the rest of his interview series
here.

Look for DRIVE ANGRY in S3D theaters February 11, 2011.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James Bond Franchise Going S3D!?!

Dorey. James Dorey here. :-) Well this makes my day if not my month so far! Nothing is confirmed yet and in fact the source of this rumor is a UK rag, but what the heck - this is James Bond!

According to The Sun (via IGN), Sam Mendes has been given a few extra months in pre-production to prep for shooting the next JAMES BOND thriller in stereoscopic 3D!

I tell you what... this is icing on the cake after what Cameron has done with AVATAR!
We are now seeing trusted and proven franchises that are the epitome of industry go S3D and I could not be more elated. A recent comment on MarketSaw some time ago said that pretty soon it will only be news if a new movie is NOT in 3D. I agree!!

So what do you think of Daniel Craig once again suiting up as agent 003D... errr 007 to save the world?!

Disney Releasing A CHRISTMAS CAROL on S3DHD Blu-ray In Q4 This Year

Jim here. Disney is releasing A CHRISTMAS CAROL on Blu-ray in the fourth quarter of 2010 along with a special 3D Showcase Disc. And yes, it will be aligned closely with the launch of the S3DHD TVs from various manufacturers.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is pegged to be their first S3DHD Blu-ray disc ever.

The Showcase Disc includes upcoming promotional items for Disney 3D Home Videos - like trailers and clips. Likely to be highlighted will be ALICE IN WONDERLAND, TOY STORY 3 and some original content exclusively for this disc. The disc is actually available right now for manufacturers to include with their new S3DHD TV offerings.

Finally we are getting 3D home videos that are NOT anaglyph (blue & red glasses)! Can't wait. I have not decided on equipment for myself yet, but I will keep you informed as to what I decide upon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

BREAKING: Raimi, Maguire And Dunst Out - Sony Plans SPIDER-MAN Reboot... In 3D?

Jim here. Sony just released the news that Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are out for SPIDER-MAN 4 and in fact the studio plans to reboot the franchise!

From Sony: Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) -- Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012.

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.

“A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter's roots and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job,” said Sam Raimi.

“We have had a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and friendship with Sam and Tobey and they have given us their best for the better part of the last decade.This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable,” said Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, who has served as the studio’s chief production executive since the beginning of the franchise. “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”

"Spider-Man will always be an important franchise for Sony Pictures and a fresh start like this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures. "We have always believed that story comes first and story guides the direction of these films and as we move onto the next chapter, we will stay true to that principle and will do so with the highest respect for the source material and the fans and moviegoers who deserve nothing but the best when it comes to bringing these stories and characters to life on the big screen."

So stunning is a choice word to describe this announcement!
SPIDER-MAN is by far my favorite character out there and to be honest I LOVE the move. It was time. I never liked the casting of Maguire and Dunst. Just something about them. Raimi was ok in the role of director though.


How about S3D for the reboot?
You bet! Part of the reason for the negotiation set back was in fact 3D. You can read about that
here. Sony is betting the bank on 3D so this should be a slam dunk. Will Cameron be interested? He DID write a script for Spidey back in the day and he loved the webslinger as a child...

Credit goes to Nikke Finke for the exclusive!


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