Disney Producer Talks Roger Rabbit 2 & Other Upcoming Projects

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:15 pm,

Disney Movies Disney Producer Talks Roger Rabbit 2 & Other Upcoming Projects

Empire caught up with accomplished Disney producer Don Hahn this week and managed to get a few bits of information out of him concerning Frankenweenie, Maleficent, Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2, and the 3D versions of Beauty & the Beast and The Lion King.

Hahn was at the time in London, checking out pre-production on Tim Burton’s 3D feature-length remake of his short film, Frankenweenie, which is set to begin filming at Three Mills Studios in the near future.

The producer admitted that he was pleased that Burton was “back to doing puppets,” which is a sentiment I share as well.  The gothic auteur’s CGI-fests (see: Alice in Wonderland) generally seem to lack the kooky, creative zest of his most inspired works, like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

As for Burton’s potential involvement with the upcoming Maleficent movie?  Hahn confirmed that the project was actively being developed but that “[it] is a way off and it’s a little early to talk about it, except to say that it’s happening.” He also refused to confirm or deny the possibility that Angelina Jolie will play Maleficent so all you hopeful fans out there can keep that dream alive for now.

In case you forgot (or tried to forget) about it, Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 is at long last being made, with the involvement of director Robert Zemeckis (last year’s A Christmas Carol) and original Roger Rabbit screenwriters Jeffery Price (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and Peter S. Seaman (Shrek the Third).  Did I mention that I’m less than enthusiastic about this movie?

Those that are intrigued to see a 3D, motion-capture/cartoon hybrid sequel to Roger Rabbit will take comfort in Hahn’s assurance that work on the script is underway and that “… if you’re a fan, pretty soon you’re going to be very, very, very happy.” Well, when he puts it like that… icon wink Disney Producer Talks Roger Rabbit 2 & Other Upcoming Projects

roger rabbit 2 header Disney Producer Talks Roger Rabbit 2 & Other Upcoming Projects

Finally, Hahn revealed the Mouse House would be re-releasing two of their traditionally-animated features from the Disney Renaissance period (1989-1999) in the 3D theatrical format – specifically, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.  Citing the improvements in technology and the success of the 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hahn seemed rather optimistic about both projects.

Do either of those beautifully animated 2D features really stand to benefit from the extra dimension?  I’m more than a bit skeptical at the moment.  I admit that Han has a point about The Nightmare Before Christmas working as a more immersive experience in the third dimension – much like the 2009 stop-motion flick Coraline – but cel animation seems like less of a natural fit for the 3D treatment.

What do you think?  Which of the 3D projects are you most excited for?  Do you want to see Jolie play the evil enchantress Maleficent?  Let us know in the comments section below.

The 3D Frankenweenie and Beauty & the Beast projects should arrive in theaters sometime in 2011, but don’t expect The Lion King, Maleficent, or Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 to show up anytime before 2012.

Source: Empire (via Collider)

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  1. I wanna see a remake of the lion king. Well actually I wanna see something similiar…..

  2. I want to see Jollie in anything..

    • I would rather see her in nothing. Just sayin.

  3. It’s cell animation.. really don’t think that’ll 3D will work too well at all. As for Franenweenie I’m really happy to hear that it’s Burton that is going back to improve it. Too bad it wasn’t his other short stop motion film Vincent. but none the less glad it’s him. Personaly, I loved Roger Rabbit, I know there’s a lot of folks that didn’t for one reason or another but to have a live action/animated cross over like that I thought it was a good move back then and still do. Plus they can do that even better now rather then using life capture tech.

    • I think they could make it cool if it looked like those Old school viewmaster cells, only animated. Just a thought. But I do agree with you for the most part.

      (Here’s a link to what I’m talking about in case you aren’t familiar with them. But you definitely have to view through one to understand what is cool about them)

  4. Oh sweet lord. Does everything need a sequel? I am in a state of hyper-confusion with Hollywood right now.

    I imagine a pitch for Roger Rabbit 2 going something like this:

    Person A – “Well, it’s been 22 years since we made Who Framed Roger Rabbit, cell animation is nearly dead in cinema, core character Bob Hoskins is elderly, the enchantment of combined live and animated characters has died out because now everything seems possible thanks to James Cameron, and to top it off our resonating original audience is now between the age of 40-60 and they don’t respond well to CGI.”

    Person B – Sounds Dynamite! Let’s do it!

    Nothing is sacred. If it made cash twenty years ago, dollars to donuts says it will be on the table for discussion soon. Can anyone in Hollywood take YES for an answer and leave a good movie as just that. ONE GOOD MOVIE.

    • For now its “CasaBlanca” but shhh “Big Brother” is watching…

  5. I loved the original novel of Who Killed Roger Rabbit?, the movie was and remains a fave (Hollywood cartoon characters and noir detective – what’s not to love?), the shorts and even the Roger Rabbit comic (it was being written by a friend).

    A sequel? Could be wonderful, could be excrutiating!

  6. I couldn’t care less about most the other stuff, but the Roger Rabbit sequel has really got me excited. I’m a big fan of the movie, and its world is a broad enough canvas to accomodate plenty of other stories. You can choose to whine and be negative about it, or you can choose to smile and hope for the best.

    Angelina Jolie as Maleficent? May be a good idea. The character suits her. I’m not sure where this insane idea about her being attractive comes from (seriously, Bride of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, much?), but the project is certainly interesting.

    • @Dave – Jolie is a good actress when given a good script (see her relatively recent role as the widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl), and she was dynamite sexy in Sky Captain. Sure the overly puffy lips are bit much, but she does have something.

    • I choose whine. There’s an increasing trend to make sequels without consideration. This has a tendency to make money, but not many good stories, or connections for that matter, with the audience. That’s the whole point of film. Good story telling.

      RR 2 may turn out to be a fantastic sequel, but if I look back through the annals of cinema history to gauge how meticulous a sequel to ANY movie would be, like anybody who has experienced crap like the more recent example of Indiana Jones 4 where they skip 20 years to make another series addition, I’m going to get a negative whiny taste in my mouth.

  7. As a huge fan of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, I actually would love to see Angelina Jolie play Maleficent. She has that look, the eyes and the screen presence needed to pull off this role. I need to believe that the actress playing Maleficent is the self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil” and I believe that Jolie can deliver. She is a great, talented actress who can pull off almost anything.

    As for the 3D features, I also don’t think that the 2D movies of the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast will translate well into the 3D format. But I will go and see these films because even though I’ve seen them both millions of times, they never get old to me and I have never seen them on the big screen and I want to. I just hope they release the originals and not the one with the added scenes that ruin the classic versions I grew up with.

    As for Roger Rabbit 2, I am a bug fan of the original… The only problem is that if they make a sequel, wouldn’t it be a bit late? I forgot the actors name, but the detective that was with Roger Rabbit throughout the film is really old now… I’m kinda stuck in between on my opinion on this, but I am curious to see what they would actually come up with.

    P.S.: Keep Tim Burton as far away as possible for this Maleficent movie. If he is the director, he would be the sole reason why I would actually not go to watch this film!

    • Bob Hoskins…hes still got it….hes gotta be pushing 70 now. I think hes still pretty active in movies though. Last thing i saw him in was that movie with Jett Lee and Morgan freeman a few years back.

  8. @ Stu: Oh, definitely, Jolie can act, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers Sky Captain. But, for my tastes, she is physically unnattractive, and it gets a little tiring to hear the media praise her looks again and again and again.

    @ Vina: You’re looking at things the wrong way. If you admit that the RR sequel may be great, why do you care about the release date, or the fact that it was made with money in mind? ALL movies are made with money in mind. All PRODUCTS are made with money in mind. That doesn’t take away their artistic merits. WFRR was a product of great imaginations, and I’ll gladly take two good things over one. Besides, even if it seems like a big gap to us, to future generations of movie fans, release dates don’t mean diddly-squat.

    Oh, and I LIKED the new Indy Jones, dangnabbit!

    • Hey Dave!
      Sorry – I believe YOU are looking at things the wrong way…looks like it’s your classic film critic stand off. :)

      It’s not the release date as much as it is gap of passion for a beloved series that occurs in production over that time period. I wouldn’t give a crap if they released RR2 AS LONG as it is in keeping with it’s original dynamic. That’s the issue. Right along the same lines as the cliche phrase of “striking while the iron’s hot.”

      I don’t even care that movies make money, they intended to make money with the first movie, however, they also intended on making a really original and thrilling story line.

      The problem of sequels is the drive to make money is still there (and still not a problem) UNTIL you combine it with the loss of original story dynamic that made the first film a brilliant film.

      As far as your expression of fondness for Indy 4 – MY GOD MAN! *SLAP* PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!

  9. I think RR is bigger than the actual live actors (namely Bob Hoskins) who played opposite him in the 1989 movie. I dont wanna see an RR sequel just because i believe that they will Dumb it Down to appeal to children…and the movie was pretty adult for its time.

    I love the 80′s and 90′s movies because it was more about being creative and different than making a quick buck…todays studio execs lack the creativity and drive to make a worthy sequel or reboot to any movies done in the 80s and 90s.

    I cant help but think if RR gets a sequel they will totally screw the fans and the creativity that made the first film so friggin fun. RR was a cult classic…and cult classics dont need a friggin sequel.

    • @Iceman09, you may be giving too much retrospective credit to filmmakers of the 80s and 90s — there were at least as much soulless series sequelmania(Jaws and, Friday the 13th, Rocky franchises, etc.) and dumb loud thrillers. But, like now, we remember the standout films, both big studio and indies.

      With today’s CGI technology, a Roger Rabbit sequel could be great – as long as they don’t do it as a Toon version of a Blackploitation flick (although that would be hilarious: it’s the 1960s and a tough toon private eye Warren – as opposed to Shaft – is on the mean streets of Toon Town watching out for The Man).

      • Maybe a cameo by Fritz the Cat, the Fabulous Furry Freak Bros?

  10. I believe either way it goes, it will be straight. If they don’t make a sequal to RR, fine. If they do, it can definetly work. RR’s world is so vast and has so many popular characters in it from Mickey to Buggs, from Daffy to Donald,etc. that with the right story and direction it could be just as entertaining as the original.

  11. BatB, Lion King in 3D? This has got to be the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard. What´s next? A motion capure-version of Casablanca?

  12. Vivian: I accept your film critic standoff challenge. Have at thee! ;)

    Actually, I think we differ in outlook more so than in our opinion about films (or THIS film, in any case. If I read your post right, you’re concerned about “the magic being gone”, basically; you think the time for Roger Rabbit has passed for both the film industry and the audience. But that is not true! If Robert Zemeckis didn’t believe in the franchise, he wouldn’t have held on to it and his plans to develop it for 20+ years. He wouldn’t have gone through the trouble to get the same two guys who scripted the first one. ESPECIALLY so long after the characters have largely passed out of the public consciousness. RZ may have made some… controversial decisions as of late, but he’s an admirable creative mind. In my opinion, there are far more reasons to be hopeful than to be wary.

    Oh, and, c’mon, Indy 4 wasn’t so bad! It was goofy, but that’s part of the fun. It all comes down to whether you can accept the change in setting from 30′s zeitgeist to 50′s zeitgeist, really. For me, that was no problem.

    Iceman: WFRR is not a cult film. It was pretty major in its time. It even won four Academy Awards and made a buttload of money by 1988 standards. It’s been a stand-alone until now, but that doesn’t make it a cult film.

    • @Dave, I will admit that we enjoyed Indy 4 – even though we looked at each other afterwards and said “WTF, that didn’t make any sense.” Still, it is a thriller and that means driving action and ignoring the cracks in the plot logic. Maybe I just like Nazis as villains better than Soviets, or just the cranky Baby-Boomer in me stamping my metaphorical cane and saying that they don’t make moom picturs like when I was a lad, arf arf arf! There is talk now of a Indy 5 with less CGI and more real stunts and props like the earlier films. It just better have a better script (and I’d love to see Mutt recast but that seems unlikely).

  13. i think a movie based on maleficent is a great idea.angelina jolie would make a great maleficent and it would be the first time she did a disney movie.have the story with the princess and prince phillip.

  14. Nobody knows exactly the content of the sequel.

    A new ebook Who Wacked Roger Rabbit By G. Wolf is suppose to be released before 2014.

    It’s not sure at all if the sequel will be based on this ebook. We’ll have to wait and see who makes the movie in what the plot will be.