Hero Complex debuted a new exclusive image from Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (see it HERE), and in that same article, they also confirmed that both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are going to indeed be coming at us (literally) in 3D – retrofitted 3D that is.
So, if you haven’t been a fan of Clash of the Titans or The Last Airbender‘ s pop-and-flat 3D style, you may be stirring in your seat right now.
Marvel already has their top players out in front of this news about 3D conversion – they know their audience and in large part their audience are the same savvy moviegoers who actually know the difference between a film shot using 3D cameras and a film that is shot in 2D and converted to 3D in the post-production process (sometimes to the detriment of the film). The official company line being towed by the Marvel team right now is, “This is a good thing.”
As Thor director Kenneth Branagh says:
“We came to feel that in our case 3-D could be the very good friend of story and character for a different kind of experience…It’s another draft of the story that can reveal itself in a different way…I had a healthy degree of skepticism up front … I’ve become somebody extremely excited about working with possibilities of doing it this way.”
So the obvious first question that is going to pop into the heads of skeptical (or downright fearful) fans’ heads is “Ok, so why didn’t you shoot the damn thing in 3D then?” Well, as Captain America director Joe Johnson tells it, they did in fact try that approach, only it didn’t quite work out. Johnson reportedly shot for a day using a 3D rig and found the experience to be a “nightmare.” He’s also been vocally critical of the post-conversion 3D process:
“I think it tends to be overused and can be a little bit gimmicky…”A lot of people are using 3-D now because they feel have they have to… that will come and go and the pictures that deserve to be in 3-D will continue to be. When it’s done bad, it can make you carsick.”
Of course, that opinion hasn’t stopped Johnson from thumb-upping the Marvel 3D post-conversion decision: “It’s a new challenge and it’s exciting…”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige swears that Marvel is pursuing 3D conversion for all the right reasons:
“In being able to think in 3-D from the start — and having every bit of our special effects rendered in true 3-D — we have the opportunity to do it right…When you’re working with a director like Ken Branagh or Joe Johnston, they’re not going to settle for less than perfect image. They’re not going to settle for something that isn’t up to the artistry of everything else they’ve done on the film … they’re not going to put on some overlay in the last 10 to 12 weeks of post-production for a fiscal reason.”
Here’s the thing: Both Thor and Captain America are going to have epic battle scenes and fight sequences, no doubt, but both of these films are essentially going to be origin stories – and in my experience, origin stories have a lot of non-action downtime that is used for character development.
When I think about it like that, it really makes me question if I want to spend extra money to see a pop-n-flat scene of Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth talking to each other while making flirty eyes, or a scene of Chris Evans staring off sadly because he’s waiting for his shot to prove himself a war hero. I’m pretty sure 2D would be sufficient for those moments, of which I expect many.
More to the point: Marvel Studios started out as “That movie studio which will do things ‘right’ in Hollywood” – at least of lot of fanboys and girls seem(ed) to think so. Then Terrence Howard was replaced in Iron Man 2; Sam Jackson almost walked away from Nick Fury; There are still questions about whether Robert Downey Jr.’s Avengers role will be a cameo; Ed Norton got outright fired by Marvel; and now comes the news that – like every other studio trying to squeeze a buck out of their audience – Marvel is going the 3D conversion route. Is it a smart move – or the sign of another executive misstep made for money’s sake?
Read more of what Branagh, Johnson and Feige had to say about the upcoming Marvel movies and 3D conversion over at Hero Complex.
Source: Hero Complex