Eastman, co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, recently added jet fuel to the Heavy Metal fire when he told Film School Rejects that none other than upcoming Avatar director James Cameron has signed on as Co-Executive producer and will also direct a segment of the film.
Peter Sciretta at /Film speculates that "Cameron's involvement is also notable because it pretty much guarantees that the film will be 3D." Heavy Metal in 3D and produced by Cameron would surely be fantastic to watch!
Eastman also said that Jack Black would be involved in the comedy section of the movie (to be directed by Kung-Fu Panda helmer Mark Osborne), though it's not known what role Black would have. Halloween director Rob Zombie is reportedly in talks to direct a segment of the film as well. Eastman added he has three other directors in the wings waiting to sign on; we can assume that Zombie is one of them, and that all three directors "are equally as jaw-dropping."
The Original Heavy Metal is still a cult classic.
Recently I was very harsh of Rob Zombie's upcoming Halloween 2 "requel", but I think he would excel greatly in this particular type of movie. If he does truly get confirmed to Heavy Metal, then I would actually look forward to watching his segment. I don't think the man is a no talent hack, but I do think his work up to now has been lackluster at best. It would be cliché, but I could see him doing a five minute animated sequence to one of his songs and it being totally kick ass.
I have yet to read a name attached to this project that would give me pause for concern (Zombie included). Snyder (300) , Fincher (Fight Club), Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Cameron (The Terminator); we've gotten great movies from these great directors. If they bring even one iota of their visionary talent that they used in the aforementioned movies to this project, then Heavy Metal will be nothing short of a success.
Kevin Eastman really NEEDS to put a team like this together if he wants this new Heavy Metal to be as successful as the 1981 original, which was directed by Gerald Potterman and produced by Ivan Reitman. Because of the graphic violence, nudity and sexuality, the film received some not-so-favorable reviews. Thos reviews didn't stop Heavy Metal from rising to Rocky Horror Picture Show-level cult status (it even got its own South Park spoof!). Theaters would show midnight viewings of the adult cartoon and would be packed almost every time. In fact, if you happen to stumble across a showing now, I would recommend getting there early for a seat.
I confess that it has been years since I watched Heavy Metal. I was only six when it came out, but thirteen years later when I was in college, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The seven animated stories set to rock music from the late 70's had me entranced; the animation was very good for its time, and, really, still holds up today. Bands like Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Sammy Hagar, and Grand Funk Railroad helped to push the action and story along with the kind of heavy guitar-driven rock music that was so popular at the time
In fact, the music is big a part of what makes Heavy Metal awesome, along with the fact that it's animated. I look forward to seeing what bands are announced to produce new music for this project. I would like to hear something from Wolfmother, Dream Theater or Liquid Tension Experiment.
Have you ever watched the original Heavy Metal and are you interested in seeing the new version? What band(s) would you like to hear and what other directors would you like to see involved?
Heavy Metal is still being developed and currently slated for a 2010 release.