It looks as though two more upcoming tentpole films are set to board the increasingly-crowded 3D bandwagon - specifically, the Seth Rogen hero flick The Green Hornet and the big screen adaptation of a popular animated show, The Last Airbender.
Of course this relatively sudden announcement does beg the question: Are the studios behind these films trying to pull another Clash of the Titans on us? Will the 3D effect essentially be slapped onto the completed prints of each film in a last-minute bit of post-production with the hopes of larger returns at the cash register?
Sony executives are now referring to the 3D treatment of The Green Hornet as an "enhancement." In other words, their approach will be something in between shooting the film in the 3D format (a la Avatar) and converting from 2D to 3D after the fact.
So what exactly does that mean? Well, here's Green Hornet star Seth Rogen's take on it:
"A lot of the visually driven sequences [director Michel Gondry] came up were first conceived for a 3D movie. After watching the first third of the film and working with Sony Imageworks, the studio decided now would be a perfect time to commit to 3D. Since it was always a dream of ours, the look of the film complements it perfectly. None of the effects shots have been started, none of the blue screen shots have been composited, and this lets us do all of it in 3D."
Rogen is apparently referring in particular to the "Kato-vision" fight sequences where we - I presume - get a glimpse of the world from the Green Hornet's loyal sidekick Kato (Jay Chou) while he is in action. Exactly what will that encompass? Well, we'll have to wait and see for now.
In addition, the release date for The Green Hornet has been pushed back to January 14, 2011 - no doubt partly due to the extra time needed for the 3D "enhancement," but more because it would've been in direct competition with Tron: Legacy for claiming 3D screens on its original December release date.
So what do you think? Does this make you less concerned about the early bad buzz surrounding The Green Hornet? Or does this sound like a lame move on the part of Sony executives?
THE LAST AIRBENDER
Unlike The Green Hornet, the release date for The Last Airbender will not be pushed back while director M. Night Shyamalan and his crew convert the film into the 3D format.
Paramount executives, however, have claimed that Shyamalan has been toying with the notion of using the 3D effect in the film throughout its production and that - now that he has come to a final decision - they feel confident in announcing that the big-budget film adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender will indeed be in the extra dimension.
That said, Shyamalan has always been a director who likes to use dynamic camera movement and shot composition - very much the style of filmmaking that stands to benefit from the 3D effect. In addition, The Last Airbender cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is known for crafting evocative, even gorgeous visuals in just about all the films that he's worked on - so, hopefully, the added dimension will enhance rather than hinder his work here as well.
So how about it? Do you think The Last Airbender will be all the more impressive in 3D? Or are you concerned it'll be a messy slap-job a la Clash of the Titans?
The Last Airbender is still due to hit theaters - now both 2D and 3D - this summer on July 2.