I was happily surprised to learn that director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Beowulf) has been thinking about bringing Roger Rabbit back to the big screen. Holy cow, that would be fantastic! I've been waiting 21 years for a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
At a recent red carpet event, which seems to happen everyday in Hollywood, MTV Movies editor Josh Horowitz asked Zemeckis, who has been focusing on 3D performance-capture movies of late (including the upcoming A Christmas Carol), about using the technology to revisit older movies. He was alluding to possibly a fourth Back to the Future movie. Zemeckis' answer surprised Horowitz:
"I’ll tell you what is buzzing around in my head now that we have the ability—the digital tools, performance capture—I’m starting to think about Roger Rabbit"
Very unexpected answer, but not unwelcome! I remember seeing Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in theaters in 1988. I was 12 and a big fan of classic Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons, and the mix of live action and animation was fantastic.
The movie was funny, original, and who didn't love seeing all our favorite Disney and WB characters together? Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck, Mel Blanc providing voices, Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant, mega-producer Joel Silver as Raoul J. Raoul, Jessica Rabbit, and so much more. Some moments went really dark, like when Christopher Lloyd (as Judge Doom) put the animated shoe into The Dip, which is toxic to toons. Chilling!
Anyway, though Zemeckis is staying quiet at the moment, I am of the opinion that maybe they should stick with the traditional 2D animation and live-action mix, unless Zemeckis can truly make the performance capture and CGI animation look realistic. As Ain't It Cool News put it, the mix of animation and live action was a major part of the plot and world of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: toons are real. Then again, a 3D version sounds awesome.
Will they use a new script, or will they go with the unused prequel script, Who Discovered Roger Rabbit? Are they planning on making the film a sequel, prequel, or a reboot (which are getting as commonplace as remakes)? Will Charles Fleischer return as Roger? What about Bob Hoskins and Jessica Rabbit? We'll keep you up-to-date as more news is forthcoming. I suspect we'll hear more when A Christmas Carol opens on November 2009.
Here's the full video of MTV's interview with Robert Zemeckis: