Hollywood is getting gimmicky again - although some could argue that they never stopped. You can trace back the past 2 scores (that's four decades for the numerically challenged) of movie history and there is a clear pattern of Hollywood studios and directors copying each other according to the most popular trend of the time. In the 70's Kung-fu, Blaxpoitation and cop/mob films ruled supreme; the 80's brought about the birth of the raucous comedy and over-the-top action hero (Norris, Schwarzenegger, Stallone). The only thing the 90's managed to influence was run times with films like Braveheart, Dances with Wolves, Forrest Gump and The Fugitive all breaking the two hour mark. You could say The Matrix influenced other directors with its bullet-time-style filming, but no one got a chance to copy that until after the year 2000.
The new millennium started with studios filming in a new digital format, and then moved onto Imax and 3D filming and remakes. Hollywood shows no signs of slowing down on either, and will in fact cover all four bases at once with Disney's announcement to release The Beatles' Yellow Submarine by 2012.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol), Yellow Submarine will be a remake filmed in "Disney digital 3D" (which I guess is different than plain ol' normal digital 3D) and will make use of the same live motion-caption (mo-cap) that Zemeckis used on A Christmas Carol and Beowulf. I suppose that means Zemeckis is actually copying himself.
The original Yellow Submarine was an animated LSD adventure directed by George Dunning set in the undersea town of Pepperland. When the Blue Meanies capture Pepperland's protectors, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Fab Four dive into their yellow submarine and set off to rescue the imprisoned musicians. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all appeared in the end of the film's only live-action scene, but with Paul and Ringo being the only surviving members, the chance of that happening again are probably pretty slim.
The movie deal has been in the laps of lawyers for months, trying to sort out all of the legalities involving the use of the original Beatles' songs, "Baby You're a Rich Man", "All You Need is Love", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and many others. The deal isn't stopping at a movie either; Disney also has plans for a Broadway show, and a new Cirque du Soleil performance.
The Beatles haven't been together since 1970 but their music still remains popular, which is evident by the release this September of some re-mastered Beatles albums and The Beatles: Rock Band video game, which will have over forty songs to play. No doubt both the albums and game will be great money makers.
There has been no word on what voice actors will play a role in Yellow Submarine nor if the script and story line will closely follow the original; but I am sure we'll hear something concrete come September. If done right, this version should be as fun to watch as the first one - so long as Zemeckis doesn't go overboard with all the technology. The first was nothing but a Limited Animation cartoon and people ate it up. Remember that, Zemeckis, and use the technology to enhance the story, not destroy it.
What do you think about seeing a 3D remake of Yellow Submarine?
Yellow Submarine has no official release date but Disney is aiming for before the 2012 Olympics.