Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NEWS: Yellow Submarine To Get Remade?

It looks like Robert Zimeckis will continue his run of motion capture films, and add the Beatles Yellow Submarine to the likes of Beowulf and the upcoming adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Currently he and Disney are in negotiations to gain the rights to remake the film, one that I hold as being possibly in the list of 10 BEST animated films of all time. At least the most enjoyable.

Variety has the scoop:

The studio has been quietly brokering a complicated rights deal that would give Zemeckis access to 16 original Beatles songs for a movie he will direct in the performance-capture 3-D digital production format he employed for “A Christmas Carol.” Disney opens that film November 6, with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge as well as the three ghosts who haunt him in the Charles Dickens tale.

The hope is to have "Yellow Submarine" ready to premiere around the 2012 Summer Olympics, which begins July 27 in London.

Disney would not comment on the negotiations or the project. Zemeckis’s ImageMovers would produce.

There are a few things that come out of this news story, the biggest of which is the sudden resurgance of interest in the Beatles. There is the much hyped Beatles Rock Band which is due out next month, and along with that, films like Across The Universe have brought this legendary band (easily top five for yours truly) back into the mainstreams mind.

Also, and while it comes as no surprise, Zimeckis will be doing this in motion capture 3D, and while at first glance that sounds fine, I personally think that the entire feel of the original will be lost, and while it WILL be a remake, I love the style of the original, that it's going to be hard to lose that.

Finally, the song list. The deal DID include 16 songs, which include the title track, along with “All Together Now,” “Baby You’re a Rich Man,” “All You Need Is Love,” “When I’m 64,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” I love those tracks, and minus "Rich Man", this may be THE only reason I would give this film a fighting chance, at least in this state in the project. I'm sure when I actually see something from it, my tune will be completely changed.

For those who don't know, the original took place in Pepperland, an undersea paradise protected by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. When the band is captured by the Blue Meanies, a soldier is sent to Liverpool to fetch the Fab Four, who hop in the submarine and save the day. This is one of the more fun animated features, and along with A Hard Day's Night, made the Beatles not only a brilliant band, but also true crossover stars, not only monitarily, but quality as well.

Overall this project sounds interesting, but I hope that they don't try to stick with the original, as much as I love it. Could they pull it off, sure, but the original's style is so original and all it's own, at least in the realm of film, they need to do something different.

What do YOU think?

Go see something good!


  1. Don't be so prepared to change your tune when the first images come out. The fact is that movies like these are being made for exactly the wrong reasons.

    Do you really think that this is being made because of a "resurgence of interest"? Resurgence of licensing support, you mean. Disney and Corporate America have been fighting for literally decades to be able to merchandise the Beatles brand, it looks like Michael Jackson's heirs need money and the floodgates are open (Harrison and Lennon would have opposed the Disneyfication of the Beatles).

    This is all being carefully engineered as a multimedia rollout on multiple platforms, starting with Rock Band (video game driven resurgence in popularity!) and Across the Universe (a truly appallingly mawkish movie) and positive early buzz from bloggers are a necessary part of that multi-year rollout. They know the public will follow.

    (CHUD's reviewer talks about seeing the film "when we were kids" as if 2D = children (!) and 3D = animated film "updated" to be "more realistic" for adults, because we all know the problem with the original is realism; "psychedelic imagery" is a derogatory term for a lot of folks these days.)

    Apparently the closest you're allowed to get is the mannered, cutely eccentric Heironymous Bosch imagery of the new Rock Band video game, which people are actively recommending for the remake, never mind that the 2D stuff done by the same company (who did the Gorillaz vids and the title cards for The Kite Runner) is more artistic and more interesting.

  2. Just a couple of things.

    1) I KNOW my tune won't change, but I'm hoping and praying that it will. I have so much invested in anything Beatles, so it's just hope for my mind to stay at ease, at least for now.

    2) I don't think the film is being made because of a resurgance, I am just saying that it continues a trend that is pointing towards that. Of course it's a money grab, but so is the Rock Band game I hinted at, and that is getting good buzz from gamers.

    3. All I know, is that if this film gets people out to see the original, then it does have SOME sort of point behind it. I guess I'm just too hopefull for my own good :D.


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