THR have just reported that due to the low box office haul of its latest animation Mars Needs Moms, which Zemeckis had a producer’s credit on, Disney have dropped his Yellow Submarine project and it now languishes in murky waters with an increasingly unlikely chance that it’ll be rescued by another studio willing to take on the project.
What relevance this will have to the Spielberg/Jackson fronted The Adventure of Tintin is unclear – Mars Needs Moms is nowhere near as valuable or recongisable as Herge’s classic creation and while I thought that Mars Needs Moms didn’t need to be in mad with CG performance capture this may be a sign that audiences are tired of it too. The director’s Imagemovers studio, which made The Polar Express and the recent Beowulf adaptation, was closed and renamed Imagemovers Digital a few years after Disney bought the studio. The word was that Zemeckis was going to relaunch the studio to produce his Yellow Submarine film, a prospect which is now looking unlikely.
Coincidentally I was watching the 1968 Yellow Submarine this morning and was struck by the playful, yet very dark tone of the film, and wondered how much it needed to have been a product of its time to work. It was not nostalgic in the way a modern remake would be, and there is much in George Dunning’s film that would need to be left behind to appeal to a wide audience. The only real shame of this news is that we won’t get to see/hear Peter Serafinowicz as Paul McCartney as he, along with Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly and Adam Campbell were set to play the fab four.
Oh, and the opening attack by the Blue Meanies in the 1968 film really reminded me of the 2005 Spielberg directed War of the Worlds. Chilling.