For over the last decade director Robert Zemeckis has been playing almost exclusively in the playground of computer-generated imagery with the films The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol taking an actor’s performance and using it to drive a computer animated character. And for a while it looked as if the culmination of those explorations would be a remake of the classic animated film Yellow Submarine which famously features the music of the Beatles.
However, Disney scuttled plans for the film back in early 2011 following the poor box office receipts for Mars Needs Women, a motion capture animated film from Zemeckis’s Digital studio, though one that Zemeckis did not direct. Since then, Zemeckis tried to shop the project around to other studios in an effort to find new funding, but the director has now admitted defeat in that task.
Speaking with Total Movie, Zemeckis stated –
That would have been a great one to bring the Beatles back to life. But it’s probably better not to be remade – you’re always behind the 8-ball when do you a remake. It gets harder and harder [to make movies]. With the current state of the industry, it’s difficult to stay passionate about it. The hardest thing for a filmmaker as he’s aging is saying, “How much more of this crap can I take?” It’s tough, I can only do it if I have a script to believe in. Like Flight.
Honestly, I am rather glad that this project has died. While I am intrigued with what new things Zemeckis will bring to the art of motion capture animation, I don’t think that trying to recreate the unique zeitgeist that was the Beatles in the 1960s is an achievable goal. Here’s hoping his next project is something that does push the boundaries of what he has already done.