Zemeckis, Burton and Bruckheimer projects may go 3D and IMAX

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Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
Disney’s A Christmas Carol, the 3D 2009 holiday release from director Robert Zemeckis and starring Jim Carrey, will be the first film from The Walt Disney Studios slated for IMAX theaters under a new five-picture agreement the studio has reached with big screen movie exhibition company, it was announced yesterday by president of Walt Disney Studios, Mark Zoradi. A Christmas Carol will lead off a slate of upcoming films from the Studio and a roster of filmmakers that may include director Tim Burton as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer. This arrangement makes some of the Studio’s most highly anticipated theatrical releases from November 2009 and beyond available to IMAX venues across the globe.

This could mean that films including Tim Burton’s upcoming 3D version of Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure 3, could all potentially be exhibited in the larger IMAX format, although these films have yet been confirmed as part of the agreement. However Pixar’s next film, simply titled Up, along with the Rock-starring Race to Witch Mountain update, are both due in theaters before A Christmas Carol, meaning they probably won’t be shown on the bigger screens, unless there’s some other film that gets pulled, similar to the situation that occurred when Eagle Eye replaced Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which is still scheduled to have an IMAX version next year), because Harry Potter had production delays.

However, with the shortened production times expected to make these conversions to the IMAX format, because of the launch of the IMAX Digital Projection Systems (DTS) next year, and the fast-growing IMAX film network, maybe there’s some possibilities for those two projects, but with the large slate of DreamWorks 3D Animation features on tap, I doubt it.

According to reports, Robert Zemeckis’ takes the art of performance capture to the next level with the November 6, 2009 release of Disney’s A Christmas Carol. This multi-sensory 3D motion picture captures the essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking motion picture event. Ebeneezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman), and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come (all played by Carrey) take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late.

Film Fetish Trivia: Zemeckis will also produce the family adventure Airman, which is based on a book by Eoin Colfer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gil Kenan, who directed Monster House and the recently released City of Ember, is directing Airman.

Airman follows Conor Broekhart, a young man who was born in a hot air balloon. Because of a series of unfortunate events, he later lands in prison, where he tries to escape before heading out to battle an alliance planning to overthrow the government.

Like Zemeckis’ The Polar Express and Beowulf, Airman will use motion capture animation.