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Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:24 am
by TheButcher
From THR: The Stoneheart Trilogy
Borys Kit wrote:
'Stoneheart' beats at ImageMovers, Dis
Duo in talks for film rights to fantasy book series

ImageMovers and Disney are in negotiations to pick up film rights to "The Stoneheart Trilogy," a young-adult fantasy book series by Charlie Fletcher. ImageMovers' Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey will produce.

The books revolve around a 12-year-old London boy who enters a hidden alternate world where statues, imbued with the soullike essence of their makers, come to life. The boy's presence upsets a balance between good and evil, and while dealing with such creatures as sphinxes and gargoyles, he teams with an orphan girl and the statue of a World War I gunner to try to set things right.

The third "Stoneheart" book, "Silvertongue," is due in stores next month.

ImageMovers is set to go into production on "Mars Needs Moms," an adaptation of a Berkeley Breathed children's novel being directed by Simon Wells. It also is developing an adaptation of Eoin Colfer's adventure book "Airman" for Gil Kenan ("Monster House") to direct.

As will happen for "Mars" and "Airman," the intent is to adapt "Stoneheart" using performance-capture.

Fletcher is repped by ICM.

Calling All Robots

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:25 am
by TheButcher
From Variety: Even bigger robots on studio schedules
MARC GRASER wrote:Disney has "Calling All Robots" that scribe Michael Dougherty ("Superman Returns") is writing and producing at Disney with Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers described as an animated sci-fi adventure that's a throwback to old Godzilla movies.

From Variety: Michael Dougherty calls 'All Robots'
MARC GRASER wrote:Michael Dougherty has teamed with Walt Disney Pictures and Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers on "Calling All Robots," an animated sci-fi adventure the scribe plans to direct using the same type of performance capture technology recently deployed to produce "Beowulf."

Dougherty will pen the project with Breehn Burns and Simeon Wilkins, who will serve as artists and visual designers on the project. The trio conceived the idea together.

Details of the project are being kept under wraps, but it uses performance capture to "tell a story that's a throwback to old Godzilla movies," Dougherty said. "I grew up watching Godzilla movies. This film is very much rooted in those movies."

ImageMovers' Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey will produce.

The producers are readying "A Christmas Carol," their follow up to "Beowulf" and "The Polar Express," which will use the performance capture process and Disney will distrib in 2009.

Idea for "Calling All Robots" was hatched in part because of the capabilities of the technology, which combines the filming of actors and combines their moves using computers to create digital characters and sets.

"It's a film we just could not make in live action or traditional animation," said Dougherty, who began his career as an animator.

Dougherty recently helmed "Trick 'r Treat," a Halloween-themed horror pic that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures were going to release last October but bumped to this year in order to move pic away from an onslaught of slashers at the multiplex.

He had worked with Burns and Wilkins on "Trick 'r Treat," with the two serving as storyboard and concept artists on the project.

No release date has yet been set for "Trick 'r Treat," Dougherty's first foray in the director's chair.

He previously penned "X2: X-Men United" for 20th Century Fox and "Superman Returns," both of which Bryan Singer helmed.

Re: ImageMovers

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:32 am
by TheButcher

The Nutcracker

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:09 am
by TheButcher

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:03 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:43 pm
by minstrel

Zemeckis's star has certainly fallen. Christmas Carol flopped and Cameron's mocap on Avatar beat the hell out of anything Zemeckis has ever done. Zemeckis is an also-ran these days, and this move confirms that.

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:55 pm
by RogueScribner
Maybe he'll get back to making real movies.

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:04 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
Disney, Zemeckis enter 'Dark Life'
MARC GRASER wrote:Disney and Robert Zemeckis are eyeing the ocean floor as the setting for a new family franchise.

The Mouse House and ImageMovers have wrapped a deal to partner with the Gotham Group to adapt Kat Falls' upcoming young adult novel "Dark Life," with Zemeckis attached to direct.

Book is set in a near-future world in which rising ocean levels and natural catastrophes have led some people to homestead on the ocean floor, and kids to develop supernatural powers. Story centers on an underwater teenage boy and a surface girl who join forces to uncover a government conspiracy.

Project fits in well with Disney's new mandate to create family friendly fare that can be exploited across the company's various platforms and spawn sequels.

The Gotham Group won the rights to "Dark Life" after making a preemptive bid to buy the manuscript earlier this year (Daily Variety, Jan. 25). Book will be published by Scholastic in May, backed by a major marketing push. Two books had initially been planned, but could now expand to more installments.

Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey will produce through ImageMovers with Jackie Levine shepherding the project for the shingle. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman will produce through Gotham.

Whether the film will be produced using Zemeckis' favored performance-capture process has yet to be determined. In a cost-cutting move, Disney last month said it will pull the plug on ImageMovers Digital, based in Marin County, Calif., by the end of the year once "Mars Needs Moms" wraps. The facility produced the performance-capture work on "The Polar Express," "Beowulf" and "A Christmas Carol."

ImageMovers is still developing Disney's remake of "The Yellow Submarine" and is behind an adaptation of "Airman," based on Eoin Colfer's kids' book, and "The Stoneheart Trilogy," a young-adult fantasy book series by Charlie Fletcher, also at the Mouse House.

Gotham's recent credits include "The Spiderwick Chronicles" for Paramount/Nickelodeon Movies. The company's upcoming slate includes "Quantum Quest," a large-format 3D CGI film based on NASA's Cassini Mission; "Saving Juliet" at Disney; "The Maze Runner" and "The Devil You Know" at 20th Century Fox; and "Wicked" and "Stargirl" at DreamWorks.

Falls is a graduate screenwriting program professor at Northwestern U.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:42 pm
by TheButcher
From Moviehole:
What would Dougherty’s Superman sequel have been?
Moviehole spoke to “Superman Returns” co-writer Michael Dougherty this week (on our weekly podcast) who, although never officially onboard to pen the libretto for the follow-up, discusses what he might have done had he gotten the chance to.

To hear the whole interview with Dougherty, who talks a little about the “Giant Robot Movie” with he’s making with Robert Zemeckis and his involvement in a flick that’s roots lie in a “Fairy Tale”, check out this week’s Moviehole Hole Cast.

Re: Mars Needs Moms

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:52 pm
by TheButcher
FIRST BOX OFFICE: ''Battle: LA' Strong #1; 'Red Riding Hood' Disappointing #3; 'Mars Needs Moms' Big Moneyloser
NIKKI FINKE wrote:But the movie that all of Hollywood is talking about tonight is Disney's stupidly named Mars Needs Moms 3D. Why? Because it's going to be one of the biggest money losers of all time. Costing $150M and even with the higher 3D ticket prices, it'll be lucky to pull in $10M this weekend -- that's right all weekend. It's rare that any Disney toon flops at all, much less this badly. But my insiders say this movie is why, after Rich Ross screened it, Disney cut ties to Robert Zemeckis' Imagemovers Digital.

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:18 am
by magicmonkey
minstrel wrote:

Zemeckis's star has certainly fallen. Christmas Carol flopped and Cameron's mocap on Avatar beat the hell out of anything Zemeckis has ever done. Zemeckis is an also-ran these days, and this move confirms that.

He pioneered so much of this stuff though (outside of videogames- Yo! 1992 Prince of Persia!) and I wholeheartedly see The Polar Express as a movie that is gonna be examined well into the future as a political allegory of the millennial circa US administration , as Bush and Co hop over to Santa at CIA headquarters and are told to believe!11! That the movie is criticised for being dead eyed is like criticising puppetry for being too wooden. I love the flick, its like Oliver Stones Nixon 'cept, you know, for kids!

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:52 pm
by TheButcher
Robert Zemeckis In Talks to Re-Launch Imagemovers at Universal (Heat Vision Exclusive)
Borys Kit & Matthew Belloni wrote:UPDATE: Universal informs us that the deal has closed.

Robert Zemeckis' Imagemovers, the high-profile company that was recently shut down by Disney and produced the costly spring flop Mars Needs Moms, is on the verge of a comeback.

Sources tell THR that Imagemovers—run by Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke—is in negotiations to sign a two-year first-look deal with Universal, though the company would look a lot different this time around.

Imagemovers’ previous deal, known to have been especially rich, included the creation of a studio facility in Marin County, Calif., where Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away, made such motion-capture movies as The Polar Express and Beowulf. At its peak it employed around 450 workers before Disney pulled the plug in 2010.

The Universal deal would be more of a traditional overall production pact. Terms and length are still being finalized, but the arrangement would call on Zemeckis to develop and produce both live-action and motion capture projects. No visual effects or sound stages campuses will be built.

The deal would bring Zemeckis back in business with the studio for which he made the classic Back to the Future trilogy as well as Death Becomes Her. He also exec produced Uni's The Frighteners, which served as Peter Jackson’s first foray into the Hollywood studio

Zemeckis is a producer on DreamWorks' Real Steel, which opens October 7, and, with his Imagemovers shingle is producing an adaptation of the Chuck Sambuchino book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, set up at Sony Pictures Animation.

The director was also working on a remake of the classic Beatles film Yellow Submarine. The project was to have been made by Disney but is currently without a home. It is not known if Submarine would end up at Universal.

Re: Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:37 am
by TheButcher
‘The Walk’s Robert Zemeckis On A High Wire Directing Career: Deadline Q&A
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:We tend to identify Robert Zemeckis with a long list of hit films from Forrest Gump to Cast Away to Back to The Future, Romancing The Stone, Polar Express, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beowulf and Flight. A closer look at the struggles behind almost all those films suggests why he might have found a kindred spirit in Philippe Petit, the French aerialist (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who in 1974 walked a wire strung between the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. Zemeckis opens the New York Film Festival tonight with a rendering of Petit’s highly original artistic statement, one part loving tribute to the memory of those buildings, and one part vertigo-inducing 3D that illustrates the danger of Petit’s stunt. At least figuratively, Zemeckis’ insistence on not making the same movie twice (three Back to the Futures is the exception) has meant overcoming adversity and walking a tightrope his entire career, not limited to Disney’s unceremonious shuttering of his motion capture lab ImageMovers Digital that put an end to his performance capture animated films. Disney kicked The Walk to the curb at the same time, making The Walk a lot like past Zemeckis efforts that include Gump. None of the success — the near $700 million worldwide gross, the six Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture or the chain restaurant Bubba Gump’s — were predicted when Zemeckis struggled to get the movie off the ground, when he and others waived upfront fees and got windfall paydays in success. The Walk got a lifeline from Tom Rothman, who made this his first major buy when he resuscitated TriStar. Zemeckis, in turn, adhered to a budget as tight as Petit’s wire, bringing it in at around $35 million. Rothman now runs Sony Pictures and The Walk turns out to be an awards season bright spot in a rebuilding year.

DEADLINE: You’ve broken lots of ground, from doing two Back to the Futures together, to sandwiching in What Lies Beneath between two production periods of Cast Away which you stopped halfway through so Tom Hanks could starve himself. You put Forrest Gump with Nixon and JFK and mixed animation with live action in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and now you’ve got your wire walker. Which of these was hardest?

ZEMECKIS: Hands down, Roger Rabbit was toughest. That was like making three movies simultaneously. A period film noir movie, a feature-length animated movie, and an outrageous comedy, all at the same time. So that was the one where I had the most vivid memory of saying, boy, we have really gone through the looking glass, we’re flying without a net and we have no idea where this is going to take us. That one was probably the most terrifying. After that, shooting the two Back to the Future sequels back to back, that was pretty daunting. Yeah.

You mentioned how the whole thing with Disney went to hell. That included the performance capture animation you did for a long time. Can you verbalize what about that process made you work exclusively in that form of filmmaking?

ZEMECKIS: I got to make movies where all I did was direct the actors’ performance and didn’t have to worry for one moment about what I call the tyranny of technology. It was incredible, like I was directing black box theater. It was me, sitting on a folding chair with an actor in a volume of infrared light which was invisible, and it was all about performance, and I didn’t have to worry about him hitting his marks or worry about the camera hitting its marks. I didn’t have to worry about whether it was going to be in focus. I didn’t have to worry about the timing, and it was wonderfully liberating for both myself and the actors. Those movies were magnificent, and then to take the perfect takes of performance and bring them back to my office in Santa Barbara without having 200 people racing against the setting sun. I worked at my leisure, I could do the cinema part and perfect it as best I could. To me, it was the most glorious way to make a movie.

More control than you ever had before?

ZEMECKIS: Yeah. So much control over the process, the mayhem of movie making. Yeah. I was able to step away from that.