Mad Max: Fury Road To Be a 2D-to-3D Conversion?

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Samsung have just last night unveiled their latest size-zero-slim range of LED TVs at a big shindig in the Saatchi Galleries of London. In attendance, as well as the journalists and tech bloggers that Samsung will have been very keen to impress, were a host of celebs with Kevin Spacey, Noel Clarke and newly-ordained Film 2010 host Claudia Winkleman amongst them. Somewhere in the crowd was Nicholas Hoult, and it’s his comments on the upcoming Mad Max fourquel Fury Road that we’re most concerned with right now.

We’ve known since January that Fury Road was going to be a 3D picture, but I think we may have also assumed that it would be shot that way. If we can take a new quote on face value, however, what we’re going to be served up is yet another 2D to 3D conversion. There’s an awful lot of big-budget eggs being put in this particular basket right now.

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The inevitable news of a How to Train Your Dragon sequel broke yesterday, courtesy of a Dreamworks conference call and press release. We learned that the film would be made for cinemas, released in 2013 and… actually, that was it. But what more information about this proposed follow-up is actually out there?

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I don’t imagine there’s going to be much fan loyalty to either Louis Letterier or Eric Brevig for their first films in the Clash of the Titans and Journey to the Centre of the Earth franchises, and it looks like there’s going to be no studio loyalty either. As sequels to both films start to gear up in the Warner Bros. back office, it has become clear that new helmsmen are being sought, with pace of turnaround being the real priority.

As far as Journey goes, there’s one name being touted already: Brad Peyton. He’s got Cats and Dogs sequel The Revenge of Kitty Galore coming up this summer, and I’m doubtful it will make for much of an auspicious feature debut. On the other hand, his “cartoon gothic” shorts Evelyn: The Cutest Evil Dead Girl and A Tale of Bad Luck were very well received and seemed to suggest he was at least going to become a director who could pack out signing sessions down at Hot Topic. Rather than Journey, I’d far rather hear about him going off to shoot Billy Grimm, the film he’s been developing with Ginger Snaps‘ superb screenwriter Karen Walton.

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If you’ve seen the hideous monstrosity that is Clash of the Titans, replete with its horrendous and eye-torturing attempts at 3D imagery, you probably don’t have much love at all for post-production dimensionalisation. I’ve seen the online reaction to two upconvert projects that have been announced in just the last 24 hours, Michel Gondry‘s Green Hornet film and M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender, and it wasn’t pretty.

Now, though, key creative personal on each movie have issued statements to the effect that these films were actually planned and possibly even shot for 3D, though don’t confuse that for them actually being shot in 3D. I’ll give you the quotes after the break, so you can judge for yourself if we’re being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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Coming to you weekly from my vantage point in good old Blighty, it’s Slashfilm UK. Anglos and Anglophiles rejoice as every Friday I’ll be bringing you a round up of news, links and coverage specific to the motion picture comings and goings here in the UK. Sometimes we’ll be talking about films that have already played in the US, other times it will be films that won’t make it to the US for a good while yet, and from time to time you’ll read about films that will never make it to the US at all.

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Fan Fest takes place at the London Film Museum (on Google Maps) this Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th April. The official website describes it as “The Ultimate Spy and Sci-Fi Event” and an “Action & Entertainment Weekender For All the Family”. I can also tell you that it’s going to be the single biggest gathering of James Bond alumni under one roof, as well a showcase for costumes and props from a wealth of beloved genre films, with a little bit of bias towards films made in Britain.

As well as the exhibits and signing sessions, the weekend will also feature a full timetable of onstage Q&A sessions with such geek luminaries as Ray Harryhausen, Avatar’s Stephen Lang and more Bond Girls and Guys than you could shake (not stir) a stick at. In true Q&A tradition, audience members will have a chance to ask their own questions after a bit of warm-up by the chair.

I’m lucky enough to be hosting Sunday afternoon’s Q&As . Here’s who I’m going to be speaking to:

2.30 Stephen LangAvatar‘s Colonel Quaritch
3.00 Richard Kiel and Blanche Ravalec - James Bond’s Jaws and Dolly
3.30 Eunice Gayson and Madeline Smith – the first Bond Girls to Connery and Moore respectively

Tickets will be available on the door, though there are a limited number of seats in the debating chamber so I would recommend booking early. There’s a lot of interesting folk appearing over the weekend and it’s not every day we see them interviewed, much less taking questions from fans.

Here’s some pretty solid indication that apocalyptic zombie epic World War Z will finally be coming to the big screen soon: Paramount have renewed their option on the book for what its author Max Brooks described as “half the time and twice the money”. That’s not the kind of cheque you just throw out there, so I can only imagine the studio is going to be making some serious moves to bring the film to life, and soon.

In his interview with Fear Net, Brooks also confirms that Marc Forster is still attached to direct. Will he stay attached all the way to the first day of shooting?

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Straight from director Barry Sonnenfeld comes news that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are set to return for a third Men in Black picture and, in a move which will surprise precisely no-one, Sony will be releasing it in 3D.

The official line seems to be that while Smith and Jones have both agreed to reprise their Men in Black roles, only Smith has formally signed. I imagine that the studio will be very keen to get this one moving swiftly, and if they do so, the immediate casualty is likely to be The City That Sailed. Back in March, Peter reported on how Smith had come to a fork in the road, Men in Black in one direction, City in the other.

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