Briefly: It’s release date time. Disney has announced release dates for John Carter of Mars and the stop-motion animated update / expansion of Tim Burton‘s Frankenweenie.

Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter of Mars, the Pixar director’s first foray into live action features, and an adaptation of the pulp adventure novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, will release on June 8 2012. That one stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Church and Willem Dafoe.

And the stop-motion, black and white and 3D Frankenweenie will release on March 9, 2012. That has Tim Burton, who originally created the short film of the same name that is being expanded into a feature, listed as producer, but not director. Hmm. Last time we heard about the project, Don Hahn was saying that Burton was set to direct. I’d keep that in mind as a Burton-directed film for now, but we’ll try to get better information.

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Last week there was some confusion when a Deadline report suggested that Tim Burton would shortly begin work on a stop-motion animated film based on The Addams Family. That report was quickly denied by Burton’s publicist (in a way that still leaves us wondering if it is a film that will happen) but there’s another animated movie that Burton has been gearing up to make: an update of his early short Frankenweenie. Now, word from SXSW is that Burton is ready to go with that update. Read More »

Cool Stuff: A Preview of The Art of Tim Burton

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Yesterday we told you that New York’s Museum of Modern Art was going to have an exhibition of the art of Tim Burton. The exhibition will include “over 700 examples of rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, and includes an extensive film series spanning Burton’s 27-year career.” This event also coincides with The Art of Tim Burton book that Brendon wrote about in April. Read the the full press release here.

MOMA has finally granted us access to a sampling of the pieces you can expect at the show. Eight more images, available after the jump.

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John August is that rare thing in the arts. He’s an established professional with a back catalogue of accomplished works who we can still single out as one to watch. For my money, August’s work just keeps getting better and better, and his directorial debut The Nines was like a second debutantes ball for him (I was going to say “second coming out”, but in that case it would have been at least his third).

He’s similarly rare in his candidness, offering a very well written and well read blog which offers not only updates on his work, but technical and advice on the craft on screenwriting. In his latest post, he has confirmed EW’s scoop that he is scripting the feature film adaptation of Preacher, with Sam Mendes attached to direct and Neil Moritz producing. Moritz has a rather bad reputation, or at least a catalogue of disappointing films behind him, and I’m no fan of Mendes myself but I sincerely hope this all works out well – for the sake of August’s screenplay, as much as anything else.

There have been several attempts to mount a Preacher film before, though all have skidded and ditched rather early. Below the break is a test on the make-up for ArseFace.

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BDSF: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie

This week in Big Directors Small Films, we take a look at one of Tim Burton’s first films, Frankenweenie. As you may recall, Burton will in fact be making a stop motion animated feature length remake of this infamous short after he completes Alice in Wonderland. I also understand that many of you might have already seen this short film (which is unusual of this weekly blog feature) but Disney decided to put the entire 29 minute short film on the web as part of their Halloween celebration.

In 1984, Burton made a short black and white film titled Frankenweenie. It is rumored that Disney decided to shelve the project because the content was too “questionable” for children. However, after the mainstream success of such Burton films as Beetlejuice, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Batman, the film was given a home video release on the Nightmare Before Christmas DVD.

FrankenweenieFrankenweenie is a parody of the 1931 Frankenstein film. When young Victor’s pet dog Sparky is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them and his parents, that despite his appearance, Sparky’s still the good loyal friend he’s always been. The film starred Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern, Barret Oliver, Sofia Coppola and Jason Hervey.

You can watch Frankenweenie on the Nightmare Before Christmas DVD or on Disney.com.

Frankenweenie

As you know, Tim Burton recently signed a two picture deal with Disney which will allow him to make a feature length version of Frankenweenie. I always wondered how Burton convinced Disney to remake his 1984 short. The story about a young boy who brings his dead dog back from the dead, is sure to pose a couple marketing challenges for the Mouse House. It’s not cute and cuddly, it’s dark and gothic. I always assumed that Burton used the “one for them, one for me” mentality when making the recent deal. Heck, Alice in Wonderland doesn’t exactly sound like his dream project. But Stop-motion-animation is a lengthy process, and isn’t exactly cheap (Corpse Bride cost around $40 million). And now I have my answer, direct from Burton’s mouth via Sci-FiWire:

“We’re going to do that real low-budget,” Burton said. “The thing that excites me about it and that will make it different is that when I look at my original drawings, there are certain things that are in those that I couldn’t get in the live action when I made the film. So I’m quite excited to try to get a certain emotion and other characters in the new version, and I want to make it a slightly bigger story.”

“Love Budget”? “Bigger Story”? Hmmmmm…

Frankenweenie is aiming for a 2009 release.

John AugustDespite claims from IMDb, screenwriter John August is not writing the 3D feature film adaptation of Frankenweenie for Tim Burton. Apparently August had a meeting with Disney Animation last year where they pitched him the idea, complete with production art.

“Then, separately, I had a conversation with Tim about doing another stop-motion animation project like Corpse Bride. But they’re not the same thing. And as far as I know, I won’t be working on either one. (That said, I didn’t think I was working on Corpse Bride until I was halfway on a plane to London, so never say never.)”

However the screenwriter is looking to reteam with the Big Fish director on another as-yet-to-be-announced live-action project.

“I almost certainly will be writing [the unannounced Burton project] post-strike. And yes, I’d love to tell you what it is. But I can’t.”

But when will Tim Burton find the time? Burton is currently prepping a 3D version of Alice in Wonderland for Disney. That film will go into production in May 2008. And as we mentioned before, Burton is also signed on to make a feature film adaptation of his short film Frankenweenie.

In the meantime, August’s blog is probably the best place to catch up on “From the Frontlines of the Writers Strike” stories.

Upcoming 3D Movie Release Schedule

3D Movies

At least 5,000 3-D systems expected to be in place by 2009. DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg expects there to be 12 to 18 3D feature films by 2010. 3-D is clearly the future of cinema, at least for the near future. With the recent announcements of Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland/Frankenweenie, and today’s announcement of Final Destination 4 in 3D, we’ve decided to compile a schedule for the upcoming 3D movie releases. Enjoy!

2008:

January 25th 2008: U2 3D: Performances from seven different shows of U2′s Latin America Vertigo Tour in early 2006. Previews of this film have tested incredibly well.

February 15th 2008: Fly Me to the Moon: A computer animated tale of three young houseflies stow away aboard the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Tim Curry, Nicollette Sheridan, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Patrick and Kelly Ripa voice characters.

July 11th 2008: Journey 3-D: Visual effects supervisor turned director Eric Brevig’s take on the classic Jules Verne novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson star.

October 2008: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Disney has said they plan to rerelease the film around Halloween as long as it remains profitable.

Final Destination 4: Final Destination 2 director David R. Ellis returns to the franchise. Interestingly enough, Final Destination 3 was in development under the working title Final Destination 3-D, but the produces ultimately chose not to produce the movie in 3D due to costs and complications. This film might be pushed to 2009.

2009:

March 27th 2009: Monsters vs. Aliens: A reinvention of the classic ’50s monster movie. Directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale).

May 22nd 2009:
James Cameron’s Avatar: A band of humans are pitted in a battle against a distant planet’s indigenous population. Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi star. $190 million budget.

October 2009: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Disney has said they plan to rerelease the film around Halloween as long as it remains profitable.

November 6th 2009: A Christmas Carol: Has not been publicly confirmed as a 3D release, but the film will use the same performance capture technique Robert Zemeckis also used in Polar Express and Beowuld. The classic retelling will star Jim Carrey as Scrooge and the three ghosts. Tom Hanks, Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins are also rumored to be on board the project.

November 20th 2009:
How to Train Your Dragon: Based on the 2003 children’s novel by British author Cressida Cowell, about the adventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III – The teenage son of a Viking chieftain, who must capture a dragon for a rite of passage.

Crood Awakening: A comedy set in the stone age directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch)

TinTin: Directed by Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg. The adventures of popular Belgian comic-strip hero Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy.

Tim Burton’s Alive in Wonderland: Screenplay by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King) based on the Lewis Carroll classic. Film will be combine performance-capture technology with live-action footage.

Deep Sea-quel: As the name suggests, a sequel to the popular 2006 3D documentary Deep Sea 3D. An underwater look at the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas and the impact of global warming on the oceans. IMAX.

2010:

May 21st 2010: Shrek Goes Fourth: The further adventures of the giant green ogre, Shrek, living in the land of Far, Far Away. We will discover how Shrek arrived in that swamp. Not to be confused with Shrek 4-D which is a theme park attraction.

October 2010: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Disney has said they plan to rerelease the film around Halloween as long as it remains profitable.

Fall 2010: Master Mind: A satirical take on superhero movies, in which a notorious villain loses his oomph after he accidentally kills his nemesis.

Untitled Tintin Sequel: Directed by Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg. The continued adventures of popular Belgian comic-strip hero Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy.

Puss in Boots: A Shrek spinoff starring sword fighting cat voiced by Antonio Banderas. They haven’t officially announced this as a 3D title, but Jeffrey Katzenberg has said that all animated films released by Dreamworks after 2009 will be released in 3D.

2011:

TinTin 3: Directed by ????. Spielberg has said that he may direct this in collaboration with Peter Jackson, or that they might hire someone completely new. The continued adventures of popular Belgian comic-strip hero Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy.

In Development:

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie: A feature length remake of his 1984 short film. A parody of the 1931 Frankenstein film. When young Victor’s pet dog Sparky is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them and his parents, that despite his appearance, Sparky’s still the good loyal friend he’s always been. Burton will shoot the film using stop-motion animation.

Battle Angel
: James Cameron’s adaptation of the graphic novel about a female cyborg who is rescued from the scrapheap by a scientist, who becomes her surrogate father.

Star Wars: George Lucas has announced plans to remaster all of the Star Wars films in 3D. When this might actually happen is anyones guess.

All dates subject to change. Have we missed any upcoming big 3D releases? E-Mail Us.

photo credit: macromaven

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