Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman has announced that the upcoming Heavy Metal animated film might end back up at Paramount. The movie studio’s backstage disagreement with David Fincher over the length of Benjamin Button’s running time supposedly resulted in Heavy Metal’s departure. But it looks like everything has been patched up. Eastman has also announced the line-up of directors attached to helm segments for the animated film:
Zack Snyder, David Fincher, Gore Verbinski
Eastman writes “there’s more on the director front — but I’ll hold off to share more with you shortly.” The feature is scheduled to include four or five segments, and is being envisioned as an adult-themed R-rated film. The original 1981 film was also an anthology of sci-fi and fantasy stories adapted from the Heavy Metal magazine. The magazine and the film are known for their overuse of bloody violence, nudity and sexuality.
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Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman says that Zack Snyder, Guillermo del Toro and Gore Verbinski have expressed interest in joining executive producer David Fincher to direct segments of the upcoming Heavy Metal animated film. The feature is scheduled to include eight or nine segments, and is being envisioned as an adult-themed R-rated film. Animator Tim Miller and Eastman himself are also expected to direct segments. The original 1981 film was also an anthology of sci-fi and fantasy stories adapted from the Heavy Metal magazine. The magazine and the film are known for their overuse of bloody violence, nudity and sexuality.
A couple months ago, mention of a live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film was posted on the Playmate toys website, only to be quickly removed hours later. Fans wrote it off as a mistake, but as it turns out – it is true. Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of the Turtle franchise posted the following on the Heavy Metal forum:
“Yes, it is true. Although the CGI film did well enough to warrant a sequel, there has been much talk between Imagi and Warners to do a better “re-invention” (newest Hollywood buzzword) of the TMNT’s, in a live action film–like what was done with Batman. Back to basics, back to the origin and the intro of the Shredder, etc…there have been talks, trips to Northampton to talk to Mr Laird, and discussions with the original “first” TMNT film director Steve Barron to come back and do it right–but no official word yet…will keep you posted.”
I think a darker reinvention could be cool, especially if they went back to the original Eastman/Laird comics as inspiration (red masks and all). Although, I’m sure they would take a more kid friendly approach as they did with the computer animated film. But in this post-Dark Knight world, who knows what might be possible.
But what’s the point of having the same director come back and basically remake the earlier film? I always found the action and cinematograph of the original film lacking, and hope they find someone better than Steve Barron, who could “do it right” as Eastman says. Barron, who directed the original Turtles film (the best of the series) and Coneheads, is also responsible for some of the great music videos of the 1980′s: Take on Me and Billie Jean. Barron has recently been reduced to directing television movies you’ve never even heard of.
Also, I wonder if Vanilla Ice will be brought back to do an updated version of the Ninja Rap.
Discuss: Who should direct the live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Last week, I screened 20 minutes of clips of scenes from David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In our first impression article, I expressed my concern and disappointment over the footage shown, partly because I felt some of the short scenes dragged. Note: I haven’t seen the entire film – I want to be clear on this…, I only screened 20 minutes of selected scenes. It was good but not great. I wasn’t alone, FirstShowing and Jeff Wells also posted articles about the disappointing buzz the footage received at the festival.
In my blog posting, I told you about the rumors of Paramount’s vicious fight with Fincher behind the scenes over the running time of the film. We also tried to connect the dots between the departure of Fincher’s planned adaption of Heavy Metal and the rumored fight. Now The Playlist has found an interview with Kevin Eastman, creator of the Ninja Turtles and publisher of Heavy Metal, where he finally confirms the rumors:
“We developed it for Paramount in January… And it was time for them to make a decision [about going forward with the project] and they were at odds with Fincher over another project, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,’ [because] they wanted him to reduce the running time… and so they said, ‘Until you step up to do what we want you to do with Benjamin, we’re not going to greenlight any other of [your] movies.’ And David said, ‘Fine, fuck you, I’m going to set up [Heavy Metal] somewhere else,’ so we jumped over to Sony and set it up there.”
Yes, Fincher is a bad ass who won’t take crap from anyone – including the studio who has supposedly spent over $150 million on a film aiming for award consideration. I’ve been told that this is his best and worst quality as a filmmaker.
But what if Paramount is right? I loved Fincher’s Zodiac, but I think the theatrical cut could have benefited by losing 20-30 minutes on the back end. (Hey, there will always be a director’s cut on DVD) It seems to me that Paramount might believe they are in the same situation with Button. It is worth noting that around the time of the Heavy Metal departure, the film was supposedly just under three hours long. An AICN reader saw a screening of that cut and admitted that “By an hour and a half/forty five, the audience was getting restless.”
Anne Thompson’s sources claim the film has since been cut to around two and a half hours, which probably meets with Fincher’s studio obligations. But is that still too long? Another website reports that the latest cut is around two hours and fourty minutes. I havent seen the film, but the scenes Paramount and Fincher decided to screen at Telluride dragged in parts. I’m hoping the pacing issues will be resolved in the finished movie / in the context of the finished movie, because this film has the potential to be really magical.
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Director David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac) is set to co-direct, oversee and produce an animated feature film based on Heavy Metal Magazine, the adult fantasy and sci-fi publication founded in the ’70s that’s still in print today. The R-rated flick will consist of eight or nine individual animated tales, each to be helmed by a different director, so expect some rather far-out names added to the project shortly.
At this time, Fincher, Kevin Eastman, who co-created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and now owns and runs Heavy Metal (hmm, didn’t know that), and Tim Miller, whose California-based Blur Studio (Transformers: The Game, NFL graphics on Fox) will handle the animation, will each produce and helm a tale, leaving five or six open for those whose brain/PC is calculator-less. Scantily clad babes (and dudes) with hyper-musculature wielding axes and beheading mega-beasts via the mind who brought Fight Club to life. Ooh la la. Not even the most bummed dude on Earth is bumming on a random carpet stain today. And again, major props to Paramount Pictures for allowing Fincher to do whatever he pleases.
Some may recall that two animated Heavy Metal (1981′s Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal 2000) films already exist, both of which are usually found in the cult section of the video store you used to go to. Somewhere Sexman is trying to pass for 18 with a mustache made from chocolate milk, I have no doubt.
Discuss: \m/ or …zzzz?
Source Link: Variety