2011 VFX Preview
It's pretty much back to basics this year with lots of superheroes, sequels, remakes, origin stories, kid's fare and assorted action/adventures -- and plenty of 3-D, of course. Plus a few originals and potential surprises. Not covered but worth mentioning are: Thor, X-Men First Class, Rise of the Apes (with Weta doing some fancy new hair grooming and performance capture for CG apes), Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol (with Brad Bird making his live-action debut), Steven Spielberg's War Horse, Sherlock Holmes 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Priest, Super 8, The Thing, Conan the Barbarian, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Smurfs, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Hop, The Muppets and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
Sucker Punch (Warner Bros., March 25)
Zack Snyder's Alice in Wonderland-inspired mind-bender could be this year's Inception or Shutter Island. Babydoll (Emily Browning) tries to escape from an asylum through her imagination with an elite fighting force of inmates and a virtual arsenal. The director of 300 and Watchmen goes for a stylized mash-up of World War I, samurai and serpents in his first original work. John DJ Desjardin (Watchmen) serves as overall visual effects supervisor, with production design by Rick Carter (Avatar). VFX is provided by MPC, Prime Focus, Animal Logic, Pixomondo, among others.
Duncan Jones follows up his intriguing Moon with a Groundhog Day-like techno-thriller, in which soldier Jake Gyllenhaal is sent into the body of a civilian to continuously relive the last eight minutes of his life until he discovers who was responsible for a train bombing and to prevent the next terrorist attack. VFX by MPC Vancouver, Modus FX, Mr. X, Rodeo FX and others.