CROUCHING TIGERs Chow Yun-Fat is in negotiations to play the villain in the upcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels, reports APPLE DAILY. The actors wife, Jasmin Chan Wui-nin, said the actor will play the famous 19th century Chinese pirate Cheung Po Tsai for the second and third installments of the franchise. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley are expected to return in their roles.
Category: Visual Effects
Hot on the heels of the record-setting THE POLAR EXPRESS: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE, IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures will next bring Tim Burtons CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to IMAX theaters, day-and-date with conventional theaters on July 15, 2005. The event marks the seventh IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) collaboration between IMAX and Warner Bros.
The premiere of Sci Fi Channel's original miniseries LEGEND OF EARTHSEA averaged a 3.2 HH rating/3.677,000 P2+ over two consecutive nights. Sci Fi was the top network in cable prime (Monday-Tuesday 8:00-11:00 pm average) for HH ratings, P2+, P18-49s and P25-54s for entire run of the miniseries.
Director Chris Weitz has stepped down as director on HIS DARK MATERIALS: THE GOLDEN COMPASS, citing the expansive technical challenges. New Line will launch a search for a new director immediately. The ABOUT A BOY helmer made it clear that the move was not due to creative differences, thus heading off rumors that the move was over the recent announcement that the film would secularize the Philip Pullman novel in an effort to make the film not seem anti-religious. Weitz penned the screenplay, which will be used by the new director.
Clive Barkers horror series, HELLRAISER, has pinned a hour-long TV deal, reports VARIETY. Panacea Ent., Park Avenue Ent. and Blueprint Ent. will produce the project. New Worlds Larry Kuppin will exec produce with Eric Gardner. Dimension films still holds the feature rights, but Kuppin has repped the series since 1991.
The plot will follow a tabloid journalist who stumbles onto a diabolical plot between Pinhead and a zillionaire software exec.
As part of VFXWORLDs continuing international coverage Gianluca Dentici reports on The Virtuality 2004 Conference about the current state of the Italian visual effects industry, where they strive for invisibility. On the other hand, Italians wouldnt be Italians without some sort of ode to carnal lust, so the winner of the first Miss Digital World contest, Katty Ko, designed by Flavio Parra from Chile, was recognized as the best icon of virtual beauty by the online jury.
How did Pixel Magic create realistic driving and flying sequences for James Brooks dialogue-heavy film SPANGLISH (opening Dec. 17 through Columbia Pictures) without hindering his ability to elicit great performances on set? Answer: By creating a shooting environment that complemented the director's style.
The wait is overthe four-disc THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING SPECIAL EXTENDED DVD EDITION (New Line Home Ent., $39.99) hit stores on Dec. 14, 2004. As expected, it contains more than 50 minutes of new footage, including a cameo by director Peter Jackson being quelled by an arrant arrow, and 300 new vfx shots (for a 250-minute running time).
Walt Disney has given is Mandeville Films production shingle the go-ahead on a remake of the SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON as well as a feature based on the classic Disneyland theme park ride JUNGLE CRUISE, reports VARIETY. Despite Disney saying it wouldnt produce any more features based on theme park rides after the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels, producer/ Mandville head David Hoberman announced in May 2004 that the studio has looking at JUNGLE CRUISE as a possible feature.
Phobos Ent. has obtained the media rights to Ursula K. Le Guin's sci-fi novel THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, reports VARIETY. Phobos head Sandra Schulberg hopes to exploit the property as both a feature and videogame.
The story is set on lost planet called Winter, whose inhabitants can physically change genders. A human emissary is sent to connect with the people of Winter to bring them back into the galactic community.
Le Guin's EARTHSEA has been adapted as the Sci Fi Channel minseries from Hallmark. This series airs Dec. 13-14, 2004.
Twentieth Century Fox has hired Sheldon Turner to pen a Magneto spinoff film from the X-MEN franchise, reports VARIETY. This will be the second film spun off from the series with Fox previously greenlighting WOLVERINE to be written by Troy scribe David Benioff. Ian McKellen has played the angry mutant leader in the X-MEN features, however the spinoff will be a prequel dealing with the characters experiences as a boy during World War II. The Prof.
Based Ursula K. Le Guin's sci-fi novel, Hallmark presents LEGEND OF EARTHSEA, a two-night miniseries airing on the Sci Fi Channel at 9:00 pm ET/PT. The fantasy adventure is directed by Robert Lieberman (TVs THE DEAD ZONE).
Visual effects credits include:* Visual effects supervisors: Lee Wilson, Anthem Visual Effects; Eric Grenaudier, Sam Nicholson, Stargate Visual Effects* Visual effects producers: Lisa Sepp-Wilson, Anthem Visual Effects; Shauna Bryan McLeod, Stargate Visual Effects
Walt Disney and Walden Media have chosen the actor who will voice Aslan the Lion. X2: X-MEN UNITED actor Brian Cox will take the commanding role in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, directed by Andrew Adamson. The film is based on the first published book in C.S. Lewis classic childrens series.
Thomson has acquired The Moving Picture Co. (MPC) from British broadcaster, ITV, for £52.7 million (76 million). MPC, which is located in the Soho district of London and employs around 400 people, is an industry-leading provider of vfx and post-production services to both the feature film and commercial advertising industries.
The Visual Effects Society will honor Robert Zemeckis (THE POLAR EXPRESS) with its second Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 VES Awards ceremony, to be held Feb. 16 at the Hollywood Palladium. George Lucas, chairman, VES Awards Honorary Committee, was the first recipient this year.
After completing the vfx for THE STEPFORD WIVES, Whodoo EFX took on a series of commercial projects, which began airing this fall, including the new "Ultra Chan" spot featuring international action star Jackie Chan via ad agency Campbell Mithun for Hefty. The new spot, which includes Chan taking on a force of ninjas utilizing Hefty Ultra-Flex bags to fight back, broke last week.
Digital-Tutors announced the Season's Savings Sale and companion gifts at Digital-Tutors. In celebration of the holiday season, Digital-Tutors is offering 20% off all training titles and free USB Flash Drives on select products purchased now and through Dec. 29, 2004. To receive the discount, enter dtseason as the discount code for all purchases.
Imagina 2005, the European Digital Content Creation Trade Show, held Feb. 2-5 in Monte Carlo, Monaco, announced its new conference program, including speakers from the games, feature film, visual effects, architectural visualization and animation industries.
Some of the highlights include:
Feb. 2:* HD Roundtable: Challenges and Strategies (participants to be confirmed)* New Tools, New StandardsStephane Donikian (IRISA)
Double Negative's work on FINDING NEVERLAND, which recently won The National Board of Reviews best film prize, involved previs (Jesper Kjolsrud), on-set supervision (Hal Couzens), impossible camera moves, magic-moment enhancements and a host of invisible effects such as crowd replication and the removal of modern anachronisms and safety rigs.
NVIDIA announced that Rhythm & Hues Studios has standardized its digital production pipeline on NVIDIA Quadro FX products. More than 500 digital content creation workstations in this leading-edge facility have already been equipped with NVIDIA Quadro FX boards, allowing some of Hollywoods best digital artists to make the most of their 3D effects, animation and rendering applications.
Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures have jointly acquired the motion-picture rights to THE ANYBODIES, written by best-selling author Julianna Baggott and illustrated by Peter Ferguson, about an 11-year-old heroine with special powers to change shape.
It was truly serendipitous when VFXWORLD was given the opportunity to publish Kim Libreris 12 Predictions on the Future of VFX this week. Not only does his insightful column fit in perfectly with this months topic concerning industry trends, but also it just so happens that the veteran visual effects supervisor and founder of ESC Ent. has now joined ILM. Great timing!
Platinum Studios and Top Cow Prods. Inc. announced a deal in which Dimension Films has acquired the exclusive rights to develop Top Cows THE DARKNESS as a live-action feature film. THE DARKNESS is the first film deal between Platinum and Top Cow, following Platinums acquisition of the film and television rights to Top Cows comic book library this past July.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and 3D Ent. announced the upcoming release of SHARKS 3D, a film that brings the viewer face to face with a multitude of the world's great shark species, including the Great White, Whale Shark and Hammerhead. Audiences will experience them as they truly are in their natural habitat: not wicked man-eating creatures, but wild, fascinating and highly endangered animals.
Softimage Co. and the National Animation and Design Centre (NAD Centre) launched NAD Centre Internet Academy (NADIA), the first realtime, interactive learning program for SOFTIMAGE|XSI digital content creation software. NADIA allows 3D artists to access professional instruction for SOFTIMAGE|XSI software directly from a desktop PC connected to the Internet. Participants can choose from a series of 18 modular courses supplemented by an extensive library of material and scenes.