Four months ago, I passed along a news story to the effect that the French studio Gaumont was making a 3-D animated film about Noah’s Ark called Rock the Boat. Today, Variety reports that the studio wasn’t actually committed to the 3-D aspect of the film until this past week — but now that they have committed to it, they think this could have ramifications all across Europe:
In a groundbreaking decision on one of Europe’s flagship productions, Gaumont announced Wednesday at the Berlin fest that it will produce its $35 million animated feature “Rock the Boat” in digital 3-D.
Gaumont, the Gallic studio, had toyed with the move for several months.
But spectacular $31 million opening for Disney 3-D “Hannah Montana” swayed its decision, Loic Trocme, Gaumont head of sales and acquisitions, said at the European Film Market Sunday.
“Boat” will not be Europe’s first 3-D movie — Ben Stassen’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” a 3-D IMAX movie, screens at this EFM, with Summit onboard for U.S. distribution — but pic is likely to be one of the biggest 3-D films now in production.
A year into production, “Boat” has been slated as a CGI-animated feature, skedded for 2010. “After ‘Hannah Montana,’ 3-D was no longer just an option. CGI is now commonplace,” Trocme said. “Two years from now, we’ll need to deliver something fresh and new.”
Gaumont’s 3-D move assures that digital cinemas that can screen 3-D films will roll out over Europe by 2010. . . .
Billed as “Some Like It Hot” meets “Titanic,” “Boat” turns on the adventures of a porcupine and cheetah who, since their species are already represented on Noah’s Ark, disguise themselves as a fictitious hybrid — porceetahs — to gain passage. . . .
Incidentally, this film is slated to come out the same year as Toy Story 3, which is also supposed to be in digital 3-D. So there is a definite trend here, and I can only hope that Vancouver will have at least one of those newfangled digital 3-D theatres by then.