Walt Disney has entered into a deal with IMAX Corp to release five films on IMAX screens.
The first of the Disney IMAX movies will be A Christmas Carol, that will be released during the holiday season, in 2009. A Christmas Carol will be directed by Robert Zemeckis, director of The Polar Express. The movie will star Jim Carrey as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Colin Firth will play his nephew and Gary Oldman will play Scrooge’s loyal clerk.
Disney has not said what the other four IMAX movies will be, but the movies are expected to have directors like Tim Burton attached to them.
Meanwhile, Disney has already begun re-rendering Beauty and the Beast in 3D, which will take nine months to complete.
The 3D version will be released in 2010.
The original team of The Beauty and the Beast (1991) – producer Don Hahn, and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale – will work on the movie, along with Sara Duran-Singer, senior vice president of Worldwide Post Production, who will head the technical expert team.
The Beauty and the Best was a huge hit at the box office and was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It won the Oscar for Best Song and Best Original Score.
The movie won the Golden Globe award in the Best Comedy/Musical category.
Disney plans to release 11 3D films, including Beauty and the Beast, by 2010. One of these is the Jonas Brothers 3D Concert movie that will be released in February 2009. The movie will have Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift as guest stars who perform a song with the band.
Next on its slate is Disney Pixar’s UP that will be released in May 2009. This quirky movie is directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, and written by Bob Peterson.
Disney will also release G-Force in July 2009. The movie will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Holy Yeatman. G-Force revolves around guinea pigs who are trained to take on a billionaire set to take over the world. Actors Nicholas Cage, Bill Nighy, Penelope Cruz, Steve Buscemi, Kelli Garner will lend their voices to the movie.
Disney will also release Disney-Pixar’s 3D version of Toy Story 2, 3D Toy Story 3, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, and Step Up 3D, in 2010.
Disney’s 3D flick Bolt will be released in November-end 2008.
Both Disney and IMAX need the deal to pull in more moviegoers to the theatres. Disney has been in overdrive with its 3D flicks as they are perfect for cinema viewing. IMAX too needs more 3D movies to keep going.
Other studios like Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox are also excited over the medium. Although 3D movies can shown only on 1400 screens in the US, studios are optimistic that 3D is the medium of the future.