Robert Zemeckis' YELLOW SUBMARINE Sinks!

There are positives to be taken from Disney's decision to halt production on The Yellow Submarine, Robert Zemeckis' motion captured animated remake of the psychedelic 1968 Beatles film that was to star computerized versions of the famous band members as lead characters - and that's - it will hopefully convince Zemeckis to make his long-awaited return to live action film-making. The Back to the Future and Forest Gump helmer has not made a live action film in the ten years since the excellent Cast Away and has instead staked his career on the progress of the creepy, dead-eyed motion capture technology with the triple headers The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol - and of which The Yellow Submarine would have been the fourth. Originally planned for a big media showcase during the 2012 London Olympics, The Yellow Submarine was gearing up to star Carey Elwes, Peter Serafinowicz, Dean Lennox Kelly, Adam Campbell (as George, Paul, John and Ringo) with David Tennant as Queen of the Blue Meanies - and would feature no less than 16 famous songs from The Beatles back catalogue. First announced in August 2009 (when a mini-Disney revival was at it's height with the back catalogue remastered releases), the project never could gather momentum or Disney's full faith. The Hollywood Reporter say Disney made the decision to can The Yellow Submarine after the shockingly disastrous $6.9 million opening for the $150 million budgeted, Rob Zemeckis produced Mars Needs Moms this weekend, the kind of substantial loss that sees many lose their jobs. However it would seem that Disney were just waiting for an excuse to kill production. It's being reported that a meeting back in December between Zemeckis and The Beatles estate was canceled and never rescheduled and Disney were unsure of the commercial viability of such an obscure, expensive endeavor after A Christmas Carol flopped. In fact back in October we were surprised the film was still being made after Zemeckis' ImageMovers Studio was shut down. Zemeckis is now free to pitch the project to other studio's and there could be some interest - a lot of execs will have nostalgia for The Beatles - but if Disney's animation budget can't stretch for it - we will be surprised if anyone else will. Zemeckis has found himself attached to a number of live action projects this year, including WB's October 2010 acquired live-action time travel tentpole Timeless - a movie I hope he decides to make next. It's time to begin making real movies again Rob.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.