“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” came out 20 years ago and grossed $330 million worldwide, and for all the talk about another big screen venture for the animated bunny and his voluptuous sweetheart Jessica, nothing over the last two decades moved into production. And it was starting to seem like nothing ever would.
But when MTV News caught up with director Robert Zemeckis recently, he dropped a news bomb that had our eyes popping cartoon-style out of our sockets. “I’ll tell you what is buzzing around in my head now that we have the ability—the digital tools, performance capture—I’m starting to think about ’Roger Rabbit,'” he told us.
Combing traditional animation with live-action, “Roger Rabbit” was a staggering achievement that employed cutting-edge technology without sacrificing the demands of first-rate storytelling. It won four Oscars, including nods for visual effects, editing and a special achievement award for animation direction. But Zemeckis hasn’t toiled in live-action since 2000’s “Cast Away”, preferring instead to work with performance capture in films like “The Polar Express” and the upcoming Jim Carrey vehicle, “A Christmas Carol.”
All of which had us desperate for any more info Zemeckis could provide about a new “Roger Rabbit.” When pressed, however, he demurred.
“I can’t give you more details,” Zemeckis said, letting us down gently.
Okay, then, we’ll air our questions here. How exactly will performance capture factor in? When we spoke recently with Michael Lantieri, the special effects supervisor on the original “Roger Rabbit,” he talked about how very soon filmmakers will be able to combine performance capture with outdoor, real-time photography. Might the new “Roger Rabbit” employ this technology? Will the story be lifted from the long-rumored, never-produced “Roger Rabbit” sequel script? Or will Zemeckis commission a new screenplay? And casting! Will the man who voiced, Roger—Charles Fleischer—reprise his role? And might Bob Hoskins as private investigator Eddie Valiant return?
So many questions that shall, alas, remain unanswered for the moment. You’ll just have to, er, stay tooned…
What do you most want to know about the new “Roger Rabbit? Will all the major players return? And what if—gasp!—they don’t?