'Night Of The Living Dead' And The Blue Man Group Signal Further Growth In The 3-D Revolution

Between the global box office success of "The Final Destination 3-D" and the film festival kudos for Joe Dante's "The Hole," the new wave of 3-D cinema has been validated in a way that elevates the format above being a mere trend. And everyday we're hearing about more film projects being developed for 3-D screens.

Today's two entries involve popular franchises, though their respective films will be completely different. One is an updated re-imagining of George Romero's zombie classic "Night of the Living Dead," which director Simon West ("Con Air") will produce as a CG-dependent flick directed by newbie filmmaker Zebediah De Soto. The other is the first feature film based on the stage show Blue Man Group, which is being distributed by National Geographic Entertainment.

The former project has a new title, "Night of the Living Dead: Origins," and it will reportedly involve more character development than Romero's original. The remake will also utilize new technology that allegedly makes CG characters seem more tangible (less cartoony and ghost-like). De Soto also says he intends the film to be "an American-style anime," whatever that means.

As for the Blue Man Group film, it's a comedy "that explores the human mind and brain" titled "Blue Man Group: Mind Blast." Unlike the mainstream 3-D features that hit every 3-D screen available, "Mind Blast" will be given a more limited release on IMAX, multiplex and museum screens, similar to the distribution of National Geographic's 3-D documentary films. Surprisingly, it will also be shot on 70mm film rather than digital video.

Today also marks the first day of Hollywood's latest 3-D Entertainment Summit, an event being attended by all major players involved with 3-D filmmaking. If you're more interested in the format than just hearing about the latest sequel or remake being greenlit for 3-D release, Variety has an article related to the event focused on stereoscopic 3-D cinematography and how it's being used as a storytelling tool rather than as a flashy gimmick.

If this new wave of 3-D filmmaking goes further into respectable territory and more films like "Coraline," "Up," "The Hole" and James Cameron's upcoming "Avatar" are praised for their use of 3-D for storytelling purposes rather than as mere spectacle, perhaps one day we really will see the Academy Awards develop an Oscar category specific to the format, as Cinematical recently hypothesized. But it won't be a Best 3-D Film award. As one commenter on that post noted, it will be a division of the cinematography category into separate 2-D and 3-D awards, like the Academy used to have for the separation of black & white and color cinematography.

Do either of these two new 3-D films sound like something you'll be spending extra money on? Are you glad that 3-D is receiving more and more respect and credibility?