For all his embrace of whiz-bang moviemaking technology, Robert Zemeckis remains loyal to his roots: once a Beatlemaniac, always a Beatlemaniac. More than three decades after his directorial debut, the Fab Four-obsessed comedy “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” the man is returning to the same musical territory with a 3-D performance-capture adaptation of the classic cartoon movie, “Yellow Submarine.”
Zemeckis wants Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to return to that trippy, underwater territory as well, MTV News has exclusively learned.
“We haven’t gotten the word yet on the two surviving Beatles, whether they’re interested in doing it or not,” the director said during an interview with our own Josh Horowitz.
Simply put, that’s a wacky – and, obviously, amazing! – idea. Even if we’re not entirely sure what he means. Does he intend to have Paul and Ringo don those skintight mo-cap body suits and dance around a green screen? Or is the concept to have other actors portray the musicians, while the remaining Beatles provide their voices? And where in all of this would John Lennon and George Harrison fit?
All we know now is that Paul and Ringo are Zemeckis’ first choices. “Of course it would be,” he said.
The funny thing is that in the 1968 cartoon original, other actors provided the Beatles voices, with the boys from Liverpool only showing up at the end. The story follows animated Beatles as they shove off to Pepperland to defeat the Blue Meanies.
“I think it’s a perfect example of a movie that can be re-envisioned in the digital cinema and be absolutely beyond spectacular,” said Zemeckis, who’s in the middle of writing the script and plans to direct the picture. “I call it, ’Yellow Submarine: The Digital Trip!’ ”
Make that a return flight. And, who knows, Zemeckis joked that he might even return to his first picture, now that he’s got some crazy powerful tech tools in his directorial toolbox.
“The Beatles have always been a great source of inspiration for me,” he said. “There’s a shot at the end of ’I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ that this new technology could improve actually.”