Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ Remake Is Dead At Disney

Director Robert Zemeckis’ planned 3-D motion-capture remake of “Yellow Submarine,” the classic psychedelic animated flick from The Beatles, is no longer going forward.

The Hollywood Reporter cites the $6.9 million opening for the $150 million budgeted “Mars Needs Moms,” which Zemeckis produced, as the reason behind “Yellow Submarine’s” cancellation at Disney, though Deadline reports that the project was terminated weeks earlier. Despite the project’s death at Disney, Zemeckis is free to shop it around to other studios if he so chooses.

The sudden death of “Yellow Submarine” puts a potential end to a project we’ve been following since late 2009. Click past the jump for everything we’ve got on the shelved Beatles reimagining.

Word first broke on Zemeckis’ planned “Yellow Submarine” remake in August 2009, yet another motion-capture flick along the lines of his previous efforts like “The Polar Express” and “A Christmas Carol.” A month later at Disney’s D23 Expo, Zemeckis revealed that the movie would arrive in theaters in 3-D, describing it as such: “’Yellow Submarine’ is one of the greatest fantasy films of all time, and making this new 3D performance capture movie is a dream come true for me.”

Many Beatles fans were skeptical of Zemeckis’ plans at first, but perhaps some opinions changed when the director revealed his desire to recruit original members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to bring their voices to the project. That casting never panned out, however, as Zemeckis instead tapped Cary Elwes, Peter Serafinowicz, Dean Lennox Kelly and Adam Campbell to star as the fab four.

Which brings us to October 2010, the last update we heard on “Yellow Submarine.” When we spoke with Elwes at New York Comic-Con, the actor told us that shooting was scheduled for April 2011. He also spoke about the acting process for a motion-capture film, saying: “If you know much about motion-capture, it’s not just voice-over work. You really have to perform the role.”

But it looks like Elwes, nor the other tapped cast members, will be performing those roles any time soon. Although Zemeckis is free to shop “Yellow Submarine” to other studios, reports suggest that the director is looking to return to live-action filmmaking for the first time since “Cast Away” in 2000. We’ll have to wait and see how his plans shake out, but for now, consider this “Yellow Submarine” docked.

Are you glad that “Yellow Submarine” is no longer moving forward, or were you curious about the Beatles remake? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!