On my trip last week, Devin Faraci and I had a couple of solid conversations about “Cabin In The Woods,” the new film produced by Joss Whedon, who co-wrote the film with Drew Goddard. Goddard is directing, which makes me happy because I think his work has been some of the strongest on each of the various shows he’s written for in the last decade or so, and it’s about time we see what he’s got going on as a feature director.
So why, when you’ve got a film you like enough that you’re already inviting journalists in to take a look at it, would you delay the movie’s release for a full year?
Turns out, according to Shock Till You Drop’s scoop this afternoon, MGM and the filmmakers have decided that they want to not only take you deep into the forest so they can rough you up, they want to do it in 3D.
Here’s what MGM had to say about the shift in dates today when we asked them about it:
“Basically the early reactions to the film have been strong enough that we think going 3D can take it big. 3D conversion takes 6 months or so with VFX and the next viable 3D date track for the film is Jan ’11.”
I’ve read the script, and I think there’s certainly potential there for “Cabin In The Woods” to be a big clever high-concept breakout hit for the studio. But I’m a little curious about the timing on this one, and I’ll explain why.
3D conversion is nothing like shooting in 3D. I’ve seen test after test on live-action footage taking 2D raw material and converting after the fact into 3D. I’ve seen them do it to older films like “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers,” and I’ve seen how the final product looks on Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland,” which was also shot in 2D. In my opinion, there are some great things you can do with the conversion, but it’s never going to look as good as material that was actually shot with 3D in mind. It’s a simple difference between the real thing and an incredible simulation.
Still, Goddard and Whedon are smart guys, and I assume they wouldn’t make the move if they thought they were doing something to hurt the film’s final presentation. Either way, “Cabin In The Woods” will be out in January of 2011, and should have a largely increased presence at this year’s Comic-Con.
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