Robert Zemeckis Officially Abandons Yellow Submarine Remake


Robert Zemeckis doesn’t want to play any more. Coming off of his acclaimed but low-scoring Denzel Washington feature Flight, Zemeckis has crossed another hotly anticipated film off his list: the remake of the Beatles animated feature Yellow Submarine.

Disney pulled the plug on Zemeckis’s proposed motion-capture version of Yellow Submarine awhile back, but there was still talk about Zemeckis shopping the film around to other companies. With a cast that was to include Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Campbell as the voices of the Fab Four, the film should have started production in December 2011. Now, in an interview with Total Film (via Moviehole), Zemeckis has officially sunk the project:

“That would have been a great one to bring the Beatles back to life. But it’s probably better not to be remade – you’re always behind the 8-ball when do you a remake. It gets harder and harder [to make movies]. With the current state of the industry, it’s difficult to stay passionate about it .. How much more of this crap can I take? It’s tough, I can only do it if I have a script to believe in. Like Flight.”

Fair enough. It’s a bit harsh that the whole thing fell through, at least for Zemeckis, who had acquired the rights to 16 Beatles songs for the motion-capture (and 3D) extravaganza. But he’s had a bad record at Disney, with the dismal Mars Needs Moms and A Christmas Carol losing the studio quite a bit of money. For a guy that made a name for himself via Forrest Gump and the live action/animation hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, it’s got to be tough to watch his career foundering.

I admit I have very little sympathy, though. Zemeckis long ago sacrificed coherent storytelling for technology obsession, often with bizarre results (those dead-eyed ‘humans’ in Beowulf, anyone?). I’m perfectly satisfied with not seeing his take on the quirky, psychedelic Yellow Submarine. He seems to do better with real people anyways.

All is not lost for Robert Zemeckis, however. He’s still at work on a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for Disney. So apparently that’s still happening. Maybe I should have hoped for Yellow Submarine after all.

What do you think? Disappointed that we won’t be seeing Robert Zemeckis’s version of the Beatles? And what about this proposed Roger Rabbit sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

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