Following on from the dismal US opening of the Robert Zemeckis-produced motion-capture animation Mars Needs Moms (which banked just $6.9m in its opening weekend from a reported budget of $150m), THR have announced that The Walt Disney Company have called time on Zemeckis’ planned remake of the bonkers Beatles animation Yellow Submarine.
According to sources Disney had been reluctant to move forward with the production for some time, a decision which had no doubt been influenced by the lacklustre performances of the Back to the Future director’s previous mo-cap efforts, which includes The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. Disney’s concerns over the format led them to close Zemeckis’ ImageMovers studio back in May of last year and now it seems that the poor return of Mars Needs Moms has been enough to convince them to pull the plug on further mo-cap productions.
Zemeckis, who has not made a live-action film since the double-bill of What Lies Beneath and Castaway in 2000, has been developing the project since 2009 and had cast Cary Elwes (Saw) as George Harrison, Dean Lennox Kelly (Shameless) as John Lennon, Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) as Paul McCartney and Adam Campbell (Date Movie) as Ringo Starr. The director is now free to shop the project around to other potential studios, and given the ongoing popularity of The Beatles, one would expect there to be some interest in the not-too-distant future.