Disney dumps RJ’s Yellow Submarine; Roger Rabbit 2 also on shaky ground?

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After the unfortunate performance of his companies’ latest CGI effort “Mars Needs Moms” at the U.S box office this past weekend (I haven’t seen the film, but near every review suggests the story is wretched) Robert Zemeckis’ “Yellow Submarine” remake has been canceled.

The Disney movie, the story of a young boy who sets off to rescue his mother after she’s taken by extra terrestrials, set Disney back $150 million to make but recouped only $6.9 million of that investment.

The studio, ostensibly convinced there’s no interest out there for Zemeckis’ entertainment, has let the veteran filmmaker know that they’ll no longer be making the picture.

Though Zemeckis, director of such hits as “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, is free to shop the film elsewhere there’s a chance that, after the poor performance of “Moms”, that nobody will touch it; that’s a pity too, because by all accounts, “Yellow Submarine” was shaping up to be quite an interesting project, one that had already had a lot of work put into it.

Zemeckis had already hired Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Campbell to play the Beatles in the film (which would’ve featured 12 ‘Beatles’ tracks) and was preparing to make a presentation to the Beatles heirs.

Audiences do seem to be shying away from the mo-cap efforts that Zemeckis has been making the last few years; prior to “Mars Needs Moms”, he had directed Jim Carrey in the computer-created “A Christmas Carol”, another box-office disappointment – and another put out by Disney.

A question that hasn’t been asked in the article? ‘What’s to become of Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2?’

Zemeckis has been developing a sequel to the 1988 hit for a year or so back now, with Disney seemingly leaving the cash drawer open for the filmmaker to take and use what he needs to make it.

At the “Back to the Future” Blu-ray launch in October, Zemeckis confirmed that Jeffrey Price and Peter S.Seaman were busy working on the script and that, based on what he’d read so far of it, it was going to be great.

Is “Roger Rabbit 2″ in a different league than say a, “Mars needs Moms” though? Does the title alone do enough to sell it? I’d think so. But then, maybe Disney just wants out of the ‘Zemeckis’ business full stop now – lets face it, you can’t blame ‘em, he’s lost the Mouse a lot of cheese.

According to THR, Zemeckis – who passed on making “Superman” a couple of months ago in favour of concentrating on making mo-cap flicks for family audiences – is now looking for a live-action project to work on.