Robert Zemeckis is back in live-action land in a big way.
The “Back to the Future” and “Castaway” helmer has, after his mo-cap efforts “Beowulf” and “A Christmas Carol” did less than expected at the box office, been forced back into working with human actors. And thank goodness for that. As good as some of his mo-cap family flicks were, particuarly “The Polar Express”, I personally was really starting to miss the fleshy work of the vet special-effects whiz. While we’ll never get a fourth “Back to the Future”, it’s atleast reassuring to know that there’s a better chance of Zemeckis doing something in the live-action arena that may come close to it.
While Zemeckis would’ve been working on his CGI remake of “Yellow Submarine” right now, had his other computer-aided flicks done better, he’s instead back directing ‘real people’ in a terrific-sounding drama called “Flight”, with Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood and Don Cheadle. The script, I hear, is amazing.
But “Flight” is just one of several top scripts that have landed on Zemeckis’s desk in recent months.
Another, “Charles Fort”, has also sparked his interest. Based on a series of Dark Horse comic books and adapted for the screen by Evan Spiliotopoulos, it’s been described as a “period Ghostbusters”. Zemeckis would produce the film only.. at this stage.
The Hollywood Reporter says :
Charles Fort was an early-twentieth-century American researcher and writer whose focus was “anomalous phenomena” and the unexplained. Books Fort wrote such as The Book of the Damned (1919) and New Lands (1923) were some of the first to explore everything from levitation and teleportation to alien abduction and other paranormal pursuits. Fort was essentially a curious skeptic who enjoyed collecting data to support explanations for things that he felt were no less possible than the scientifically accepted ones.
Dark Horse Comics published a four-issue series in 2002 titled Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained, which turned Fort into an adventurous investigator tangling with aliens and murderers in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century New York City.
Looking at Zemeckis’s slate for the next year or two and it’s evident the man’s not going to be bored, that’s for sure. He has, in addition to “Yellow Submarine” and some of the other mo-cap stuff he’d still like to get up, started developing a sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, is attached to direct a film based on the toy line “Major Matt Mason” (starring Tom Hanks), as well as the underwater adventure thriller “Dark Life”, and the science-fiction film “Timeless”. First up though is “Here There Be Monsters”, a Brian Helgeland written flick for Warner Bros.