Beowulf Bits…

IGN — Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis is bringing his live-action/CG adaptation of the classic Beowulf tale to the big screen in three dimensions. A story in today’s Hollywood Reporter reveals that Zemeckis is creating a version of his epic to be shown in Real D and other larger format 3-D theaters. The enhanced versions of the film will open the same day as the standard release, November 16, 2007.


Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover and Anthony Hopkins are attached to star in the film which will utilize performance-capture technology, similar to what Zemeckis utilized on The Polar Express.

The film is based on a screenplay by esteemed scribes Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, inspired by the ninth century Old English poem. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats tribe, travels to Denmark to help defeat a monster named Grendel. He later returns to Geatland, where he becomes king.

THR adds that Beowulf, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, is expected to play in more than 1,000 Real D theaters, as well as other 3-D locations (probably IMAX), in what will likely be the largest day-and-date large-format 3-D release ever.

And…

In an exclusive interview with IGN , Eragon villain John Malkovich let slip a few morsels about his next fantasy flick, director Robert Zemeckis’ version of Beowulf.

Malkovich pointed out that he is not simply providing a voice for the motion-capture film. “No, it’s not that. You do everything but then it’s given a form of computer animation afterwards. But, no, we were all on set. We were all acting. It’s not film. There’s no film, there’s no lights. There are video references that the specialists and technicians utilize, but it’s actually all recorded on computer and all the data is fed to the technicians and then they will animate it.”

And while most animated characters are given traits and attributes shared by their real-life voice actors, Beowulf will be pushing the visual envelope.

“I will to some extent look and sound like myself,” notes Malkovich. “But Ray Winstone, who plays Beowulf, will be seven feet tall and will look sort of like an amalgam of portraits of Jesus and Ray. Tony Hopkins will weigh 600 pounds. It was really an amazing experience. I know they are still hard at work on it. We shot it last year … and there’s probably still a year to go.”

Malkovich then revealed, “I occasionally hear rumors that we might or might not shoot some supplemental material but I don’t know. It was a very interesting experience, great, because you’d just wear these suits with lights on them and you’d get there and you act all day. You sort of run and cut and then run back to place to start again. But it’s really like doing a play. You just never stop working.”

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