David Fincher Says 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Will Be 70% CG, Talks Motion-Capture

by     Posted 3 years, 99 days ago

While director David Fincher is undoubtedly deep into post-production work on his latest effort The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, he recently talked a bit about one of the many other projects on his radar. Fincher has been developing an adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for a while, but we haven’t really heard much about the project as of late. However, the director recently revealed that his version would probably be 70% CG, providing an update on the film and reassuring fans that the film is still definitely something he plans on doing. Hit the jump to see what Fincher had to say.

20000-leagues-under-the-sea-imageWhile attending an Actors Studio Q&A at the Swedish Film Institute (via /Film), Fincher was asked if he would ever be interested in doing a motion-capture or performance capture-film, to which he responded:

“I would love to to something like that. I would love to do something probably more like Avatar than Tintin. I like the idea of something that is a little more… complicated. (chuckles) I love the idea of a ‘cartoon’, but I would like it to be sort of very, very dense. And, in fact, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will be probably 70% CG. [...] I love motion capture and think it’s only in its infancy, and eventually there won’t be a difference between motion capture and acting. Because that’s all motion capture is, is being able to capture acting.”

Fincher is a known technophile, so it makes sense that he would be intrigued by motion-capture technology. In an interview with Steve last year, he revealed that 20,000 Leagues would be 3D, which would certainly look gorgeous in correlation with Fincher’s CG work. I’m really hoping the director’s version of the film gets made. It sounds wildly ambitious, and the prospect of him taking on a big adventure movie is delectable.

While it would be great if he could get to work on it after The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo opens this December, screenwriter Steven Zaillian has already started work on the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and if Dragon Tattoo is the big hit that it looks to be, Sony will want to get cracking on the follow-up sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, it sure sounds like 20,000 Leagues is definitely still on his plate, and he looks to be thinking quite critically about the production.




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  • Shmojo

    20,000 Leagues UNDER THE SEA. Shot entirely on location… a green screen in Canada. yay.

  • EV M

    State-of-the-art motion capture-based animation, as proven with Avatar, is now capable of producing photoreal imagery alongside actually photograped visuals. The only thing I would look forward to more than this movie with David Fincher directing would be James Cameron making that movie at Fox, since no one else right now has the experience in applying this technology to filmmaking that Cameron does — he guided the creation of the technology itself — and at Fox, Cameron would have carte blanche with budget. Fincher and Disney seem like an obvious mismatch, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the two part ways before the picture gets made. Disney is obviously going to want to target a family audience with this story, and Fincher came onboard with the Lisbeth Salander franchise to fly against the wave of child-oriented properties being pushed through the pipeline.

    • danielplainview

      i don’t think that would happen if Sean Bailey is still at Disney. he’s the one who’s brought in Del Toro for Haunted Mansion, Favreau for Magic Kingdom(i don’t know if this is still on after the Cowboys flop), and Fincher for 20,000 leagues.

      it seems less of a possibilty now since Tron LEgacy underperformed, but Fincher sorts this thing out before he goes on board. they probably promised him CREATIVE CONTROL!

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  • Elitist Prick

    I wonder if he’ll require the CG animators to create 75 different takes for each shot like he does with actors.

    • danielplainview

      the process of post for mo-cap in Avatar was well documented by Cameron.

      there is the “temp” track which consist of live action footage shot on the greenscreen sound stage. they use it as a guide at first for camera angles since mo-cap’s camera placement can be chosen even only at post. they use this live action as sort of the rough cut and then pick the best shots or best contructed scenes to send to their animators to work with.

      Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall will edit the temp shots first that consists of Fincher’s hundred takes, then pick the best, then send those to the animators, then the animators animates it, then send it back to Fincher, then Baxter and Wall edits it again for the final product. we may see the movie atleast 2014 even if Fincher decides it to do next.

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