It looks like after a decade wading in motion-capture films, Robert Zemeckis’ next film will be the live-action drama Flight. The Back to the Future director first entered negotiations to helm the flick back in April, but no one was certain which project he would choose as his next. He’s flirted with the time-travel films Replay and Timeless, and there’s always the ever-elusive Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sequel. Now 24 Frames reports that Zemeckis has firmed up Flight as his next project, with Denzel Washington expected to close his deal to star shortly and filming aimed for the fall.
The plot of Flight centers on an alcoholic/drug addicted pilot who saves a flight in distress, becoming an American hero in the process. The newfound fame comes with an investigation by the FAA to see whether drugs played a factor in the distress, while Washington’s character attempts to turn his life around. Hit the jump for more on Flight and Zemeckis’ other non-motion-capture projects in the works.
Though I’m thrilled to have Zemeckis diving back into live-action, I had hoped that he would choose the super-intriguing Replay as his next vehicle. The film is very Back to the Future-esque, centering on a radio journalist in his forties who dies, but awakes back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body with all of his previous memories intact. He dies again in 1988, but returns to 1963 to start the whole 25 years over again with every single memory intact, and the ability to make different life choices each time.
After the Zemeckis-produced motion-capture flick Mars Needs Moms bombed at the box-office, Disney pulled the plug on the director’s motion-capture remake of Yellow Submarine. I can only surmise that Zemeckis finally got the idea that motion-capture animation is super creepy (at least I hope so), because he started mulling over a number of live-action flicks shortly after Yellow Submarine was canned.
The director’s last foray into live-action was a decade ago, with 2000’s Cast Away. The Tom Hanks-starred flick earned over $400 million at the box office, and was a critical success as well, so I’d say he never really lost his touch with regards to working with real live people. The prospect of someone as ballsy as Zemeckis teaming up with Washington is definitely enticing. I’m hoping Flight is a big success, so Zemeckis sticks with live-action. Hopefully he’ll get around to Replay someday soon. For now, let’s just be thankful he’s back.