Following a rather bitter end to his deal with Disney, Robert Zemeckis has closed a deal to re-launch his Imagemovers company at Universal. The director’s studio was previously set up at Disney, but the Mouse House shut it down and cancelled his motion-capture remake of Yellow Submarine after Mars Needs Moms flopped in theaters. THR reports that this new deal encapsulates two years at Universal and calls on Zemeckis to produce both live-action and motion capture projects.
Additionally, this new deal does not include the construction of new campuses or soundstages for Zemeckis’ motion-capture technology. While it’s nice to see that the director’s company has found a new home, I’m hoping he doesn’t delve back into creepy motion-capture animated films too soon. The technology occupied Zemeckis for the past decade and I’m eager to see some rubber face-free filmmaking from the Back to the Future director. Hit the jump for more on Zemeckis’ upcoming slate of live-action projects.
Zemeckis is currently attached to a number of different projects. Flight seems likely to be his next picture. The film stars Denzel Washington and centers on an alcoholic/drug addicted pilot who saves a flight in distress, becoming an American hero in the process. Last we heard, production was looking to start this fall.
He’s also in talks to direct Major Matt Mason 3D based on the Mattel astronaut action figure. Tom Hanks wrote the screenplay for the project alongside Graham Yost, and plans to take on the lead role himself. Then there’s Here There Be Monsters, which the director recently entered talks for as well. Written by Brian Hegleland (Robin Hood), the film imagines that real-life Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones fought sea monsters (as one does in 18th century sea battles).
If that wasn’t enough, Zemeckis has also been flirting with two time-travel projects: Timeless and Replay. Personally, I’m just glad the guy’s back in live-action. Imagemovers’ deal with Universal brings Zemeckis back to the studio where he made the Back to the Future films, as well as Death Becomes Her. Hopefully his return will be triumphant when his next project finally hits theaters.