Apparently the upcoming Snow White movie we mentioned a few weeks ago isn’t the only classic fairy tale being brought to life (again) on the big screen. Michael Bay’s production company The Institute has recently unveiled a teaser poster for their latest project: Hansel and Gretel (in 3D!).
(As an aside, I’m really hoping the 3D thing goes away soon. As someone who wears glasses and is prone to migraines, I never watch movies in 3D, because it is inevitably an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Maybe I’m just being an old fogey, but I was perfectly happy with good old-fashioned 2D movies. It seems to me that, more often than not, the 3D aspect is just being used to camouflage a lack of good filmmaking techniques. And while we’re at it, get off my darn lawn, you young whippersnappers!)
According to several sources, the lead character designer for Avatar, Joseph C. Pepe, has already signed on, though there’s no word on who’ll be directing. Will we be seeing some gingerbread-related Baysplosions? Only time will tell…
Fairy tales are big business in the entertainment industry these days. Two different versions of Alice in Wonderland have appeared on the silver screen, not to mention all the other fairy tale-related movies that have cropped up recently. (I admit, despite my intentions to do so, I never did see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, though I hope to do so whenever I have a free evening. My husband and I rented the Syfy miniseries “Alice” to watch while we were on our honeymoon, but the DVD was scratched so we didn’t get all the way through it.)
Apparently the trend is set to continue. According to this article at Deadline New York, Relativity Media has acquired the rights to The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which it calls “an edgy 3D re-imagining of the German folk tale written by Melisa Wallack.”
“This is not your grandfather’s Snow White,” Ratner said. “Melisa went back to the 500 year old folk tale and put in some of the things that were missing from Walt Disney’s film. His dwarves were miners, and here they are robbers. There is also a dragon that was in the original folk tale. Walt made one of the great movies of all time, but ours is edgy and there is more comedy. The original, made for its time, was soft compared to what we’re going to do.”
Sounds good to me!
Ever since it was announced in 2005 that the Jim Henson company was making a sequel to the Dark Crystal, fans like myself have been eagerly awaiting further news. It was mentioned again in the Jim Henson podcast in 2007, and then again in the Power of the Dark Crystal blog in February of 2009. That most recent post even included a short YouTube video which is a slideshow of fantastic images, presumably pre-production concept sketches and such. I must say, they look absolutely gorgeous.
According to it’s IMDB page, The Power of the Dark Crystal is set hundreds of years after the first movie, and “follows a mysterious girl made of fire who steals a shard of the crystal in hopes of reigniting the dying sun.”
“But Kat!” you protest. “Why are you telling us this now? It’s old news, and we’re frankly pretty sick of hearing news about awesome movies that never actually happen!”
Well… I’m telling you this now because there has been another tiny snippet of news on the subject! Josh Winning at TotalFilm.com says, “According to artists/designers Brian and Wendy Froud, though, the project is alive and well, albeit taking its time to come to fruition.” The Frouds, responsible for an entire genre of fabulously fantastic fairies, gnomes, sprites, and goblins, have been involved in the creation of the sequel, which will be true to the spirit of the original. “The backgrounds will be CGI, but the main characters will be puppets,” [Wendy Froud] said. “They decided that was really the only way they wanted to do it to keep the integrity.”
The Power of the Dark Crystal is currently slated for release sometime in 2011. We shall wait with baited breath!
And what better way to welcome everyone back to the Daily Faerie than with reports of a new movie in the works about everyone’s favorite Evil Fairy Godmother? According to several sources, Angelina Jolie is interested in playing the title role in the upcoming live action version of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, called Maleficent. In this writer’s opinion, if anyone can pull it off, she could. She has the angular face, the statuesque frame, and that slightly devious glint in her eyes.
Tim Burton is rumored to be directing, as well – it’s even listed as “In Production” on his IMDB profile. Whether this is a good thing or not will probably depend on your opinion of Tim Burton. Personally, I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his works of late. It seems like he’s become simply a parody of himself, and it takes less than ten seconds of viewing a Tim Burton film before one can tell beyond a shadow of a doubt “Oh, this is a Tim Burton film.” To have a signature style isn’t a bad thing. To be unable to branch beyond it is. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen his version of Alice in Wonderland yet, but from what I’ve seen of the reviews, it follows true to his recent form – a lush, beautiful, but ultimately disappointing vehicle for his bizarre vision.
Nevertheless, I’ll be looking forward to seeing how the rumors pan out, and whether this results in a resurgence of the huge pointy headpiece in bad faerie fashion!
We’ve spent the entire summer breathlessly anticipating this movie. Where the Wild Things Are looks to be a gorgeous, wonderful romp through childhood joy and exploration. Early reports say that it’s every bit as fantastic as we’d hoped. I chose these words very deliberately: wonder and fantasy and exploration.
There are no obvious, literal faeries in Where the Wild Things Are. No one’s got wings, or those hints of delicate features, or even the green man leaves and intricate makeup. Certainly, the movie’s computer graphics take this kind of storytelling to a whole new level. But, why would I bring it up on The Daily Fairie? What’s the connection?
When I think about the modern faerie genre as a theme, lifestyle, or even a form of spirituality, I find myself connecting Faerie to these exact same words. Wonder. Fantasy. Exploration. These are about a non-violent fantasy; Where the Wild Things Are speaks to letting your imagination explore whole worlds of your own creation. I have to admit I’ve not seen the movie yet, but the book by Maurice Sendak has always been a favorite of mine.
The plot is pretty simple, of course. It’s a children’s book. Children’s literature often relies on ideas and imagery as much as written wordsmithing. That kind of literature plays on the poetry of the imagination instead of the intellectual process of sentences. Simply put, Max is playing at home in his wolf costume. Max is sent to bed early, sails off in a bit of a huff (in my opinion, to his imagination), and befriends a series of fantastic creatures. He does this by simply meeting their gaze unafraid.
This book and story is talking about a whole world of imagination, and about exploring that vista without fear of judgment or reckoning. At the end of the story, Max returns home to a warm, happy home — he returns to the warm embrace of his friends.
I just can’t not think of this book as being Faerie. Imagination, wonder, magical creatures, unfearing exploration. I think, in many ways, it’s the most fae movie to come out this year.
And I’ll admit. I just can’t wait to see it.