The Biggest Mistake in Film History

The original post, with fancy pictures n' videos n' everything can be found here

I know some of you are going to argue with me over this. You might say the biggest mistake in film history was anyone handing Ed Wood some money, the invention of “Smell-O-Vision” or, at the time of writing, the handing of a TMNT reboot over to Michael Bay

You might say that those are the worst, but I disagree. Ed Wood, however terrible, can be incredibly entertaining. And although the others, in my opinion, have no redeeming qualities, they will make the movie studios a “fuckload” of money, which I believe is the technical term. No, the biggest mistake has nothing to do with the above. It does involve Robert Zemeckis though…

In 2011, Zemeckis’ film studio, ImageMovers Digital, released the movie Mars Needs Moms through Disney. As you probably remember (it was only last year), it was a complete and total failure, both commercially and critically, and is currently the biggest box office bomb in history, not adjusting for inflation. If you haven’t seen the movie, and I can’t really blame you for not doing so, you should know that the film used the motion-capture computer animation that was seen previously in films like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol (the Jim Carrey one). While the animation looks very realistic, there’s just something off about it, looking kinda creepy. Mainly in the face.

No, the biggest mistake is not that Disney/Zemeckis approved it, although it always seemed like a stupid movie, who’s advertising (at the time) did absolutely nothing to help it. No, the mistake is this. At the time, Zemeckis was planning (and gotten approval) to do a 3D remake of Yellow Submarine, the animated movie from 1968 which starred the Beatles. Now as you may know, I am a “Beatles fanatic” and, when I heard about the remake, I appropriately wet my little panties in anticipation.

It was hoped the remake would be released in-time for the 2012 London Olympics, the cast already chosen. However, when Mars Needs Moms failed and Zemeckis’ friend at Disney, former Chairman Dick Cook, left, the project was scrapped, the reason given the lack of faith in the motion capture technology and it’s ability to make movies that will earn lots of moolah. All okay so far, I guess.

Although you can justify the rationale behind Disney cancelling the movie (and, subsequently Zemeckis being unable to sell it to anyone else), I still call bullshit. You could slap ‘The Beatles’ on anything and it would sell. A brief look on yielded a few interesting pieces:
A (stained) Beatles table clothe, selling for $850
Yellow Submarine slippers, $50
Ringo Starr’s drumsticks. $80,000!
If you need something, any old piece of tat, look for it and you will find one with The Beatles stamped right on there

This is why it was, in my opinion, the biggest mistake in film history. Disney could’ve gotten me to animate it for free, used clips of the horrors of the Holocaust as advertising and cast 26 harmonious-farting chimpanzees as the voice actors and the movie would have made 100 times the budget instantly. You know why? Well, because The Beatles are kinda universal. Going back to the Michael Bay TMNT, that’ll make money because the Turtles were everywhere in the 80s (with the same tat-magnet ability as The Beatles) and, even though it’s probably gonna be terrible, curious people and people with nothing better to do will see it. People will see it just to see how bad it’ll be. And it will make a shit load of cash.

As I said, The Beatles were universal. Every country, every town, every house in the world that has music, everyone has at least heard of The Beatles. Except for maybe a small minority of the population of the world who didn’t know who Paul McCartney was when he performed at the last Grammys, but they’ve probably gone for a bath with their pet toaster by now.

So there’s the reason why it was stupid for the production side, but what about consumers? Well, the cast had already been decided, the highlights being comedian Peter Serafinowicz as Paul and (apparently) David Tennant as the Blue Meanie. If you haven’t seen The Peter Serafinowicz Show, he does a sketch called “Ringo Remembers” which is AMAZING. In one episode he played Paul as well as Ringo, and his impression is spot-on. Tennant, of course, was the 10th Doctor and was AWESOME (although I prefer Smith).

As I said earlier, Zemeckis has since tried to bring it to other companies, like Dreamworks, but nobody would touch it, and there hasn’t been any news on it in a long while. Which is incredibly depressing. However there is hope. It was announced in the last few days that the original Yellow Submarine will be re-released, digitally enhanced frame-by-frame, on May 28th on Blu-Ray and DVD. I already have the movie on DVD (1999 official release) so I’ll be buying it on Blu-Ray. Hopefully there’ll be a special edition with cool things, like the Help! special edition from a few years back. And that will earn billions upon billions of moneys. And then, hopefully, the biggest mistake in film history will be righted.

Rob CircleGuy

P.S. I am looking for anyone who watches/knows cricket for the possibility of doing a cricket podcast at a later date. Anyone interested can contact me here or email me: rwos14 (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks, and goodbye

John Tarr's picture

A tad melodramatic for my taste...but you have a good point. It's always surprising when potentially amazing projects, whether it's film, games, TV or any form of media, get buried so quickly for reasons completely out of the producers control. 

Also, why did you not include the images in this post that you did on the original article?

explicit_baron's picture

Nice post, I suggest reviewing it for grammatical errors and adding some pictures to make it look more visually appealing. It's sad to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles be taken over by Micahel Bay. I'm sure it will look amazing and be a good popcorn film. but I would still like to see some character development and focus on each turtle's personality and a good storyline would be appreciated. I wish Christopher Nolan would take over that project, can you imagine how awesome it would be.

P.S. The Beatles are overrated :) happy trails

brodyitis's picture

Every time I read your posts, I imagine an Irish accent. Does that make me creepy?

CircleGuy's picture

@John Melodramatic? Well, I agree, I chose the title exactly for that! :D

Em, I didn't post the images here because the site I linked to is my main site that I post on, and posting here and on other blogs (at least 5, possibly 10) is really a kind of a hit-and-run job.

@Explicit_baron no, you know who's an overrated band? The Doors. Goddamn I hate when people gush over Jim Morrison. He was a mediocre writer who benefited from death and wow it doesn't take a lot to put me on that tangent.

@Brodyitis... kinda

explicit_baron's picture

@circleguy I know nothing of the Beatles I just say that because people worship them and go nuts when I say that. Never really did like them but, I'm only 20 years old.

CircleGuy's picture

fair enough :D (and I'm only 18)

Create New Account or Log in to comment