G.I. Joe: Retaliation Delayed to March 2013 for 3-D Conversion — and Maybe That's a Good Thing
Just about a month before hitting theaters (and right on the cusp of its theatrical marketing campaign), G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been pushed back by Paramount from June 29 to March 2013 to allow for a 3-D conversion. But director Jon M. Chu and the studio had deliberately opted for filming in 2-D before the 11th hour shift. So why opt for 3-D now?
Last year, Chu was looking at his filming options but swore he'd rather go 2-D than do a post-conversion:
"If we do it in 3-D, there's no way in hell I am dimensionalizing it. I mean, dimensionalizing can work if you have the time and you have the money. But studios don't want to put in the time or the money, so what's the point? There always going to shortcut you, so why put yourself there?"
A year later, Chu spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the decision to forgo 3-D as a filming option:
"It seemed like a natural thing, but I told them, 'I know 3-D. This is what we need. If we’re going to do 3-D, we’re going to do it right.' It had a certain price tag to it, and I was like, if you guys are down I'm down, but I do need more time to do it right. And they were about to do it but they cut it just a little bit short, and [I said,] “if you guys are going to cut it short there is no point. Let’s make a movie — let’s go for it and we’ll go all out. And we shot on film, super-35, and I thought this may be one of the last times I get to shoot on film, and it was actually kind of freeing."
Clearly someone somewhere rethought that choice, and now Chu has nine months ahead of him to complete a decent post-conversion on the film. Over at Deadline, Nikki Finke reports on why the 3-D landscape now might look a little more enticing than it did when Chu and Paramount were planning the G.I. Joe sequel.
A studio source explained the move to Finke thusly: “We’re going to do a conscientious 3-D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally... Jim Cameron did all of Titanic's 3-D in post — and look how well that movie turned out.”
Here's the thing: Post-conversion detractors might still cite Clash of the Titans and its infamously muddied conversion job as reasons to avoid the added process just to squeeze out more profit in release, and until very recently I counted myself in that camp.
But one upcoming film that I caught actually made me rethink this position: Men in Black 3, a post-converted 3-D offering that might actually help turn the tide for non-native 3-D. That film's director, Barry Sonnenfeld, did a surprisingly good job demonstrating how one could pull off the post-conversion process given enough time/the right approach; MIB3 features some of the best post-converted 3-D seen so far, shockingly enough. Granted, Sonnenfeld was able to shoot in 2-D with his eventual 3-D process in mind — featuring camera work and visual gags designed specifically to be enhanced with 3-D — whereas Chu's G.I. Joe 2 likely was not. So Chu has a challenge ahead of him... but it could yet work.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation will now open on March 29, 2013.