Doing the rounds to promote his latest motion capture venture (A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey), director Robert Zemeckis opened up about his plans to revisit Toontown.
In April, the filmmaker simply said he had ideas for a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and new technology had him “starting to think about it.” He later followed this up with a confirmation that Roger would remain in 2D, but didn’t rule out the possibility of 3-D and motion capture, the two techniques dominating his filmography for the past 5 years.
In a brief chat with MTV, Zemeckis said, “All the other characters that [the cartoons] would sort of have fun with would be magnificent in performance capture technology.” Unfortunately, this probably means the sequel will be a combination of 3-D mo-cap and 2-D animation, not the live-action/cartoon hybrid of the original, which explains why Bob Hoskins has been using the “I’m too old” excuse.
I know Zemeckis believes he’s leading the crusade for this new technology, but enough already. How about just directing the actors interacting rather than filming them, plotting the bulb movements, and recreating the performance over again in a computer?
New technology is supposed to enhance the experience and make going to the theater that much more entertaining. Motion capture is still a crude substitute for authentic acting and is at times distracting from the story.
Luckily he won’t be using performance capture for the two main toons, Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit. “I wouldn’t use it for the cartoon characters, because I think they should stay two-dimensional because that’s what — I wouldn’t dimensonalize Roger. And I couldn’t dimensonalize Jessica even if I wanted to because she doesn’t have a nose. We wouldn’t want to give her a nose.” I don’t think most men could pick her nose out of a line-up.
The silver lining in this whole discussion is Zemeckis’ choice of screenwriters. The original scribes, Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price, are already working on a script, according to MTV.
A prequel was written following the 1988 release by Nat Maudlin that chronicled the origins of Roger Rabbit, but Zemeckis was never involved and the script never made it out of development.