I know! I know — you were hoping that the planned Robert Zemeckis remake of Yellow Submarine (in mo-cap) was some sort of fog dream and that you’d wake up from the nightmare and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he was still sticking to Christmas movies (next up: The Night Before Christmas?!)
Sadly, that is not the case. Zemeckis is not only moving ahead with Yellow Submarine — an animated feature based on the music of the Beatles — but he’s assembled his cast. Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Campbell are now in talks to play the Beatles. And yes: That Cary Elwes, who will play George Harrison. The other guys? I don’t even know who they are. Kelly, who will play Lennon, is a cast member of the BBC’s “Robin Hood” series; Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Couples Retreat) will play McCartney; and Campbell (Epic Movie, Date Movie) will play Ringo.
I guess I’m not totally opposed to a remake of Yellow Submarine, if only because it will introduce a new generation to The Beatles, a band that I — unfortunately — did not really grow up with (my Pops was more of a Hall & Oates man, sad to say), though I’m becoming very familiar with all of their music — and not just the hits — through my own kid, whose vocabulary now consists of 30 percent Beatles lyrics.
I don’t, however, see Yellow Submarine doing particularly well at the box office, not in 2010 and not with a movie produced by Disney. It’s a visual movie — The Beates’ Fantasia, and I’m not so sure that modern audiences would have much of a taste for it, not unless Zemeckis put more of a through line into the narrative. But then, Avatar has demonstrated that audiences are not always that interested in good stories, so long as there’s lot of pretty. Whether Zemeckis’ motion-capture technology could be considered “pretty” is a matter of opinion, I suppose. I doesn’t really do it for me.