October 1, 2010 in Features

‘Star Wars’ to follow others in 3-D

Filmmaker Lucas, 20th Century Fox to release ‘Phantom Menace’ in 2012
Ben Fritz Los Angeles Times
 

George Lucas watched the massive success of “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” in the 3-D format and decided it was time for a return of the Jedi.

“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” will return to theaters in 3-D in 2012 and will be followed in the stereoscopic format by the five other live-action movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic special-effects shop is overseeing the 3-D conversion. 20th Century Fox will release them, as it has done for all previous “Star Wars” films.

Lucas has said publicly on more than one occasion that the technological strides of James Cameron’s “Avatar” persuaded him to reconsider his longtime disdain for 3-D.

After the Golden Globes, for instance, he told Access Hollywood that he was investigating the possibilities of converting his Skywalker family epic into the trendy format.

“Haven’t been a big fan of 3-D, but that movie definitely improves in (the field of) 3-D … we’ve been looking for years and years and years of trying to take ‘Star Wars’ and put it in 3-D,” Lucas explained to “Access.”

“But, (the) technology hasn’t been there. We’ve been struggling with it, but I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen.”

Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor John Knoll made clear that his company doesn’t intend to put out a sub-par 3-D conversion. Some conversions done in a rush have turned off moviegoers and critics.

“Getting good results on a stereo conversion is a matter of taking the time and getting it right,” Knoll said in a statement.

“It takes a critical and artistic eye along with an incredible attention to detail to be successful. It is not something that you can rush if you want to expect good results.

“For ‘Star Wars’ we will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new ‘Star Wars’ experience.”


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