Gore Verbinski and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins worked together on the animated film Rango, and now it looks like the two are reuniting for not one but two new animated features. Verbinski revealed the news himself, although he also remained a little tight-lipped about what we can expect. We know two things for sure: neither animated feature will be a Western, like Rango, but one of them is a musical.
Gore Verbinski hasn’t made a film since 2016’s criminally underrated A Cure For Wellness, but it looks like he’s ready to get back in the saddle. Word broke the other day that Verbinski was directing a movie adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Sandkings. And today, Collider reports that Verbinski is also working on two different animated features.
“I’m working on two animated movies that I can’t really talk about,” Verbinski said. “I’m working on two screenplays…they’re both animated movies. They’re not Westerns. One is a musical…These are so many years out. They take so long that I just…I mean, it’s way too early to talk about them.” Verbinski has made an animated feature before – the 2011 flick Rango. That feature had him working with cinematographer Roger Deakins, and according to Verbinski, Deakins is going to work on these two new animated movies as well.
“He was like my first call on these two animated movies I’m making now,” Verbinski said. “I was like, ‘Roger, are you in?’ So one of them I’ve pitched him in detail, so he’s going to be coming back and helping us out…really in the shot production of it. He’s busy. He’s very busy.”
Deakins has consulted on other animated projects besides Rango, like WALL-E, Rise of the Guardians, The Croods, and the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. “I spent a lot of time on Rango and How to Train Your Dragon, the first and the second ones, before they did any animation for the films, talking about the look and the style and the feel of the films,” Deakins previously said. “And I worked with Andrew [Stanton] on WALL·E, because they wanted more of a live-action style, not just in the sense of the lighting and the visual style, but in the way that a live-action camera moves, versus the way a computer creates a camera move. On How to Train Your Dragon 2, there was quite a long prep period where we created a whole color palette reference for the look of the film. We discussed the style of the camera movement and all that. The animation itself takes something like two years to make, so obviously, I’m not there for all of that, but I’d have a link to DreamWorks, so I’d always be watching the animation as they were creating it. Any time I was in Los Angeles, I’d come up and spend time with the lighters, the animators, and the layout artists.”
Here’s where I confess I’ve never seen Rango. But I like most of Verbinski’s work, and I love the way Deakins shoots, so I’m all-for them teaming up for whatever these two new animated features may be.
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