Monday, June 12, 2017

Hidden in the Shadows: Status on DreamWorks/Edgar Wright's 'Shadows'


Once again, it appears that the DreamWorks movie about shadows is back in the dark...

Shadows is a complete re-imagining of a scrapped DreamWorks feature called Me and My Shadow. It was in the works for a while, and even had a concrete release date - November 1, 2013 - at one point. An ambitious meshing of traditional animation and CG, the film was removed from the slate after the studio's Rise of the Guardians was released, a fantasy tale that unfortunately lost money at the box office. Getting little traction after that, DreamWorks quietly cancelled it altogether and re-cooked it into an all-CG feature called Shadows. Acclaimed director Edgar Wright (whose Baby Driver is right around the corner) and writer David Walliams took on the job.

Then the Comcast acquisition happened.

Word on the street afterwards implied, to add insult to injury, that the feature was now looking to be a live-action/CG hybrid. Collider interviewed Wright on the status of the project recently, he said:

“Well I wrote three drafts of that, but because of the whole regime change there, most of the people that hired me and David Walliams to do it don’t work there anymore. So at the moment that’s not something that I’m necessarily attached to I think. It’s something that’s TBD.”

Unsurprising.

Universal and Chris DeFaria's DreamWorks have torpedoed some projects that were in development before the buyout: Larrikins, The Croods 2, and lord knows what else. Trolls 2 and The Boss Baby 2 are the only things they've launched, everything else on the slate - How To Train Your Dragon 3 and Everest - was in the works before the buyout. Cressida Cowell's The Wizards of Once is being circled for a feature-length adaptation, but anything goes...

Wright, being an auteur and a director with style, might've been too risky for a studio that seems to be staying the course. Or maybe they have other things in mind... Or maybe they just couldn't get it to work. Either way, losing Edgar Wright is pretty big. Marvel Studios faced a lot of backlash for ousting Wright from Ant-Man (a decision that Marvel Entertainment was really responsible for, not so much Kevin Feige and the studio), and while Ant-Man - directed by Peyton Reed - turned out to be a rather well-received installment in the series, some still couldn't let go of Wright's proposed vision. A movie that was never made. Marvel Studios isn't run that way anymore.

If Wright is off the DreamWorks project, does that mean the project itself - in yet again re-imagined form - is still a go? Who knows... Either way, it's just another bit of disappointing news concerning this 22 1/2-year old studio.

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. Universal will probably absorb DreamWorks into Illumination.

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