– The ultimate Hollywood truism these days: if you can’t make it good, make it 3-D. The NYT considers the pull for and push against 3-D domination. At Comic-Con, several directors played to anti-3-D sentiment in the cavernous Hall H. J. J. Abrams believes that “when you put the glasses on, everything gets dim.” Joss Whedon loves 3-D, but at the same time was against MGM turning his production of The Cabin in the Woods 3-D: now Whedon hopes being the only non-3-D horror flick could make it special. With almost 60 3-D films set for release in the next two years across some 5,000 digital screens, now 2-D is old-school-cool. Some filmmakers are resisting 3-D; it complicates shooting and, according to both Whedon and Abrams, typically does little or nothing to improve cinematic storytelling. Christopher Nolan resisted making Inception 3-D, while tech-savvy Michael Bay has admitted to making Transformers 3 only partially 3-D.
– The third dimension is not the only thing facing resistance. Many teen stars are failing to prove their box office power, despite numerous teenage devotees. The Wrap looks at Zac Efron’s disappointing Charlie St. Cloud, a movie that was “supposed to prove that his appeal was beyond teen girls,” writes B.O. analyst Jeff Bock. But the movie failed to do so. Both Rob Pattinson’s Remember Me and Miley Cyrus’s The Last Song fell short of their teen sensation franchise flicks Twilight and Hannah Montana. You can take the teen star our of the teen movie, but you can’t expect them to lure an audience on their own – their names are known because of the franchises–and characters– that made them. Proving themselves as stand-alone actors is another matter; it requires a larger leap of faith from audience members having to shell out a dozen bucks or more.
– If you want more 3-D and teen pop idols, Paramount Pictures has the movie for you. The studio just greenlit a feature on the life of pre-pubescent-pop-sensation Justin Bieber, for possible release Valentine’s Day 2011. Super-serious Oscar-winning doc director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, the upcoming education expose Waiting for Superman) is in negotiations to direct the biopic, reports Deadline. HarperCollins garnered a deal for a memoir about the teen’s life and rise into YouTube stardom (he is their most-viewed recording artist; his recent video Baby nabbed 270 million views).
So who needs American Idol? During Fox’s Q & A at the TCA press tour, Peter Rice admitted that the network has yet to nail down the new judges for the show in the wake of the departures of both Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell. Reportedly playing hardball in negotiations: vet rocker Stven Tyler and movie/pop/marketing star Jennifer Lopez. In a world where contenders no longer need American Idol to make them stars, what they really need, it seems, is good advice.