Burton Confirmed to Direct Monsterpocalypse, But How Soon?
We first heard about DreamWorks snagging the movie rights to adapt the collectible miniatures board game Monsterpocalypse back in May. At the time, the studio was courting Tim Burton as the creative catalyst behind the flick, and it seemed even more likely that the filmmaker was on board when writer and frequent Burton collaborator John August was brought on to write the script in June. Now comes more confirmation from SlashFilm, who heard from producer Roy Lee, that: "I can confirm that Tim Burton is developing it to direct. He’s working closely with John August on story." Details on what that story is can be found below!
The board game itself is a fast-moving, action-packed strategy game portraying the "most fearsome giant monsters on Earth!" Each battle takes place in a city that is destroyed in the wake of the Monsterpocalypse.
So how will this be translated to the big screen? Apparently the monsters come to Earth and start destroying the planet, but the humans fight back and seem to have won when the monsters disappear. However, they've only dug into the planet itself and are sending a distress signal to the rest of their kind. When the humans realize this, they build giant robots to fight the monsters should they ever return. The film will take place years after the initial attack and focus on the epic battle between human controlled robots and these enormous monsters, all of which are the size of skyscrapers. Sounds cool as hell, and since all this crazy action will be in 3D there will be plenty of rubble flying at your face.
Ken Ralston, who has worked on the visual effects for films like Back to the Future, Star Wars and Burton's Alice in Wonderland, has done conceptual drawings for the film and is working on designs for the monsters and robots with Burton. Interestingly enough, the battle between the robots and monsters has the feel of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers monster battles with the Rangers' Megazord. How? Apparently we'll witness the action outside in the battlefield (somewhere on Earth, presumably in a big city) as well as from inside the giant robots which are controlled by a human crew operating from inside the robot itself. That brings an interesting level of humanity to the robots themselves. On the downside though, any fans looking forward to any inclusion of Voltron elements in the film (they're very much a part of the board game's universe) they will not be making an appearance.
This all sounds very cool, but the real question is when Tim Burton will have time to direct this? Lee isn't entirely certain when it will happen either. He says that they're planning to have this in theaters by the end of 2012, but since John August is working on the script for his other collaboration with Burton at the same time, the adaptation of Dark Shadows, they're not sure which project will come first since Lee says Burton "has several opportunities that will be placed in front of him whenever these scripts are done." Burton has also been developing a feature length adaptation of Frankenweenie, a stop-motion Addams Family movie and maybe even Disney's Maleficent. Monsterpocalypse certainly sounds awesome, but we'll have to wait and see when Burton will actually get around to directing it.