Universal Resurrecting Zemeckis' ImageMovers with Production Deal

August 2, 2011
Source: THR

Universal / ImageMovers

It's back from the dead! THR is reporting that Universal is looking into bringing back Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers company, which was shut down by Disney this year after they finished work on Mars Needs Moms, a huge box office flop for the Mouse House. It won't be a complete zombie revival though, as they're apparently in negotiations to sign a first-look deal with ImageMovers, and instead the company would just let Robert Zemeckis "develop and produce" live-action and motion capture projects which Universal would have the first option to distribute. But why bring back a company that even Disney made sure to get rid of?

I don't get it, Universal passed on Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness and Ron Howard's The Dark Tower, yet greenlit Peter Berg's Battleship (watch the trailer if you haven't, or maybe you shouldn't) and is now buying a company that Disney killed off because even they realized it was behind the times. What kind of wacky decisions is this studio making? It actually seems like this ImageMovers news/deal may just be Zemeckis trying to resurrect that iconic name as a new production company, as he seems to be setting up a lot of new projects ever since Disney shut down the CGI division of ImageMovers and their Marin County production offices. THR states the "Universal deal would be more of a traditional overall production pact."

I'm curious to see what the future holds for Zemeckis. He's been attaching himself to numerous live-action projects at Warner Bros, a lot of sci-fi movies including Major Matt Mason with Tom Hanks, Here There Be Monsters at Legendary Pictures, and both Flight and Replay as well. But now he's dabbling with Universal and bringing back ImageMovers? Zemeckis is credited as a producer on DreamWorks' Real Steel this fall, and is also involved with The Stoneheart Trilogy, that CG animated Yellow Submarine remake, and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack at Sony Animation. With so much in the works, I hope Zemeckis actually starts production on something soon, as I'm anxious to see him get back into live-action filmmaking again.

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Moviekidmike on Aug 3, 2011


Zemeckis did a brilliant job on Beowulf. I'd live to see more like that! FYI- Disney dropped Imagemovers cause Pixar just doesn't dig realistic digital humans via performance capture, such as Avatar and Tin Tin.

Cganimation on Aug 3, 2011


I thought ImageMovers work was getting better and better - A Christmas Carol was fantastic!

Dom on Aug 3, 2011


Saying that it makes no sense to bring back Imagemovers because Disney dumped them just shows how stupid Disney is. Sure, Mars Needs Moms bombed, but Christmas Carol actually made money. Let me remind you all that Jerry Bruckheimer was involved in both Sorcerer's Apprentace and Prince of Persia, both which misfired at the box office. But does that keep them from booting him out of the studio? Nahhhh. Disney just wanted Zemeckis to make that horrible Roger Rabbit 2, to continue to cash-in and raping and pillaging of 80s memories and hits.

Ken on Aug 5, 2011


mars moms may have sucked as a movie, but that animation is far beyond anything I've ever seen. You say that imagemovers was "behind the times" but I think it's just the opposite. They are so far ahead of the curve that people are yet to wake up to how amazing their work is and instead find it "creepy" that animation can look so real.

Gerry on Jan 3, 2012


The animation style is not pleasant to watch by many people. I defintely get the Uncanny Valley experience looking at it. You can't fight human nature.

Kaetra on Jan 8, 2012

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