The art of creating digital humans for film has come a long way since Square’s and Columbia Pictures 2001 box office flop Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and audiences may finally be ready for a feature-length movie starring photorealistic animated characters. The latest entry in this new sub-genre is Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, a motion-capture retelling of a time-honored tale.. The trailer became available for viewing today at http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/beowulf/large.html.
Written by an unknown sixth-century Anglo-Saxon poet, Beowulf casts its title character as the one man who can defeat Grendel, a monster terrorizing a Danish kingdom, and his scaly, cave-dwelling mother. The classic tale has been adapted for the screen by fantasy author Neil Gaiman (MirrorMask, Coraline) and Silent Hill scribe Roger Avary, and features the voices of Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson and Crispin Glover.
Beowulf employs the patented Performance Capture technology Sony Pictures Imageworks created for Zemeckis’ The Polar Express. The movements and facial expressions of the actors have been captured by computers and applied to computer-generated characters in fully digital environments. The movie will be released by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures on Nov. 16 in both conventional theaters and more than 1,000 venues equipped with Real D technology for stereoscopic 3D exhibition.