IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures have set plans to release the CG feature The Polar Express in the IMAX 3D format at the same time the standard format version rolls out in conventional theatres. Releasing November 19 in the U.S. and many international territories, the film will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D using both the proprietary IMAX 3D conversion process and IMAX DMR (Digitally Re-mastering) technology.
Based on the classic Caldecott Award-winning children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, the film reunites the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump team of director Robert Zemeckis and star Tom Hanks. Imagemotion’, the proprietary motion-capture technology developed by Sony Imageworks, was employed to tell the story of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole.
The Polar Express will be the sixth film released to IMAX theatres by Warner Bros. Pictures since 2003. The studio had successful IMAX DMR releases of the second and third installments of the Matrix trilogy, and its first originally produced IMAX 3D live-action film, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience, has become the fastest-grossing film of its kind since its release on March 12, 2004. On June 4, 2004, Warner Bros. plans to release an IMAX DMR version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to IMAX theatres day and date with the conventional release in the U.S., Canada and selected international territories. It will be followed by an IMAX DMR release of Catwoman in July.
The Polar Express is a presentation of Castle Rock Ent., in association with Shangri-La Ent., and is produced by Playtone, ImageMovers and Golden Mean. Producers are Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Goetzman and William Teitler, with Tom Hanks, Jack Rapke and Chris Van Allsburg serving as exec producers. One of the production designers is Doug Chiang, who worked on the last two Star Wars films and is producing his own CG feature, Robota. The official Polar Express website can be found at www.polarexpressmovie.com.