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In case there was any question, wonder no longer: both Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor will be 3-D films. The Los Angeles Times brings this news, which isn’t really surprising, as most every action film nowadays comes with a 3-D option. However, what is surprising is how Thor (which also has dropped a brand new still as seen below) director Kenneth Branagh is vehemently going to convince fans that this is a good thing. Here’s what he had to say:
"We came to feel that in our case 3-D could be the very good friend of story and character for a different kind of experience. [At first it was] math and physics and way over my head. It's another draft of the story that can reveal itself in a different way. I had a healthy degree of skepticism up front ... I've become somebody extremely excited about working with possibilities of doing it this way."
"A pretty careful conversation is what we've been having for quite some time about what we know has to be the most sensible decision: Is it led by story? Can this offer a different type of experience and exploit what we have in the story? It absolutely can ... we travel very long distances in the movie and the opportunity to export and exploit the journey of the hero is really offered up as a great potential enhancement here."
He seems pretty convinced that 3-D can be an art form of sorts and certainly feels that an artistic reason, not box office receipts, must drive the decision to convert to 3-D. Do you agree? Joe Johnston, director of “Captain America,” defended the decision for his own film. Here’s what he had to say:
"I think it tends to be overused and can be a little bit gimmicky. A lot of people are using 3-D now because they feel have they have to ... that will come and go and the pictures that deserve to be in 3-D will continue to be. When it's done bad, it can make you carsick."
It sounds like Johnston is a bit skeptical of 3-D in general, but it also seems as if he knows what he is doing concerning the 3-D on his own film. Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, had this to say about the current 3-D craze:
"I'd say there's not a great feeling out there for conversion based on some of the films that may have succeeded financially but had their artistry come under fire. In being able to think in 3-D from the start -- and having every bit of our special effects rendered in true 3-D -- we have the opportunity to do it right. When you're working with a director like Ken Branagh or Joe Johnston, they're not going to settle for less than perfect image. They're not going to settle for something that isn't up to the artistry of everything else they've done on the film ... they're not going to put on some overlay in the last 10 to 12 weeks of post-production for a fiscal reason."
The 3-D craze has been a bit absurd. In fact, it is almost more interesting when a film isn’t released in 3-D than when one is. In any case, it seems that the minds behind the films are coming to the defense of their own creative works before anyone can even criticize their decision. It is likely due to the critical panning of the 3-D in Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender, as well as the mixed reaction to the 3-D in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. But perhaps this skepticism is unneeded. To assume something about a film before actually seeing the film is a poor judgment call. Maybe Branagh and Johnston actually do know what they’re doing, but if they don't, they at least understand that it doesn't inherently make a film better, which is important.
(The above picture features Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Chris Hemsworth (left) as Thor and Tom Hiddleston (right) as Loki.)