Saturday, April 04, 2009

Will Miyazaki's "Ponyo" ever hit U.S. theaters?

Actually, the most depressing news out there is that Jackie Earle Haley has signed on to play Freddie Krueger in Platinum Dunes' remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Digest that for a second.

Now, on paper, Mr. Haley as Freddie isn't that much of a stretch. He certainly has the manic look down, but any news about what Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company is up to just turns my stomach and makes it do flips.

Remaking fun movies like "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare" aren't exactly bold artistic moves, but neither are they really high cinematic crimes. But the Platinum Dunes folks have no plans to stop there; they've got real classics in their sights too.

Further along is a "retelling" (the dirty little euphemism used to claim you're not making a "remake") of Hitchcock's "The Birds." I'm still hoping this will never happen, but assuming it does it will star Naomi Watts in Tippi Hedren's iconic role and have Martin Campbell of "Casino Royale" fame as its director.

Even more insidious but still in pre-infancy stage (if that's possible) is the company's plan to remake what remains my single favorite horror film, Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby." If anyone out there has the power to stop all this madness, please do!

OK, enough of that. This was supposed to be all about Hayao Miyazaki, a subject which makes me much, much happier.

It seems that not only does his new film, "Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea" (to be retitled simply "Ponyo") finally have a U.S. release date of Aug. 14 (more than a friggin' year after it debuted in Japan!), but it also has some kids in the lead voice roles that just might give it enough cache to even open in my little corner of the world.

Ensuring that Billy Ray Cyrus will apparently be able to live off the talents of his kids forever, it seems there's another little Cyrus running around, named Noah, and he has landed the titular role of the goldfish princess who just wants to be human. Just in case that's not enough Disney for you, it seems that yet another of those Jonas kids, someone named Frankie, will voice the role of Sosuke, the young boy who befriends Ponyo.

I really have no idea who any of those people are, but if that's what it takes to finally bring this to American movie theaters, bring it on. Among the adults involved in this are Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey and Liam Neeson.

And in even better news that only impacts, well, me, I'm off to see "Adventureland" today at 2:15, and I'm fairly confident it's just going to rule. Peace out.


figbean said...

why why why? why does Disney synergy have to ruin this film. A Cyrus AND a Jonus?! Seriously. Guess I'll just buy the import of the DVD and watch the english subtitles.

Just for Quix said...

Can't fault Disney/Pixar for trying to get great 2D animation art like this to wider audience. Sad that it involves such compromises. But with Lasseter at the helm I trust his judgement because he really has a love for Miyazaki's work and also for well done 2D animation. An English subtitled Japanese film would do as poor (or more poorly) than the other U.S. theatrical releases of Ghibli films.

It will give me something to look forward to for the Blu-Ray release. If it's like Spirited Away we'll get the original audio track as an option.

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