Welcome to The Morning Read.
I'm confused by Paramount's decision to purchase the "xXx" franchise from Revolution Studios/Sony, who made the first two films. I remember when I was working at Revolution and they were releasing the first film, they had such ambitious plans for how to extend the franchise, either with Vin Diesel onboard to star in the films or without. Having that sort of flexibility built into a franchise from the start is what I was talking about with "X-Men" and "Mission: Impossible" the other day. Obviously, the first film was sold on Vin Diesel, who everyone was gambling was a movie star. It wasn't just the "xXx" films, either. The first "Fast and the Furious" was part of that, along with "The Chronicles of Riddick." Then we went through a phase where Diesel was absolutely NOT a movie star, and they were making faster and furiouser movies without him in them, and they made a "xXx" movie starring Ice Cube and that baby-faced scowl of his. And then "For Fast For Furious" or whatever it was called starred Disel again and suddenly everyone realized that maybe Vin Diesel IS a movie star, and so now here we are.
Putting 3D in the hands of Rob Cohen and Vin Diesel sounds like, quite frankly, a B-movie hoot. Whatever else "xXx 3D" will be, it will be big and loud and aggressively 3D. It will be about as subtle as "2 Girls 1 Cup." It will be pure sensation, and it will most likely make a metric ton of cash. And because they're shooting the film that way, from the start, with Cohen specifically building his set pieces for the process, I'm in. I'll happily see the first 3D screening of that, and the more ridiculous the better. Joe Roth controls this particular piece of the Revolution fire sale. I know there are other projects controlled by Todd Garner, and other projects that went to other producers, and I fully expect to see a trickledown of Revolution stuff that gets redeveloped elsewhere, with this being a prime example. Paramount seems to be heavily investing in films that will actually shoot using 3D from the start, like the greenlit-by-a-peniscopter-test "Jackass 3D," which I fully expect will win Best Picture 2010. From me, anyway.