Ang Lee Is Done With 3D Because It’s ‘So Bad’ Now, Blames the Audience and Industry Who Were ‘Not Prepared’

The update follows the high-profile failures of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and “Gemini Man”

Ang Lee
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Ang Lee will soon be honored at his New York University alma mater with a Tisch gala on April 8. Ahead of the special occasion, the Oscar-winning director has been giving select interviews about his illustrious career.

In one such sit-down, the filmmaker announced that he has abandoned the 3D format.

“In general, not only my two movies, 3D in general … [is] so bad,” Lee told IndieWire on Monday. “The filmmakers are bad. The theaters are bad. The whole ecosystem is bad. It’s not made for [3D]. I refuse to complain, to blame it on the medium … it’s the audience, and the industry, [who] were not prepared.”

Lee has made three films in the stereoscopic format – “Life of Pi,” which earned him his second Best Director Oscar (after “Brokeback Mountain); the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Will Smith action movie “Gemini Man” (also filmed in high frame rate); and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” an adult drama that was, for reasons only clear to Lee, filmed in high frame rate and in 3D.

“I tried higher frame rate and I tried 3D,” Lee told the outlet. “I tried new ways of making movies. Those pictures are really sharp. That’s a lot of pressure. Everything is difficult, so that is always a great pressure. I cannot get into detail on how to make those movies. People have not tried even one minute of that scale. I did two feature films. That’s great pressure. Of course, that brought in economic pressure, studio pressures, doing something nobody really knows. That’s a lot of pressure. It’s quite complicated [in ways] that audiences don’t see.”

Lee is currently working on a Bruce Lee biopic, a story that honestly fits the aforementioned formats better than any of these previous projects. However, he insists that it will not be in 3D or in a higher frame rate.

“It’s too hard, especially after the two movies. The 3D is just too hard. I’ll go back to the regular way, the old way of making movies,” Lee said. “There’s a great story to be told, a lot to explore. I’m still working on it. But it won’t be in 3D.”

The “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” filmmaker was also quick to point fingers at the theaters, saying, “The theaters are stingy. It’s really dim, you can’t really see it.” And while it’s easy to blame exhibition on the rejection of 3D, it needs to be stated that James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” brought home a whopping $2.32 billion worldwide, despite being in both 3D and high frame rate.

Ultimately, something tells us Lee isn’t done experimenting just yet.

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