Disney, Zemeckis to Make 3D ‘Sgt Pepper’ in Deal with Apple Ltd

Also: Captain Jack will return in 2011 in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Last Updated: September 13, 2009 @ 10:16 AM

At what they billed as ‘D23’ conference, the Walt Disney Company announced that the studio would be remaking the 1968 classic "Yellow Submarine" with Robert Zemeckis writing and directing. To license the Beatles’ music, Disney has made a deal with Apple Corps LTD.

For this new motion capture project, Zemeckis will incorporate the16 Beatles songs and recordings from the original motion picture licensed from Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and EMI-Capitol Records, respectively.  

The songs include “All Together Now,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lucy  in the Sky with Diamonds” and “With A Little Help From My Friends” while  combining his unique vision and style to bring this dazzling tale to life.   

In making the announcement, Cook said, “This is truly an inspired collaboration, and a wonderful opportunity to revisit one of the most imaginative and memorable musical fantasies of all time … We’re sure that moviegoers are going to have a great time on this latest trip to Pepperland.”

Walt Disney Studio Chairman Dick Cook trotted out one luminary after another during the media giant’s own multi-day answer to Comic-Con, held for the first time in Anaheim on Thursday and Friday.

Earlier at the event, Tim Burton, John Travolta, Jerry Bruckheimer and Miley Cyrus all basked in appaluse, but Cook  but saved the most popular for last. Johnny Depp drew gasps of delight from the crowd when he appeared on stage in full Captain Jack regalia.

“Where’s the talking frog?” he queried, referring to Disney’s upcoming “Princess and the Frog” movie. “Where has the frog gone? I like those – tastes like chicken,” he said, weaving around the stage.

“Time for some rum,” Cook said.

Depp was there to officially announce the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which will be released during the summer 2011 under the moniker “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

But he also loomed large in the preview for Burton’s 3D “Alice in Wonderland.” Depp plays the Mad Hatter in his latest reteaming with the director.

“He loves dressing up and we thought this time we’d make him look the way he really is,” Burton said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Disney also used the occasion to unveil a new animated banner, “Disney Double Dare You,” in collaboration with Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro, who’s currently in New Zealand prepping “The Hobbit,” said in a taped message that the banner was inspired by a visit to Disneyland 40 years ago, where he enjoyed the immersive experience at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and Haunted Mansion.

"Two years ago, I began talking to Disney and Pixar about creating a new brand that would encapsulate and recapture this part of the Disney experience,” he said.

Del Toro will produce the first project, “Trollhunters,” from an original concept of his.

Burton, who will make a feature-length version of “Frankenweenie” for the studio next, said he was drawn to “Alice” because he had always loved the imagery of the story, and felt it had yet to be properly translated on film.

When Disney proposed a 3D version, it sounded “really trippy and great,” he said. “All the elements were there.”

The studio also promoted the upcoming 3D version of “A Christmas Carol” by director Robert Zemeckis.

Travolta also did double duty, promoting the movie “Old Dogs,” co-starring his wife Kelly Preston and daughter Ella Bleu in her big-screen debut, and “Wild Hogs 2.” The entire Travolta clan appeared. Nicolas Cage, meanwhile, plugged “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and accepted Cook’s invitation to star in another “National Treasure” movie.

Bruckheimer showed off footage of “Prince of Persia.” Kermit and the Muppets serenaded the crowd, “Why are there so many songs about rainbows.” The studio is prepping a Muppet movie called “The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever.”

After a song by Cyrus, the studio also showed a stunning clip of “Tron Legacy,” the sequel to the groundbreaking computer effects movie from 1982.