Richard P. Rubenstein, who produced Dawn of the Dead and owns the rights to George A. Romero’s 1979 classic, tells Deadline that he is in the homestretch of a 3D conversion of Romero’s groundbreaking followup to Night Of The Living Dead. Rubenstein started this crusade in 2007, and while he’s not sure what he will do with the refashioned film, he so far has one hour and 31 minutes converted of a two-hour, six-minute film. He expects the conversion to be done by early fall.
Rubenstein said he has been a fan of the possibilities of 3D since seeing House of Wax, and that while the forerunner of zombie sagas like “The Walking Dead” and World War Z continues to sell well on DVD, it might get a new lease on life with a technical overhaul.
“It is proving to be more 3D friendly than many films, because George’s style was to compose within the frame, rather than across frames,” Rubenstein told the site. “That means there is a lot of action within each frame, from front to back and it makes the conversion process more friendly. It’s like you’re moving the audience closer to the movie. What I didn’t want to do is not edit anything George did in his original movie, and nothing has been altered in this process,” with the exception of a couple of technical credits of the conversion companies that became partners in this effort. They are the Korea-based Stereo Pictures Media Inc conversion house with backing from DNext Media. Converting the film has cost in the $6 million range, which is something considering the original cost around $685,000.
Rubenstein said the next step is figuring how to theatrically re-introduce the forerunner to zombie films who weren’t born when Dawn Of The Dead came out. He is content to move as slow as a Romero zombie if necessary to do it right. “We want to get our partners’ money back but since no financing came from distribution sources, we’re totally free,” he said. “It is getting the same kind of care, love and attention to detail that went into converting The Titanic,” Rubenstein said.
Personally, I hate post-conversion 3-D and have been fighting non-stop with people about it. I don’t care what you tell me, you cannot take a 2-D image add dimensions. It’s impossible. What you get is a pop-up book. So, now, Rubenstein has a $6M version of a low-budget indie classic that nobody will pay to see in a theater. What a waste of time and money, unless of course you guys think it’s cool – in that case, you’ll have it soon enough, at least on home video (better go buy a 3-D television).