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Ridiculous $6M 3-D Conversion Of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ Near Completion

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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).

  • SonOfVoorhees

    Talk about shitting on a classic. Also heard they are remaking Day of the Dead. Is this the future of film? Zero new ideas? Remaking the remakes in 10 years time? I think this 3D version needs to be ignored and allowed to die. Every horror fan already has a copy of this movie anyway, maybe even had it on video before then.

  • undertaker78

    3D isn’t personally my cup of tea and I will not be supporting this project; however far too many people like to whine and complain about things that do not affect the original in any way. Let those who want to see/own this to do so. Haters can ignore that this exists and support films that fit their idea of “groundbreaking”.

  • Incinerated

    Props for making something happen that no one would think could happen. I’m sure a few people would be quite excited about this. I would check it out if reasonably accessible.

    I can’t see making that 6 million back, though. Jurassic Park’s 3D re-release did what? 9 million opening week? And that’s Jurassic Park. Much bigger fan base and, no doubt, much larger theatrical distribution than this could ever get. I imagine the home market for 3D is still pretty small, too, but maybe it’s just me who’s waiting for the glass-less TV overlays to see affordable release.

  • DeathValzer

    I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little interested in this only so that i could see Dawn of the Dead in the theater. 3D or 2D.

  • djblack1313

    i hate 3D. i hope/wish it will die. i have no interest in this DAWN 3D gig.

    • weresmurf

      It’s in its death throes now, when they start converting movies like this (hey I LOVE DotD, but really, a movie that would never *ever* need it) you know they’re desperate for an audience.

      • djblack1313

        weresmurf, i hope/think you’re right! :)

  • Canucklehead

    Wouldn’t pay to see this in the theatre, already have the DVD I’m fine thanks.

  • Ravinus

    No complaints here. It will fit on my shelf nicely, next to the 2D bluray copy.

  • Sick_skwerl

    3D conversion is the same thing as adding color to black and white films. A gimmick that cheapens the original just to make more money.

  • Pink

    So much hate! Have you guys seen Jurassic Park in 3D? I used to hate conversions too after watching Class of the titans and Immortals…that was cheap cardboard popup 3d! Then I saw Titanic and JP in 3D. They are made, frame by frame, in 3d. I could hardly see the difference from shot in 3D! There are different companies doing this…some finnish in 3 months…some in a year. If They do this film the right way it could be really cool! So hold back on the hate before seeing the final product

  • JADAMA

    I’d see it! Anything to see the film on the big screen. Also my favorite picture from the film btw. :)

  • sweetooth

    3-D is totally unnecessary for this movie, but I’d definitely see it in the theater if I got the change. Jurassic Part was actually pretty cool, although the 3-D made a bit more sense there as it actually helped the computer effects look a little more believable. Not sure 3-D will make Savini’s makeup look any better…