Can you imagine Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller The Departed in 3D – because someone in Hollywood did.
Firstly off the back of James Cameron’s Avatar, and then the $1bn+ gross of Disney and Tim Burton’s live action Alice In Wonderland, the start of the decade saw companies scrambling to convert their movies to 3D.
Never mind if they hadn’t been shot that way, if there was a way to slap a late 3D retrofit onto a movie and bung a few quid on the ticket price, then never let quality get in the way, right?
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Perhaps most infamously, that was the case with Louis Leterrier’s remake/reboot of Clash Of The Titans, that had its original release date bumped by a few weeks, and one of the worst post-production 3D bolt-ons put together in under a month (Leterrier himself would strongly criticise it). Studios were looking for anything that could work – or that they could sell – in 3D.
Bizarrely, though, it seems that Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed came up as a title for a possible post-production 3D conversation too.
It’s something that Hollywood producer Lynda Obst chats about in her excellent book, Sleepless In Hollywood. In said tome, she discusses how 3D was supposed to be “the saviour of the business”, but that it was “overused” and smacked onto movies to which it was ill-fitted. Little to disagree with there.
Tellingly, though, she also adds that “some insiders were investors” when it came to 3D, hinting that there were people within movie studios who had put cash into the technology. That this is turn clouded some of their thinking.
And then she quietly drops the line that “at one point a famous mogul-investor suggested to Paramount and Martin Scorsese that they release The Departed in 3D”.
Yikes. That’d be the dark crime drama that barely had a 3D-appropriate scene within it. Also: just why?
The idea was nixed, and nixed quickly. But it goes to demonstrate just what a land rush was going on for 3D that someone so senior – who Obst doesn’t name – would even suggest the idea.
Scorsese would utilise 3D for his underappreciated 2011 film Hugo, but he’d use it properly. The Departed remains available, thankfully, in 2D only.