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Hey, so remember that 3D William Tell movie starring Brendan Fraser we talked about a few months back? No? That’s probably because plenty of far more important things have happened since that news broke like… you got a couple haircuts and finally tried that new Indian restaurant you always drive by. Well there seems to have been a development in this project.
Deadline is reporting that William Tell: 3D, wow that really is a thing, will now be directed by Eric Brevig. Brevig will be replacing Nick Hurran who was previously attached to direct. Brevig previously directed Fraser in 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and is a former effects supervisor for films like Total Recall, Men in Black, and The Day After Tomorrow. The film is slated to begin filming in March of next year in Romania, and has suddenly seen its budget increase to $27 million.
The story of William Tell is not a warm and fuzzy tale. We’re talking about a defiant political figure who was forced by a tyrannical ruler to shoot an apple off his son’s head as punishment for his refusal to be subjugated. So no, I’m not seeing the surefire homerun in the family entertainment department that the studio seems so confident it will be. What I’m hearing is, we’re taking a major hero of Swiss history and co-opting his life to make, “look out, that arrow’s coming right at us” jokes for an hour and a half.
I also love that as soon as Hurran dropped out, the film got a more definite start date and a hike in budget. Yeah, because clearly the problem was the director and not the fact that this sounded like a terrible idea from the word go. It’s also being reported that writers Chad and Evan Law are revamping their script in the wake of Hurran’s departure. Newsflash, if alterations to the script seem necessary when a new director comes on board, it’s a safe bet that the script was pretty weak to begin with.
What I will say in defense of Brevig is that he has demonstrated, at least in one instance, an ability to take a dead-in-the-water concept and turn it into something decent. I’m referring to his adapting Hanna-Barbera’s Yogi Bear for the big screen last year; also in 3D. While I would never go so far as to call Yogi Bear a great film, Brevig was able to keep the film in the spirit of the cartoon without lobotomizing the film and making it as incessant as most of the other toon-mining disasters. I’m looking at you Alvin and the Chipmunks. Yogi Bear was a light, entertaining family film that was smarter than it had to be and respectful to its cannon. Let’s hope Brevig works similar miracles with William Tell: 3D.