Variety is reporting that Disney and the guru behind the Back to the Future films, Robert Zemeckis is in negotiations to produce a 3D remake of the Beatles' 1968 animated feature, Yellow Submarine. The proposed film, whose 3D technology has been described as "cutting edge," is being targeted for a release sometime before the 2012 Olympic games in London (which begin July 27 of that year.) According to Variety:
"The studio has been quietly brokering a complicated rights deal that would give Zemeckis access to 16 original Beatles songs for a movie he will direct in the performance-capture 3-D digital production format he employed for “A Christmas Carol.” Disney opens that film November 6, with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge as well as the three ghosts who haunt him in the Charles Dickens tale."
Surely, it would be easy to dismiss this as "yet another remake in a sea of remakes." While that is a valid point, I think this project yields some interesting possibilities. Viewed in its own right, it may be nice to get a retelling of the Fab Four's adventures in Pepperland that is not told through the lens of shoddy, LSD-induced motifs. From that standpoint, what could it hurt? Over the years, we've gotten more than our fair share of horribly done Beatles-themed projects. (Most notably Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees in the 1978 trainwreck of a musical, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.)
About every five or so years, the marketing machine seems to campaign to get people revved-up about the Beatles again. (Ex: The 1987 CD debut of their albums, 1994's Beatles Anthology collections, 2000's 1 album, etc.) It seems that with The Beatles: Rock Band on the horizon, we are in for yet another wave. From a pessimistic standpoint, it seems like sly way to perpetually recycle material that is over 40 years old. However, from a cultural standpoint, it is a good thing. The Beatles still hold up today, because popular culture currently does not possess anyone close to the icons that they were. (And probably never will again.) Like them or not, they've become an important part of history.