Not an April Fool's joke...especially since it's September. TPM will be up first! From starwars.com:Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today that the live-action Star Wars Saga will be converted to 3D! There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the Star Wars Saga has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive. Presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd., the cutting edge conversion will take that immersion to the next thrilling level, with Industrial Light & Magic supervising the project. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is expected to be released theatrically in 2012. A release date has not yet been determined.
"Getting good results on a stereo conversion is a matter of taking the time and getting it right," said John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic. "It takes a critical and artistic eye along with an incredible attention to detail to be successful. It is not something that you can rush if you want to expect good results. For Star Wars we will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new Star Wars experience."
Here's the rest of it:http://www.starwars.com/movies/saga/announce3d/index.html
I'll be honest...this is a lot sooner than I expected. I was estimating 2015. And I'm pleasantly surprised they are going to re-release the films in the story's chronological order. Now, it'll be interesting to see when TPM 3D will be released and when AOTC 3D will follow. My guess is 6 months to a year. So, we could be seeing 3D goodness 2012-2015 or even, dare I say, through 2018.
It will also be interesting to see how the conversion process works with these movies. A lot of studios jumped the gun on 3D after the success of "Avatar" and quickly did crappy cheapo conversion just to cash in on the 3D wave. A lot those movies looked terrible and the "trend" has no end in sight. I just read today about Warner Bros. forcing Christopher Nolan to make his next Batman flick in 3D even though he doesn't want to. Every film pundit and his dog have been loudly stating that movies should shoot natively in 3D or not even bother.
But we also know that Lucasfilm will not put these flicks out if the quality isn't there. I think if there's anyone who can make believers out of those against 3D conversion, it's Papa George.
Another question is, will Fox re-release these films or will Warner, the studio of Clone Wars, do it?