Details on MONSTERPOCALYPSE — Tim Burton and John August Confirmed for 3D Production

     July 19, 2010

We were aware that Tim Burton was eying an adaptation of Monsterpocalypse, the kaiju-themed (read: “very monster-y”) collectible miniatures game, a project which could reunite him with frequent collaborator John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).  But up until now, we’ve had to use a lot of modifiers when writing about the film.  No longer, as producer Roy Lee (How to Train Your Dragon) confirmed that both Burton and August are officially on board.

Hit the jump for more of Lee’s insight into the development process, including plot details, why they’re doing it in 3D, and the absence of Voltron.

producer_roy_lee_image_01You can see the full transcript of what Lee had to say over at /Film, but here are the key points.

On the involvement of Burton, August, and Oscar-winner Ken Ralston…

“I can confirm that Tim Burton is developing it to direct.  He’s working closely with John August on story.  And this is the first time that Ken Ralston was brought in this early to do conceptual drawings and the visuals for the movie itself.  I don’t know if you know Ken, but he’s won several Oscars for, I guess, maybe Cocoon, Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, all those, as well as working with Tim on Alice in Wonderland.”

On the plot…

“The general take on the film that I can give you is that the giant monsters come to earth and start wreaking havoc.  The humans, at this point, fight back.  And they feel like they’ve destroyed them, but they quickly learn that the monsters that come had actually not died and just sort of burrowed underground and are sending some sort of signal into space.  Apparently, it is probably going to be a distress signal.  So the humans know that something is going to be coming, they just don’t know what yet.  And they know how big these monsters can be.

Then it cuts to many years later when nothing has come back, but the humans have prepared for possible monsters coming back.  And by this time, they have developed these giant robots that will fight the monsters when they come.  That is what is going to take place.  But most of the movie is going to be during that battle between the giant robots and the giant monsters.”

On why Voltron (a property with a presence in the game) won’t appear in the film…

“Not Voltron… The company that owns Voltron approached us, [game creator] Matt Wilson, to be able to utilize the robots for the world of Monsterpocalypse.  But we are not using anything from there to the movie, because a lot of the robots and monsters will be created by Tim himself and the cast.”

Tim BurtonOn the design of the robots and monsters…

“These robots would be the size of a very tall building, where the crew that is inside of each one of these robots…we’re not sure how many people are manning it.  It’s almost as if the robots are spaceships, but they are actually shaped like robots and walk around the Earth, where you have a crew inside them, with a captain, controlling different parts of the robot to fight these monsters.”

“Ken Ralston and Tim are working on the design.  Tim has a very distinct style in the way he handles a lot of his creatures and the images that he uses in his movies that will be, I’m sure, reflected in our movie as well.”

On why they are developing Monsterpocalypse as a 3D film…

“Ken is saying there is no reason why we shouldn’t, because seeing major cities destroyed and monsters fighting with robots would naturally lend itself to a 3D movie.”

On where the film fits into Burton’s busy schedule…

“That is something that we are not clear on, just because Tim has several opportunities that will be placed in front of him whenever these scripts are done, because both script [Seth Grahme-Smith’s script for] Dark Shadows and [August’s script for] Monsterpocalypse are being written as we speak.   So I can’t say what would happen if Dark Shadows comes in great and ours doesn’t, or the opposite.  So it’s really just up in the air.”

“I’d say there is a good chance that we would be in theaters by the end of 2012.”

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