There's been plenty of talk these days about the value of 3-D, but most of that involves the consumer end of the equation. But what about the filmmaker end? It's certainly easy for a movie goer who has just paid $18 for a ticket to a 3-D movie to assume that the decision is made purely so that studios can cash in on that additional ticket premium, but if that were truly the case, wouldn't all blockbuster movies be in 3-D? Why then is X-Men: First Class the only superhero movie this summer that's in 2D?
Believe it or not, but some producers in Hollywood do realize that cashing-in isn't always a good thing. At this past weekend's Produced By conference, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner joined four others on a panel titled Raising Your Tentpole: Producing Motion Picture Franchises, and as the only producer on the panel to have never made a 3-D movie, she explained, "I believe the movie itself tells you whether it should be 3D. And I believe there's a little too much 3D right now. I think, especially in this economy, parents don't always want to spend that extra money."
That's the kind of simple answer you just don't hear all that often these days. Now if producers and studios are realizing that 3-D is often unnecessary and actually wards away customers, maybe that means the tide really is beginning to ebb out on the medium. Obviously it's not going to up and disappear over night, but with 3-D losing customer support and filmmaker support (JJ Abrams doesn't want to do Star Trek 2 in 3-D, either), maybe it can at least trend back towards being a more unique option at the multiplex instead of the default.
But enough about 3-D, let's get to the really juicy detail that was brought up at the Raising Your Tentpole panel: casting. Turns out both Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jackson wanted to be in the original X-Men, with the latter apparently having lobbied to play Professor X. Just let that sink in for a second. If multiple universes do exists, there's one out there where Michael Jackson is Professor X. I wish we lived in that world.