Suicide Complicates ‘Top Gun’ project | Pakistan Today

Suicide Complicates ‘Top Gun’ project

Tony Scott is gone, but his blockbuster film “Top Gun” may yet provide him with one of his bigger movie moments. Since Mr. Scott committed suicide on Aug. 19, executives at Paramount Pictures have been quietly debating what to do with a 3-D version of “Top Gun,” the 1986 film that was directed by Mr. Scott and featured Tom Cruise as the Navy fighter pilot Maverick, a role that made him an international superstar.
Completed earlier this year by Legend3D, which specializes in converting conventional 2-D film, the three-dimensional “Top Gun” had been seen as a way to whet the world’s appetite for a sequel that was being planned by Mr. Scott, Mr. Cruise and the producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
But now the sequel has fallen apart. And Paramount and its partners are left with a 3-D film that might be perceived by moviegoers as a tribute to a director whose death remains a mystery to many friends and associates. It might also become a final box-office triumph — but only if the studio can reach the audience without seeming insensitive or exploitative.
Paramount spotted the enormous potential in the conversion of older films when it joined in the release this year of a 3-D version of “Titanic,” with help from the film’s director, James Cameron, and the Stereo D company. Though familiar from endless showings in theaters and home-video formats since its debut in 1997, “Titanic” in its 3-D format had about $342 million in ticket sales around the world, with a conversion cost of only about $18 million.
The response was driven partly by a powerful reception in China, where the film opened to $67 million in first-weekend business from a pool of 3-D capable screens that is still growing.
With its dizzying aerial action, motorcycle moments and those deeply rippled abs in the volleyball sequence, “Top Gun” — which had about $354 million in worldwide ticket sales, split evenly between domestic and international — seemed a natural candidate for conversion, especially with the potential for a sequel.
Legend3D, which counts “Hugo” and “Alice in Wonderland” among its projects, undertook the work as part of an expansion aimed at strengthening ties with the major studios and extending the company’s reach in Asia and Europe.



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