Joel, Kelly and I continue with the editing process. The film is running 2 hours and 5 minutes long and strong and we continue to refine it in preparation for our first studio screening February 28th. Here all the Universal execs will get to see it unveiled for the first time. I have taken many of them into my confidence already showing large swaths of the movie to Marc Shmuger, the chairman, Donna Langley, the president of production and Jeff Kirschenbaum the senior v.p. Everyone has been really stoked. Whew!
We should have the teaser trailer out within a month and, hopefully, you will find it as exciting as I have dreamt this year of work to be.
I will talk to Universal about premiering the teaser here on my blog so that you, who have showed so much interest in my film, will get to see it first. I’ll let you know what they say.
The visual effects work is going on apace. We have nine finals at this point out of 800 shots. Sounds dismal and hopeless, but this is how vfx work goes: the first 50% of the time on 10% of the shots and the second 50% on the 90%. There is so much R & D going in defining the visual rules for each fantasy creature, object, or landscape (what does Shangri-la look like?) that the refinement of this first 100 shots defines all the rest. Once the aesthetics and methodology are set, the production pipelines are refined and the work begins to accelerate.
So far, the Yeti (the abominable snowmen) done by Rhythm & Hues, that appear in the Himalayan sequence are my favorite achievement. They are flat out cool! Supervisor Derek Spears and team have been kicking ass on the creatures.
Meanwhile, over at Digital Domain, Co-supervisors Joel Hynek and Matthew Butler have been working with me on the terracotta Jet Li and the final battle where Michelle Yeoh’s undead square off against Jet’s terracotta army. There are 400 vfx shots in the last 25 minutes of the film, the vast majority belonging to DD.
Universal will release The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor on August 1. Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Wong, Luke Ford and Isabella Leong star.