Monday, March 16, 2009

"Cane Toads 2" Invading In 3D

Jim here. I had an exclusive talk with Director Mark Lewis and he said that he has a new 3D project coming out soon that is close to his heart...

CANE TOADS 2 is a live action 3D film that is a follow up to the successful film CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY. Mark is directing as he did the original, released in 1988.

The original was a 47 minute documentary (at times humorous) reviewing the introduction of Cane Toads in Australia to help control a sugar cane pest. Seems after being brought to down under, they refused to eat the sugar cane grubs and instead multiplied like rabbits. To make things worse, they have no natural enemies in Australia, partly because of their poisonous skin. CANE TOADS is used in schools and colleges to assist with biology and environmental science classes. It was also nominated for a BAFTA as Best Short Film and Roger Ebert calls the original "One of my favorite films".

Says Mark: "The film follows the journey of the cane toad in Australia and features a disparate cast of characters commenting on the impact of the toad since their introduction. From the lush rain forests of Puerto Rico, to the vibrant cane farms of far North Queensland then traveling through the mangroves of the Gulf Country into the harsh and arid landscape of the Northern Territory. The journey ends in Western Australia as thousands of toads are now poised only a few miles from the border and with the coming wet season the flood waters will spread them further West into thousands of square miles of the Kimberly region."

Mark adds, "Whether the story is a tragedy, a comedy of error or a tale of success - depends on your perspective."

The anticipated delivery is in December of this year. It is being distributed in Australia by Madman Entertainment and the US through Participant Media. The film is a co-production with Participant Media, Discovery Studios, Screen Australia and Radio Pictures.

I have not seen the original, but I suspect that the sequel will echo the outstanding research (that obviously WASN'T done when the toad was introduced!) and interject humor to bring out the best again of what seems to be a very entertaining news story. 544 votes on IMDb have the original pegged at 8 stars out of 10. Not bad!

I will give fair warning though: a little flick by the name of AVATAR will be clearing a fairly large swath of 3D screens in December of this year, including IMAX. I do hope their release goes well - just make it early December!

UPDATE March 17: Just heard again from Mark - they will be delivering the project in December but distribution will occur later! :-)

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