When I was looking for a photo to run with this post in the L.A. Times photo database, the caption for the above shot of Malcolm McDowell as the perverse Roman emperor Caligula read, ” ‘Caligula,’ with Malcolm McDowell as the ruler, shocked audiences in 1980. Now it seems just unpleasant.” That was from a review of a 2007 DVD release. Not a good one, obviously!
Many of those associated with the film, including screenwriter Gore Vidal and actors Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole and McDowell, wanted to distance themselves from Caligula but especially director Tinto Brass, now 76, who railed against the film’s producer, Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione, for adding what Brass thought were “gratuitous” hard-core sex scenes. But now, inspired by the success of James Cameron’s billion-dollar Avatar, Brass wants to revisit the subject of “an abandoned project about a Roman emperor that was ruined by Americans,” implying he wants to do a remake of Caligula.
From The Guardian:
It remains to be seen whether Brass’s dalliance with 3D technology will spark excitement in other adult film producers. Thus far the porn industry appears to be adopting a surprisingly coy approach to the new medium, scared off by the high production costs. Added to this is the fact that most pornography is produced for the home-entertainment market, where viewers will need 3D TVs in order to enjoy it behind closed doors. “We’re very excited to do 3D production,” Rob Smith, director of operations at the Hustler Video Group, said recently. “But we don’t feel market penetration [of 3D TVs] has hit the level we need.”
The sad news for Brass, meanwhile, is that 3D technology is not quite the virgin territory he thinks it is. Other pornographic film-makers have been there before him, with 1969’s The Stewardesses widely credited as the first 3D adult movie. Shot on a budget of $100,000, this sensitive account of footloose cabin crew went on to earn a tumescent $27m from porn cinemas around the globe.
While it does seem rather obvious that 3-D pornography could help lead the beleaguered adult industry toward better days, the whole concept of a big-budget Caligula in 3-D — remember all the puking? — seems deliriously misguided. Production is due to start in Italy sometime in May.
Cross posting this from Brand X