Lucas, others may helm console cinema

Sony Computer Entertainment, the division behind the leading vidgame console PlayStation, is reportedly planning to produce a slate of original digital movies as early as 2002 for its next-generation PlayStation2 console, according to Japanese financial newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Sony has reportedly contacted George Lucas and other directors to helm or produce its first slate of digital pics, which are said to include interactive elements.

The pics are to be distributed over high-speed Internet connections to the PlayStation2. The first units hit store shelves in Japan in March. The system will play open DVD movies in addition to game CDs.

The move to attract Lucas to the system doesn’t come as a surprise.

Lucas, a strong supporter of digital filmmaking, recently announced plans to develop a $250 million digital arts complex in San Francisco’s Presidio. He is also planning to shoot most of “Star Wars: Episode II” using digital cameras being created by Sony and Panavision.

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