'Zombieland,' 'Jackass' will be reprised for the format

Move over “Avatar.”

Hollywood is moving forward with a pair of unlikely 3D sequels. Sony is in the process of inking deals to bring back the “Zombieland” team for a second installment, but this time the bloody comedy is poised to unspool in 3D. And Paramount has greenlit a third “Jackass,” which will also be shot in 3D.

Get ready to watch testicles being stapled in all their gory detail.

In recent years, studios have given dozens of animated pics as well as tentpoles and horror films the 3D treatment, from “Avatar” to “My Bloody Valentine 3D” to “Monsters vs. Aliens.” But until now, low- and medium-budget comedies have been off limits.

Now, as studios look to maximize profits, it’s no surprise that Par and Sony are betting on a technique with a proven track record. Recent films like Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and Paramount’s “Beowulf” received a significant boost from 3D engagements.

“Everyone had fun watching (the first) ‘Zombieland'; making it a more visceral experience can only make it better,” said the film’s producer Gavin Polone. “I don’t think you want to see ‘Ordinary People’ in 3-D. But ‘Zombieland’ is clearly one movie that will benefit from (the technique).”

Furthermore, most people watch movies on their TVs. Polone noted that the first 3D TVs are set to hit the market in the spring, which will make 3D films even more desirable.

Sony has closed deals with Polone and helmer Ruben Fleischer to return for a sequel to the original, which cost $24 million and has earned $85.2 million worldwide to date (“Zombieland” has only opened in a few territories overseas). The Culver City studio is currently in talks with stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg to reprise their roles as a pair of post-apocalyptic survivors. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are working on the sequel’s screenplay.

Par and MTV Films are even further along with “Jackass 3,” with filming scheduled to begin Jan. 25. The studio has carved out a spot on its 2010 slate for the latest “Jackass,” which will star Johnny Knoxville. The low-brow franchise has been something of a cash cow for the studio with the first two films — which together cost $16.5 million — raking in a combined $164.1 million worldwide.

Though Par confirmed the new “Jackass” will be shot in 3D, Dickhouse Prods. declined comment about the technology the film will employ. Insiders say Dickhouse’s Jeff Tremaine, who will direct “Jackass 3,” is conducting camera tests this week to ensure that the footage will look good.

Dickhouse’s Knoxville, Tremaine and Spike Jonze are producing the film, which will lense in Knob Lick, Kentucky, Mianus, Connecticut, Fukang, China, Buttzville, New Jersey and Gayville, South Dakota.

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