Jack Black figures if any action hero deserves the 3-D treatment, it’s his pudgy panda with the martial-arts moves.
Black joined DreamWorks Animation colleagues Monday night to show off extended action scenes from “Kung Fu Panda 2” at CinemaCon, a Las Vegas convention for theater owners.
The 2008 original took in $630 million worldwide in just two dimensions. But the sequel due out May 26 will be in 3-D, with the extra box-office revenue that generally follows as fans shell out a few dollars more to gain the illusion of depth.
Black said the 3-D action will make “King Fu Panda 2” more of a thrill ride, dropping viewers right into the heart of the battles.
“My feeling is that 3-D with the right people, the right artists and technicians flying it, is amazing and definitely enhances the experience for the right movie,” Black said. “‘Kung Fu Panda 2’? Yes, it will make it more exciting and dynamic and amazing to watch. Whereas, let’s say, there was going to be ‘My Dinner with Andre 2.’ I would say not necessary to do 3-D.”
The sequel reunites Black with a voice cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu. Gary Oldman joins the lineup to provide the voice of a new villain, a peacock who unleashes a deadly new weapon in the ancient Chinese realm that Black’s Po and his comrades are sworn to defend.
Black said he’s game to do a third “Kung Fu Panda” movie. He has a busy live-action slate ahead, too, reuniting with his “School of Rock” director Richard Linklater for the black comedy “Bernie,” about a man whose friendship with an elderly woman (Shirley MacLaine) goes terribly wrong, and co-starring with Steve Martin and Owen Wilson in “The Big Year,” about rivals in an annual bird-watching competition.
“Whenever there are grown men competing tooth-and-nail over something that seems sort of ridiculous, there’s a lot of comedy there,” Black said.
Black also has a cameo in this holiday season’s new big-screen take on “The Muppets,” playing a “darker, angrier version of myself.”
“I’m kidnapped,” Black said. “Basically, I get kidnapped by the Muppets.”