July 15, 2014 5:55am PT by Carolyn Giardina
'Marvel Experience' Taps Director Jerry Rees, VFX Vendors Rhythm & Hues and Prana
Hero Ventures, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, is gearing up to make The Marvel Experience traveling attraction, teaming with theme park attraction director, producer and writer Jerry Rees, as well as vendors including VFX houses Rhythm & Hues (Life of Pi) and its parent Prana Studios.
Launching later this year, The Marvel Experience is expected to feature dozens of Marvel Entertainment’s super heroes and travel around the country in a similar manner to a Cirque du Soleil show. At each site, the team will construct a dome with three theaters that host one original, continuous story that will unfold via a series of multimedia technologies and interactive elements, including a 4D motion ride and 360-degree 3D display.
Hero Ventures is licensing the characters from Marvel, which will have overall approval though will not be directly involved in the creative work.
Rees has directed 16 Disney theme park attractions — including its new cruise ship experience Animation Magic — in destinations in California, Hong Kong, Florida and Paris.
The production is also tapping into Hollywood's VFX community. VFX houses Rhythm & Hues and Prana (which acquired R&H in 2013 following a high-profile bankruptcy auction) will produce the VFX and animation. Previs studio The Third Floor — whose recent work includes Gravity, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 and theme park attraction Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem 3D — will handle previs on the project.
Additionally, Lexington Design + Fabrication — whose clients include Universal Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering — will produce the interactive elements.
Overseeing the project are Hero Ventures’ founders Rick Licht, Doug Schaer and Jason Rosen, along with partners and executive producers Michael Cohl of S2BN Entertainment and Jere Harris of PRG.
Rees said in a statement that The Marvel Experience would merge "new-media immediacy, immersion and connectivity with a powerfully engaging spectacle. Hero Ventures’ choice of the iconic Marvel IP as the emotional engine and their use of a movable, multi-dome venue to involve new audiences is inspired."