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Watch: Trailer For The $100 Million 3D Fiasco 'Empires Of The Deep' Starring Olga Kurylenko

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 23, 2012 1:29 PM
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We prophesized this film might be the most unintentionally hilarious 3D movie ever made, and it seems that prediction is coming true. Announced with great fanfare more than two years ago as a $100 million (though it's apparently much more than that) Chinese 3D movie production with the "Avatar" 3D camera operator Anthony Arendt lending his talents to the production, with Michael French and Jonathan Lawrence co-directing, word on the movie has been pretty much zilch since. However, it should be noted that Pitof (of the notorious "Catwoman" fame) was originally attached with Monica Bellucci in the lead, and we can't imagine he could have done much worse.

The first trailer has finally arrived and it looks incredibly, unbelievably awful. With all the money spent, this looks cheap and woefully put together, with the talented Kurylenko left to flounder in cast of nobodies in a silly underseas adventure, with truly shoddy special effects. James Cameron might want to get Arendt to stop advertising his association with "Avatar," and basically, no one is coming out of this looking remotely good.

We'll bet money this never sees a proper stateside release because we can't imagine anyone is going to pay to distribute this thing. Maybe one day when you're traveling in Europe, some obscure video store will have it on BluRay for a few euros plus a free sandwich. Get ready to be amazed below. [Twitch]

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  • ExtraT | November 4, 2013 9:02 PMReply

    MG, people, are you really that stupid? Quality of the story aside, the 3D renderings in the trailer are obviously NOT FINISHED. This is an internal preview, a work in progress, an incomplete, fast rendering. I'm sure the end result will be much more visually compelling.

    Grow up people!

  • Lord Colostomus Baggington III | December 17, 2012 3:56 AMReply

    i'm sure the Syfy Channel will pick it up if they cant get a deal.. LOL. looks right up their cheese-paved alley.

  • Jessie Halfpipe | December 12, 2012 6:26 PMReply

    Good Lord... This looks like the biggest waste of money since... well, the last Uwe Boll "masterpiece". Horrific.

  • Bruce N. Goren | December 11, 2012 4:25 AMReply

    Starfish Wars!

  • jack | December 7, 2012 4:34 PMReply

    Such an awesome idea, and even visually compelling. Till the acting and bad cgi kick in, sigh.... I sense another Carter of Mars fail. :( Why do they let bad directors handle good story ideas?

  • bambam | November 29, 2012 5:01 PMReply

    Showgirls: Under The Ocean.

  • raygun.dmg | November 29, 2012 6:27 AMReply

    Man, what is wrong with you guys? That movie looks awesome, and the videogame-like appearance of the cgi and animation is obviously intentional. Can you imagine being really high and watching a 3d video game movie on the silver screen?

    It's okay for some movies to be nothing more than theme park rides, because that entertains a great many people.

  • Michael | November 26, 2012 8:29 PMReply

    "Horrendous" - M.

  • Michael | November 26, 2012 8:25 PMReply

    "Horrendous" - M.

  • Michael | November 26, 2012 8:24 PMReply

    "Horrendous" - M.

  • Tr | November 21, 2012 7:31 PMReply


  • cike | November 19, 2012 3:31 AMReply

    They could of just spliced in some video off Youtube of someone playing World of Warcraft.

  • Adrian | November 16, 2012 7:10 PMReply

    That's some pretty bad CGI. They could of just spliced in some video off Youtube of someone playing World of Warcraft.

  • Chris | November 16, 2012 1:29 AMReply

    Neat concept for a movie. If I was a film maker I would have already been working with a concept like this. A story quite similar about an underwater civilization has been on my mind. I even tried to write a chapter for it.

  • supfiction | November 14, 2012 9:17 AMReply

    Mais qu'est ce que c'est que cette merde ? Seems like a video game. Poor Olga Kurlylenko. Come back in France!

  • jingmei | November 12, 2012 2:42 AMReply

    Why go to Europe to purchase the cheap BluRay, hilarious. I knew well about the preparition of Pitof about this project, since the end of 2008. He traveled to some fucking beautiful places in China instead of staying in his Beijing studio. Since the actual done version must be done sooner or later, and must be awful, why not by him.

  • Oakham | November 9, 2012 1:43 AMReply

    Bah, I thought for a moment it might have been purposefully dramatic and staged like 'Curse of the Golden Flower' or 'House of Flying Daggers' even something in Bollywood. If this trailer is any indication they need to go back and look at water dynamics (for starters) even the mermaids from that new Caribbean pirate movie moved WAAAAYYYY better than these. Then again it COULD be done on purpose but I really don't see why they'd want it all to look that stiff, tech is a lot better now and I know low-budget indy games that have better graphics than that. Those use much better fonts and font effects too. I think a lot of that money went to costuming and paying dancers, it shows, those look great and I can sort of see where they were wanting to go with this. It's the effects that are holding it back. Tell a GREAT story with no graphics and then just add touches here and there to emphasize the action. With Avatar, yeah, the story was dry but it was rescued by the gorgeous VFX Cameron used and the awesome actors. I hope they [EoTD] realize this.

  • John | November 8, 2012 12:16 AMReply

    Wow, that was godawful.

  • JG | November 4, 2012 6:23 PMReply

    Sea Monkeys...The Movie! Someone's got to put this trailer on Youtube with "Unda Da Sea" playing. It would be epic.

  • J.G. | November 4, 2012 6:15 PMReply

    Actually, it would have been pretty cool for something on television. Some parts are interesting to look at, but some of it looked like amusement park ride levels. Overall, it's an interesting idea. By the way, if they did it like things really move underwater, we might be looking at three hours of floating dirt and dust instead of a movie. Water physics here are being subdued by fantasy/drama needs.

  • J.G. | November 4, 2012 6:14 PMReply

    Actually, it would have been pretty cool for something on television. Some parts are interesting to look at, but some of it looked like amusement park ride levels. Overall, it's an interesting idea. By the way, if they did it like things really move underwater, we might be looking at three hours of floating dirt and dust instead of a movie. Water physics here are being subdued by fantasy/drama needs.

  • Anthony | November 3, 2012 5:51 PMReply

    It looks like the staging of a cirque du soleil show but without any of the great acts, stunts, music or tricks. The theme would actually make sense as a stage version of cirque du soleil out in Vegas. literally looks like a stage show on film.

  • Mac | November 3, 2012 3:03 PMReply

    That CG looks like Scifi channel movie graphics from about 6 years ago. For such a high budget, you'd imagine it'd be a tad better.

  • Siege | November 2, 2012 12:06 AMReply

    Another thing. Did anybody working on this film bother to watch any video of how things move under water? Or did they even care? Anyhoo...

  • Claudia | November 1, 2012 7:40 PMReply

    Haters! This is a fantasy film! In that context, it looks awesome! Let's see YOUR movie, arm chair haters!

  • Oakham | November 9, 2012 2:29 AM

    I agree with James here, I worked with Andrew Mason on 'The Cave' to make sure the actors were thinking like real cave divers as much as possible. Even though the movie was mostly about mutant creatures hunting the actors, Bruce included a lot of scenarios that (as a cave diver and spelunker) scared the shit out of me. You could easily remove all the creature stuff out of the movie and STILL have a great horror movie. Of course if you left out the believability of the environment and how true professionals act in that situation, it wouldn't have been nearly as successful. With Empires of the Deep it looks like it's trying to rely on the VFX to be "all epic" and failing to reach believability. If it fixed that then yeah, it could possibly be awesome. Right now, however, it is like the equivalent of a pot-bellied beach-bum telling you he's lost 50kilos on an amazing program, you can't quite believe him even if it's true.

  • James | November 6, 2012 2:58 PM

    What does being a "fantasy film" have to do with quality. Movies are good or bad. Lord of the Rings is a fantasy film, and it looks great. Dragonslayer was a fantasy film from over 30 years ago and it looked great. This looks like CGI gone too far. If an effect, costume, character, or anything makes you break your suspension of disbelief then the filmmakers have failed at there job, and that goes for any movie, not just a fantasy.

  • Justin D. | November 1, 2012 3:05 PMReply

    That has to be fake. It looked too awful to be the trailer for a real movie.

  • Nick | November 1, 2012 2:10 AMReply

    Saw the trailer. Need to take a shower.

  • Good Day Louisiana | December 12, 2012 6:27 PM

    Makes one want to use red hot pokers on the ole' eye sockets.

  • Will | October 29, 2012 1:02 PMReply

    I don't think it looks that much more ridiculous or worse than the "quality" CGI animation that everyone says is so wonderful. My first thought was this looks like a Del Toro movie without the filters/color correction/teal-orange palette.

  • Gina | October 25, 2012 3:42 PMReply

    Oh please, please, please release this in the states!!!! It looks soooo crappy and great! Also, I think they stole her hat from the cover of Wildseed by Octavia Butler.

  • doublelxp | October 25, 2012 3:33 PMReply

    It looks like someone posted the trailer for the latest installment in the Dungeons and Dragons series by mistake.

  • mik73 | October 25, 2012 3:23 AMReply

    Where's Ralph Bakshi when you need him. Rotoscope the live actors and release this as a pure animation film and it might appeal to....someone.

  • Rocket | October 24, 2012 11:45 PMReply

    Anybody else feel like going to Red Lobster?

  • grecodl | October 24, 2012 6:55 PMReply

    I've seen worse a long time ago. Try watching "Message from Space". 34 years between MfS and this one, and that's what immediately came to mind. That's bad ... REAL bad.

  • Nabila | October 24, 2012 5:50 AMReply

    I didn't quite like the trailer, and the story line sounds a bit lame. However, I actually kinda admire the costuming.

  • lenij | October 24, 2012 4:41 AMReply

    They probably spent 20 million on the font alone and 50 M on those crabs.

  • JohnC | November 5, 2012 9:10 AM

    $50M for crabs? Pf. I can get crabs for $10 down in the red light district.

  • Heegrimm | October 24, 2012 2:31 AMReply

    Doesn't look that much worse than Prometheus was...
    At least it's hilarious.

  • Che | November 14, 2012 10:14 AM

    Oh c'mon. Prometheus was a pretty awful movie... but what it did have going for it was that it was PRETTY. This doesn't look pretty. Despite being a fantastical setting for which I have no point of reference, the sets don't look believable. The CGI is clunky, even by early 2000s standards, and there's too much of it.

    That said, there's a very good chance you're right -- this may be hilarious enough to be more enjoyable than Prometheus which was just irritatingly bad, as "characters" made baffling choices and we were left to substitute cool images and "big questions" for any semblance of story and/or plot.

  • BetaRay | November 3, 2012 11:02 AM

    What is everyone's problem with Prometheus? I thought it was a great prequel.

  • boilerplate | October 24, 2012 1:16 AMReply

    They didn't spend USD$100 million on this damn show, insiders from China confided on me about this piss poor amateurish project. You can cut one digit off the announced budget and that's their real production cost, actually speaking.

  • INDIEE | October 24, 2012 1:10 PM

    This blog looks like a war hollywood mafia against chinese producers, why? they will not want china to build a cinema industry with low cost and same quality, are you feeling steps US?

  • kgg | October 24, 2012 3:44 AM

    shut the fuck up

  • Screenwriterhank | October 23, 2012 10:58 PMReply where did that 100 million go? On the crab man effects I bet.....many people lost their jobs after this...this makes John Carter look like Apocalypse Now

  • ap | October 23, 2012 9:36 PMReply

    This makes Scorpion King look like a best special effects oscar winner. wow that was awful!!!

  • ZINJO | October 23, 2012 6:33 PMReply

    You folks give too much credit to American film distributors. I can see a bottom feeder like Harmony Gold grabbing this one for distribution if the price is right. When it does hit the obscure cineplex several thousand slack jawed movie goers will pay to see it. Unfortunately. It is a testament to pathetic tent pole films Hollywood has released lately like Battleship and John Carter where accountant executives try to play movie mogul for a brief moment....

  • calamityJane | October 23, 2012 5:03 PMReply

    I was going to say that they used to be allowed to make horrible fantasy movies that failed miserably, so where's the big deal? After watching the trailer, I have to say that cheap digital effects simply cannot be excused like some cheap sci-fi star wars knock off from the eighties might have been.

  • catttt | October 23, 2012 4:34 PMReply

    The ugly font alone makes it look like a cheap turkey.

  • Steve Chaput | October 23, 2012 4:00 PMReply

    It looks like some cheap Italian sword & sandal flick from the Sixties, with FX from some early Xbox game. Might be worth renting from Netflix or something for a fun night, but I can't see a distributor picking this up for theatres. This is why 3-D is going to be a fad yet again.

  • NC | October 23, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    100 million????...but where??

  • Gigabot | October 23, 2012 3:48 PM

    Yeah, WTF right! I thought this was a joke until I googled it, this film looks like pure garbage!

  • HuNow | October 23, 2012 2:28 PMReply

    It looks like a trailer for an XBOX game... Back when XBOX was, like, first coming out and people weren't good at doing effects yet...

  • daniel | October 23, 2012 1:55 PMReply

    Haha WOW. When I first saw photos of the costumes in this film, I thought it might be some intentionally wacko, amazing Matthew Barney styled art piece. I didn't realize it was a 100 million dollar Syfy Channel movie. I'm going to get SO drunk for this.

  • Glass | October 23, 2012 2:17 PM

    Amen to all this...

  • teron | October 23, 2012 1:45 PMReply

    I think this trailer's worse offence is that it makes the trailer for Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2 actually epic.

  • Chris | October 23, 2012 1:35 PMReply

    Yeah, that looks like straight-up animation. Wow.

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