The third film in the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise is scheduled to go into production in about 11 weeks — for a release on December 16, 2011 — but Fox has already encountered a major problem. Betty Thomas, who directed the second installment, has decided not to direct the third film with Fox now scrambling to find a replacement, the LA Times’ 24 Frames blog reports. The site also reports that Fox is now leaning towards shooting the movie in 2D after briefly considering 3D:
The new movie is expected to shoot in a seaside location, possibly Hawaii, with the plot centering on the chipmunks getting shipwrecked. At one point the film was reported to be conceived as a 3-D film. While Fox had discussions about shooting it in 3-D, sources say the studio is now leaning toward a 2-D production and release, though the new director could influence that decision.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks” was released in 2007 and despite being widely panned by critics, grossed an impressive $361.3M worldwide. The sequel, “Alvin and the Chipmunks:The Squeakquel”, grossed an even more impressive $443.1M worldwide when it was released last year.