Open discussion about ILM and the magic they create. Also VFX and movies in general. Anyone can post topics here.

Moderator: malducin

#31931
This was a film in development for some time in the early 90s by ILM. In late '93 I first read about this project called The Bee in the Lucasfilm fan club magazine. It appeared in a few more ILM updates in the Lucasfilm/ Star Wars Insider issues that followed but nothing followed.

What was this project? I asked many people over the years and no one seemed to know.

But finally, pay dirt! Kirk Honeycutt, onetime writer for The Hollywood Reporter, wrote a book about the films of John Hughes. I'm a fan of Hughes' 80s films and this book was too good to pass up. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out The Bee was a John Hughes film!

Apparently, The Bee was a film being developed by John Hughes. It was going to follow the life of this bee as it invaded a human household.

The production were developing specific cameras to try and follow live bees as they flew around. ILM was tasked with coming up with a lifelike mechanical/animatronic bee for shots requiring more acting chops.

Hughes even looked into breeding bees attracted to specific pheromones so the filmmakers could manipulate the bees to land in certain spots.

But this was when CG was in its infancy so that wasn't on the table, at least in the film's earliest days of development. But the main problem was the production couldn't quite nail down the focus of the film: the bee itself. What was its motivation? It wasn't going to be a talking bee like a Disney film. The script was only about ten pages of dialogue from the human antagonists.

Hughes even talked to Rowan Atkinson for the main human role in the film. But the funniest one to me was the idea to cast Jackie Chan in the role and have him trash his house fighting this bee.

It was worked on at ILM for a few years apparently. When Hughes started working on Baby's Day Out, The Bee was put on the back burner, where it would remain.

Anyway, the book itself is great. It's called John Hughes: A Life in Film: The Genius Behind Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and more by Kirk Honeycutt.