Metallica say their next album will continue on the path that 2008's "Death Magnetic" set upon, and that their forthcoming 3D movie will take inspiration from Led Zeppelin.
In Zeppelin's 1976 film "The Song Remains The Same", live footage was merged with several "fantasy sequences" for each band member.
"There are similarities [to The Song Remains The Same]," Lars Ulrich told ClassicRock. "It's a full-length movie, and there's a lot in this film that does not take place onstage.
"The major difference is that the stuff that takes place offstage in the Metallica movie does not feature any members of Metallica. It's two separate worlds a Metallica show and a story that unfolds in a parallel universe and at some point they intertwine."
The as-yet-unnamed movie is expected to launch this summer.
Meanwhile, Lars explained how "Death Magnetic" has drawn less lasting criticism than their other records, so they're going to continue to explore its sound on their next release.
"'Death Magnetic' is one motherf-ker of a record," Ulrich said. "There aren't many Metallica records that sound as good as 'Death Magnetic' four years after they were made. With a lot of the other records, there were questions: 'Why did we do that?' or 'What was going on there?' or 'Why didn't somebody say to turn the snare on?' I don't feel like that with 'Death Magnetic'. What we're doing now certainly sounds like a continuation."
But contrary to recent rumors, they're not decided on a producer yet. "I love Rick [Rubin, producer of 'Death Magnetic']. We all love Rick. We're in touch with Rick constantly. We'll see where it goes."
Can Lars promise the new album this year? "It would stun me if the record came out in 2013," he said. "We've got to finish this 3D movie, which is what we're doing right now."