Metallica have been making themselves extremely accessible to their fans of late -- releasing B-Sides, lengthy video recaps of their 30th Anniversary gigs, and now giving details on two highly-anticipated upcoming projects they have in the works.

News of plans for a Metallica 3D film broke months ago, though at the time there were next to no details on the project. Metallica themselves confirmed the reports on their website last Friday via this official statement:

"Happy New Year!!! As you know, we generally make it a policy not to comment on gossip or rumors, but we also pride ourselves on being first with ‘Tallica news. So, with that said, the more astute of you may have noticed a couple of mentions in trade publications, and most recently in the new issue of Rolling Stone, that a Metallica 3D movie is in the works. We’re here to tell you that, yes, there is indeed a 3D project in the very early stages of production! We wish we could tell you more right now, but we don’t have all the finer points nailed down just yet. What we can tell you is that we are planning on being in a theatre near you sometime in 2013 and as you hear us say ever so often, this will be the space for all the details as we finalize them. Welcome to 2012… we’re pretty psyched about the year ahead!"

Though not many concrete details were divulged about what type of film it will be,  Lars Ulrich explained the project in less cryptic terms in the latest issue of Rolling Stone:

"Imagine if you took [Led Zeppelin's] ‘The Song Remains the Same,’ which is 75 percent concert, 25 percent other stuff, and flipped it around. And all the non-concert footage, instead of being about the band members, is a story that unfolds, set against the backdrop of the concert.”

It would appear the band is pulling double duty, as they are working on a new album as well. Guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke about the direction of the new material, which they are working on with 'Death Magnetic' producer Rick Rubin:

“If ‘Death Magnetic’ was a logical successor to ‘…And Justice For All’, the next album will be a heavier Black Album. We’re not going to the depths of complexity that we did for ‘Death Magnetic.’ The stuff we’re coming up with is more groove-oriented, a heavier version of what we were doing in the early ’90s.”

Ulrich added:

"When people talk about the old stuff, they think ‘Justice.’ But look at ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ on that album. It’s a fairly simple five-minute song. And ‘Fuel’ [from 1997's 'Reload'] is an absolute scorcher live. Right now, I’m thinking shorter, more to-the-point. We’re about seven, eight songs into it. We do it in rounds. We come up with something, we leave it, go to the next thing, come up with something basic, leave it and circle back around. Next month we’ll go back and start embellishing: ‘Let’s double that one part and come up with a middle bit.'”

Metallica followed the polarizing November release of the Lou Reed collaboration 'Lulu' with an EP of B-Sides from their previous album titled 'Beyond Magnetic.' Their upcoming album will be the tenth full-length studio release.