Moderator: Drew McWeeny of Hitfix, who introduces a clip from The Conjuring that’s basically the teaser, establishing the “hide and clap” game, though the colors seemed more vibrant on the big screen. Plays great in a big hall with audience reactions. They all oohed and aahed dutifuly every time a character looks or goes somewhere that you just know is a bad idea.
James Wan then came out to introduce a second clip. In this one, two young sisters in the ’70s are haunted at night, one has her legs tugged by an invisible presence, then look under the bed to see what’s there…nothing…but the door creaks open. The other sister wakes up, wonders what’s wrong. “There’s someone behind the door.” Older sister goes to check. Nothing. “Oh my god…it’s standing right behind you!” Lights go out.
The movie is apparently based on a true story, and the sisters on whom it was based is here – Cindy and Andrea Perron. But they doesn’t come out right away, prompting an audience member to shout “Don’t go looking for her!”
Paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren , who’s here, looked into the real case, and also Amityville. Says she thinks the movie represents it well.
Wan says the only reason he wanted to do the film was it’s basis in a true story: “I have nothing else to prove in this genre.” Stresses the family bonds and the appeal of that. Notes that setting this in the ’70s means you don’t get to use a cell phone – after you leave the scary house, you have to go back into the house to use the phone and call for help.
Rated R even though there’s nothing explicit in it – it was designed as PG-13. MPAA explanation was “it’s too scary.”
Wan: “It’s a testament to the studio for not fucking with the film.”
End of the Conjuring part – time to bring out Guillermo del Toro! Drew says this is the first time Guillermo has really been “taken off the leash” as a filmmaker.
Del Toro says he was so inspired by the sweded trailer – “a fucking masterpiece” – that he had to do a new one just to top that. “Let’s see them swede this.”
Okay, so yeah – this was killer. Kaiju that looks like Urizen from Spawn. Giant Pteranodon. Jaeger using an ocean liner as a baseball bat. Another Jaeger squashing a Kaiju’s head between its fists. Gipsy Danger launch sequence – pilots into head, head shoots down a tunnel to land on top of the body. Battles high in the air. Ron Perlman dressed like a dandy. Colorful neon cities like Enter the Void’s Japan. Nerdy science type (Charlie Day, I think) saying we have to understand the monsters to beat them. Charlie Hunnam says we could just blow them up instead. The Kaiju see humans as vermin; gravitate to population centers to wipe them out. Narration says that we started to win, but then the monsters fought back harder.
Del Toro says Rinku Kikuchi was the only actor who never complained, because she went to happy thoughts of flowers and Gummi bears. Del Toro says men are wimps; if we had to give birth, we’d go extinct. Perlman plays a dealer in Kaijus organs, who takes the name Hannibal Chow, named after his favorite historical figure and favorite restaurant.
Audience question – why two pilots in each Jaeger? Because the neural overload would fry one person’s brain. The Chinese robot has three, though – they’re triplets.
GDT says monsters and robots – a lot were designed and “we’d do American Idol” to pick finalists, which would then be modified. About 9 robots and 12 monsters that are active onscreen. No motion-capture was used, because “weight makes things move differently, as my wife will tell you!”
Question about Justice League Dark. GDT says his next project isn’t that – it’s the ghost story Crimson Peak. Hopes to announce JLD writer very soon – says the lead character is John Constantine. GDT says his favorite DC characters when he was a kid were Etrigan and Swamp Thing. All the characters will have mysteries to solve.
RE: studio interference: “The buck stops with you. At the end of the day you cannot cry and say ‘They made me do it’ You have one weapon, and you can use it really only once, and that is get the hell out of there.” Says the most important words you can remember are “no” and “fuck no.”
Graphic novel by writer Travis Beacham will set up some of the mythology. Kaiju are sent by an alien race that consumes planets. Comic will have some of the earlier, more primitive Jaegers, have character backstories.