Chris Hardwick, dressed as Booker DeWitt, moderated in front of the super-wide triple-screens. Discussing the fans who camped out all night, he said he looked forward to the Comic Con babies who’ll be born in nine months.
The three screens were working a lot better together this year as the WB and Legendary panel kicked off – last time, the sides mostly had separate stills, but this time, letters swooped in from the sides to the center as a giant Jeff Bridges image came up and the man himself came in below.
An extended version of the trailer for Seventh Son was shown – it looked a bit better than that awkward first one, particularly a scene with Bridges and Ben Barnes running off a cliff to escape a giant troll. Seemingly safe on a raft below, Bridges says “Don’t worry. They’re afraid of water.” So of course it jumps down too and makes a tidal wave. Then there’s more stuff with witches turning into dragons, and – unfortunately – what looks like Uwe Boll-level acting from Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges, the latter of whom shoundsh like he’sh trying to do Sean Connery ash a shtoner. I’d pay money to never again here the line “Our world is divided into light and darkness.” On the plus side, looks like a wide variety of monsters.
Panel includes Barnes, Antje Traue, Kit Harington (huge female cheers from the audience), director Sergei Bodrov.
Harington says he was under a rain tower for 7 days in this movie, and in Iceland for Game of Thrones – feels he’s suffered location-wise.
Hardwick busts out the “Come forth!” line again for Q&A from fans. I have a secret flask so I’m gonna turn that into a drinking game trigger.
Bridges, sounding (yup) stoned, refers to acting as “advanced pretend.” Praises the effects of the movie by John Dykstra. Hardwick: “I like him so much I’m dating his daughter.”
Smell of weed in the hall now. It’s too close to be Jeff Bridges.
Actors talk about challenges – for Antje it was fighting in a heavy dress, for Ben it was climbing a metal chain, for Kit it was being on a falling harness. Jeff then interjects that the biggest challenge was telling the story. Reads a Solzhenitsyn quote aloud: “If only it were so simple. I f only there were evil people somehwere insidiously committing evil deeds…” he’s reading too fast to transcribe, but basically, there is good and evil in all people and it’s not so simple as just killing bad guys. So what’s with the trailer quote about being divided into light and darkness. Says you have to learn the lessons of telling the story over and over again, like learning your lesson about drinking and getting hangovers over and over again.
A montage of A-bomb tests introduces the Godzilla panel, followed by last year’s mood piece.
Panel: director Gareth Edwards, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston.
Movie wrapped two days ago. Actors describe the film as being shot like an art movie; it felt like a smaller film.
Hardwick asks Cranston if he used to watch kaiju movies. Cranston: “Oh, you’re asking me because I’m the old guy?” Says Godzilla was his favorite monster because he was unapologetic – no sensitive side like King Kong. Says of this movie: “You really invest in these characters, AND you get Godzilla.” Praises characters in Monsters, which I’m not so keen on – the ham-handed immigration metaphors rubbed me wrong, and the monsters don;t show up much. Really hoping this movie is a bit different.
Production codename for Godzilla was “Nautilus,” but Edwards says one customs guard on the Canadian border figured it out, and asked, “You doing Godzilla? Don’t fuck it up, man!” Spent 20 minutes as the guard and his buddy told him what the movie had to include.
The production worked very closely with Toho – wanted it to be a true part of the Godzilla legacy. Edwards refers to the “one for you, one for them” theory of filmmaking – he says he can’t think like that – this is his blockbuster and his art film in one.
Hardwick: “I think we brought something to show you.” Cranston starts to unzip his pants. Says he calls that Godzilla.
Roll teaser. Looks like they’re playing up the nuclear aspect – lots of radiation suits, scared reaction shots, helicopters attacking…a giant spider monster thing? (Think the Acklay from Attack of the Clones). Then the giant foot comes into screen – Godzilla is ready to fight this sumbitch! We don’t see his face, but the body looks just like the familiar one we all know. The battle is at night, though, so it’s hard to judge if he’s more green or gray.
A surprise clip is next – a man alone in a desert, with green clouds in the background. Could be a western, could be sci-fi…the guy has a sword that looks fantasy-like. Then he picks up a shield – one with a logo that rind familiar to many of the audience, who cheer. Something is approaching the guy…we see a huge hammer…and an over the shoulder shot of a giant green Orc. It swings the hammer, and now we know it’s…the WARCRAFT movie! It’s finally happening, and director Duncan Jones comes out to scream “YEAHHHH!” He’s just about to start shooting – we saw a mood piece.
(I apologize if the big green guy is not an Orc – not super-up on my Warcraft, but it looks exactly like every rendition of that character I’ve ever seen.)
300: Rise of an Empire had a tough time following that, but looks like a decent, similar followup – it’s both prequel and sequel, with the origin of Xerxes going from a normal guy to giant bald androgynous god-king, defeating the Persians, then moving on to the next battle. Less creatures in this, but more sea battles.
Ooh, new Q&A line from Hardwick – “Come on up” in Jeff Bridges type voice. Not bad, but means I can’t take my “come forth” drink.
Director Noam Murro says he used so much greenscreen that when he got home, he had to get rid of everything green to compensate. “There are massive sets, but they’re all surrounded by green.” Nobody’s made an Eva Green pun yet.
There was no water for the naval battle shoots – all added later.
Alfonso Cuaron wowed the crowed with the clip from Gravity in which Sandra Bullock breaks loose from the space shuttle, spinning on a severed mechanical arm, and finally removing her belt and shooting out into space as the arm goes loose and debris falls past. Not in 3D, but looks like it will work well in the format.
Cuaron notes it will be mostly long takes, and despite trailers being juiced up, the movie will be accurate about there being no sound in space.
Sandra Bullock, making her first Comic Con appearance, says she never thought about the challenge of it just being her and George Clooney and nobody else on screen; she would just see the tech crew working hard and tried to raise her game to their level.
Afraid of flying, she was preparing to face her fear and ride the plummeting plane called the vomit comet, but then she found out they weren’t actually going to simulate zero gravity that way. After that, nothing seemed scary by comparison. She was mostly inside a cube with a rapidly rotating camera that could stop on a dime…often milimeters from her face.
Cuaron: “There’s always the suggestion of the easy way…but it’s not fun!” Says he was inspired in part by Duel (“That’s probably Spielberg’s best.”).
Fan question – how difficult is it to shoot those long takes? Cuaron: “It’s not difficult for me. It’s difficult for everyone around me.” Says all the weight is on the actors.
For the Lego movie, the Lego minifigs who appeared on the side screens looked almost 3D and stop-motion – very cool. Codirector Phil Lord said he was inspired by Lego fan films online, and wanted it to look like those if they had a whole bunch of money. It’s part CG and part stop-motion, but they don’t want anyone to know which is which.
A funny fake audition reel was shown, with Will Ferrell as a top-heavy minifig critiquing the performances of the main minifigs, a cop’s face rotating to reveal Bad Cop and Good Cop faces (insisting he can play both roles) and Batman being pompous and aloof…finally ending with Morgan Freeman trying to do the gravelly Bat-voice to make fun of Batman, which is pretty damn funny.
Channing Tatum will voice Superman and Jonah Hill is Green Lantern, with Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman.
There is now a Lego Chris Hardwick onstage, life-size, which freaks the real one out, though he says he likes to put it at the foot of his bed.
Lego corporate HQ is described as the real version of Willy Wonka’s factory.
Lord: “A lot of our career is based on hilarious misunderstandings.” Chris Miller says this is the first film they’ve done where people aren’t skeptical in advance.
Lord: “This is the weirdest kids film that’s ever been committed to celluloid.” It’s hinted there are licensed properties in the movie that they can’t talk about right now because they’re not Warner-owned.
Miller insisted on having one of the main guys be a classic Lego spaceman, because he grew up with that. His mom sent them his original space set, and it got used in the movie.
Everything is made out of bricks, even things like clouds and water. No cheating.
“Live/Die/Repeat” It’s Edge of Tomorrow, formerly known as All You Need Is Kill. Starring Tom Cruise, who is in the house, along with Emily Blunt, director Doug Liman and cowriter Chris McQuarrie.
Cruise says he and Hardwick have something in common. Hardwick “I wasn’t aware of that.” Cruise mentions Stacee Jaxx, whom they’ve both played in Rock of Ages. Then they start singing metal songs a cappella together! Good stuff.
Hardwick: “Please someone give me video footage of that!” Ditto.
The trailer has a Children of Men near-future vibe with battle exoskeletons and Tom Cruise stuck in a Source Code-like time loop, until Emily Blunt’s character says to find her when he wakes up. She says the same thing happened to her.
“I am not a soldier.”
“Of course you’re not. You’re a weapon.”
Hardwick asks Cruise what attracts him to a sci-fi alien piece (I think we know AN answer to that, but it’s not one anyone will bring up). Cruise punts and says he wanted to work with Doug Liman.
Emily’s character is nicknamed “The Full Metal Bitch” in the movie. Bill Paxton is in it too, and in the audience – Cruise calls him to the stage, as Hardwick does his best Hudson impression: “Who’s in charge, man?”
Paxton: “There’s kind of a Colonial Marines vibe to the thing.” Does his “Game over, man!” line to huge applause.
Cruise is Bill Cage, a PR guy who does recruitment marketing for the US to join the alien fighting war. Due to a series of mistakes, he finds himself actually in the war he was easily selling, to find that fighting it is…yep…much harder. Especially when the same day repeats over and over.
Liman: “Tom makes an amazing coward…He’s brilliant at it.”
Paxton praises the film’s “perverse humor.”
Final question: most challenging stunt for Cruise? “I just really wanna entertain you all.” Suit could weigh up to 120 pounds, so every stunt was harder, especially falling. Liman adds that Cruise would always insist the stunts be higher, deeper, more.
As the cast take photos, Hardwick and Cruise take turns photobombing each other.
And now here’s Zack Snyder??? Thanks everyone for supporting Man of Steel. Announces next Superman movie official.
Brings out Harry Lennix to read something. It’s from the Dark Knight Returns! “I want you to remember the one man who beat you!”
A Superman logo hits the screen – with a Frank Miller Batman logo behind it!
End of an epic panel. Fox and Marvel, gauntlet thrown.