Monday, July 30, 2007

At the Con - Warner Bros panel

So I'm not sure I've really done my trip to Comic Con the justice it deserves here. I had a great time. There was tons of cool stuff I saw, and while you should definitely all go check out my Flickr photos, there was really alot of other neat stuff that I didn't capture on film. The panels were fun, the convention floor was fun and a bit crazy, and I had a blast. I thought I'd share a few more thoughts on my time overalll. and some specific things from a few of the panels I attended.

Since there was so much stuff happening though I think I'll break up my thoughts on everything a bit. The Con really kicked off for me on Friday morning when I stated out directly by going into the Warnber Brothers panel. I didn't even hit the convention floor, just right into the panel session. And since it was by far the biggest panel I went to I thought I'd share some thoughts on it.

First up at the panel was was Get Smart. They showed a really funny and long extended trailer for the film. While that actual extended trailer isn't online, you can see the regular trailer here. I enjoyed the footage, and was surprised at how much action it contained. After the trailer we had a good panel session with Steve Carell, the director and a bunch of other people including Masi Oka (of Heroes fame) who has a bit prt in the flick. I wasn't that interested in the film before not being overly into the old tv series, but I think I will check it out now, although it still might be a drental, so I guess for the most part mission accomplished for them.

Then they showed The Invasion trailer (watch here), and a 'special message' from Nicole Kidman. meh, this might be a rental i suppose. They did give us all Invasion t-shirts. I think I might sell mine on ebay though.

Next up was a horror/thriller called One Missed Call which is a remake of a Japanese horror film by Takashi Mike. After the fine but nothing special trailer, they brought out Ed Burns and Shannyn Sossamon for what I have to say was one of the most awkward Q&A panel sessions ever. These people were so wooden it was pretty embarrassing. I think this ones probably a pass.The only really nice thing was they gave out like 5 or 6 iphones to people in the audience.

They showed us the 10 000 BC trailer then, which looked even aw4esomer on the big screen s they had set up all over the convention hall.

After that they went right into Whiteout. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to attend this panel session. Whiteout is an upcoming film based on a fantastic graphic novel. I've talked about it here before in fact, and was very interested to see what they'd done with the film. Well, I was definitely very impressed with what I saw. They showed us a great trailer, and then launched the Q&A panel with the director, Dominic Sena, the writer of the Eisner award winning comic Greg Rucka, one of the most talented producers ever Joel Silver, and eventually Kate Beckinsale. They were really great too. Kate and Joel got most of the questions and they were fantastic. Kate especially was really really charming and funny, but kinda dirty too. So it was good. The film looks great and I know it will be a fantastic thriller.

Then we got the first look at a trailer for a horror film called Trick r Treat. Its not a film I'm interested in but you can watch the trailer here.

Finally after all that came the big guns: Watchmen. Director Zack Snyder came out and talked about the film for quite a while, answering questions and I think really allaying people's fears that he might not be as on top of things as we'd hoped. So that's really good news. He spoke at length about his reverence for the material, and how his process was going to stay true to the book. He was also really practical about things too. His feeling is that when Watchmen came out in '85 and how it spoke to the comic book fans, it was really one of the biggest catalysts for comic books to grow up; and us along with it. He feels that now the rest of the world, especially middle America is now saturated to a point where they are in the same place comic fans were at then, now. This film is obviously for fans, but it should also be able to reach middle America, who yes, now honestly knows something about spider-man, yes they know about the Hulk, they've seen Batman, and they understand the concept Superhero in a way that they never did before. Now they can see the greatest story of superhero deconstruction ever told. And they will be in a place to actually get it.

That said, this isn't a film that he's going to actively go out to market very hard. It is a film he thinks that people will find if and when they need it. The film will almost definitely be an R. Its not being 'changed' to suit us. It's also not being updated. The film still takes place in the alternate reality 80s. Well really, from the 50s all the way up to the 80s. Anyhow, he confirmed the cast, which he had planned to surprise announce at Comic Con only to be scooped by a number of websites. He noted his plans for attention to detail especially now as they're getting into some of the production design stages. He claimed that Dr Manhattan was going to be CG in the same vein of Pirates of the Carribean, which is much better than slapping some blue paint on someone. And finally someone did ask him about the "pirate story" section of the book, and he said he really REALLY wants it in, but its still a bit up in the air.

He left it I thought by really emphasizing his reverence and respect for the source material. And ultimately that was the moist important thing for me to hear. I was glad I got a chance to hear the discussion. I honestly think that Watchmen is in good hands now. Oh, and since this weekend the official Watchmen site is now live. Click on the smiley face for some stuff :)

That was the end for the Warner panel. I'll would've put a few pictures in this post but unfortunately Erica had the camera while I was at the Warner panel. But I got it back in the afternoon so I have pics of most everything else. All that aside though, I was very satisfied with everything I saw and heard at the panel. And yet there was so much more to go. I'll be back later.


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