Archive for July 15, 2012
Marvel Studios has had writer/director Edgar Wright working away slowly on Ant-Man for years, but the character didn’t make the cut for The Avengers. With Wright being a Comic-Con regular, he’s been unable to avoid questions about the project, including last year while promoting Attack The Block. But this year he’s finally got more to offer than another update on the script status.
After reporting on rumors of the character’s potential involvement in Iron Man 3 and later hearing that Edgar Wright shot test footage for Ant-Man last month, Marvel Studios officially introduced the character with a fun and exciting video premiering at Comic-Con 2012.
The panel began with an epic video, highlighting Marvel Studios panels dating back to 2006, with key announcements, clips and forward-thinking statements from key Marvel players (mainly Marvel president Kevin Feige) and ...
Click to continue reading Description of ‘Ant-Man’ Test Footage Screened During Marvel Studios Panel
Marvel kicked off their "Iron Man 3" presentation with updates on a bunch of other films that constitute their so-called "Phase Two", the second stage of their ambitious film plans. They certainly knew how to milk this crowd too, playing a showreel of each previous Comic Con panel highlights leading up to today.
Then came some name announcements with the various upcoming sequels ditching the numbers. Marvel's slate is now as follows: "Iron Man 3" (May 3rd 2013), "Thor: The Dark World" (Nov 8th 2013), "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Apr 4th 2014), "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Aug 1st 2014). "Ant-Man" and "The Avengers 2" aren't yet official but look quite possible for 2015. Team members on 'Guardians' will include Drax, Gamorra, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and Star Lord.
Filmmaker Edgar Wright then took the stage for "Ant-Man" and screened unfinished test footage of the character, dressed in red-and-black (a Silver Age and contemporary mix apparently), who can change sizes in combat. Wright uses the line "he will kick your ass one inch at a time" and says no casting news as yet but "Ant-Man has been here all day".
Robert Downey Jr. then killed his entrance, right from the back of Hall H dancing down the aisle ahead of the first footage from the third "Iron Man" which confirms that Ben Kingsley is indeed playing the Mandarin complete with beard, rings and cloak. Consdering they've only shot about half the film, the footage so far is impressive including Stark's house being destroyed by missiles (along with his old armour).
Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau and Shane Black soon joined Downey, Black saying "We're halfway through. If we don't fuck up the rest, it'll be great." Black also took a mild swipe at the third "Spider-Man" in the process, saying their entry is much more cohesive rather than a cluster of separate elements. The storyline has Downey "hitting rock bottom" and coming back, but they are NOT doing the "Demon in the Bottle" storyline at all - in fact it sounds unlikely that will even come up in future "Iron Man" outings.
Downey confirms no Bruce Banner in this film, and he's not sure what'll happen with him playing Tony Stark in the future as "Iron Man 3" is the last film in both his and Jon Favreau's deal with Marvel and they'll negotiate what happens after that. Downey then got the entire crowd to sing Happy Birthday to a 15-year-old girl, and the footage was played again.
Warners pretty much won the convention today with a five film, 2.5 hour presentation that was nearly flawless. Right from the get go Hall H was out of their seats starting with what would have to be one of the most expensive moves of the convention - turning the mega screen into an almost Cinerama experience with two even longer giant projection screens being unveiled on either side and being utilised throughout each presentation to display company logos, production art, behind-the-scenes footage, etc.
Guillermo del Toro was up first with "Pacific Rim", his giant robots vs. giant monsters movie. Making the best use of the three screens throughout, the film itself got a big launching pad thanks to an extended trailer that wowed.
The worry with this project was the one-line concept itself sounds shallow, an empty giant robot movie provokes images in the mind of "Transformers". That's not the case here - instead we're getting the closest thing to a Hollywood blockbuster based on anime you could probably get. As someone like myself who grew up loving "Neon Genesis Evangelion", something like this was quite cool to see.
Unlike Michael Bay, del Toro's action remembers the laws of physics - these 'Jaegers' and their fights have inertia, scale, momentum, and environmental factors. The 25-storey tall robots are controlled by two pilots, each sharing different hemispheres of its 'brain'. The designs themselves aren't "over designed" liked the Autobots but still somewhat similar if sleeker.
Environments were greatly varied - there was a battle at sea, a collapsing robot in the snow, and various shots of the human characters in jump suits. Like all his films, the colours and lighting was extremely rich and deep, the style just beautifully handled. The Godzilla-esque monsters themselves scored only the briefest of glimpses but fans of his previous work will be very happy.
Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, and Rinko Kikuchi joined him on stage to answer a few questions but del Toro pretty much commanded the room saying the tone was much more "romantic adventure" than a war movie. There are nine monsters and a half dozen robots fighting in varied environments. To add authenticity, he did things like use oil with the camera and add lens scratches to make it feel more real.
This shocked the crowd. Gareth Edwards ("Monsters") showed up and showed off a teaser trailer for the "Godzilla" reboot. The piece showed hundreds of dead bodies, skyscrapers with giant tears, rolling dust clouds, and so forth. What starts off looking like the camera panning past the side of a volcano turns out to be the carcass of a dead creature.
Soon one makes out a giant claw gripping a building before the beauty shot of the character whose features you can make out through the dust cloud. The trailer played perfectly and was a big improvement on the silliness of the Emmerich "Godzilla" remake - the tone aims to be much more real and grounded, the footage focusing on the devastation and impact of this giant beast on our landscape.
The oddest choice for this presentation, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifanakis showed up to what started out with a very awkward Q&A with a failed comedian. It wasn't until an extended version of the trailer with some longer versions of previously revealed gags came through that the crowd was swayed. Even then, it was a fun if time wasting presentation.
Man of Steel
This was the biggest question of the day, the Zac Snyder-directed and Chris Nolan-produced reboot of the Superman franchise. Things got off to a slightly shaky start as an obviously quite nervous Snyder tripped over his words a bit. He then however let the footage speak for itself.
The upcoming 87-second teaser trailer that'll hit theatres is likely a significantly cut down version of this extended trailer which surprised. After the big crowd pleasing 'all money shots' action of the previous films, this was much more solemn. The tone much more reverential, serious, and aiming to be something profound.
Indeed this was very much Snyder trying to emulate Nolan's filmmaking style - a Hans Zimmer meets Vangelis sweeping score (temp), tasteful handheld photography with an emphasis on the real and practical where possible, plenty of stuff about Clark's journey to determine who he is, and so on. Character beat moments given as much weight as the few big flashy money shots of Clark in the suit flying, fighting, destruction, etc.
There's brief glimpses of Amy Adams, Russell Crowe (who also narrates the start) and Michael Shannon's Zod decked in large armour and who seems to have close cropped hair and a salt-and-pepper non-moustached goatee. The Kryptonian design elements ditch the Donner-era crystals in favour of something much more H.R. Giger-esque. Henry Cavill fills the suit perfectly (in more ways than one) and is a great choice from what we could see (though he had no dialogue).
Cavill then showed up on stage to various declarations of love from the audience, be it swooning women complimenting him during the Q&A to a random guy in the audience screaming "You're Hot". He also earned his fan cred citing "Red Son" as one of his big influences. Moderator Chris Hardwick, who did a great job throughout, came down from the stage to console one fan overwhelmed and in tears.
The final presentation began with a Comic-Con specific video blog about the last week of filming with short appearances from the various actors involved both in and out of character. There were the first public looks at Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman, Stephen Fry's Master of Laketown, Sylvester McCoy's Radagast the Brown along with glimpses of some big sets hereto unseen.
That preceded Peter Jackson popping on stage to setup a 12.5 minute reel of footage from both "The Hobbit" films (though mostly the first one). The footage was a combination of about five full-on scenes intermixed with 20-30 seconds of quick cuts. These include the dinner at Bilbo's house where he's recruited into the action, Gandalf in some haunted hallways being chased by something and then later conversing with Galadriel. There's also an extended scene of Bilbo and Gollum meeting and then Bilbo finding the ring (and not telling Gandalf).
Quick shots were mostly location stuff but some familiar scenes including the Master's secret gold stash and brief shots of Saruman, Legolas fighting, cave trolls, and a giant stone being hurtling a giant piece of rock at the company of dwarves. The main things missing from the footage? No dragon, no barrel scene, no Bard, and no 48fps - the presentation was at the standard frame rate in 2D. The footage itself went over as expected - the tone keeping in line with the first trailer and the previous 'Rings' films if a little lighter and more adventure style.
Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood were all on hand for the presentation in which Jackson confirmed extended editions are likely for the two films but there's no possibility of a movie based on "The Silmarillion" due to the Tolkien estate rights issues. The same random guy in the audience who screamed "You're Hot" at Henry Cavill did the same to McKellen. All had fun though seemed a bit solemn that their exhaustive but rewarding time filming the project had come to an end.
Looper, from Writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick and The Brothers Bloom) is easily one of the most-anticipated science fiction efforts of 2012 – as many moviegoers are expecting a slick film that offers both style and substance. The concept alone is certainly interesting – a young assassin executes mob hits after they are sent from the future to his time – until he discovers that his latest target is actually an older version of himself. Plus, anyone who has been following the Looper trailers will likely agree that watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt attempt to tackle Bruce Willis mannerisms is not only intriguing – it’s also pretty entertaining.
However, Rian Johnson didn’t just wrap a full film around a solid premise – the director also attempts to tackle some of science fiction’s biggest questions, ...
Click to continue reading Rian Johnson & Joseph Gordon-Levitt on ‘Looper’ Science: Would You Kill Hitler?
After stealing Comic-Con 2010 with a panel for Thor and Captain America where the entire cast of The Avengers was later confirmed and presented on stage together, there was no panel to be found in 2011. Marvel is back in full force for Comic-Con 2012 with Iron Man 3 continuing the Hall H tradition set by previous director Jon Favreau.
Marvel President Kevin Feige and special guests (expect new director Shane Black [SB], Robert Downey Jr. [RDJ] and other cast members) will be on stage to likely premiere first-look footage of Iron Man 3, while also making some announcements about “Phase 2″ of the franchise.
Will Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man test footage be showcased? Will it and Guardians of the Galaxy finally get release dates? Will we find out if Black Panther is on his ...
Click to continue reading Comic-Con 2012: Marvel Studios ‘Iron Man 3′ Panel