Comic-Con 08 Live: 20th Century Fox Panel!
by Alex Billington
July 24, 2008
We're currently sitting in Hall H (just barely) and are waiting for Fox to begin their first presentation of Comic-Con 2008. Their panel this year features first looks at The Day the Earth Stood Still and Max Payne as well as an exclusive sneak peak at X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Guests in attendance include Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Scott Derrickson, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Ludacris, John Moore. Live coverage will begin soon below, so start following our live updates. We expect an exciting presentation since Fox pulled out last year and has an awesome line-up this year. We debuted new posters for The Day the Earth Stood Still and Max Payne yesterday, so be sure to check out those as well. Let the events begin!
The Day the Earth Stood Still:
11:38AM - Still waiting for the events to begin. Delay because the curtains in the back fell off of the wall...
11:44AM - We're still delayed, but everything is ready to go... A few more minutes and we should be 100% good to go! Stay tuned for our coverage - looking forward to Max Payne and Wolverine!
12:09PM - Finally the lights darken and it's time to begin! Almost 45 minutes late this year... Not off to a good start? Standard "don't record" and put it on YouTube announcement. They also mentioned that for the first year ever they have True HD projection on the screens.
12:11PM - Screens show the Fox logo, then go to static... Then we hear Klaatu Baradu Nikto. And Keanu Reeves steps out to immense cheers!
12:13PM - Mentions that they have two clips and a trailer to show all of us today. Everyone else from the film comes out on the stage, including the director Scott Derrickson and Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly.
12:15PM - First question - you had a close encounter with Robert Wise? Derrickson made a short film and he went to the program director and asked him if he could meet Robert Wise. He set up a private dinner as a film student, which was a "seminal event" for him. He told him that The Haunting and Day the Earth Stood Still were his two favorite films. And he told him he wanted to make his first film a horror film.
12:15PM - Producer's story: after Speed had been released, he was in the president of production's office and behind his desk was a poster for the 1951 Day the Earth Stood Still. And he said, forget about what I came into here to talk about, let's do this movie re-imagined with Keanu as Klaatu. Fifteen years later a draft showed up on his doorstep.
12:19PM - Derrickson: "If you're going to remake any film, you have to have a good reason to do it. For me, it depends on the particular movie and why. In this case, it was the script, it already existed in some form and still had a ways to go. When I read it, the original was so a product of its time... it commented so well on that early Cold War era and what was happening with humanity at the time and was such an interesting and original film. The idea of updating it made sense. The issues that the first film was dealing with are not as pressing as now. The story opened up some opportunities to do some things we haven't seen before, like the first one did. And it's such a good story... What was amazing is how few people have actually seen it and a majority of the moviegoing audience deserved to see it again. It's basically about an alien who comes to Earth and assesses humanity."
12:20PM - There are few movies where we see ourselves as aliens or we where see things through the point of view as an alien. That's what is unique about this story. First scene being prepared and introduced...
12:21PM - The interrogation scene... Part of what we've seen in the trailer. Eventually he shocks the guy asking questions and wears his suit and walks out of the room. Looked fantastic! Very thrilling, a lot of intensity in a very short clip and trailer, seems like it will keep moving.
12:24PM - Keanu: "He was an entity trapped in a human body." Talking about playing Klaatu and why he wanted to take on the role.
12:25PM - Producer explains that he's trapped in a human body, so when he emerges from the spaceship, he may not look like he did in that scene. Hinting that he comes out as an alien of some sort and eventually takes over the Keanu Reeves "body" that we see later. He walks out in a space suit, as the director just said, and it's "not human." Derrickson: "We tried to come up with visual design to support that idea" from the original that these things like the spaceship and space suit were not human at all.
12:27PM - There is an intricate story of a family being in trouble. Asking Jennifer Connelly to talk about her role and the story about her family as the experience the events as they unfold. "The relationship between Helen and her son is much more deeply explored." They used the interaction between them to provide an illustration for Klaatu about how humans treat each other. In the beginning, they're in a lot of conflict and what is the evolution of their relationship - they spent a lot of time talking about this. "I think it really grounded the film." We have all this... but at the core it's about something, a film about the human spirit, about how we care for each other.
12:30PM - Small scene to give us a taste of the relationships... A quick scene of talking between Keanu and Jaden Smith in the back of a pick up truck. Very interesting scene about the relationship between the kid and Keanu. At this point "he's having a little bit of a conflict with a decision he made earlier in the film." Maybe they're starting to think humans aren't so bad any more (at this point in the movie).
12:32PM - Derrickson: "It really wasn't still I started cutting it together... that I saw it was a story about an alien becoming human... What it is about humanity that's remarkable. And to capture that is difficult, but I think we have it in this movie." One of the biggest questions is about Gort. What can they tell us? Will it remind us if the 1951 one?
12:34PM - Gort is definitely in the movie. It wouldn't be The Day the Earth Stood Still without him. Big questions were about how to update Gort and they went through hundreds of images of possibilities. They ended up coming back not far from the original in the concept. Weta is doing all the visual effects and they're still in the process of doing all the visual effects and getting the details down.
12:35PM - For the space ship design, you didn't go with the standard design. The idea of the space ship, the space suit, and Gort, the idea of them having an organic biological base starts to make sense... These other civilizations may not be into industrialization like we are. So the ship is based more in a biological system... That's not anything new ti sci-fi literature, but new to sci-fi cinema. Final clip of several minutes of footage... A majority of the visual effects aren't done yet, but he wanted to give "this audience" something that they wanted to see - so it's a full reel to give us a fair representation of "what the movie feels like."
12:40PM - Awesome extended trailer! Very thrilling, very epic!
12:40PM - Introduction clip from Max Payne where he looks for some guy in his apartment and gets attacked. Really "flashy" kind of action. He gets beat up and every punch is flashed, not fully carried out in frame. Very interesting concept, but still looks good. "It's not Minimum Payne, it's not Medium Payne, it's MAXIMUM PAYNE!"
12:45PM - It's unique because you've got to follow the story and "we knew it was going to be good because it has a great story." There's a lot of point of view shots in the film... You've got to give players something of equal value in adapting from a video game. They've got to give them something kick ass so they did something highly subjective and made you feel like you're Max Payne. So "let's kick the shit out of the camera and make you feel like you're Max Payne."
12:46PM - Mark Wahlberg: Read the script and wanted to "kick some ass again" and he wanted to do it again more than he's done in Departed. The guy's driven by emotion and people will find out how it all plays out... Felt he was credible enough to take on the role.
12:47PM - Wahlberg talking about the story. People will be very satisfied seeing the havoc he wreaks on the world in the movie.
12:50PM - Watched a scene with Mark confronting some "thugs" in the bathroom and beating them up. Looked good... Talking to Mila Kunis about "kicking ass" as well and getting weapons training with guns and a baton.
12:53PM - Asking Chris "Ludacris" Bridges if he speaks Russian, too. Twilight fans are cheering for Wahlberg speaking in Russian. Wahlberg saying Ludacris is the "next big brightest star" to come out of hip hop. "He took on a role that was really written for an actor and he did a fantastic job." He's an internal affairs agent at the police department and he does something "really wonderful" with the role and turns him into a noble character.
12:54PM - He gives Wahlberg hell in the movie while Payne is giving everyone crap. As the story unfolds, he's on Max Payne's heels the whole movie. He's definitely the dominate figure in the movie. He's very proud to work together with Wahlberg in the movie. He had a lot of fun and was very excited for it
12:55PM - Asking director John Moore about shooting slow motion. Talking about the "phantom" camera that can shoot 1000 frames and is basically a digital harddrive strapped to a camera. They didn't want to imitate Wachowski's or John Woo, so they invented something new to start from scratch. They didn't have any wires because they just would film on this.
12:57PM - A special full extended trailer for all of us to watch again. Full trailer with "Whole Lotta Love" song overlaid on top of it. Great trailer, but still not better than Day the Earth Stood Still. Was exciting, but the style seemed sloppier. I'm still excited, but now I'm really worried that this is another Hitman.
1:03PM - Hugh Jackman has just stepped off the plane and makes an appearance! He's waited years and he said there's "no way" he would miss out on coming here! He just had to be here. Without "you guys" he wouldn't have a career. Saying "thank you" for making this phase of comic book movies what it is. Okay, Hugh Jackman just tried to walk into the audience and the Twilight fans SWAMPED him. This is CRAZY!
1:06PM - One of the best comic book characters ever created and as an actor it's a challenge to play. I still feel there's more to find out and thanking the original creator Len Wein. Two words that he knows we want to hear. If he can describe the Wolverine movie, it's: badass. A long time he's wanted to make it and he's wanted to hear and we're going to see a lot of Bezerker rage. He says they "literally" just wrapped filming. He grabbed a whole lot of footage and "glued it together" and not what we'll really see. He's showing us a lot but there's no way he was not coming here showing us something. Fox has finally delivered!!
1:11PM - Full trailer! Scenes with Gambit throwing cards. Stryker comes and asks to put together a "special team" of superheroes. Shows the relationship with Wolverine and Sabertooth together and the development of the team and the adamantium program that Strkyer puts together. Really AWESOME footage! Looks incredible - some good fight scenes, but it still needs a lot of polishing. It almost looked too glossy and too colorful, but this is very early footage. Either way it looked awesome.
Confirmed team members: Blob, Deadpool, Gambit, Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Emma Frost. Lots of action scenes including a moment where Wolverine jumps from a truck to a helicopter and grabs on and attacks it. Younger cast, but very flashy and colorful and great scenes of action. A lot of cool scenes where Wolverine was fighting in the adamantium lab. Fight scenes of Wolverine and Sabretooth where he shoves his claws into Sabretooth's chest. All-in-all it looked amazing - and I'm not the only one who thought so!
1:13PM - The panel has finished up today and we've shut down so far. Great presentation from Fox - lots of awesome footage!!