WonderCon: Wanted Definitely a 'Hard R' Based on Footage
by Alex Billington
February 22, 2008
Coming live from WonderCon in San Francisco, we've been shown a glimpse of the first real footage from the upcoming comic book flick Wanted and it's pretty intense. After watching the first teaser trailer, we weren't sure whether to expect a PG-13 comic book flick or something more extreme. After watching this full five minutes of footage here today at WonderCon, I can confirm that it is definitely going to be a hard R. Not only did James McAvoy drop about six F-bombs in that five minutes, but the violence is quite excessive (although no dead bodies were to be seen). Director Timur Bekmambetov is an incredibly visual director and it certainly showed in the over-the-top footage we saw.
The footage started out with the scene from the trailer (see the photo below) where Angelina Jolie whips out the gun that can "look around corners." It takes place in a supermarket and it must be early in the story, because McAvoy still isn't aware of what is going on. After attempting to take out the gunman hunting McAvoy and Jolie down, he runs out into the parking lot attempting to escape. Jolie whips around in a red Viper, pulls a 360 in the car with the door open and, while crouching, McAvoy lands safely in the passengers seat. That thrilling moment can already be seen in the trailer.
The scene then continues for another few minutes with Jolie being chased down the street in the Viper. Eventually, after causing some gnarly crashes, she shoots out the front windshield and leans out attempting to shoot her pursuers while laying on the hood of the car (see photo above). The footage ends with the Viper swerving around a corner towards a blockade of police cars. Via some means yet unknown, she causes the car to hit an edge and flip horizontally over the police cars and smack into the side of a bus, where it flips over again and lands on the roof, then drives off without a scratch.
In the introduction from Timur Bekmambetov, who couldn't be in attendance because he's still working on the movie in Los Angeles, he mentioned two important details: as of now he's still working on "additional footage" and that Danny Elfman is doing the score. Wanted was initially slated to be released in late March of this year (but was recently moved to June 27th), and it's obvious they're still far from being ready, as the footage we were shown had half-finished CGI and editing. Now with Timur confirming that they're possibly doing reshoots, it may mean that Universal Pictures is actually putting more effort and money into this to make sure it becomes a strong summer blockbuster.
Danny Elfman scored the first and second Spider-Man movies, Big Fish, and recently The Kingdom, among countless others, and his addition is definitely a good sign that this isn't just a small, forgettable flick. While the choice of composer is really no real indication of quality, it does mean that Universal is really supportive of the movie and going all out to make Wanted amazing, including with good music. Although I'm nervous about the "additional footage" that Timur mentioned, it sounds like this is actually turning into a full-fledged summer blockbuster and moving beyond just a forgettable comic book movie.
Wanted is based on a series of comic books by Mark Millar that were first published in 2003. During the Q&A for Wanted, James McAvoy stated that Mark Millar "has actually seen the film and really likes it." This is yet another positive aspect that goes to show things might really be falling into place for Wanted: the footage was intense and entertaining, Elfman is scoring, it's aiming for a hard R rating, and the comic book author likes the movie version of his work. While I won't say it's anything near what we will eventually see in Iron Man or The Dark Knight, it does look a lot better than I was initially expecting.
Wanted is directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, of Night Watch and Day Watch previously. The movie is based on a comic book series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones published by Image Comics. Wanted hits theaters full force this summer on June 27th.