Comic-Con 2010: An Intense First Look at Battle: Los Angeles

July 22, 2010

Battle: Los Angeles

We just finished watching Sony's Comic-Con 2010 panel, the first half focusing on Salt (but who cares?), and the second half focusing on Battle: Los Angeles, a movie I've been anxiously awaiting to see footage from since first hearing about a while ago. At the beginning, they debuted a solid five minute chunk of new footage and DAMN does this look awesome. Think kind of District 9 meets Black Hawk Down, with a marine battalion fighting "unknown" alien invaders on the streets of Los Angeles. Lots of great intimate shots with the marines as well as shots of helicopters flying over LA while being attacked, looks awesome.

Appearing at the panel were Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and director Jonathan Liebesman, who explain that what they wanted to make was a movie that was "very intense, like Black Hawk Down but with aliens in it." He was inspired by footage of soldiers embedded in Iraq and wanted to make this movie focusing on one particular marine battalion as opposed to the world-wide focus like in Independence Day, despite that the alien invasion in the movie is worldwide (but the key battle is in Los Angeles). "Jonathan ran us like dogs, and never really gave us any breaks," Eckhart said regarding how intense it was to shoot.

As for why producer Neal Moritz liked the project, he explained that he loved the realism and the idea of what would happen if an alien invasion like this actually occurred. He loved that it was a story about what it would be like to follow in the shoes of one marine's battalion. Liebesman went on to explain that when they designed the aliens or their machinery or the way they would arrive, he made sure that it felt like it all had a purpose and that it could all work, like how everything in James Cameron's movies is fully "functional." The aliens have tactics and every way they work together and everything they do was design to feel very real.

As for the footage, although all of the effects weren't finished yet, it really did look like an awesome, intense action movie set right in the thick of a crazy alien invasion in Los Angeles. There are some awesome effects sequences (like the new photo below I've added) and then we get to see some very intimate moments with a soldier who gets separated. I can't wait for Sony to unveil an actual trailer for you to see, it just looks badass. They didn't show too much of the aliens, but we do get to see some of their weapons and ships, and it looks like a full-on attack. Can't wait to see this in March, it will be THE event movie that month that's for sure!

Battle: Los Angeles

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Reader Feedback - 41 Comments


Sounds sweet. I'm always up for an alien war movie.

Cream of Sumyunguy on Jul 22, 2010


This sounds like a lame hash of other peoples originality (D-9, avatar, aliens, etc).

Trudat on Jul 22, 2010


#2 How so?...none of those movies you named were about earth getting invaded, the only relevance is aliens. Yeah this isnt the most original idea but its a genre that hasnt been beaten to death yet. This looks pretty cool and Eckharts a plus.

Cody w on Jul 22, 2010



John Stamos on Jul 22, 2010


Avatar original? lol. Eckhart's in it, I'm sold. Rodriguez is a nice bonus.

Xerxex on Jul 22, 2010


If you weren't complete idiots you would realize its similarity to Independence Day.

Wonder Man on Jul 22, 2010


Still waiting Eckhart like any super hero..he has the chin already.. xD ..

Sakyo on Jul 22, 2010


#6 - Which was covered in the article, it differentiates from that by focusing on one group of Marines in one place, not a world wide battle.

Makena on Jul 22, 2010


When Aaron said it was intense during the filming he was not joking, I ran non-stop with full "battle rattle" on for 8 hours straight. I only got breaks when they reloaded the cameras.

IKE on Jul 22, 2010


#2 - avatar IS NOT ORIGINAL - it's a ripoff of 4 or 5 different movies. #6 - you're the complete idiot for not being able to read. don't comment unless you've read what you're commenting on. this is not going to be anything like independance day..... i've been hearing nothing but positive things about this movie for over a year and i'm stoked for it.......GIVE US A TRAILER!!!!

beavis on Jul 22, 2010


Well I'm sold can't wait till next March!

CLAW on Jul 22, 2010


Ummm those FX in the posted shot looks pretty ok in terms of compositing. Definitely not as good as District 9 but I'll wait for a trailer.

LINKFX on Jul 22, 2010


OMG it's a movie that's somewhat similar to some other movies in some vague way! It's Blackhawk Down meets D-9!!! It's totally unoriginal!! Come the fuck on, people. Even if it IS just equal parts D-9 and Blackhawk Down, that's a fucking movie I'd like to see. You can compare just about every fucking film out there to some other film. It's not the story, it's how you tell it that matters. It's the details and the style that make a movie stand out from all the other variations on that story. I don't think anyone is expecting it to be too intellectual. Hell, D-9 wasn't intellectual. It had a few moments, but come on... the last 45 minutes was just shit blowing up. It's not some holy relic. It's a fucking movie. A movie - I might add - that most people didn't think was going to work due to the low budget and the CGI aliens and the fact that it was a cast of nobodies and it was the guys first movie and the trailers were shot guerrilla-style, and, and, and, and... Look back at some of the threads for the movie when the first teaser came out and you'll see very few people were actually excited for it. There were a hell of a lot of people saying that it looked like it was going to be a boring pseudo-documentary with probably very few aliens in it at all due to the low budget. Regardless, I don't even know why people sit around speculating about how bad or unoriginal a movie is going to be when not one of us actually knows what the film is about, beyond the obvious. The phrase "D-9 meets Blackhawk Down" is marketing bullshit that's saying "if you like those two movies (two movies that most people like a lot...) then you'll love this!" What else are they going to say? "It's Thin Red Line meets Mars Attacks!" or maybe "It's Invasion of the Flying Saucers meets The Longest Day!" Most movies can be described as a combination of other movies. Inception = The Matrix + Some random heist movie. Snatch maybe. Heat. I dunno. You can trace elements of every film to just about every other film. Describing it as "X+Y" doesn't tell you anything about the movie aside from some basic plot elements and maybe the tone and mood of the film. @10 It's Independence Day meets Saving Private Ryan!!! It doesn't matter that Avatar is a ripoff of a bunch of other movies. Who gives a fuck? Kurosawa's films are largely inspired by Shakespeare, but no one seems to use that as a way to discredit his films. Why the fuck is borrowing elements of other films supposed to be a terrible horrible crime? Why the fuck is that not allowed? You don't think filmmakers like Nolan and Scott and Aronofsky aren't doing the same shit?

Squiggly_P on Jul 22, 2010


Semper Fi! It seems like marines fight a lot of aliens in the future. Chesty Puller never told us how to fight aliens. Anyway, can't wait for a trailer.

Vet4Peace on Jul 22, 2010


This movie is a total rip-off of gone with the wind, except the south is earth, and the yanks are aliens, and Scarlett is Ekhart's chin. But frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. This movie WILL rock.

gonnarentit on Jul 22, 2010


#13 you are a breath of fresh air. Thank you. Sweet Jesus-Mary-Joseph sometimes the rampant raving of these underage fanboys is enough to make you want to...well, whatever. Ninety-nine percent of the offerings we argue over, or hail as a masterpiece in this comment section won't be remembered in ten years. Trust me guys, the vast majority of this stuff is just pure entertainment, not art, and should be treated as such.

pitterpatter on Jul 22, 2010

17 did they say when we can expect a trailer?

HellBoy on Jul 22, 2010


why would aliens want to invade this shitty planet? if aliens had the means to get here using FTL tech, i'm sure they could whip up a virus and wipe us out without humans ever having a chance to fight back.. makes a great blockbuster though, whatever

Mir on Jul 22, 2010


avatar isn't original. it's like pocahontas but with blue creatures in it. LOL... but this looks promising.... i mean when was the last time we saw aliens invading earth with so much destruction. Right. Independence day which was back in late 90's

Iggypop on Jul 23, 2010


I'm sorry but the name. It's just retarded.

Rolkus on Jul 23, 2010


@#6 And If you werent such a complete idiot youd realize Independence day was a big steaming pile of Emmerich shit and doesnt even deserve to be mentioned. Also the article touched on that point ya big complete idiot. O yeah and #13 HOLY SHIT AMEN TO THAT BROTHA!!!!!!!!!

Cody w on Jul 23, 2010


@ 10, well i dont remember ever Cameron stating i am working on a original script, nor has he ever mentioned "it will be a story you have never heard of".... his only promise was "it will a movie in a way never before seen"...which is visually-wise.. @13 right on spot man.. great post masterpieces and work of craps are mostly subjective matters. depends highly on the viewers expectancies its just a two hour ride those movies are, and they are supposed to take us off from our daily concerns .. so lets just enjoy those times and not to try and find things to ruin them i will see this and enjoy it merry movie times to all cheers

Burak "D'aequitas" on Jul 23, 2010


looks awesome but next March is sooo far away NA3DM? Not another 3D movie?

Phillip Gibb on Jul 23, 2010


Squiggly_P - while writing your rant, did you take time to read anything you responded to? my response to avatar at #10 was CLEARLY marked as a response to #1 - pay more attention the next time. as to the bulk of your diatribe - i understand your frustration, but this is a MOVIE site with threads to comment on movies that are either out or coming in the future. people will comment and because it's a faceless internet - some will make foolish statements. i personally get tired of the "this looks like crap" comment. many write this and NEVER explain why it looks bad to them. as i said above - if you want to question or "call me out" on one of my posts - at least READ what i'm saying or what message i'm it stands, your response to me was inaccurate.

beavis on Jul 23, 2010


@14 It may be Marines in the movie but they used Air Force members from Barksdale AFB as the main cast of Marine extras. I wanted to shout "I should have been a zoomie!" as I ran past one of the cameras.

IKE on Jul 23, 2010


San Diego Comic Con: Trailer for Battle : Los Angeles already shown there was a research screening of Battle: Los Angeles 2 weeks ago so i guess its almost there.

PinkSushit on Jul 23, 2010


thanks #13 awsome comment.

JAYC on Jul 23, 2010


Looks cool. So much so that I honestly can't wait for next summer's line up. The best part of Cruise's War of the worlds was the Military unit taking down the tripod. I kept thinking "why couldnt they have just made a movie from a unit's point of view?? It would have been way cooler!!" There's no denying the aspects that made D-9 great although for some reason, the movie wasn't my cup of tea. If someone will openly draw from those inspirations I'm all in.

Solo Calrissian on Jul 23, 2010


Is anyone else tired of Michelle Rodriguez in her tomboy militant roles? Because fuck. In any case, this movie could be really great.

Cracky on Jul 23, 2010


I am, 28. lol. who cares she's a tomboy anymore? I think we need to realize that today's movies esp. action movies are inspired by what's already out there. This kind of stuff is all generic and cliched but screenwriters today are allowed to get away with this kind of stuff because it's what makes the big money. It'll look good but it wont taste good. That's how I seet it. I like Aaron Ekchart though. He brings a lot to the table but can come off as a sleaze.

Eli on Jul 23, 2010


#30 - what do you mean by this: "This kind of stuff is all generic and cliched but screenwriters today are allowed to get away with this kind of stuff....." what do you mean by "generic and cliched". and what "stuff" are screenwriters getting away with. i'm curious.

beavis on Jul 23, 2010


I mean like it's been done, you know? That's all I mean by it. But, despite the fact it still gets made. They get away with making films based off of flimsy scripts based off of awesome concepts, then they can be considered cliched or generic after they hit theaters. Even then, we buy into it. Does that make sense? I'm not too good with explaining myself. MY FIRST COMMENT WAS FOR 29 NOT 28.

Eli on Jul 23, 2010


Love the concept of this movie, I always wanted to see something exactly like that, an alien invasion and following guys from the military trying to fight back. Let's hope it's a good one!

Anomalous Material on Jul 23, 2010


I loved District 9 and BHD was awesome too. Let's see how this one works out.

Fisherr on Jul 24, 2010


@beavis You said avatar wasn't 'original', but nothing is original. There are no original stories, only original takes on stories. You singled out Avatar in your response, but you could have equally said "none of those movies are original" and still been correct. Aliens is a perfect example. Not only is it not original, it's a sequel playing off someone else's movie. Aliens stands out generally as a good sequel because it doesn't really do anything the first film did. It's the same basic story with a very different approach. It just sounded like you hold the similarities it has to other films against it. That was the basis of my comment. I must also admit that I was rather drunk when I posted that rant 😛

Squiggly_P on Jul 24, 2010


Man, this looks like a dream come true. I always remember Emmerich saying that he wanted to do a film about alien invasion but didn't want it to be too downbeat. Made me wonder why he chose that subject matter then. This looks like it could could offer the intense action that we dreamed. The kind that was on the other side of the hill in Speilbergs War of the Worlds but we never got to see.

Payne by name on Jul 25, 2010


squiggly P - what bugs me about avatar is this - 10+ years in the making and it seemed very shallow to me - like it was more of a tech demo for the graphics he (cameron) created and no thought was put into the story - i felt it was a HUGE disappointment.

beavis on Jul 25, 2010


I tried sitting through avatar twice and despite the awesome visuals, I had to turn it off. The dialouge itself isnt bad and the direct was really good, but it just failed to entertain again.

Eli on Jul 28, 2010


OOH RAH!! nuff said

JAMES on Aug 29, 2010


Will there be puppy throwing and molestation of Jap school girls in this? Can't have Marines without these things. Semper Fi, my ass.

Mitch on Sep 29, 2010


Will there be puppy throwing and molestation of Jap school girls in this? Can't have Marines without these things. Semper Fi, my ass.

Mitch on Sep 29, 2010

Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.




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