Comic-Con 2010: Rainn Wilson & Ellen Page are Gunn's 'Super'
by Ethan Anderton
July 24, 2010
By now plenty of movie-goers are familiar with most superheroes like Superman, Spider-Man and Iron Man, and some are even familiar with other heroes that aren't that "super" like Kick-Ass or maybe Defendor. Now director James Gunn (Slither) is bringing us even lesser of a hero with Super, the story of a guy down-on-his-luck (Rainn Wilson) who attempts to win his drug addicted wife (Liv Tyler) back from a glamorous drug dealer by teaming up with a psychopathic teen (Ellen Page) and becoming costumed crimefighters. Gunn brought a scene and a special trailer cut together exclusively for Comic-Con. So what is the verdict?
The footage wasn't color corrected and the sound wasn't locked or even edited, but the collection of footage that formed a makeshift trailer wasn't any less outrageous and hilarious. When everyone sees the first bit of footage from the movie, it will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Kick-Ass, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (if you liked that movie). However, this film has a different kind of darkness. It's gritty, but not like Gotham City. It's very violent (Page blows up someone with a stick of dynamite and pieces go everywhere), but not comic book violent. This is a film about a superhero who calls himself The Crimson Bolt, that doesn't necessarily have noble intentions, but wants to impress his wife in order to win her back.
Sure he may fight crime, but he also bludgeons a man who cuts in line in the head with a wrench (a crime that some may think worthy of such punishment here at Comic-Con) and then hits his wife after. Gunn calls it "a fucked up, low-rent Watchmen."
Along for the ride is Ellen Page who is enthusiastic and ambitious (along with being "a sociopath hinging on becoming a psychopath”) about joining The Crimson Bolt though she may not exactly have the physical prowess or dexterity for the job. In addition, Gunn's frequent collaborator Nathan Fillion is along for the ride as The Holy Avenger and we get the briefest look at his character in the form of a close-up complete with a masterful wink. And Kevin Bacon is the drug dealing antagonist using his six degrees of charm and douchebaggery to keep Crimson Bolt on is toes. Michael Rooker stands by to partake in some choice taunts and slightly villainous activity as well. And if there's anyone out there who isn't convinced of the usefulness of twitter, producer Ted Hope found out about the film through James Gunn's twitter. Only in Hollywood.
Though this film certainly has it's own unique style, which Fillion says comes from the "grotesque angle you can come to expect from James Gunn," it's accurate to say that this feels like a cross between Kick-Ass and Defendor. Gunn and Wilson mentioned that there's certainly some hard drama in the film amidst the hilarious crime fighting and heroics, and when you couple that with the hyper-real nature of the violence and setting, you definitely get kind of superhero movie.
What also makes it different is the lack of studio backing. This is a project Gunn got together on his own and at the suggestion of his ex-wife Jenna Fischer (Pam from "The Office") chose as his next project. Fischer even went so far so to suggest Rainn Wilson (who plays Dwight on "The Office") for the lead and the rest is history. Gunn was just lucky that such an impressive and in-demand cast agreed to do the flick for a fee that was apparently as low as the Screen Actors Guild would allow.
With a lack of studio interference, the footage clearly shows that Gunn has been left to do what he pleases. This includes exhausting and not always fun shooting schedules that sometimes included 54 set-ups in a day (major studio productions barely get 15 done in a day) which definitely put some strain on the cast. Gunn himself even said, "This was a huge struggle. It was sort of hellish." Apparently the lovely Liv Tyler had a rough time adjusting at first because she wasn't used to working so quickly (they shot half of her entire film appearance in one day), but Gunn talked it over with her and everything went swimmingly after that. I hope all of this hard work pays off and audiences respond just as well as the Hall H fans did here at Comic-Con.
We will keep you updated on Super and you can also visit TheCrimsonBolt.com for continued updates.