Comic-Con 2012 Live: WB's Panel on 'Hobbit', 'MOS' + 'Pacific Rim'
by Alex Billington
July 14, 2012
It's time. After waking up at 7AM, waiting almost 3 hours to get in, 4 hours inside of Hall H, it's time for one of the most anticipated panels at Comic-Con 2012 (follow more of our coverage here). Running for a full two and a half hours, it's time for Warner Bros big presentation on at least three of their major upcoming projects: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, and finally Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the new Superman movie. There may be some more surprises and other big reveals today, and we're here in Hall H covering everything live as it goes down. Let's get this show on the road! Updates here.
2:26PM - Sitting in Hall H anxiously awaiting the start of this panel. Bring it on, Warner Bros!
2:32PM - Lights go down, time to get this big panel on the road. I am very very excited to see what they reveal over these next few hours.
2:33PM - Chris Hardwick gets introduced, but the lights stay down. All of a sudden the WALLS on the side, the curtains pull back to reveal gignatic screens along the side.
2:34PM - "You're going to see some things you knew you'd see, some things you didn't know you'd see today…" "You waited in line extra long, screw everyone else who didn't." Crowd erupts into cheers.
2:36PM - Thomas Tull takes the stage, but just as he's about to talk, the entire sides of the wall turn into the Pacific Rim edges.
2:37PM - Security guard just yelled at me to close my laptop just because the walls were turning on. Um what? What an asshole. Don't they know we're working and NOT pirating anything?
2:38PM - Tull says he called up Guillermo del Toro to do Pacific Rim and has introduced him.
2:39PM - Del Toro takes the stage! I love this man. "This movie came to me like a big, fat, obscene Christmas gift when I needed it really much." "AS a fat kid, I opened the toy and assembled it 10-20 times until it was perfect."
2:41PM - 12 weeks ago, they were shooting the movie, so they're excited to share footage for you. After this, they're going on "radio silence" on this movie until the end of the year.
2:42PM - Introducing the cast on stage. Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman.
2:44PM - The huge side screens of the front of Hall H are showing behind-the-scenes footage from Pacific Rim while the cast is being introduced.
2:45PM - Time to show us some footage! Have to close down my laptop or the security guys will take it away (ugh) but I'm following up with my thoughts immediately after. GDT explaining two pilots for each robot - one controls left hemisphere, other controls the left. They're fused together through memories.
2:51PM - Holy shit that was EPIC. Literally, the meme #holyshit is now the case, even Charlie Day said that at the end. Lots of gigantic, and I mean HUGE, spectacular, dark, visually awesome monsters. Wow. I am impressed, beyond impressed, Guillermo you have me. "What would happen in the real world if these things are there," he explains is the real emotion behind this.
2:53PM - Guillermo: When you have a budget, you can get crazy or lazy. I went as crazy as I could. Everyone gave us 110% and "not rely on any resources" and use creativity, passion and madness to make this movie.
2:54PM - From a public Q&A questions, Guillermo confirms "we have rocket punches" in terms of special robot fighting moves. "So I expect absolutely obscene robot porn" after this, I think Guillermo is saying, after talking about how many crazy weapons they have, handheld and otherwise.
2:55PM - Question about will we see different monsters? "We have approximately 9 kaijus, and six or seven robots, each with distinct abilities." "We designed about 40 kaijus, and we did an American Idol on them a pagent, show them, everybody would vote, get into heated discussions, punches were thrown, and the better kaijus are the ones in the movie."
2:57PM - "There are some set pieces in here that have never been seen on film."
2:58PM - Question about if there's only one man operating the robots, what would happen. "That's answered in the film, if it's a single pilot." If the pilot is able to drive it to safety, it's a big ordeal, and we show it.
3:02PM - "One thing we were clear about - no fucking motion capture. I don't want the robots to move like human beings." The monsters have personality. Talk to the animators with respect, "you treat the resources with respect." Now that said, "we did a shitload of physical stuff in the movie." They rigged the street so that when a robot walks, the street bounces just like the entire set was being shaken when the robot walks.
3:05PM - They'll have sea monsters, flying monsters, "monsters up the butt" in this movie. Lots of monsters! Awesome.
3:06PM - "They designed the monsters and robots from the inside out. All original monsters, threw from the sea!" That's all from Guillermo's Pacific Rim presentation! They're heading off of the stage.
3:07PM - Thomas Tull is back to say "we're going to show Man of Steel" what if Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder had a baby and named Kal-El.
3:10PM - "We just wanted to make a kick ass Godzilla movie…" They unveiled a surprise Godzilla teaser and it looks kind of awesome. Epicly destroyed city, buildings smashed through, shows a curled up Godzilla, and he gets and roars. Crowd goes wild. I'm actually impressed, looks kick ass. "The destroyer of worlds."
3:12PM - Godzilla director Gareth Edwards just comes up to talk briefly about how amazing the reaction was, how he almost teared up.
3:13PM - "We could talk about it or just see the footage again…" Of course, the crowd cheers and they show it again. Looks just as amazing a second time, gives me chills, looks fantastic and it's barely just a tease with silhouettes of the beasts and a roar.
3:16PM - Hardwick "I love watching grown men wig out like tweens at a concert" in regards to how geeky they're getting in the Q&A.
3:18PM - Surprise introduction to The Campaign, and both Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis take the stage, just to make an appearance. At first they start to sit far apart. No one comes up for a Q&A question, the mic was empty at the start hahaha.
3:20PM - Joking with the random comedian guy who came up to the mic, now shooting off jokes back and forth with Zach and Will. Kind of a downtime, as this guy tries to make a joke, but it doesn't work at all.
3:22PM - About to show us some footage that they're introducing, should be fun.
3:27PM - Extended footage of some hilarious moments from The Campaign. Crowd wild with laughter. Actually shows the baby punch in CGI, with ripples and everything. "That's why we shoot down in New Orleans, so we can get away with this kind of stuff."
3:29PM - Question about any crazy or funny real life political stories? "Uh, Zach." Zach: "The entire Bush administration." Will: "Yea, that was a funny 8 years."
3:33PM - We're going through some odd, crazy, Q&A people. Every time someone steps up, Will & Zach make some jokes about them. This is hilarious, but you've gotta be here! Too many "inside Hall H" jokes going on.
3:35PM - Best question yet. "Can each of you give us a quick campaign speech in character?" But Zach says he's not really good at being put on the spot like this, hesitant, until the crowd cheers him on. Both of them eventually do a quick spot, they were pretty good.
3:38PM - Last question about how long it takes for Zach G to grow a beard. "My beard takes 2 months to grow. Thank you."
3:40PM - Time for Superman… Lights go down and the Man of Steel logo shows on the screen.
3:40PM - Zack Snyder comes to the stage, but nothing has been revealed yet. Zack: "Superman is pretty awesome, you know."
3:41PM - "Superman needed to be reintroduced to a new generation, and this was a chance to do something pretty awesome." They've finished shooting, so they're just working in post-production right now.
3:42PM - Was originally this big blue boyscout up on a throne, but we're trying to make him a little more… you know… but maybe we want to show you some footage.
3:46PM - Wow, got chills from that Superman footage. Quiet, spectacular, looks epic but still all about the beauty and character and his origin. Looks a lot like Batman Begins but for Superman, but not in a bad way, in a Nolan, gritty, realistic, grounded world. I am very, very impressed. I want to see that footage again, it looks so good.
3:48PM - "Superman is the king daddy of all superheroes, to make him work it's a big deal, there's a lot of possibilities." Henry Cavill is also here to talk about the movie in the Q&A.
3:49PM - Zack: "It's not about the size of the movie, it's what's cool."
3:50PM - Q&A question about if this is based on a specific Superman story or arc? "We have great respect for the canon and mythology of Superman, so there's certainly a… mashing of stories and ideas."
3:52PM - Henry: "With this, hopefully I bring a modern version which everyone can associate with."
3:54PM - Guy comes up to the mic crying, legitimately crying tears because he's so emotional and such a huge fan of Superman, he couldn't speak to them because he's such a big fan, but then blurts out: "can you tell us who the villain is?"
3:58PM - They showed the footage one more time! Still got chills from watching it a second time, looks amazing.
3:59PM - Henry: "I hope I've done everything I can to please you guys, because this is all for you." "I get to wear this on my chest," he says about being able to play Superman.
4:00PM - Some guy comes up to ask - would Nolan's Batman or this Superman win in a fight? Zack's response: "he's awesome… but come on, really?"
4:02PM - Where did Henry get his inspiration? "Basically anything I could get my hands on… my favorites, Death of Superman, and Return Superman." He also mentions Red Son [applause] "the elements are the same, he just grew up in a different place."
4:04PM - "How are you going to make General Zod more relatable?" Zack responds, dodging the answer: "Everyone in the film…" [big grin] "would have to be relatable. If they were a guy named that… we would hope that those two characters, if they existed…" trails off. Obviously not going to acknowledge what they want.
4:07PM - Question about Superman possibly crossing over into Justice League. Zack: "Let's say this… Superman is the jewel in the DC crown. What we're trying to do is get his house in order… and then. Who knows what's possible."
4:10PM - Zack Snyder also reveals the new Man of Steel teaser poster, a silhouette mid-section kind of look at Superman. Looks pretty cool, hopefully we'll be able to get a good shot of it online.
4:11PM - Time for The Hobbit! Lights go down, and the side screens turn on to be Hobbit images (the same imagery we saw in that epicly long banner recently).
4:22PM - They showed us the latest 10 minutes behind-the-scenes production video blog, on the final few days of shooting. Hence the 10 minute update gap, as we just watched that.
4:23PM - Introducing the rest of the cast/crew. Producer Philipa Boyens, but -- maybe they should show us a bit of footage first? [Cheers!] I guess we're going to see some footage first before we get into a chat. Disclaimers from PJ: temp music tracks (Howard Shore hasn't started yet, begins in 5 or 6 weeks), most of the effects aren't finished, but most of this is along the way, and there's some from the second movie, not just the first one (just for Comic-Con).
4:38PM - Lots of footage, a couple of full scenes with Gollum and the opening meeting with the dwarves, a moment between Galadriel and Gandalf. So unbelievably wonderful to return to Middle Earth. I had to wipe a way tears at the end of this footage.
4:40PM - Introducing the rest of the cast to the stage: Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen and of course, Martin Freeman. Freeman gets a huge round of applause, and a bit of a standing ovation.
4:42PM - Peter Jackson hasn't shot his cameo yet, but he will as soon as he gets back to New Zealand. But he won't tell us what it is, you'll have to spot him.
4:43PM - Philippa talking about bringing back Cate Blanchett for Galadriel, since we saw a brief bit of her scene in the footage. "She immediately brings a very powerful female energy to the film." "We did feel the weight of it being a boys own story," so they created Tauriel the Elf, played by Evangeline Lilly. "We believe it's completely in the spirits of Tolkien."
4:46PM - Richard: "We went through quite an evolution for the look of Thorin. Working with a prosthetic like that is quite a challenge. By Day 1, I didn't think I would make it 2 or 3 weeks… by the end, I couldn't work without it." "Managing the heat and 'sweaty dwarf' was a challenge itself."
4:48PM - Q&A question about if he'll make the Silmarillion. PJ: "I think the chances of me living by 110…" The rights are owned by the Tolkien estate, and they don't like these movies at all, so it won't be going anywhere for quite a long time.
4:50PM - Elijah Wood is up here on the stage too, now talking about being "blown away" by the footage we just saw. "It made me feel emotional watching that footage."
4:52PM - Q&A question about how to select what makes it into extended edition versus theatrical. PJ: People think we shoot scenes specifically for the extended edition. "We write the script as we're shooting. You shoot, you shoot, and you shoot some more." We write a scene half way through the shoot to tell something we need to. It's not until the very end where they can look at a cut and see where there's repetition, and at the end of the day, they end up with a film that's too long. So they have to cut it down for the studio. You end up with a theatrical film, and then you look at what got cut out. We don't look at everything, but when we cut scenes with nice character moments, we love to put those back in, but you don't know until the very end.
4:56PM - Andy Serkis talking about how originally he was supposed to only shoot 2 weeks as Gollum, then ended up taking on the year and a half job of second unit director. They shot the Gollum scene in one piece, so that they could really play off each other like a theatrical piece.
4:58PM - Someone asks Andy to do the voice, so he responds "for fuck's sake, do I have to do it?" in the voice, and says another line about doing it in front of 7500 people. Amazing! I love this panel.
5:01PM - And that pretty much puts a wrap on this panel. Very long, but worth it in every sense, awesome experience, awesome presentations overall. Thanks for following along, did the best I could to keep up with this as it was going down, hope I got the best quotes that I could.