Comic-Con 2013 Live: Sony's Hall H Panel - 'RoboCop' & 'Spider-Man'
by Alex Billington
July 19, 2013
It's time to kick off one of our most anticipated presentations inside Hall H at Comic-Con 2013 - the big two hour long Sony/Screen Gems panel. We were at the same Sony panel two years ago when they unveiled Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man for the first time and it was an unforgettable experience. This year they're bringing back The Amazing Spider-Man 2, along with the animated sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and the RoboCop remake, among a few other surprises (hopefully). We'll be live blogging from Hall H non-stop for the next two hours if you're curious to find out what happens this year.
Updates LIVE directly from Sony / Screen Gems Comic-Con panel on Friday, from 4:05 - 6:15PM PDT:
4:12PM - Due to panels earlier running long, start is delayed for a few minutes. Waiting patiently in Hall H for things to begin.
4:13PM - Finally time to get this underway. But for some odd reason they keep bringing back moderator Ralph Garman and this guy sucks. But there's nothing I can do, so it's time to sit back and enjoy the show. First up, a funny Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 cast featurette to start out the panel with some humor.
4:18PM - Bringing out the directors and cast of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 including Terry Crews, Anna Faris and Bill Hader.
4:20PM - Directors were storyboard artists on the first film. Asking about everyone else returning to this movie. Hader: "It was fun. I'm glad they thought of me."
4:21PM - Question to Faris: "Your role is so energetic, you must be exhausted." Faris: "I'm glad you asked that question." She explains the voicing process and how they have to be walked through the process and "your voice is shot in about 4 hours."
4:22PM - Terry Crews is taking over the role of Earl originally voiced by Mr. T in the first movie, who he said is a legend and hard to live up to. "You've got your Michael Keaton Batman, you've got your Christan Bale Batman. I'm going to be the Terry Crews Earl."
4:25PM - Showing concept art of new characters, one of the is the greatest inventor of all time and one of Flint's heroes who runs a company called LivCorp. Where Flint goes to work and now we get to see a clip of his first day at work at LivCorp.
4:27PM - The clip also shows Flint meeting Barb, an intelligent orangutang voiced by Kristan Schall with a human brain who works at LivCorp. Next up is a clip of them arriving back at the island to discover the animals that have come alive.
4:31PM - "Kind of like getting the band back together." Correction - the clip was of Flint rounding up the crew from the first movie to go back with him to the island to fight the "deadly food monsters." It looks as funny as the first one, with plenty of laughs and the same kooky but glossy world that Phil Lord & Chris Miller created originally. Looks good so far.
4:33PM - Hader joking about how his experience with the foodimals involved being told things like "over here is the Tacodile and you're with a Pancakebear."
4:33PM - Showing photos of how they initially took real food and turned them into real animals and then gave that to the animators to create tests with things like strawberries and pickles. One of the rules on the first movie was that all the food had to look delicious, and the same thing here, the food had to look fresh and delicious and... scary.
4:38PM - Another bit of footage showing them getting back to the island and all the kinds of different "foodimals" they encounter. Looks like a lot of fun. That's it for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
4:40PM - Currently taking a break while they prepare for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones panel. Not anything that interests me, so I'm going to hold off blogging about this movie until this segment is completed. Thankfully we have a new host instead of Ralph Garman.
4:43PM - Currently waiting for The Mortal Instruments panel to end in roughly 15 minutes...
5:00PM - Footage from Mortal Instruments was surprisingly violent, a gnarly dog monster and a couple of rough fight scenes. But it still doesn't look that great, just another "you have powers" young adult story.
5:04PM - Finished with Mortal Instruments, onto RoboCop next. Curious to see what they've got for this.
5:06PM - Waiting as they switch things out to start the RoboCop panel.
5:08PM - Starting out with footage from Samuel L. Jackson recording news for the "Novak Element" and exploring the various technology from OmniCorp being used to clean up our world. "Why is America so robo-phobic?"
5:11PM - Watching a kick ass introduction video to the world of this RoboCop. Looks much bigger, lots of ED-209 mechs walking around, they actually look good. "What do these machines feel?" All of a sudden the machines start attacking citizens on foreign soil. "No no no!" For security reasons, the Pentagon is cutting their feed... Video goes black, panel begins.
5:12PM - Bringing out the cast of RoboCop: Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Joel Kinnaman (as RoboCop) and director José Padilha.
5:14PM - Padilha: "We just took the concept of RoboCop and we brought it to the present. We are more in a society where RoboCop is relavant" becuase we actually see drones and robots in wars and it's going to become a big issue. Human rights and machines are much more relevant now. Padilha loves the original RoboCop and didn't want to try to redo what they did because it's perfect.
5:15PM - Kinnaman: "The big difference with our version is that Alex doesn't die - he's amputated from the throat down, pretty much." Over the course of the movie, he has this internal battle with the artificial intelligence and his own soul. "That was the challenge to portray that."
5:17PM - Time for a bit of footage. "We need to give Americans a product they love." "They want something that knows what it feels like to be human..." "We're going to put a man inside a machine." -Keaton. "Let''s do this Tinman." "Human beings are corruptible, machines, however are corruption free."
5:21PM - Lots of action footage, new black tactical suit, looks good. Not as bad as I was expecting, but not as amazing as I was hoping either. The visor flips down over his face with a red line to evoke a feeling of the original, but it's set in modern times and filled with explosions and lots of fights and gun fire and so on. A few good POV shots from inside his mask assessing crimes. I think it looks good, but still a bit hesitant about the final film, but at least it doesn't look like a complete disaster.
5:23PM - Opening up to questions from the audience.
5:25PM - Padilha: In our future, robots and drones are being used in foreign policy, but because robots are accountable, they cannot be used at home. OmniCorp is losing money because they can sell them at home, so they create a machine with a man in it. And they have to sell the idea that it's a machine and a man.
5:27PM - Sam Jackson talking about how this all promotion, so that we can eventually go see it and tell our friends that it looks great. "If the fruits of our labor turn out great, then we did everything we could to entertain you and hopefully that's what we did when you see it."
5:30PM - Guy wearing Google Glass ("I am a cyborg here") asking about if showing technology was meant to elicit fear or not. Padilha: "You shouldn't fear the gun, you should fear the guy holding the gun. And it's the same thing with technology." But seeing what humans have done with guns, we should be afraid of our technology in the future. How does a human being fight a robot? A robot can't die, but human beings can, and the movie talks about that "in a big way and a fun way, and in an ironic way, just like the first RoboCop."
5:32PM - We're finished with RoboCop, time to move onto Spider-Man next...
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
5:33PM - Waiting for the panel to switchover to Spidey.
5:34PM - Lights go dark... rumbling on the screen... but everything is still black...
5:35PM - Audience starts clapping/cheering in hopes of getting the thing to start.
5:36PM - The curtains along the side pull back to reveal much bigger huge screens along the side, just like Warner Bros did last year. Footage finally starts up showing webs flying across before revealing the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 logo.
5:37PM - Introducing the cast/crew to the stage: director Marc Webb, producers Matt Tolmach & Avi Arad, actor Dane DeHaan. And Spider-Man himself but wait... he's not here. He was supposed to be here. Is he outside?
5:38PM - This time Spidey's intro involves him web slinging around San Diego starting at the Hard Rock Hotel roof and ending up outside of Hall H, swinging up the walls and jumping his way into Hall H.
5:40PM - Eventually he sits up on stage in his complete Spidey outfit, talking with the audience. "This is intense. What am I doing here? Why did I say yes to this..."
5:41PM - Spidey being asked questions in his complete costume. "How did you get here from New York?" "I love coming to Comic-Con every year but it's the only place I feel normal."
5:42PM - During a video with Emma Stone, all of a sudden it cuts and Electro appears saying "Its bitsey Spider..."
5:43PM - Finally Jamie Foxx takes the stage, too. Spidey: "I like Django." Foxx: "I like the way you die, boy..."
5:44PM - Andrew Garfield is in the Spidey outfit doing the entire panel completely in character as Spider-Man. It's so damn good, cocky and responsive and all. "Is it the real Spider-Man?" Webb: "Yea it's the real Spider-Man!"
5:45PM - Question for Spidey about why he helps people for no money. "At the risk of sounding earnest, I have this overwhelming sense of responsibility... and I don't like assholes. Am I allowed to say the A word?"
5:46PM - Spidey, you help people so much, what are your dreams? "Like a day off?"
5:47PM - Spidey: "Who's Andrew?" "He played you in the movie." "I thought Eduardo Saverin played me?"
5:48PM - Spidey decides to take off because he's "getting that sense" and really has to go the bathroom. And he's gone. "Spider-Man everybody! Nice guy."
5:50PM - Foxx: "It's extremely fun to play the villain, you don't have to color inside the lines." Tells a story about how his daughter is playing with Spider-Man toys when he got the call and his daughter said "man Spider-Man is going to kick your ass." There's a guy who has been living at home with his mom, "I know guys like that." Have him be portrayed by 3 things: his love, his family and his work.
5:51PM - Foxx: "I wanted Electro be a serious man who wanted to burn the city down, and burn down Spider-Man with it." Audience responds "ooooh."
5:52PM - Time to show some very early footage since they just finished shooting 3 weeks ago.
5:57PM - "You know what it is I love about being Spider-Mna? Everything." Everyone has a part of themselves they hide. Even from the people they love the most." Electro: "Soon everyone will know how it feels to live in my world... a world without Spider-Man. I'm Electro!"
5:57PM - WOW. The footage was incredible. Starts out with Rhino in the beginning, being a menace, gets made fun of. Spidey saves Electro before he becomes Electro, intimate moment with him talking with him on the street. Some great shots of Ravencroft and much more. Electro looks like a God, the power comes out of his hands and the final shot is him destroying Times Square. Spidey catches a cop car flying through the air. "Need a hand?" Incredible footage.
5:58PM - Opening up to fan questions.
6:02PM - One guy compliments Andrew Garfield on his gay Spider-Man comments. "It's not a social issue, love between two consenting adults is love. To me the idea that anyone would bat an idea is interesting, and I think it's a philosophical question worth asking. Part of the beauty of Spider-Man is he's covered head to toe, you can't see his skin color or sexual orientation, and what's important is that he's a hero. He stands for the underdog and those that need protecting."
6:04PM - Guy dressed fully as Superman hums the Superman theme before asking his question. "My question is for Andrew Garfield." Garfield fist pumps "Yes!"
6:06PM - His question is about balancing life, like failing chemistry class, and trying to be an actor. Garfield: "If you want to be an actor, why do you care about chemistry?... Life is well tough. High school is probably the worst part of it. You'll get through it... find something passionate, if you're passionate just chuck yourself into it. And screw chemistry man, who needs chemistry?"
6:08PM - Foxx jokes about how he's probably the first black man to have a comb-over. Ha!
6:10PM - Webb: "We grabbed from all the different comics. There were parts we felt obligated to, and there are parts we deviate from. I'm a big fan of the Ultimates. ... But listen, all those guys have obviously had an enormous impact on the way we're constructing these characters.
6:12PM - One fan states: "For Spider-Man 3, me and my friends are demanding Carnage." But his question is - do you feel like they're putting in too much? Audience cheers approval of there being too many villains in Raimi's Spidey 3.
6:13PM - Webb: Rhino is in the film for a few scenes to establish a fun tone. But Electro is in a lot of the film and will sustain most of the film. He is God-like, and how does Spider-Man fight a guy like that? A guy in the back yells out "Water!" Audience laughs along with him.
6:14PM - Question for Foxx - when you learned you were going to be Electro, were you worried about being put in that green/yellow costume? Foxx: "The way they crafted this shows how they crafted Max's transformation. It's rugged, it's raw, it's something he grabbed and made it his own." The people who worked on and made this movie always have the fans in the back of their mind. "Let's make sure that we're making the right steps. That's where I felt comfortable to make sure we're going in the right direction. When this thing opens up, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised."
6:16PM - Arad: "We've been listening to the fans forever. We know it comes from the right place." "Loyalty to the character is loyalty to the fans."
6:17PM - Question about what story Spidey would love to tell from the comics. Garfield: "I'd like to see him with The Avengers. But I'm not allowed to say that. Wouldn't that be awesome? Just sayin..."
6:20PM - And that about wraps up the panel for Spider-Man and Sony. Thanks for following!
This live blog is being updated by FS.net's Alex and Ethan directly from from Hall H at Comic-Con in San Diego. As always, any/all of our continuing coverage from Comic-Con 2013 can be found in this category.