COMIC CON: Green Lantern! Harry Potter! Sucker Punch!
With no HOBBIT news this year, the Comic Con masses are ready for another Lord of the Ring. Though the recent costume shot of Ryan Reynolds has fans divided (I like the idea behind it, but the execution seems a little goofy) I think we can agree that Reynolds has the superhero chops, Blake Lively is enjoyable to look at, and Martin Campbell can direct a pretty good action movie. All thatís left is for WB to show off some actual footage and we can decide for ourselves.
The footage itself was extremely brief. I didn't time it but it couldn't have been longer than 90 seconds. It started with a Mark Strong/Sinestro voiceover with a glowing green circle on screen. Everything afterward was extremely fast but we did get shots of Hal Jordan finding the Green Lantern ring, getting beaten up by some thugs and discovering the power of the ring as it whips them across the room, Hector Hammond and his giant head screaming at the sky, an extremely quick glimpse of Planet Oa and finally a voiceover of the Green Lantern oath other a big glowing Lantern logo.
Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, director Martin Campbell, producer Donald De Line, writer Greg Berlanti and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns were all on stage to a warm welcome for the crowd. As you might imagine they went pretty excited to see Reynolds.
- Reynolds admitted he wasn't very familiar with GREEN LANTERN prior to signing on to the movie but has since become a huge fan. When he met with Campbell it was originally the director convincing him to do the part and eventually Reynolds said he so fell in love with the film, he wound up having to beg for the part.
- They asked Peter Sarsgaard about his growing head and he admitted it gets pretty damn big as the movie progresses. He describes his character as someone he thought probably licked batteries as a kid or went up on the roof with a hanger during a lightning storm.
- Blake Lively talked a little bit about Carol Ferris and admitted that her character in this film is fairly straight-forward but she's looking forward to her eventual turn as Star Sapphire in future LANTERN films where she'll get to kick Reynolds' ass.
- An audience member asked if we'd see Parallax in the film and Reynolds said yes and after a long and awkward pause on the panel he said, "Gee, I hope I'm allowed to say that." Everyone laughed but no one answered.
- A little boy came up and asked Reynolds about the oath so Ryan did his interpretation for us (which was pretty impressive) and then gave the kid a signed comic book.
- Johns was asked numerous times about other DC properties and the possibility of a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie but he refused to comment on anything, insinuating any future DC movie that wasn't BATMAN related would depend on the success of LANTERN.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
There wasn't much to this panel (it was only scheduled for 10 minutes) but it certainly packed a punch. I'm no HARRY POTTER fan by any stretch but what they showed (a longer look at the trailer plus a bonus promo reel of new footage) looked pretty damn incredible. Star Tom Felton came out and while there were rumors Harry, Ron and Hermione might make a surprise appearance, they weren't in Hall H. Felton was still kind enough to give away a surprise gift to an audience member. Strangely they never told us what they were giving away so...
That was pretty much all there is to it. Felton said a few kind words about how nice it was to be there, it was sad when they wrapped and he was excited for us to see the footage. But honestly, they didn't need much more than that after the footage they showed...
The last part of the Warner Bros. panel was the one I was most looking forward to - SUCKER PUNCH. Strangely it seemed though that it wasn't generating a lot of excitement in Hall H. Maybe it was a post-POTTER hangover but I thought the crowd would go nuts when they mentioned 300 and brought out Zack Snyder but it was just a modest smattering of applause. They wanted to go right into the footage but Snyder first brought the cast - Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino and Jamie Chung - who themselves had never seen any footage from the film.
As for the footage, it was a surprisingly decent chunk of film - maybe 3 minutes? - considering the movie doesn't come out until March and needs a lot of FX work. It stars with Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" as we see Browning's Baby Doll being dragged off to an insane asylum. After that it gets sort of difficult to describe. It's like nothing I've seen in quite some time. Sort of like ALICE IN WONDERLAND via PAN'S LABYRINTH by way of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST with MOULIN ROUGE and LORD OF THE RINGS thrown in. I know, right?
There are zombie Nazis, swords, giant robots, fire-breathing dragons, huge guns, giant planes, Carla Gugino as some sort of dominatrix, big musical scenes and just about everything else you could think of. It's a genre mash-up like I haven't seen in a long time. The first time I saw it, I, and I think a lot of the other people in Hall H, were almost a little overwhelmed. The applause was there but wasn't exactly rapturous. But the second time they showed it, I was able to process it a little better and liked it much, much more.
- Snyder mentioned that this is his first original project after DAWN OF THE DEAD, 300 and WATCHMEN and it's the first we really see what's going on in his mind. The genesis was many years ago when he was a commercial director and has been percolating ever since.
- They didn't want to give too much away about the movie but the actresses all spoke about having to study fight choreography and dance choreography at the same. It's unclear exactly how that all plays out but I think that's part of the fun of the film.
- Snyder surprisingly revealed that the movie has a big twist/reveal at the end and that was a big part of making the project work. There needed to be a hook to pull the multiple storylines and genres all together in a satisfying way.
I think SUCKER PUNCH will surprise a lot of people as it's even more...original...than I thought it would be. That could go either way but I'm really excited to see even more.