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CON: 30 Days of Night

08.02.2007

SONY PICTURES PANEL

30 DAYS OF NIGHT

If I had to pick one film other than IRON MAN to be impressed with at this year's Comic-Con, I'd have to go with 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. They brought with them a new trailer and an exclusive scene from the film and there were plenty of warnings from the Comic-Con officials before it kicked off that the panel would feature footage too intense for the kiddies. Apparently Sony was given three options: 1) Restrict the panel to 18 and over, 2) Not show any footage at all or, 3) Trim the offending scenes out. It would be a logistical nightmare to somehow restrict access and Sony was smart enough to not just pull the footage outright. So they trimmed. And before they explained it, I had no idea what they could've trimmed because it was pretty damn gory (more on what they cut later).

The first one out was producer Sam Raimi who talked about his love for the comic book and how he had been trying to get it made for years. He was really excited to show it to everyone so he just stepped aside and let the clips roll.

The new trailer ran first and featured some of the same scenes from the teaser but with a bit more in there explaining the plot. [The trailer has since been posted online here.] Still the same scene in the beginning with the woman being dragged out the window and under the house. There was one particularly effective scene that had some frantic woman walking alone outside looking for help. The vampires slowly surrounded her and she was so scared she didn't even run, she just stood there and cried as they walked right up to her face and bared their fangs.

After the trailer came an exclusive scene from the movie. Now this was some messed up shit (pardon my French). This may be considered spoiler material so I'll give this an official SPOILER WARNING:

The clip starts as Josh Hartnett and his crew arrive by van to an abandoned convenience store in town to stock up on supplies. They go inside and split up, each having assignments on what to collect. One of the team starts to hear some noises in the back. He follows the noises and sees a young girl, maybe 7-years-old hunched over a dead body. She turns around and she's a vampire eating the flesh of the corpse. Then she grabs her teddy bear and says in a creepy voice, "Want to play with me now?"

The dude runs to catch up with everyone and Hartnett is sent to investigate. He grabs an axe and walks toward the body. Sure enough the corpse is still there but the little girl is gone. Hartnett looks around, but nothing. He walks back toward the gang when out of the darkness the girl jumps on his back and lunges for his throat. He just manages to hold her head away as the rest of the gang pulls the kid off and pins her against the wall. She's thrashing and gnashing and other -ashings and Hartnett hesitates for a brief moment before raising the axe, closing his eyes and swinging forward - cut to black as we hear a high-pitched squeal.

Axing little kids isn't something you see in most horror movies, so I was definitely at attention after that footage. It turns out, as Raimi would explain, that was the footage the Con officials took offense to. They didn't want show the actual killing of the little girl, hence the cut to black. Didn't matter cause it was still pretty effective for me.

Raimi was now joined on stage by Josh Hartnett, comic writer Steve Niles, artist Ben Templesmith and director David Slade and they went right to the audience for some Q&A. Hartnett was asked first about how he chooses his roles and the diversity in the different parts he plays. He says that he likes to jump from genre to genre to keep things fresh. 30 DAYS just seemed right to him and it was the scariest thing he had read in a long time.

They didn't actually shoot the film in Barrow, Alaska because it would've been just too cold. They instead filmed in New Zealand and worked with WETA to create the vampire effects while they were down there. Raimi also talked about the decision to switch Hartnett's character from being an Eskimo to being Caucasian. He explained that they searched for quite some time to try and find an Inuit actor but there really just weren't any. They had to make that decision and when Josh signed on they were happy.

Niles was asked about his inspiration for the comic and he said it was really all the vampire films he had ever seen. He loves vampires and was saddened to see them relegated to cartoonish figures like Count Chocula. He wanted to make them scary again so he decided on this look for what he called "feral vampires." Niles said he wanted to keep the look of the vampires in the film as true to Niles and Templesmith's vision as possible (in my opinion, they're even freakier).


Comic writer Steve Niles

A fan sick of PG-13 rated horror asked if this film was going to be watered down to make that rating but Raimi confirmed it would most definitely be an R. In fact he said they already received their R from the MPAA. They were nervous that their first cut would get an NC-17 but they were given an R on the first shot so they felt lucky.

Finally Raimi was asked whether mainstay Bruce Campbell would have a cameo in this film and Raimi said he wasn't asked to participate cause he wanted this film to be of a "higher caliber." He, of course, was only joking. But still no Bruce Campbell.

Source: JoBlo.com

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