CON: Earth Stood Still
With the exception of the A-listers on the Masters of the Web panel, the 2008 Comic-Con kicked off the celebrity extravaganza when Keanu Reeves came strolling out to rapturous applause in Hall H. Normally the celebs let the moderator do the introductions but Keanu wanted to come out and do the introductions himself. I don't know why I thought he'd be a little more stand-offish at the Con but he really seemed at ease in front of the crowd and, dare I say it, happy to be there.
One-by-one, he introduced director Scott Derrickson, producer Erwin Stoff and star Jennifer Connelly (cuteness alert: I was sitting behind Connelly's two boys and hubby Paul Bettany who couldn't have been more proud of Mom). As they began talking, Stoff revealed that when he was a development exec at Fox years ago, he went into someone's office after SPEED opened and suggested they talk to Keanu about starring in a DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL remake. Of course his boss got fired and the idea went right out the window with him, but he's always had the idea in his mind.
Keanu knew we wanted to see some shit though so he told him to get to the clippage. Derrickson introduced the first clip titled "Interrogation." You've seen a brief clip from the scene in the trailer where Klaatu is hooked up to a lie detector. After telling the investigator that he should let him go, he sends a shockwave up through the cords of the lie detector and zaps the guy out of his seat. Now Klaatu is asking the questions and the man can do nothing but tell the truth. He tells him how to escape and gives him his suit. Klaatu uses his alien powers to send out an ear-piercing chirp that sends all the agents guarding the door to the ground clutching their noggins. Klaatu calmly walks out, now clad in a pimp suit ready to do whatever alien business he needs to do (i.e., warn the U.N.).
Keanu Reeves suffers from debilitating arthritis
Afterwards Keanu said that his Klaatu was not nearly as "warm and fuzzy" as the original Klaatu but that he slowly begins to understand the human side of things. What helps him in that is watching the relationship between Connelly's character and her son (played by Will Smith's son). Speaking of...it's time for Clip #2! This time it's not particularly interesting as Klaatu (still wearing his fine threads) is sitting in the back of a moving pick-up truck with the boy in the back. They're talking about shit, blah, blah and the son asks "What's going to happen to us?," to which Klaatu responds, "I was thinking the same thing." OH SNAP!
They finally addressed the Gort issue at the end and while we didn't get a clear description of what he WOULD look like, they say they went through over 100 different iterations before they found the one that was most respectful to the original and worked best for their version. They also said that Klaatu's spaceship has changed greatly and they wanted to keep it organic and away from technology that the aliens might feel is more harmful than good.
"And as I was choking him, I realized, 'Oh shit, this is Will Smith's kid!'"
And with that it's time for the traditional Comic-Con trailer! It was filled with bits you saw already in the teaser trailer - Connelly being brought to some Army base, the interrogation, Giants Stadium getting destroyed (blasphemy!) - with some new stuff mixed in. It seems like the spaceships (or something) is falling to Earth via large sparks of light. We are told they are arriving all over the world from Central Park to Egypt. There's a lot with this swarm of blackness that seems to be destroying things (like the aforementioned home of the defending Super Bowl champions). At the end we see the growing, swirling sphere in Central Park (from the teaser poster) and then a quick shot of a giant Gort. It's hard to tell because the shot was so quick and accompanied by a flash of light but it seems somewhat similar to the original designed only modernized.
And that was that. It seems like a tough sell but apocalyptic movies about New York City getting wiped out seem to be doing pretty well. Not the worst thing I've seen but certainly didn't have me leaping up and out my seat.