It's still debatable at this point whether WANTED is going to be any good or not, but James McAvoy came down to WonderCon along with a full scene from the film to help audiences decided which side of the fence they should be on. Read on to find out where I ended up.
Director Timur Bekmambetov (NIGHT WATCH, DAY WATCH) couldn't be at the panel, but he did record a brief introduction for the clip that would be shown. The only info he gave was that he was busy working with Danny Elfman to score the film, and he also hinted that he would be doing reshoots. Not usually a good sign.
Extended Scene - Things kick off in familiar territory (if you've seen the trailer), with the action already underway inside a supermarket. Angelina Jolie has James McAvoy grabbed by collar as she arms a gun capable of aiming around corners (appropriately titled in real life, the "corner shot"). Jolie and some arbitrary bad guy exchange a couple rounds. One of the baddie's bullets travels in slo-mo through the food on the aisle, and misses Jolie by about an inch. McAvoy whimpers like a baby, and starts running away... also in slo-mo.
Baddie sees McAvoy running, and lifts his gun to shoot. Jolie sees this and shoots a conveniently placed propane tank behind the bad guy. McAvoy darts out of the store, chaos surrounding him. People are screaming and running in every direction. He stumbles down the street. Meanwhile, baddie steals a pet's food truck and attempts to run over McAvoy. Instead of getting out of the way, McAvoy curls into a ball. Jolie shows up just in the nick of time speeding down the road in a red sports car, and swerves it so that McAvoy literally gets swooped inside the passenger seat.
They speed away and engage in a frantic chase sequence with the still personality-less bad guy. McAvoy chants the F-word repeatedly, and also finds time to make other unhelpful comments like, "Just let me off here!" and "Yeah, kick his ass!" Jolie dodges in-between cars and eventually smashes into a cop car, causing it to create a massive roadblock of flipping vehicles... in slo-mo. The bad guy is still on their tail, so Jolie whips out guns. Lots of them. She can't get a good shot, so she blasts the windshield and climbs out the front of the car while telling McAvoy to take the wheel. He sneaks a peak up her dress unintentionally. Tee hee.
This goes on for a bit until the bad guy shoots two bullets that curve perfectly around a bus and take out Jolie's car's right tires perfectly... in slo-mo. Sparks fly everywhere while Jolie takes notice of a police blockade up ahead. She swerves the car to the side and it rams the cop car, flipping over the police officer's heads... in slo-mo. While the car flips, McAvoy apologizes to the cops... in slo-mo. The car then lands on the side of a bus and begins to topple it over... in slo-mo. Jolie proceeds to speed away while driving on the side of the bus.
- James McAvoy is surprisingly awkward in real life. Not in a bad way or anything. He just had trouble answering certain questions and seemed somewhat nervous. If I was a chick I'm sure I'd find that, "adorable."
- When asked about how closely the film follows the source material and if it would be delving into superpowers and supervillains, he remarked that those aspects could be explored in further films, but aren't as present in this one.
- The movie seems aimed for a hard-R rating.
- Mark Millar, writer of the graphic novel, saw a cut of the film and really liked it.
- At one point, McAvoy jumps over a bridge during the film. He described moments like these as his "chance to jump over things," ala movies he grew up with like BACK TO THE FUTURE and LETHAL WEAPON.
- McAvoy says that part of what appealed him to the project was that the good guys were questionable figures, and even his character was a bit of a loser.
- McAvoy's character from STATE OF PLAY won't be in the US remake.
- Hilarity ensued when McAvoy pounded his fist to his chest and popped up a "represent" sign when only about five people in the audience cheered in regards to his discussing STARTER FOR 10, which is one of the favorite movies he's worked on.
After the panel for WANTED, I have no idea how to feel about the movie. A studio representative commented that the footage being shown was still pretty rough, with music, CGI, and editing still needing to be worked on, but none of those things really pertain to the potential problems of the film. Based on the featured WonderCon scene alone, it's already more over-the-top than the collective running time of LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. I'm sure it can still end up being a fun ride, but just don't go in expecting something remotely believable.