Who was there?
if James Cameron giving us a piece of the upcoming SOLARIS
wasn't enough, Fox reps came out to present an even more anticipated
project to the adoring comic book audience, as director Bryan Singer,
once more, got up on stage at the San Diego Con to present us with his
insights into the production of X-MEN 2. Bryan
had shown up at the 2000 San Diego Comic Con to thank everyone for
their support of the film as it had just opened the weekend prior to
over $57 million. This time around was like "old hat" to the
man, who looked and seemed more relaxed than his last time out. He did
still look like a 15-year old boy, but that's besides the point.
he starts off by telling us that he has been shooting the second flick
for about 3-4 weeks now up in Canada, and that everything is going
pretty swell. He said that everyone from the first film was back, in
terms of the main players and actors, and that all of the same
characters would return, and some new ones would show up as well.
"Things get tense and more lives are put in jeopardy", is all
that Singer could say about the script, which he says he is trying to
keep as secretive as possible (a lot like director Jonathan Mostow had told the
crowd earlier in reference to the TERMINATOR 3 script). One
man who did manage to get his hands on a copy of the script was the
ultimate movie geek spy on the Net, Moriarty over at AICN, and for
anyone who is interested in reading his thoughts on what he read, click
before the floor was opened to a Q&A for Brian, he said that he had
put together a 1-2 minute clip of some scenes from the film that he'd
already shot. He re-iterated the fact that no special effects had been
added just yet, and that they had only been shooting for about 3-4
weeks, so he asked that we not put too much credence into the clip,
which he had just put together. Needless to say, expectations were quite low
for the clip and boy...were we ever fooled!!
either Brian and Fox didn't really know what they had on their hands or
they were just "playing" us because the 2-minute clip that I
saw (as well as the rest of the audience) was quite the kicker of ass!!
It almost seemed like the film's final trailer with an awesome tune in
the background, amazing cinematography, a much darker, sleeker look, all
of the characters back for more, a tete-a-tete between Professor X and
Magneto at the chess table, cool explosions, planes flying, SE7EN-ish
artillery men walking through the X-mansion with goggles and lights on
their guns and a WHAM ending, which featured Wolverine (aka Hugh Jackman)
running straight for the camera and shouting. All very cool. From what I
saw, more of the film seemed centered in the mansion this time around, but then again,
maybe that's all they had shot up till now. Wolverine still looked as
awesome as he ever did, and the whole thing seemed (to me, at least) as
a step up from the original (which was more of a "set up"
anyway). The clip ended with a psychotic looking Magneto (aka Ian
McKellan) looking up and saying "The war has begun", to which Professor X
replied, "Eric, what have
you done?". Wham-bam-thank-you-guys!
the clip was shown, the crowd erupted into wicked applause, and let me
tell you...it was the longest applause session that I'd heard all
weekend. Bryan seemed elated on stage, and everyone from the Fox
reps to all of his hanger-ons seemed ready to blow the guy, right then
and there. All in all, a good time. Once the audience simmered down,
they went right into the Q&A, from which I picked up these items:
terms of X-MEN 3, Bryan said that "things in this film will be
laying the groundwork for things to come, but I can't give you any
more specifics than that." That's actually something that he
would repeat quite often during his stay on stage. He did say that
there would be some "Wolverine issues" involved in this
sequel and that the origin would also be explored.
new characters are in X-MEN 2? Singer admitted to a few namely
Nightcrawler (played by Alan Cumming) and Yoriko, who he said was a
lesser known character. He also said that there would be a lot more
going on with the younger characters (like Iceman, Kitty Pride and
Rogue), which would ultimately lead into things in the 3rd chapter
asked about either Beast or Gambit showing up in this installment,
Bryan hesitated and wouldn't say much about it.
asked how he could prevent spoilers from reaching the Internet,
Singer said that he couldn't really prevent that kind of stuff himself,
and that he personally didn't have the time to check into those
types of things, but that every now and then, he gets this pile of
printed items from AICN,
Dark Horizons, etc... put on his desk and
looks them over. He said that he, personally, didn't like having
"event pictures" ruined for himself, so he hoped that
others would also avoid those kinds of things. To this, the crowd
applauded, while dozens raced to their laptops to let Harry and
Garth know about what he just said... ;)
was also asked whether or not he would be giving Halle Berry more of
a role as Storm, now that she'd won the coveted Academy Award for
her part in MONSTER'S BALL, and apparently she too had approached
him with her golden statuette, placed it before him and jokingly
said, "I want more!". Singer seemed heartbroken about this
question because he said that it was "extremely difficult"
to cover every single character deeply in a movie like this, since
it's ultimately more about the ensemble. He did say that she would
have more to do in this sequel though.
asked about either Juggernaut or the Danger Room making an
appearance in the film, Singer replied, "No."
for the new villains? Singer was, once again, very elusive in his
response but did point out that the Brotherhood's leader was in
prison, so there might be-- "..but I can't really say." Do
with that, what you will.
asked about the X-MEN dvd re-release, Singer admitted to not knowing
much about its details, since he was head-over-heels into the
production of the sequel, but did say that a good friend of his, the
same dude who handled the re-release of THE
USUAL SUSPECTS special edition dvd, was taking care of this one
as well. He said that there would definitely be more "making
of" stuff, how they did certain things, etc..., but didn't know
much more at this point.
asked whether or not he would be doing the Jean Grey saga, Singer
said that "this wasn't it" but that there was always that
possibility later down the line.
he ever work with Christopher McQuarrie again? "Of course, I'd
love that opportunity." Bryan said that he considered Chris as
one of the best writers that he'd ever worked with and that he was
sure that they'd eventually do something else together in the
future. McQuarrie and Singer are old friends from high school, and
worked on Bryan's first film together entitled PUBLIC ACCESS (which
McQuarrie co-wrote and Singer directed) and THE USUAL SUSPECTS, for
which McQuarrie won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
also said that Rogue and Bobby Drake would have much more to do in
this sequel and that their little "thing" would continue.
for the Sentinels? Singer said that they had actually drawn up some
early designs for the Sentinels but that it was more for the future,
and not for right now.
that, a dude got up and asked if we could all see that extra-kick-ass
clip of X-MEN 2 again, and being as Bryan was ready to bolt anyway, he
asked them to set it up once more, to which he got even more applause.
All in all, one of the more successful panels in terms of starting some
great hype about a flick, but not a lot of inside info, which is all good by
me, since I don't dig on spoilers either.
here to check out the official X-MEN 2 website
out the film's teaser trailer here
The Arrow and I went down to San Diego for yet another awesome COMIC
CONVENTION this year (check out our 2000 and
2001 reports respectively), and let me
tell you...there was a lot of shit going on and lots of cool and
surprising cameos. Starting Wednesday, each of the
panel coverages will go up, so check out what's to come below. And yes, the always popular
PHOTO GALLERY will be up on Friday.
Writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, actor
Ron Perlman and writer/artist
Mike Mignola discuss the upcoming comic-to-film project, as Del Toro
sneaks a few dozen "fucks" in there before the panel's first 10
minutes is up.
The Bulletproof Monk
Actor Seann William Scott and
actress/babe Jamie King sit down and
discuss their collaboration on the upcoming THE BULLETPROOF MONK, which also
co-stars the very cool Chow Yun-Fat.
The House of the Dead
Writers Mark. A. Altman and Dave
Parker discuss the 2003 release of yet another video game
making its way to the big screen: THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD. And what's this
about a VAMPIRELLA movie? Stay tuned.
The XXX panel:
Actress/babe Asia Argento hops
on stage and tells us a little something about herself and her upcoming
movie with a certain Vin Diesel. Does Vin show up unexpectedly?? (only
in my dreams... ;)
The Tooth Fairy
Actress/babe Emma Caulfield
discusses her upcoming foray into genre flicks with TOOTH FAIRY, and the
Arrow takes a few moments to discuss the film with director Jonathan
Liebesman. Tooth-pulling ensues.
The LOTR: The Two Towers
No footage was shown but we did get a couple of bits tossed our
way, as well as some cameos by Frodo, Pippin and Merry themselves (aka Elijah
Wood, Billy Boyd and Dominic
The Ecks vs Sever
Actress/babe Lucy Lui sits next
to actor/Darth Maul Ray Park and
director Kaos (who explained the
origins of his name) to discuss their collaboration with the
man with the golden cock, Antonio Banderas, in a little something called
BALLISTIC: ECKS VS SEVER (and yes, it's also based on a video game).
Actor/all-around cool guy Jason Lee
and actor Timothy Olyphant get on
stage to field some questions about the film which they are presently
shooting, based on a Stephen King novel, entitled DREAMCATCHER, but are
instead pelted with questions about Kevin Smith movies and requests to
repeat cool quotes from said flicks.
The Terminator 3
Unbeknownst to most, director Jonathan
Mostow was nice enough to drop by the Con, in order to show
off a few minutes of the highly anticipated sequel to the sequel of THE
TERMINATOR. Another "small" cameo dropped by to pay his props
to the fanboys, a gentleman by the name of Arnold
The Hulk panel:
Director Ang Lee and producers Gale
Anne Hurd, Larry J. Franco
and Avi Arad stop by to show us some
stills of the 2003 release of THE HULK (that's right, no actual footage
or pics of the green monster...darn!) and answer some questions.
Yet another big surprise came in writer/director/king of the world James
Cameron showing up for a quick Q&A about the upcoming
sci-fi flick SOLARIS (which he produced and Steven Soderbergh wrote and
directed), as well as a 4-minute clip from the actual movie, starring
The X-Men 2
Director Bryan Singer was nice
enough to leave his Vancouver set of X2 and come down to Diego for some
questions from the audience and to show us the coolest 2-minute clip
that I saw all weekend. Wow!! The man apparently has only been shooting
from about 3-4 weeks, but from what we all saw of the clip...this movie
looks like a fuckin' slam-dunk!
This was one of the biggest panels with writer/director Mark
Steven Johnson leading the pack, alongside DAREDEVIL himself,
Ben Affleck, as well as producer Avi
Arad, Gary Foster and
comic guru Joe Quesada. Yet another
exclusive clip was shown from the movie, and it will also be discussed.
JoBlo.com Photo Gallery:
provide us FEEDBACK on any of this here
Pictures from our trip to California / Vegas for anyone who gives a
shit. Here are the links to last
year's photo gallery and the one from 2000.