Comic Con 2012: Total Recall and Looper panels with Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Along with ELYSIUM, Sony brought a couple more anticipated science fiction movies.

Len Wiseman’s TOTAL RECALL remake had a presence at last year’s Con, and is only a few weeks away from its wide release. We know the three-boobed alien chick is back and that Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale have a catfight, so all the important bases are covered, right?

On deck today at the panel today were Wiseman, Beckinsale, Biel, Bryan Cranston and Colin Farrell. Wiseman began by showing a six minute clip that was essentially an extended version of the trailer. The only brief additions seemed to be a bit where Colin Farrell needs to cut a tracking device out of his hand, a nod to the red-haired lady disguise from the original, and more from the futuristic car chase. Honestly, most of the footage seemed to showcase Kate Beckinsale being badass as the villain more than anyone else. Guess Wiseman really loves his wife. (I would too!)

  • Wiseman wrapped the completed film 7 days ago and says he’s happy with the final product
  • Farrell said Beckinsale was “the worst wife ever” and she admitted she was a little offended her husband thought of her for the villain. On retreading Sharon Stone’s performance, Beckinsale said the tone of this movie is so different that she’s a completely different character and a female that doesn’t need a man backing her up like the original. And as an action star, Beckinsale said she looks forward to terrifying her daughter’s future boyfriends.
  • Farrell also said he didn’t feel the need to “fill those size 16 shoes” as this film was different enough from the original that he didn’t think he was copying Arnie. Though he did consider using an Austrian accent for about 7 minutes before realizing how terrible an idea it was. Also, no cheesy one-liners from him, though Kate does.
  • When it was revealed that the movie doesn’t go to Mars, the fans began murmuring with discontent until Bryan Cranston said “If we didn’t have the hooker with three boobs, we’d all be upset.”
  • Design-wise, Wiseman wanted to create a future world that was built on top of itself due to overpopulation. His vision came from his collection of sci-fi art and childhood fantasies.
  • Cranston says he wanted his Copenhagen to be different from Ronny Cox’s by not portraying him as a typical villain. He doesn’t want to kill Quaid, just get him to behave like a rebellious teen son. Cranston was awesome during the panel, even when some fan went crazy for him over his role in How I Met Your Mother.
  • Biel signed on because of the love story between her and Colin. (Yeah right.)
  • Ferrell said Wiseman convinced him to join by showing him production art. He then turned to Beckinsale and said “I can only wonder what he showed you to reel you in.” This led to an uncomfortable few minutes where everyone claimed they slept with Len Wiseman.
  • And sadly, no word on Kuato.

As someone who flipped for both BRICK and THE BROTHER’S BLOOM, to see Rian Johnson tackling a hard sci-fi time traveling thriller is more exciting than pretty much anything that’s happened ever. Dueling assassins, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt AS Bruce Willis…we want to see LOOPER now and today’s panel just made the wait even longer.

Johnson, JGL and Emily Blunt all came out to introduce the footage, (Willis is currently making DIE HARD 11 in Eastern Europe.)

The footage started with Joe setting up the future-assassin concept via narration. (His voice sounds appropriately gravelly like Willis.) We then get our first look at Jeff Daniels, a guy from the future working in the present as Joe’s boss. He gave him his first start in the business at a young age but feels bad and wants him to get out while he can. (They argue over France vs. China until Daniels says “I’m from the future, go to China.”) Next, there’s the scene from the trailer where Joe first encounters his future self and can’t kill him. Eventually this leads to a confrontation between the two at a diner that’s just electric. Willis tries to convince him to help him change the future, while Levitt tries to figure out if his being alive means Willis knows what’s going to happen. Before he can continue, Willis overpowers him and throws him through a window. The rest of the clip was quick shots featuring some amazing visual imagery from what I assume is an insane final act. I don’t want to spoil too much for you or for me, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • The initial idea stemmed from Johnson reading a lot of Phillip K. Dick. In terms of the complexity of time travel, Johnson said he was aiming more for something like THE TERMINATOR more than the awesome PRIMER. Meaning, he wants to use the time travel device to set up the assassin hunting story, not explain the logic of how time travel works.
  • The footage didn’t feature much of Blunt, which she claims is due to the fact that her character’s role is a secret in the film. The only thing she did say was that she gets embroiled in all of it when “Joe becomes a pussy.”
  • Rian wrote the main role exclusively for JGL, despite looking nothing like Willis. They decided to only add some subtle prosthetics and let the actor’s performance sell it, not make up. And from what we’ve seen and heard, Gordon Levitt does.
  • Despite his talents, Blunt confirmed that JGL is “not a good mimic” and that his British accent painfully bad. To get Bruce Willis’ famous vocals right, the actor took the audio from all of his movies and listened to it repeatedly on his iPod, as well as Willis speaking the same narration.
  • Everybody also spoke highly of Willis as an actor and a person. JGL claimed that he loved LOOPER’s script and was really in to the role and his passion really inspired everyone else to do better. Sounds good to us!



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