Comic Con 2011: Live Blogging The Legendary Pictures Panel
Legendary Pictures, the production company behind movies you might have heard of like The Dark Knight and The Hangover, is holding their first panel ever at Comic Con, and for some reason it's off in a tiny room that definitely can't hold all the people who wanted to get in. Lucky for you, I'm here! And I'm ready to liveblog the hell out of the panel, which promises to includes pre-production looks at Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, the Mass Effect movie and more. Check it all out below!
12:46 Jeff Boucher of the LA Times, the moderator, takes the stage with the Legendary execs. They talk a little about how fun it is to make movies with Chris Nolan, but it's already time for the talent to take the stage.
12:49 Massive, massive cheers for Guillermo del Toro, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and writer Travis Beacham as they take the stage.
12:50 The crowd immediately demands Guillermo del Toro to drop the f-bomb, and of course, he obliges. This guy cannot be held back by audience members under 18!
12:51 Del Toro explains that the image floating around on the screen (see it below) is in fact the logo for the film. He hints that there are more cast members to be announced shortly.
12:52 "There are pieces of the cast who can't be here, mostly because they don't fucking fit. That's the monsters and the robots." Del Toro then pledges to make "The greatest fucking robots ever committed to the screen."
12:53 "Something tragic happened, which was that Mountains of Madness went away. But then something beautiful happened two days later." That would be del Toro taking on Pacific Rim, of course.
12:54 Del Toro introduces Idris Elba as "the fucking man" and "Stringer Bell, motherfucker!"
12:54 Charlie Hunnam's goatee is more interesting than all the compliments he pays to his costars and del Toro. Snooze.
12:55 Charlie Day starts talking: "I don't have a fancy accent, but I promise to work on one before we start this movie."
12:56 Del Toro says he cast Charlie Day only because he agreed to let del Toro play "the fat wino in the corner of the bar" on an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
12:57 "Giant fucking monsters against giant fucking robots." That's del Toro's simple explanation of what the movie is about. Good enough for me!
12:58 The conceit of the story seems to be about where these giant fucking robots and monsters came from. "What would happen in the real world if a 25-story high thing came out and started destroying things. What would really happen? How would things change?"
12:59 Del Toro says they wanted to keep the story grounded, set it in "almost the now," make it feel like it's happening in the real world.
1:00 "it posits a very delicate human scale problem and conflict against the gigantic scope, scale situation." Del Toro apologizes for sounding "haiku-ish" in his description, but he's obviously keeping it under wraps. And that's it for Pacific Rim!!
1:01 Jeff Bridges takes the stage to shouts of "Dude!" to start talking about The Seventh Son.
1:03 He's up there with co-star Ben Barnes and director Sergei Bodrov. They're showing some concept art for the movie that looks impressively dark, and there's a giant monster in there somehow. That's two giant monster panels in a row if you're keeping count.
1:04 Barnes, who you may know better as Prince Caspian from the Narnia movies, says he's never seen this concept art before. He and Bridges both got sold on doing the project after seeing Bodrov's movie Mongol.
1:05 Alicia Vikander, presumably the female lead of the movie, is also up onstage. It's rare for the female star to be overshadowed by a man, but Jeff Bridges, his giant beard and Hawaiian shirt are getting all the attention up there.
1:06 "It's a story about Jeff here," Bodrov says of the film's plot. As we've heard in casting announcements, Bridges plays a witch hunter who takes on a new apprentice, who Barnes will play.
1:08 Somehow the moderator gets Bridges talking about Tron: Legacy. "It rubbed against my acting fur," he said of all the computer-generated elements of the movie. Bridges should be on every Comic Con panel.
1:11 And that's the end of Seventh Son. They are whipping through this thing.
1:11 Next up, Bradley Cooper for Paradise Lost. He gets much, much bigger cheers than poor director Alex Proyas, but I guess that's how these things go.
1:13 Proyas talks about the Archangel Michael and Adam & Eve fitting into the story, which he admits is "pretty big." They're showing some concept art and a very basic title treatment-- you're probably not surprised to hear that there's a lot of fire and brimstone involved. Take a look below.
1:14 Cooper put together an audition tape in his kitchen to make his pitch to play Lucifer, which he admits was a little crazy to have "the guy from The Hangover playing Lucifer." But given that The Hangover made a ton of money for Legendary, you can kind of see the appeal for the studio.
1:16 Cooper says he thinks of this as a small story about an "intimate nuclear family." I suppose that's one way to go about it.
1:18 Boucher asks Cooper what The Hangover has meant to him. "To make two movies was incredible" sounds to me like code for "please don't make us do a third."
1:20 Proyas says the big potential pitfall is avoiding the visual depictions of Paradise Lost that have been done throughout history. Given that this is a story almost literally as old as time, that's a pretty tall order.
1:22 "Does anybody like video games?" the moderator asks. Sounds like it's time to move on to Mass Effect.
1:23 Thomas Tull talks about the long history of video game movie adaptations not going that well. He argues that Mass Effect has the deep mythology to make it work.
1:24 They show a trailer for Mass Effect 3, the video game that hits in March of next year. Legendary is developing the movie adaptation, but things are so early they can't really talk about much. They bring out the game's creator Casey Hudson and screenwriter Mark Protosevich anyway, so we'll see what they can say.
1:26 Protosevich is asked what might set this apart from all the other failed video game adaptations. He's pretty canny about what's made the other ones so bad: "You can get seduced by the idea of the game being a good idea for a movie, because of the visual strength of the video game.... In the early days there was an attraction to the idea of, let's try to recreate this experience, instead of pausing and asking yourself, "Is this a good story?... I think most games would fail that litmus test. This one does not."
1:29 He says they're solely focusing on the first game for the adaptation right now.
1:31 I get why they wanted to talk about Mass Effect here, but everything is in such early stages that it's all maddeningly vague. How many times have we already heard people promising that this time they're really going to get the video game adaptation right?
1:34 Thomas Tull comes back to tell us about the swag we can pick up for being here. They've got a Hot Wheels van with the Legendary logo on it, a copy of Mass Effect 2-- the crowd loves this! One more thing: "We will have something to say soon on a little project called Godzilla." And that's all she wrote for this!
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