I'm ensconced back in the press section in the massive Hall H, giving us flashbacks to yesterday's Paramount panel. However, today I have the benefit of a few hours of sleep, a cinnamon roll, and half a banana. The Comic-Con breakfast of champions.
I'll be doing my best to bring you all the hot Warner Bros. deets as they come out. Will we see anything from The Dark Knight? Speed Racer? Watchmen? Goonies II? (Hey, I can dream). They gave us more swag bags on the way in, which included a t-shirt for The Invasion, a pretty swell Get Smart Control/KAOS shirt, and a bunch of other little things, including a very timely Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix pin. Woot!
And we're off! A bit late, but who's complaining because we're starting with a really cool preview of Get Smart. Anne Hathaway looks really hot as Agent 99, and Steve Carrell as Maxwell Smart = genius casting. Masi Oka is in it, as well as more explosions, rock and roll, and gadgets than the old TV show ever had. It concludes with Steve in an F-16, and a little tiny bag full of puke, which pretty much explodes all over the place.
They bring out director Pete Segal, Masi Oka, Ken Davitian (from Borat), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (crowd goes nuts), oh ... and Steve Carrell. Woot! The goes crazy for Steve Carrell for a good five solid minutes.
- A fan asks "Can you guys tell us any behind the scenes funny stories?" This draws a sort of blank look from the entire panel. Steve Carrell says, "Well, Pete Segal pretty much never wore pants the whole time, and no underwear either. And I found that funny."
- What's it like playing Maxwell Smart? "It's great ... it was one of my favorite shows. I got a call and was asked to come into Warner Bros., and I showed up with my headshot and my resume, because I thought I was auditioning, but I walked into a conference room and was asked if I wanted to play Maxwell Smart. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I'm trying to play tribute to Don Adams, and I don't think I can ever be as good as we was. It's an honor for me to be able to do this."
- A fanboy gets up and rambles and rambles, never getting to the point, and Steve yells "Get to the point! Is there a question?!" He's joking. Finally, the guy spits it out, and asks if they thought of the film as a comedy. Steve quips, "I thought of the film as a comedic The Bourne Identity. This is a real world, and the villains are quite ominous. I don't think it's funny when the character in a movie 'realizes' they're in a comedy."
- Directed at The Rock, "What's the funniest movie you've ever made?" Big surprise coming here, you ready? Wait for it ... "I'd have to say Get Smart. The thought of working with Steve Carrell, just ... " Catcalls from the audience at this point. The Rock asks Steve, "Is that your wife?"
- An adorably cute little girl gets up and asks "What was cool about playing spies and stuff?"
- "I have a question for The Rock ... how much can you bench?" The Rock, "How much do you weigh?" The crowd loves it.
- Someone asks what their characters are like, and Masi Oka says "Well, I play one of the gadget guys, and we make gadgets that .. don't ... quite ... work." Ken Davitian says, "I got to wear clothes." Thank god for that is all I can say.
- According to Pete, says Agent 13 is in the movie in a really cool cameo, and Heimie the Robot is in it too.
On to The Invasion. We have a recorded greeting from Nicole Kidman about The Invasion. "This presents a very disturbing and interesting twist from the original material. Our director was Oliver Hirschbiegel, and Joel Silver was the producer, and it was an honor to be able to work with them." She introduces the trailer for the film, and it looks spooky.
Next up, they roll out the trailer for One Missed Call, which has Ed Burns and Shannon Sassaman in it. There are some extremely spooky scenes in this movie, including a huge crucifix that comes to life and is guaranteed to scare the crud out of anyone with a Catholic background.
- For Ed Burns: "What was it like working with these guys as opposed to the Entourage guys?" "Well, this show was mostly women, and Entourage was mostly guys ... but there were scary moments on both sets."
- Ed is asked about a possible sequel to Confidence, which was rumored to be in the works on the nets. "Well, there was some talk about that awhile ago before the movie came out, but like most of my films ... that died at the box office."
- They then hand out some Apple iPhones to the people who got up and asked questions. Sweet!
They're showing us the trailers for both 10,000 BC and Whiteout, which are two diametrically opposed movies. One is in ... well, 10,000 BC, the other is about murder, intrigue, and general spookiness in Antarctica. In fact, it reminds me a lot of John Carpenter's The Thing.
- They bring out Hollywood mega-producer Joel Silver, as well as writer (of the graphic novel) Greg Rucka and director Dominic Sena from Whiteout.
- A little kid (we're talking 10 or so) gets up and asks if any pranks were pulled on set. Dominic said "Well, not many except when Kate Beckinsale was on set. It was pretty dirty and involved her mother and dildos." Joel Silver says, "Uh, you realize he was like ... ten."
- "Is there any chance of King and Country coming to the big screen?" Greg remarks that he'd like for it to be there. A company currently owns the rights and is sitting on them. Ahhh, Hollywood.
- Another young kid gets up and asks what it was like "being in a murder movie." What is it with the kids these days? Crazy. Dominic talks about how fun and exciting it was to work on this film, the standard director boilerplate.
- "What can you tell us about Speed Racer?" Finally, some dirt! Joel Silver give us a tiny morsel, "Well, they've put together a fantastic cast, and it's a great story ... very colorful and the races are really spectacular."
- An even tinier girl .. like five years old, asks "When is da movee coming out?" So cute. Dominic says, "Man, now I feel bad about what I said earlier." To answer the question though, Joel Silver tells us some time in 2008.
- Another good question, "Hi ... um, where's Kate?" Good question! She's apparently "getting ready" and who knows where she is as there are repeated looks offstage. Dominic says, "I think they're trying to get her into that tight black leather outfit. Oh wait, wrong movie ... I mean the parka."
- They show the trailer again, due to the Weinstein-like urging of Joel Silver. Seems like no one ever says no to the guy.
- They finally manage to produce Kate Beckinsale from somewhere, and she's definitely wearing an outfit that would take hardly any time to get into. A fan asks her if she'd ever consider taking the role of Catwoman in one of the Batman films if it was offered to her. "Because I have a thing for black latex? Well, I think it would be hard to fill that role after Michelle Pfeiffer did so well, but my husband would probably kill me if I turned the role down."
- For Kate, "How was working on this film different that working on Underworld?" Kate: "Well, I had to sleep with the director a lot less." Dominic: "Shucks." Kate: "Well, I got to be a lot more 'human' in this film. I got to use my 'teeth' ... I got to be bruised, and I liked it."
- "Kate, you seem to do a lot of genre films ... are you mean on set when you're in costume? Do you crave that?" Kate: "I do crave that ... is that bad? No, the biggest difference between this costume and Underworld was that when I was in costume on that film and I bent over, someone behind me would always go 'Uhhhhhnnnn.' On this film, I got to wear parkas so it didn't really happen." Dominic: "Oh, it happened, you just didn't hear it."
- Were you ever approached to do a James Bond film? "I was ... I don't remember which one it was, but I think I embarrassed my daughter enough. You're always required to be in your underwear in a James Bond movie, and once your kids reach third grade, you don't want to shame them. It was the same thing with Wonder Woman, the costume is basically underwear."
- For Kate: "Is it harder working with a green screen, or learning Shakespeare?" "I have to say it's harder working with green screen ... I know you don't believe me, but I actually haven't had that much experience with green screens."
- Final question, for Joel: "Who would win in a fight between Mel from Lethal Weapon, and Bruce Willis from Die Hard." Joel fires back, "Who would you want to win? The answer is ... I would."
"Who Watches the Watchmen?" They bring out helmer Zack Snyder ... solo. He tells us "It's very lonely up here." He'll be talking and answering questions, and giving us some surprises, "Nothing awesome though." Boo.
- "Most people know how they feel about "Watchmen" when they read it, and for me it sort of legitimized a way of thinking I had. It combined everything that comic books can be, as far as being intellectual, being action, representing something bigger than what's on the page."
- "When I was first approached about the film, and was asked if I wanted to do it ... I said no." Then I sat in some meetings, and they talked about bringing the story into the modern day, and seeing how it fit in with our current politic climate. I thought ... okay, and I went away to think about that. Finally I decided that Watchmen shouldn't come to the people, but that the people should come to Watchmen."
- "I decided it was better to keep it set in 1985, which is basically a period film at this point. That was a long time ago."
- "If this film isn't PG-13, then I don't know what it is. If you read the book, this is what happens. It's an R-rated superhero movie. Are there any other R-rated superhero movies?" Someone shouts out "Blade!" Snyder responds, "Blade? Really?" Not in a surprised way ... but in a sarcastic-ish way.
- "We're not going to make this accessible to teenyboppers." This gets applause from the audience, but come on, did they ever really consider this?
- "We're building a lot of practical sets, we have a Manhattan skyline. Obviously we're not building things like Mars, but I promise you ... if we could go to Mars, we would. There's no way they'd spend the money on an R-rated movie to go to Mars."
- "The cast in this movie is ... perfect. In the sense that we have real actors in this movie, it's not an exercise in marketing. We have people who can really act. I made a movie called 300 that had no stars in it, and a couple of people saw it."
- "I was supposed to announce the cast here, but as you probably know I was scooped by the press."
- There have been some comments about the cast being younger than they are in the graphic novel. There's a lot of flashbacks in the film, and I didn't want to cast two actors to play the young and old roles."
- "Billy Crudup is playing Dr. Manhattan, and when he's pretty much just Billy before the accicdent happens. Afterwards we have a CGI version of Billy as Dr. Manhattan. I didn't want to see someone with blue paint all over their body, which was actually discussed. We needed someone who could glow, and who would look awesome when they grow to 200 feet and are stomping through the jungles of Vietnam."
- "As for the surprises, I have Malin Akerman with me who is playing Laurie, and Jackie Earl Haley, who will be playing Rorshach." I'm amazed at how much Haley looks like Rorshach. Just give him the red hair and you're there.
- "If you've read the comic book, you know that when Rorschach goes up to the Comedian's apartment, he shoots his grappling gun through the window and goes up to investigate ... it's all laid out very distinctly. If you don't shoot it that way, then you're full of shit."
- Someone asks "Will the pirate story be in the movie?" (it's a running story in a comic book within the comic book in the original story) Zack: "We're working on that, I want that in there. It's like working on two scripts at once."
- "Previous Alan Moore scripts have fallen short of the mark, will this be different?" Zack: "Well, I really want the guy that frickin' created this to like it, but he's asked for his name to not be on the film. Right now, I've told him we'll do whatever he wants, but I hope he does like it."
- A guy shows up in a Rorshach costume and asks if they're using the same CGI that they used in 300. "No, if we used those kinds of things it would look more like Sin City. Our movie will look something more like Seven."
- The next guy to ask a question shows up in a pretty impressive Night Owl costume. We can't hear his question because everyone is laughing at the costume. Although seriously, it looks right out of the comic.
- Another surprise, he reveals a teaser poster created by Dave Gibbons specifically for Comic-Con. It features really awesome artwork and the date of the film, 3/6/9.