It only one took major movie panel for Comic-Con's first whopper of a surprise.
At what appeared to be the end of this morning's presentation from Fox (slated to feature only 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' and 'Max Payne'), the announcement was made: "All the way from Australia..." Out trotted a very buff and bearded Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine.
Cue the sound of Hall H's 6,500 guests going apes***.
'X-Man' marks the spot, vampires leave fans shrieking, and 'Tron' returns.
It only one took major movie panel for Comic-Con's first whopper of a surprise. At what appeared to be the end of this morning's presentation from Fox (slated to feature only 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' and 'Max Payne'), the announcement was made: "All the way from Australia..." Out trotted a very buff and bearded Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine. Cue the sound of Hall H's 6,500 guests going apes***. The ever-likable Aussie thanked fans repeatedly for "making his career" before rewarding them with the premiere of the trailer for 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine.' The preview, which plays up Wolverine's budding rivalry with Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber) and got the biggest cheers from the appearance of 'Friday Night Lights' heartthrob Taylor Kitsch, fell somewhere squarely between kick-ass and bad-ass.
The day's other big shocker came after Disney's presentation of 'Race to Witch Mountain' when studio reps unveiled footage from 'Tron 2,' the sequel to the 1982 classic, which up until this point had merely been speculation. The Hall H crowd was left buzzing (or is that hyperventilating we hear?). As one friend of Moviefone described the computer animation, it looked like "an M&M candy-coated 'Minority Report.' And that's a good thing." Amen.
Hall H, home to all of the major movie studio panels, was heavily populated by females, a mighty rarity at Comic-Con. One reason for that: 'Twilight,' the upcoming first adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's insanely popular vampire trilogy, which today confirmed the hype that it is the next coming of 'Harry Potter.' To simply describe the eardrum-piercing screams, which hit decibels we never knew existed when the film was announced during the Summit Entertainment panel, would not do it justice. But I'll try anyway: Imagine the sound of a surprise performance by the Jonas Brothers featuring Miley Cyrus and Jesus Christ resurrected. (There has to be a few more hearing impaired folks walking around San Diego tonight.)
"Yeah, I get totally nervous," 'Twilight' star Kristen Stewart admitted to us backstage when asked if the rabid fan base can get overwhelming. "But they're like me, they're my age, so it's less daunting to come out and see a bunch of girls who are happy to see you. It's definitely crazy, but it's good." Stewart also assured that she lives "a fairly normal life. This is like five minutes of my life."
In other Day 1 highlights:
--Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan introduced their 2010 actioner 'Red Sonja,' though no other cast members were announced (can we get a Brigitte Nielson cameo?). Rodriguez said the film "doesn't have anything to do with" the 1985 version starring Nielson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and gushed to us about his partner and collaborator: "What do you need in an action hero? Strong-willed, attitude to boot. Smart, funny, deadly, sexy." Standing directly next to him, McGowan beamed. "Ha!"
--Guy Ritchie looks like he'll truly return to form with 'RocknRolla,' a new crime thriller he described as "spillover from 'Lock, Stock' and 'Snatch'" during the Warner Bros. panel. Attendees included Ritchie, Jeremy Piven, Chris Bridges (aka Ludacris) and Gerard Butler, who fielded roughly 90 percent of the fan questions and other calls for him to "take it off." Butler was hilarious, and shared the best anecdote of the day, revealing that while he was sick on set, Madonna played nurse, telling him to drop his pants before giving him a shot in the rear. The best part? "It didn't work."
--Dakota Fanning, the Meryl Streep of 14-year-old girls," missed Summit's presentation of the psychic thriller 'Push' (co-starring Chris Evans and Camille Belle) because she was stuck in traffic. But when she arrived, she still made it on stage to wave hello and apologize. "It was really neat to have a special power, I've never had one in a movie," Fanning said later. Had us fooled.