CATEGORIES Comic-Con
The buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and more.

Comic-Con ain't just for fanboys anymore.

A bigger event for Hollywood with each passing year, it's where the buzz begins and builds on major movies of every kind, from superhero ('Watchmen') to sci-fi ('Terminator: Salvation') to horror ('Wolf Man') to comedy ('Zack and Miri Make a Porno').

After an action-packed long weekend in San Diego, we bring you the 20 biggest developments from Comic-Con 2008.


The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

Comic-Con ain't just for fanboys anymore. A bigger event for Hollywood with each passing year, it's where the buzz begins and builds on major movies of every kind, from superhero ('Watchmen') to sci-fi ('Terminator Salvation') to horror ('Wolf Man') to comedy ('Zack and Miri Make a Porno'). After an action-packed long weekend in San Diego, we bring you the 20 biggest developments from Comic-Con 2008.
-- By Patricia Chui and Kevin Polowy

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

1. 'Watchmen' Darker Than 'Knight'?

Director Zack Snyder ('300') screened footage of the highly anticipated 'Watchmen,' featuring the "non-PG aspects of the movie" (mindful of the mega-success of the very dark 'Dark Knight,' perhaps?). The meditative montage set to a haunting Smashing Pumpkins soundtrack proved stylish and solemn -- and further amped up the hankering for the adaptation of a graphic novel long considered unfilmable.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

2. 'Twilight' Is Gonna Be HUGE

We've seen predictions that the vamp-romance-novel adaptation 'Twilight' is gonna be the next 'Harry Potter,' but nothing prepared us for the hysteria that accompanied its Comic-Con panel, with the screams of teenage girls hitting decibels we never knew existed. Imagine a surprise performance by the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus -- featuring Jesus Christ resurrected -- and you might be close.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

3. 'Terminator' Rebooting Just Right

Director McG hopes to pull a Christopher Nolan on the 'Terminator' franchise (i.e., reinvigorate it) with '09's 'Terminator Salvation' (also starring Christian Bale). If the footage we saw at Comic-Con is any indication, he's on his way; it's a gritty tale with a grey-tinted post-apocalyptic look. McG also debunked buzz the film will be PG-13 and all but confirmed a cameo by the Governator.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

4. X-Man Packs the Action

In the Con's first surprise, Fox brought out buff, bearded 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' star Hugh Jackman, who intro'ed the film's debut trailer to thundering applause. The action-packed preview, which plays up Wolverine's budding rivalry with Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber) and drew the biggest cheers for 'Friday Night Lights' heartthrob Taylor Kitsch, falls somewhere between kick-ass and bad-ass.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

5. 'The Spirit' Ain't No 'Sin City'

Don't chalk up Frank Miller's 'The Spirit' as a sequel of sorts to 'Sin City': not only is Miller's first solo directorial effort a lot more colorful, it's a whole lot more comedic and zany. It's also even sexier, with Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Jaime King and Paz Vega providing eye candy. To give a taste, Miller introduced one clip he called 'Eva Underwater in a Wetsuit.' We're sold.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

6. Keanu Makes for a Mean Alien

Director Scott Derrickson and stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly discussed this winter's 'The Day the Earth Stood Still,' a remake of Robert Wise's sci-fi classic. We saw Reeves batter his way out of custody as visiting E.T. Klaatu, appearing sufficiently creepy for the part. Derrickson, meanwhile, debunked rumors that Klaatu's robo-pal Gord will not appear (we caught a glimpse of him).

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

7. The Socialite Actors Guild

Spotted at Comic-Con: Batman & Joker, Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia ... Paris Hilton & Kim Kardashian? The two famous party girls, sex tape stars and tabloid staples crashed Nerdstock with movies of their own: Hilton promoting the horror-musical 'Repo! The Genetic Opera' and Kardashian tag-teaming with Carmen Electra for the spoof flick 'Disaster Movie.' See, Comic-Con is that HOT.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

8. Guy Ritchie Returns to Form

Asked whether he felt the pressure to direct another hit after two major busts ('Swept Away' and 'Revolver'), Guy Ritchie had one word: "Yep." He describes 'Rocknrolla,' his latest foray into the grimy London crime world starring Gerard Butler, as "spillover from 'Lock Stock' and 'Snatch.'" Is our hope in Mr. Madonna renewed after seeing the full-length trailer? In a word, yep.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

9. Sam Raimi Returns to Roots

'Drag Me to Hell,' the latest from 'Spider-Man' director Sam Raimi, recalls his early 'Evil Dead' work (more on that next). We saw two hilarious, grotesque clips from the campy horror flick. In one, star Alison Lohman abuses an evil old woman with office supplies. In the other, the old woman explosively vomits insects all over Lohman's face. That Raimi has a way with bugs.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

10. 'Evil Dead 4' Coming to Life

Sam Raimi's 'Drag Me to Hell' looks fun, sure, but the biggest news out of his panel was his answer to a fan inquiring about a potential new 'Evil Dead' movie. "I'd love to make another 'Evil Dead' picture ... actually that's in the wheelhouse. I'd like to work on it with my brother Ivan when he comes up next week." The thousands in attendance agreed that'd be great bonding time for the bros.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

11. Will Shia Be the 'Last Man'?

At a pre-Comic-Con press event, 'Eagle Eye' director DJ Caruso let slip some info the fanboys would've eaten up: He's ready to start work on the graphic novel 'Y: The Last Man.' Warner Bros. wants to release it in summer 2010, and Caruso sees it as a trilogy; he also confirmed that Shia LaBeouf is eager to star in it, with "exhaustion" being the real obstacle. (Well, that, or another DUI.)

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

12. Another Unlikely Hero for Pixar

At the Disney/Pixar presentation for its '09 project 'UP,' director Pete Docter introduced 'UP''s star: a 76-year-old widower named Carl (voiced by Ed Asner) who rigs a mass of balloons to his house and sails to South America. Docter showed a scene from the movie: Imagine Pixar meets Miyazaki, and expect yet another triumph for the studio that made cooking rats and bleeping robots irresistible.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

13. 'Sonja': A New Start

Partners Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan would like us to forget the 1985 version of 'Red Sonja' starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their 2010 take on 'Sonja' doesn't "have anything to do with the other movie, it's based on the Robert E. Howard books and the comics," Rodriguez told us. Added McGowan: "And I'm not going to have a mullet." Sorry, mullet fanciers.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

14. 'Witch Mountain': Now an Action Movie

We wouldn't buy 'Race to Witch Mountain' director Andy Fickman's claim that this reimagining of the Disney movies will kick ass -- except that the rough trailer did have some cool action sequences; and of course, it stars Dwayne Johnson, the buffest guy who's ever charmed the pants off us. (His response to a fan who'd driven from Texas to see him: "Clearly, there's some good weed in Texas.")

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

15. All Hail the Wrath of 'Tron'

The panel for family flick 'Race to Witch Mountain' ended, the lights dimmed ... and then the Disney folks unveiled what instantly became the biggest buzz of Comic-Con: footage from 'Tron 2,' long-awaited sequel to the 1982 classic. Duelling light cycles! Badass Jeff Bridges! As one observer put it, it looked like "an M&M candy-coated 'Minority Report.' And that's a good thing." Yum.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

16. Psychics 'Push' the Envelope

One cool thing about Comic-Con is that it puts lesser-known movies on the radar ... like 'Push,' directed by Paul McGuigan ('Lucky Number Slevin') and starring Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans, Camilla Belle and Djimon Hounsou as humans with psychic abilities. Sure, it sounds like 'Heroes' lite; but the footage had us intrigued, and not just because it shows Dakota cursing (gasp!).

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

17. 'Wolf Man' Has the Pedigree

The 'Wolf Man' panel was supposed to be "only" makeup artist Rick Baker (a man so revered he got an Oscar nom for 'Norbit'), so fans got a treat when stars Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt joined him. The trio introduced a deliciously gory trailer from the looks of which, expect an R-rating for this period horror flick reminiscent of 'Sleepy Hollow' and 'Interview With the Vampire.'

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

18. The Next Big Rapper-Actor

Promoting two major releases was a familiar face with an unfamiliar name: Chris Bridges, better known as hip-hop mega-star Ludacris, at Comic-Con for the Mark Wahlberg actioner 'Max Payne' and Guy Ritchie's 'Rocknrolla.' Said Wahlberg: "I came from the music world, so I'm always a little suspect of guys, and how much they commit, but he is the next big bright shining star to come out of hip-hop."

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

19. Jason Voorhees 2.0

At the panel for the '09 remake of the original 'Friday the 13th,' producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (of 'Amityville Horror' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' remaking fame) promised fans they'll meet a "quicker, swifter Jason," not some lumbering Frankenstein type. "It's a very real, raw scare," added star Jared Padalecki. We look forward to the very real, raw machete hackings-to-death.

The Buzz on 'Watchmen,' 'Wolverine' and More

20. Kevin Smith Makes Hilarious 'Porno'

Comic-Con's funniest panel belonged to Kevin Smith and his 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' cast (including Judd Apatow crossovers Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks and Justin Long). We saw a clip that had man-on-man action between Long and Brandon Routh (yep, Superman) and the most talked-about line of the Con, the name of a gay porno Long's character appears in: 'Shut Your Mouth Before I F*** It.'