After Thursday's Hall H offerings more or less covered the entirety of comic book an genre fandom's future favorite films, among them Tron, Avatar, and the future classic Kick-Ass, it seemed an impossible task for almost anyone to top what was shown, much less to muster enthusiasm from the already punch-drunk crowd. And yet, Warner Brothers made a remarkably strong showing with their presentation of not one or two but six upcoming films, almost all of which looks ready to redefine fans' expectations.
Included in Warner's presentation:
• Where the Wild Things Are. Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's tale promises to be the wildest, saddest and most ode to childhood imagination ever filmed, thanks to an approach that captures the wistful feeling of realizing that your dreams are sometimes attainable, but no longer what you truly want, not to mention Jonze's use of amazingly organic and naturalistic cinematography. Child star Max Records introduced a compilation of images and sequences from the film, and all signs indicate that the film will be as heartbreaking as it is gorgeous.
• The Book of Eli. Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis star in this post-apocalyptic tale that offers plenty of action and plenty of visual style, thanks to directors Allen and Albert Hughes. While the footage screened was limited largely to a trailer, a "motion comic" offered a sort of origin story for Oldman's character, Carnegie, and comments and observations from the cast and crew suggested it could be a terrifically gritty and entertaining film. You can check out the new trailer over on Apple.
• A Nightmare on Elm Street. Producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (Friday the 13th) return to Comic-Con with their latest remake, based on the film series about a child murderer who returns from being burned alive to take revenge on a whole new generation of high schoolers. Jackie Earle Haley looks amazing as Freddy, the kind of burn victim you couldn't help but look at if he sat next to you on the city bus, while the short preview clip promised a wealth of gore and suspense that lived up to the franchise without succumbing to its impulse to turn Freddy into a wiseacre.
• Jonah Hex. Director Jimmy Heyward adapts the long-running comic book series into a feature film, in the process condensing spaghetti westerns, revisionist history, and Megan Fox's corseted abdomen into one sexy, spectacular opus. Fox appeared at the panel only to find herself the object of affection for virtually every fanboy in the crowd, but thankfully star Josh Brolin, co-star Michael Fassbender and director Heyward kept proceedings light, even when an attendee asked if Megan would be interested in filming a sex tape (seriously).
• Sherlock Holmes. Barely waiting until Fox, Brolin and co. had left the stage, Robert Downey Jr. bounded front and center in front of a capacity crowd to offer a first look at his version of the world's most iconic detective. The footage fully lived up to director guy Ritchie's glib, muscular style, and indicated that he may have finally found material that properly takes advantage of it. But Downey Jr.'s performance both in the clips and on stage all but guaranteed that folks will be at theaters opening day just to see what he does next.