SDCC 2011: IAR's Conarama Comic-Con Wrap Up

Monday, 25 July 2011 11:26 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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SDCC 2011: IAR's Conarama Comic-Con Wrap Up

Well, it's Monday, which means that this year's Comic-Con International is officially over and downtown San Diego will promptly go back to being another American city, not the capitol of all things nerdtastic.  In a trailer for the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Comic-Con Episode 4: A Fan's Hope, no less a luminary than Guillermo del Toro described the Con as a Russian nesting doll, defined by seemingly endless Comic-Cons contained within.  This year was no exception, providing fans of every stripe with a multitude of different experiences to suit their enthusiasms, whether they be in realms of comics, movies, television, videogames, action figures, cosplay, or anything else. 

Within the nesting doll that was Comic-Con 2011, IAR had a very specific experience, devoted to bringing the best possible coverage of cinematic goings-on in San Diego.  Now that it's all over, we present Con-a-Rama, a breakdown of our coverage from all over the Con, including new information on Immortals, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, and more.  Click on anything blue to find the coverage.

Our Hall H coverage began on Thursday morning with the panel for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, an event for which dauntless fans of the franchise began camping out as early as Monday.  Director Bill Condon brought along stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Nikki Reed, Julia Jones, Elizabeth Reaser, and Ashley Greene to discuss the penultimate film in the franchise.  The event included two new clips, both of which inspired no end of suggestive hollering from the crowd.  IAR was present for the post-panel press conference, allowing for less of a carnival atmosphere and more informative insight, such as the potential for continued cinematic adventures in Stephenie Meyer's literary universe.

20th Century Fox took the opportunity to screen the very first footage from Prometheus, the Alien quasi-prequel that marks Ridley Scott's first science fiction film since 1982's Blade Runner.  The film's co-writer and Lost mastermind hosted the event, and he graciously took the time to speak with IAR's own Jami Philbrick about it, as well the Star Trek sequel he's currently scripting.  You can read about the Prometheus footage, as well as thoughts from Scott and stars Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron, right here

With a mouth like a sailor and a frank, honest perspective, director Guillermo del Toro is one of Comic-Con's superstars.  We caught up with him discuss Pacific Rim, his new project that pits city-destroying monsters against humans piloting giant, armored mecha, as well as his take on Pinocchio

As the co-writer and producer of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Del Toro also participated in a FilmDistrict panel that unveiled the first trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn's excellent Drive.  While the panel was so crowded that not everyone had a fair shake, Refn and stars Carey Mulligan, and Ron Perlman had plenty to say about their film in exclusive chats with IAR.

Speaking of Ron Perlman, the erstwhile Hellboy and card-carrying badass himself chatted about his role in Conan the Barbarian, giving us the chance to inquire as to his potential involvement in Pacific Rim.  Perlman played a little cagey, so watch the interview to see if you think he'll reunite with del Toro.

And since we're on the subject of card-carrying badasses, Bruce Campbell also spilled the most refried of beans on that Evil Dead remake that's going ahead with Federico Alvarez directing and Diablo Cody rewriting the script.  See what he has to say about the future of the franchise and the potential involvement of Ash.

Writer-director-composer-editor Robert Rodriguez frequently mentions how digital technology allows him to make movies at the speed of thought.  So he had no shortage of projects to discuss during his Thursday panel, including two Machete sequels titled Machete Kills  (about to begin production), and Machete Kills Again, as well as a new feature based on Heavy Metal.  Also, he said Sin City 2 might just get rolling this year.

Everybody's familiar with mechanical bulls, but to promote Shark Night 3D, Relativity dropped a mechanical shark for attendees to ride.  That was in addition to releasing a slew of new images from the filmIAR grabbed exclusive interviews about the film with director David Ellis, and castmembers Sara PaxtonDustin MilliganChris ZylkaChris CarmackSinqua WallsAlyssa Diaz, and Katharine McPhee.

You'd think that Steven Spielberg making his first-ever Comic-Con appearance would be enough to pack Hall H for a presentation on his new performance capture film The Adventures of Tintin.  It most certainly was enough, but that didn't stop producer Peter Jackson from showing up, creating a godlike geek power combo.  While two clips were shown during the panel and both directors worked the crowd perfectly, the subsequent press conference was, in many ways, more revealing and informative

Andy Serkis, the mo-cap master who portrayed Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and plays Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin, gave us the inside scoop on The Hobbit in an exclusive video interview.

The con crowd got into the phantasmagoric spirit of The Raven with a teaser poster and new images of John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, who finds himself pursuing a serial killer inspired by his work in this fictionalized thriller.  Director James McTeigue, Cusack, Alice Eve, and Luke Evans were all present on a panel to discuss the unique film.  The trailer, making its debut at Comic-Con, showed that the film is a lively, action-packed, and exceptionally tense gothic tale.

With a trailer that effectively put the Hall H crowd in a headlock and a clip that then pummeled everyone in the best possible way, Steven Soderbergh's Haywire got the job done much like its ass-kicking hero, played by MMA star Gina CaranoChanning Tatum made an unscheduled appearance, joining the director and star on a panel where he regaled everybody with stories of essentially be being beaten up by a girl.  Participate in the cinematic stomping with new images, an official teaser poster, and the teaser trailer that premiered at the con.

Tatum also talked to us exclusively about the sequel G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes, currently in pre-production

Sony Pictures offered a jam-packed Friday presentation, representing no less than four separate films.  First up was the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.  This included a lively panel with directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, along with Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth.  Between the five of them, there was an abundance of personality on stage, and you can get a taste with our exclusive interviews. Still, that won't compare to the absurdity of the film's rough trailer and a featurette on the directors' aggressive shooting style.  Put simply: the trailer includes Ghost Rider pissing fire.  Really.

After the 30 Minutes or Less panel, IAR had the chance to talk to director Ruben Fleischer and actor Michael Pena (who by all accounts steals the film) about their next film, Gangster Squad, which will also star Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Ryan Gosling.

Next up was the Total Recall remake directed by Len Wiseman, who brought along a panel including Colin Farrell, John Cho, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, and Jessica BielThough Wiseman said that, being halfway through filming, he was unready to bring a clip, but did so anyway, showing a sequence with missing visual effects.  In addition, John Cho followed up with a one-on-one discussion about the sequel A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Sony capped off their presentation with a showstopping The Amazing Spider-Man panel.  Director Marc Webb made a persuasive case for his reboot, while Andrew Garfield charmed the entire room and Rhys Ifans was apparently arrested immediately after.  The teaser trailer started things off in 3D, but two 2D clip packages with plentiful green screens and wires in need of removal persuasively showcased the tone, humor, and action of this rebooted Spidey.  Both director and cast talk about the endeavor on camera right here.

Like Friday, Saturday started with a legendary filmmaker.  In this case, it was Francis Ford Coppola, making a rare public appearance to share the first footage from his new horror film Twixt.  Helping him lay out his ambitious plan for the film were composer Dan Deacon and star Val Kilmer (who gave IAR the exclusive on his idea for a Top Gun sequel).  That plan involves putting a little avant garde spontaneity into moviegoing with a Twixt tour on which he will use innovative software allowing him to present a different version of the film to each audience, with live musical accompaniment.  Check out more on his approach to Twixt.

Immortals brought some Greek mythological thunder to Hall H, first with a new 3D trailer that showed off the massive scale of the film's visuals and action.  Director Tarsem Singh brought his trademark energy and humor to the panel, and Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Stephen Dorff,Kellan Lutz elicited many salacious catcalls from the audience. and   Also showcased was a bloody, stylized action scene from the film with Evans as Zeus showing that the gods of Immortals know how to throw down in a fight.  The clip made a big impression and played again that the conclusion on the presentation.

Tarsem Singh gave an update on his currently-filming Untitled Snow White Project, praising his star Julia RobertsThe first image of Lily Collins as the title character also appeared at Comic-Con

Henry Cavill, the Immortals star who will play Superman in Zack Snyder's reboot Man of Steel, answers our questions about comic book research, giving an idea of potential influences on his performance.

To wrap up the movie-centric Saturday, Universal Studios gave a very preliminary look at Snow White and the Huntsman.  Before getting to that, though, producers introduced Rupert Sanders, the director making his feature debut on the ambitious project, which applies a Lord of the Rings style to the familiar fairy tale.  Sanders showed a proof-of-concept sort film that sold his visual approach to the studio.  With his cast of Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin in attendance, he then revealed images of each one in costumes designed by Colleen Atwood.  Also included was a look at concept art of the dwarfs, who this time are eight strong.

And that's all she wrote for Comic-Con International 2011, folks.  Take some time to check out all our coverage, then get to work on being there next year.  See y'all in 2012.

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