I wandered past the Hall around 12pm, thinking I'd just figure out where it was logistically, and then wander the show floor for an hour or so and get some good pictures. Well, the line stretched down around like the Bataan death march, inside and outside the Convention Center, and dwindled into the distance. Once I got my jaw off the floor, I managed to figure out how to get inside, and I'm sitting here in this completely packed room, watching people go through the gift bags that Paramount gave us.
Inside the bag, there's a slew of goodies. A massive, gatefold style Indiana Jones promo poster, featuring a brand new image of Indy in silhouette, and a lot of images in the tradition of the old Raiders-style artwork. There's also a Star Trek t-shirt, a pretty swank Iron Man shirt, featuring the chest logo, A Slusho (looks like a Slurpee) t-shirt that says "You Can't Drink Just Six" on the back (not sure what this is from), a promo Beowulf comic book, a Hot Rod temporary tattoo, a Spiderwick Chronicles lenticular motion card, and some vouchers for posters. Whee ha! I love the smell of swag in the afternoon.
We're hop[ng that there will definitely be some Cloverfield information doled out here as well, because on the press disc Paramount handed me, there's a decent image of the poster. In fact, click the main image for this post to view all of the images from the disc in one of our brand-new Cinematical galleries.
1:33pm - We're underway. Gary Sassaman, program director for Comic-Con, is telling us not to record anything on the big screens around the panel. "I know about YouTube, but think about MeTube." Regardless of this announcement (and no, I'm not recording anything) I'm sure that footage from this panel will be hitting the nets in a matter of minutes. I'm just sayin'.
1:35pm - They letting us know where the bathrooms are, and "Thankfully they're working this year!" Yikes. Not a fun prospect. They tell us that they'll be screening questions, hopefully weeding out the dumb ones, and only one question per person. They also have a question killswitch, so they can jettison out the crazies. "Let's try not to ask any inappropriate questions."
Akiva Shaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taconi, the Lonely Island comedy troupe are introduced and come out onstage. They're going to introduce a clip from the the movie Hot Rod. Akiva, "Look, we get free chocolate!" Andy Samberg sadly lets us know that they don't get to hang out, because they're moving him along. "Woooo!" They're showing us a brand-new scene from the movie that hasn't been seen in the trailer or anywhere else. His pop, Ian McShane, is sick on the couch ... terminally ill, and Rod (Samberg) comes home. After some yelling, Rob goes to his "quiet place" in the woods, and does some interpretive dancing. Then he slips and falls, tumbling down a mountain in what is probably the longest fall ever recorded on film.
- A fanboy gets up to ask about more videos, and of course the infamous "Dick in a Box" comes up. Samberg asks, "Can we say dick here? Dick, dicks, dickie dick dick! Come on fellas, we all have 'em. And some ladies."
- Someone in costume named "Bob Stencil" (who looks like a plant) asks Samberg how he came up with "Dick in a Box", because "I tried it on my girlfriend, and he sent it back." Samberg explains how he was talking with Justin Timberlake, and they came up with the idea based on 90s R&B videos. Jorma chimes in and says "Yeah, it's something that I used to play with my grandma."
- A poor fanboy gets up to ask a question, and instantly Samberg and crew are all over him. "Hey buddy, wanna go out sometime? Grab a beer? What's your favorite color and stuff?"
- Someone brings up the incredible Awesometown, which can be seen on the webs. If you haven't seen it yet, seek it out.
Next up: it's Neil Gaiman, creator of Stardust, and Jane Goldman, the screenwriter. They're about to show us a clip, and "It's a long one" according to Neil. Jane sets up the footage for us: Lamia, the queen, has set up a trap for the star that has fallen to Earth. Neil goes on to say, "For those of you who have no idea what we're talking about, this is a film called Stardust that comes out August 10th." In the clip, Michelle Pfeiffer (Lamia) turns two goats into humans, makes a friendly-looking Inn appear out of nowhere, and bingo ... here comes the star, played by Claire Danes. Not a bad power to have, all the way around. The footage looks great, and I don't think Michelle Pfeiffer has been in anything mythological since Ladyhawke, which I only mention because I love that movie. The crowd goes wild. I have to admit, it looks pretty awesome.
- Someone asks Neil if the entire book is in the movie, and it isn't. They've adapted it to be more "filmic," according to Gaiman. "It's like the Earth 1 and the Earth 2 versions of the script, which is a reference I can only make here."
- A fan asks about Robert DeNiro's part, and wondered if his role was expanded before or after he was cast. According to Goldman, the part had already expanded, although once they scored DeNiro, it expanded even further.
- Someone asks the inevitable Sandman question, will there be a Sandman comic? Neil, "I've said since 1992 that I'd rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie made. But, I feel like the time for a Sandman movie is coming soon. We need someone who has the same obsession with the source material as Peter Jackson had with Lord of the Rings, or Sam Raimi had with Spider-Man." The fanboy tells him, "If you can wait five years, that'll be me, because I'm sure that I'll be in the business by then." Gaiman responds with, "That's what I mean. I'm growing vats of people like you all around the world. Eventually we'll put a bunch of you in a room with knives, and whoever emerges alive will be the winner and can make the Sandman movie.
Awkwardly, when the Stardust info is gone, Neil has to walk off with Jane, and then walk back on with Roger Avary for Beowulf. They're covering pretty much the exact same info about the movie that we saw last night and wrote about earlier today. However, we're not seeing it in 3D. It'll be interesting to see what the reaction from this crowd is like, as the room is much, much bigger than the panel we were in. They're asking questions now, but it's all familiar ground, giving me a chance to rest my fingers. They'll be showing the trailer in a moment. Well, they loved it ... although it didn't get a big of a cheer as Stardust did.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sweet! They don't have any footage to show, and no Tim Burton or Johnny Depp to flaunt, but there's a new Comic-Con exclusive miniposter.
Cloverfield! Bad Robot presents ... something. A bunch of kids recording farewell messages on on a video gamera to Rob, who is heading off to Japan. Then .. the lights go dark, alarms start sounding, and there's some strange roaring sound being reported on the news. The partygoers head to the roof, wondering what's up. Suddenly a MASSIVE explosion occurs in the distance. Debris (or meteorites?) start crashing down everywhere. The head of the Statue of Liberty crashes to the ground on a New York street in front of fleeing spectators. Wow. It's all show handheld and reality style. This looks pretty damned impressive.
- JJ Abrams comes out (wearing an Infocom shirt, to boot!) and in extremely rapid-fire fashion he tells us, "I wanted a monster movies, and had taken my son to Japan, and there were all these Godzilla dolls everywhere." *cheers from the audience* "However, I decided we needed our own monster. We're not showing any footage, but we're almost done shooting, and I think you'll love it. We aren't revealing a title today." *boos from the audience* "What would you think if we called it Monstruous?" *Puzzled reaction from crowd.* "Anyhow, we'll see. We have a new poster out, and you'll be getting that today. I can't wait for you to see this.. Bye!
The authors of The Spiderwick Chronicles come out next, with the legendary Phil Tippett. They talk about bringing the characters to life, and Phil shows off some concept artwork, which looks a lot like Brian Froud's art, which he admits was an inspiration. They've put a lot of work into the character artwork as it's moved to 3D, and some of the concept scenes are reminiscent of Jim Henson projects, 'Where the Wild Things Are', and other fairy tale whimsy. They're showing a lot of pre-viz artwork and walking us through the character creation process, but to be honest, the crowd is getting antsy. We want our Indiana Jones and Star Trek info, and we want it now! Bonus Cinematical side note, my butt sure is killing me. These chairs were originally used as torture devices, I'm convinced. They bring out director Mark Water, who tells us, "When I read through the books and looked at all of the materials, I started thinking .. this feels real." They show us a teaser trailer, and gosh darn it, that Freddy Highmore sure is a cute kid. This looks exactly like the type of movie I would have stood in like for when I was 12. I'll probably still end standing in line for it.
Drillbit Taylor -- world premiere of the trailer. It's about Owen Wilson who gets hired to protect a group of kids who are being bullied. They think he's a Navy SEAL, but he's really a homeless guy. Can Owen Wilson make anything funny? The answer is mostly yes, but the jury is still out on You, Me, and Dupree. It's looks like the direct comedy child of Knocked Up and Superbad.
Jon Favreau taped a greeting for us (how thoughtful!) to thank us for coming to Comic-Con. They just wrapped Iron Man and they're in the post phase. He introduces a rough of some of the CGI from the film. He warns us that it's prelimintary ... and it is. It's footage from the Iron Man cartoons from the 1960s. Woot! You know, it actually looks like something I'd like to watch. Then, wham, bam, Comic-Con surprise! Jon Favreau comes out onstage to the tune of Iron Man.
- "We just finished filming, and it went great! We were able to get some great stuff and work with some real armor, the Mark II, and more."
- "Are you guys coming on Saturday?" *cheers* "Anyone not coming? Because we've got some great stuff on Saturday, we'll be showing footage." *a few lonesome claps ... poor guys* "Well, how about we just show you anyhow?" *mega-cheers*
- Wow. This film looks awesome. If I had any doubts about Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, they flew out the window once this started rolling. He's a perfect snarky playboy character (a soldier asks him is he can take a picture with him, and he says "I don't want to see this on your MySpace page"), but once the accident happens, he's forever changed. He builds himself the original Iron Man suit, and comes striding to the tune of Iron Man. Then we get a brief look at the Mark II armor, which looks ... phenomenal. He takes to the skies, racing two jets, and holy fanboy meter, Batman. I'm sold on Iron Man.
- Fans erupt, and Favreau tells us that everyone up until the last five shots was practical. No CGI in the first part yet.
Indiana Jones IV! Joining us live from the Indiana Jones set .. Steven Spielberg! "I'm here on the set of Indiana Jones and the ... and that's the title of our film." What a tease! We don't even get a title? "I promise you that I'm making this movie for all you boys ... and girls. We're all in good form. I think we're in good form. I'm in good form, and ... they pan right ... Harrison Ford. In costume as Indy! Wow. Next to Harrison is Ray Winstone, then pan a little further right, Shia LeBouf! The crowd goes unreasonably nuts. Spielberg tells them to fill in for a bit while he goes to get a surprise.
BIG NEWS! KAREN ALLEN RETURNS AS MARION RAVENWOOD! Holy cow, I actually got choked up when she appeared on-screen. She says it's so good to be back as ... "A family" Harrison chimes in. Wow. No footage, no teaser, no title, but wow. Marion. That's amazing.
Wow, I'm still reeling from the Indiana Jones news, but now the Star Trek panel has beamed onto the stage, and JJ Abrams is talking about how he became involved in the film. It'll be another Comic-Con plus six months before the movie comes out, so they don't have anything to show. However, they're going to talk casting, so get ready for it. They are desperately trying to find a way to put William Shatner in the movie, which is pretty cool. "Do you guys have any ideas for Kirks? Anyone?" Wow, do they really have no Kirk yet? They start shooting in November. However, they do have a confirmation ... Zahcary Quinto is indeed Spock. No surprise there, since it's been all over the net, but it's cool to be confirmed.
- Fanboy: "How much of your performance will be influenced by Leonard Nimoy?" Quinto: "Well, as much as he'd like it to be, since he's working on the film, which is an honor."
- "People have been asking me why I'm doing this movie, and I think the answer is obvious, we have a great director, a wonderful script, and a wonderful young actor playing Spock, so ... it was logical.