Comic-Con Hall H Live-Blog (Day 1): From Breaking Dawn, Apes and Beyond
Movieline will be live-blogging each day's major panels from Hall H at Comic-Con, updating with footage highlights, breaking announcements, and celebrity appearances throughout each day. Thursday, Day 1, begins with the highly anticipated Breaking Dawn panel, continues with FilmDistrict's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive, Fox's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, In Time, and Prometheus, and more. Join us!
Scroll through for the full liveblog, or click to go directly to...
· FilmDistrict panel coverage (Drive, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark)
· Fox panel coverage (Prometheus, In Time, Rise of the Planet of the Apes)
· Robert Rodriguez panel coverage (Spy Kids 4, Sin City 2, Heavy Metal)
Jen Yamato here, getting started with Breaking Dawn!
11:27 am Bill Condon opens, promising fans in Hall H a first look sneak peek at the film. He found Breaking Dawn exciting "because it's all third act," and "I quickly imprinted on the material." Twilight jokes! The fans approve.
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner join Condon on stage to loud cheers. And yet, Hall H feels so... civilized! So calm! Not frenzied at all.
11:30 Pattinson on shooting the honeymoon in Brazil: "Brazil was amazing. It was amazing the day we got there, really beautiful and warm, everything you'd expect." And then the storms hit. "It was kind of like having a honeymoon in England, playing board games."
First surprise: A world premiere clip from Breaking Dawn! Condon sets it up: "Jacob is pulled away from his family, from his pack, to protect the Cullens. This comes deep into the movie where it's clear Bella is going to need more blood." The storyline has been tweaked a bit from the book.
It's a Jacob sequence, beginning with Jacob consulting with concerned parents Esme and Carlisle. "Carlisle, you're the enemy now," Jacob warns. Sam won't hesitate, you will be slaughtered."
Lots of glowering and dramatically angled Lautner shots ensue as Jacob grumpily admits that the Cullens' vampire clan is indeed a family. "This really is a family... as strong as the one I was born into. (Looks away, glowers.] "I know what I have to do."
But wait! Jacob is seen next in the darkened forest, Leah and Seth in tow. Jacob wants to send a message to his old pack: He wants Sam to take back the Clearwaters. "I want them safe, and I want this over."
And then, the intrigue: Jacob tells his pack he plans on taking care of the Bella vampire situation himself. "I need to wait until Bella's been separated from the problem. Tell Sam that when the moment comes, I'll be the one to destroy it. I'm the only one who can. They trust me. " Duh duh duhhhhn!
11:35 Lautner on his character's arc in Breaking Dawn: Jacob at the beginning is the Jacob you know, "then he gets his heart crushed." He is forced to grow up, become a different person.
11:40 ZOMG! Another scene! This one's the honeymoon at Isle Esme. Fans in Hall H go crazy!
Bella and Edward arrive in their honeymoon house, where he insists on carrying her over the threshold. Bella happily takes look around, wearing a white sheath dress with a black belt. She walks into bedroom (fans scream), where she and Edward make googly eyes at each other across the bed (fans scream louder).
"You tired?" he asks.
She shakes her head no. He invites for a swim. "I could use a few human minutes," she demurs.
He kisses her forehead, then opens a sliding door leading to a private beach, and undresses while walking towards the water. Is it getting hot in Hall H? (And why do I feel like I'm writing Twilight fanfic?)
Bella runs to the bathroom as the soap operatic musical cues cut to a comical montage. She pep talks herself in the mirror. Brushes her teeth nervously. Brushes her hair. Takes off her ring. Pats cool water on her forehead. Shaves her legs, picks confusedly through lingerie.
It's too much! She holds head on floor, then... ready, she walks onto the beach in nothing but a towel. She drops the towel, naked in the moonlight, and strolls into the water where Edward waits, already skinny dipping in the moonlight.
(CUE COPIOUS FAN SCREAMS)
11:50 Stewart on filming Bella's tortuous childbirth: "She's literally choking on blood she's been drinking, literally out of her mind. It was always in my head that she's been able to fight harder than anyone because of that little bit in her, literally. [Laughs] And at that part I got to play with having venom run through your veins and start to feel the hell that that is, and that's after a moment of sheer exuberance of looking at your baby for the first time."
12:00 Lautner is asked about his fight scenes in the series, but as he points out, most of his action scenes are as a CG wolf. Still, "[Pattinson] gives me a nice punch in this one after he finds out I imprinted on his daughter."
12:01 Fellow cast members Julia Jones, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Elizabeth Reaser come onstage.
12:05 Adorbs question of the day: A little girl asks Rob, "Do you like having the baby with Bella?
He answers! "I like babies. It was fun, especially in this series. You're playing this statuesque guy, but as soon as you have a baby no one can contain their emotions, which is what Edward's been doing this whole time."
12:15 Which Twilight film is everyone's fave?
Lautner: "The third book I loved, but this movie is my favorite. It's really a testament to Bill and everybody else. We had an incredible time. I think in this movie you're able to see all the characters in a different light than you have before."
Stewart's favorite book was New Moon, but "I really liked Twilight a lot. And I really liked this one, I just saw this... seeing them at points in life that would be nostalgic for anyone -- at weddings -- it's weird. I'm so goddamn -- [gasps at herself for swearing] Sorry, there are tiny ones in the audience! But I liked that one a lot."
12:20 Reaser on the possibility of doing voice-over work for the audio books: "I would love to do voice-over acting... because you can wear sweatpants."
12:21 Stewart gets pumped on set by listening to Muse. While shooting the ceremony scene, she listened to a particular Twilight soundtrack alumni to get in the mood. "God, this is embarrassing. It'd be great if it was in the movie because they're on the New Moon soundtrack: Band of Horses' 'For Annabelle.'"
That's a wrap on the Breaking Dawn Comic-Con panel. More later, when FilmDistrict presents Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive at 2pm PT!
2:20 And we're back! It's FilmDistrict's first ever Filmmaker Mash-Up: Guillermo del Toro and Nicolas Winding Refn on the stage at the same time. Del Toro: "I wanted to
meet this insane motherfucker."
2:21 Guillermo del Toro and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark director Troy Nixey and star Guy Pearce are joined by Nicolas Winding Refn and his Drive stars Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman. Both Del Toro and Refn are great fans of one another's work. "Progressive cinema has become the new genre films," says Refn.
"It's our duty to produce first time filmmakers," says Del Toro.
2:25 Del Toro and Nixey play a new trailer for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: Whispery and dark and sinister, a more lengthy look at the creature feature with glimpses of the tiny, menacing creatures in the film. "We want to play with youuuuu, Sally!" The trailer builds Increasing paranoia, lining out the trajectory of the film, about a young girl (Bailee Madison) who finds little creatures in her father's new house, and struggles to get anyone to believe her. The trailer ends with the bedsheet shocker seen in the teaser.
2:28 The studio wanted the creatures to be slightly larger and more menacing, but Nixey stuck to his guns. He compares the impact of the smaller creatures to being freaked out by rat or mouse, something small that can disappear.
2:32 Refn says casting is crucial. "It's like playing Russian roulette. But, and I'm sure Guillermo del Toro can agree with this, once you realize the casting is in place, it's like sex. It doesn't get any better, because you know it's going to be ok. It's like sex because even when it's bad, it's good."
"Directing is really easy, guys. It's just inspiring everybody to do their best, and then you put your name on it."
2:33 What made Carey Mulligan want to work with Refn on Drive? "It was Nic. I had seen Bronson and I watched Valhalla Rising, and I emailed my agent and I said, I just want to work with someone like Nicolas Winding Refn. Two weeks leater he told me he was doing drive... I went to Nic's house and sort of muscled my way in." She then worked with Refn to reshape her character.
Refn's wife, who he credits with influencing everything from his films to his wardrobe, had seen An Education and endorsed Mulligan for the role.
2:35 Refn debuts the first trailer for Drive, which captures the film's arc and teases many of its great moments -- Ryan Gosling at the wheel, meeting cute with Carey Mulligan's young mother, the gangster-related intrigue that follows after a heist goes wrong. Glimpses of Drive's elevator scene and Gosling's explosions of violence are punctuated by the operatic-electronic score. The Hall H crowd, mostly unfamiliar with Drive beforehand, erupts in applause.
2:43 Prior to Drive, Refn had read Grimm's fairytales for his daughter. "They're very short, which is great - I'm a 90 minute believer in film. Fairytales are all 3-4 pages but they're all archetypes... Drive was like a fairytale in Los Angeles. Ryan would be the knight and Carey would be the princess to be saved, Ron [Perlman] would be the dragon and Albert [Brooks] would be the evil king."
2:45 Ron Perlman on meeting with Refn to discuss playing Nino, a pizzeria-owning thug. "Who is Nino? I didn't fucking know. Probably three minutes went by and I didn't say anything, I'm having this debate in my mind, do I bullshit or tell the truth? I looked at Nic and said, you know? I don't know. His brow furrowed, like I don't know either! I said I'll tell you one thing. When you say action, some shit's gonna happen!"
2:48 Surprise! ANOTHER SCENE, and not only that, it's one of the most memorable scenes in Drive -- the one that will haunt you after seeing the film.
Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan enter an elevator with a strange man, who Gosling immediately finds suspicious. In the tense elevator ride down, Gosling notices the man is packing a gun. In slow motion, Gosling guides Mulligan to the corner of the elevator, turns, and kisses her -- it's their first kiss. Spirit-stirring organ music plays, and the kiss lasts for nearly 20 seconds. They pull away, and the light intensifies above them -- the light of love. Then, in a flash, we're back to normal speed, and Gosling and the hitman pounce on each other in the same instant; Mulligan watches as Gosling kicks the man's head in, out of control, and she escapes as soon as the doors open. He turns, sweaty, to see her in the distance, horrified. The doors close between them.
Del Toro, as the lights come up: "Go see this fucking movie, please! I beg you."
2:58 Refn recalls his earlier films: "Owing money is sometimes great energy for going out and getting something done." Bronson came from the idea of making a prison movie like an opera, and Valhalla Rising from his own hatred of Viking movies -- the Viking movie as sci-fi. The electronic score in Drive helped make its fairytale feel unique.
3:00 Del Toro with more of that Del Toro charm, explaining his kind of horror: "I'm not a guy who likes psycho killers killing people with potato peelers. I'm a monster guy."
"Perfection is impossible. Imperfection is a goal we can all aspire to and achieve, and monsters represent that beautifully. We live in a society that tells us we have to be pretty... fuck you. Monsters are a big fuck you!" He apologizes for all the swearing. "Make sure you know what the fuck you're getting into."
3:02 Question to Ron Perlman: If you could fight anyone, dead or living, who would it be?
3:05 "What was it like working with Ryan Gosling?"
Refn: "There is evidence on the internet of [the love] between Ryan and I..."
[A photo of Refn and Gosling kissing on the red carpet flashes on the jumbotron]
Refn was in L.A. "trying to kill Harrison Ford in a movie" when Gosling called to meet. High on flu meds, Refn went to Gosling's restaurant in Los Angeles for dinner. "It was like a blind date. It was very awkward." Halfway through dinner the ill Refn asked to be taken home. "You know that awkward silence when you're dropping the girl off because you're not going to get any action, so you go home and watch porn? There was pure silence between us. Ryan turns on the radio, and it's soft rock. On this radio station REO Speedwagon stats singing "I cant find this feeling anymore." Here I am, and I start to cry. Tears are falling down my cheek and Ryan is going, "How the fuck am I going to get him out of my car?" Then I start singing the song....
I slap my knee and for the first time I turn to Ryan and I scream in his face because the music's so loud, and I go, "I got it! I know what Drive is. It's about a man who drives around at night and pop music is his emotional relief!"
3:13 Fan to Pearce: "Was filming Memento confusing?" Pearce paused. "I can't remember."
That's all for FilmDistrict! Pairing del Toro and Refn, two great raconteurs? Brilliant.
3:30 Hey, it's Julie, taking over Hall H duties for the afternoon. We're just waiting for the Fox madness to begin with panel presentations for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, In Time and Prometheus. Please stand by.
3:37 Damon Lindelof appears to talk Prometheus. Huge applause! He thanks everyone for not going to the Game of Thrones panel.
3:39 "You guys are now about to see the first footage of Prometheus." More wild applause...
3:40 A narrator reads, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. A new world, a better world." Fade to director Ridley Scott onscreen in a North Face jacket from set describing how the movie is about "very grand ideas and notions...this movie is about the surprising things that appear to be small yet are enormous. I think what is great about this particular screenplay, so much is not based on speculation but based around the truth about what may be out there." We see clips of Charlize Theron in an astronaut suit shooting fire out of what appears to be a fire extinguisher. Satellite shots of the Earth. Charlize Theron doing naked push-ups. Wait, naked push-ups people! Ridley returns to say, "Of course what I want to do is scare the living shit out of you." The crowd goes wild!
3:42 Lindelof: "How did you become involved?"
Theron jokes, "They offered me a tremendous amount of money and I said, 'Sure.'"
3:44 Theron talks about how she got to know Ridley socially, knew about Prometheus but didn't think she could do it because she was scheduled to film Mad Max in Australia.
3:48 Lindelof: "I just want to bring up the fact that we saw you doing what appeared to be doing naked push-ups in that clip and that is gross and pandering and if you think that is going to make this crowd go see this movie...it might work."
3:49 Lindelof explains that Ridley Scott could not be here today because he is in Iceland. He motions to a huge map on the screen behind him and jokes that Iceland is "somewhere in Middle Earth."
3:50 Theron says, "I think it's bullshit. It's just a chopper and seven flights. He should have been here. Wait, I think he might be here. Ladies and gentleman, Ridley Scott."
The crowd eats it up.
3:51 Ridley appears via satellite from Iceland and explains, "I didn't think about [returning to] science fiction until I realized that there was something in the first Aliens that no one had found an answer to...and I thought that that could be the centerpiece of" Prometheus. [...] In the last few minutes of the movie, you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Lindelof (who wrote the script) deadpans, "I certainly hope so."
Ridley deadpans back, "So does Fox.
3:52 Regarding whether or not Ridley would shoot in 3D again, the legendary director says, "I'll never work with 3D again, even for small dialogue scenes. It opens up the dialogue scenes and I appreciate that. Even though we've got marvelous digital capabilities today, I still say, "Do it live. Do it live. First of all it's cheaper [to use film]. It's not more expensive to do digital."
3:55 On casting, Ridley explains, "I saw a movie a few months ago called The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and I saw it again and again. And it holds up as one of the most interesting films in the past few years and I kept saying, 'Who is this Noomi Rapace?'" He steps aside and Noomi appears...and then corrects Ridley's pronunciation of her last name.
3:59 Rapace apologizes for her appearance. "It's so cold. My nose is dripping. I'm bruised [from production]. I look like shit today."
Lindelof responds, "I'm so glad you said something [about that]. Because it was getting really uncomfortable."
4:01 "Just to clarify, Ridley," Lindelof says. "There are naked push-ups in this film, right?"
Ridley: "Very naked push-ups."
4:02 Lindelof thanks the Prometheus panel. Charlize Theron walks offstage. Ridley and Noomi wave goodbye.
4:03 Next up, Lindelof introduces In Time screenwriter Andrew Niccol by saying that when the Lost co-creator first came to Hollywood, everyone told him to read the Truman Show script which Niccol had written.
4:05 After a brief discussion about whether they should stand or sit, Niccol introduces a clip...
4:06 "In the late 21st century, time has replaced currency..." a narrator begins. Justin Timberlake appears. He's poor. He's in jail. He doesn't have much time left in his life, a fact known because everyone in this In Time world has a neon green stop watch on his/her forearm, counting down the minutes left until their death. All of a sudden, JT is in a bar and he's confused. We're confused too. Alex Pettyfer appears in a purple button-down shirt. Someone really old leaves his left-over time to JT. Stolen time, yo. Actual stolen time. Johnny Galecki appears to warn everyone "That time will get you killed!" Timberlake has tons of time on his hands (and forearm), he's riding in a town car, waking up in hotel quality beds, going to dinner parties, carrying a gun, riding in classic cars, talking to Amanda Seyfried about "proving his innocence." Amanda Seyfried is wearing a brunette bob wig. The clip ends. Glad we got through that together.
4:10 Justin Timberlake appears to the loudest cheers of the afternoon. Amanda Seyfried follows.
4:12 Lindelof: "How did you come to this movie?"
Timberlake: "I came to this movie, dressed as me. In 2006. I'm trying to be funny."
No one laughs.
Timberlake: "Shut up."
Amanda Seyfried half-smiles.
4:15 After a little more Timberlake-Lindelof banter, Lindelof asks Seyfried a question about her part. She says that she really enjoyed playing with guns. All of a sudden Timberlake is talking about guns, even though no one asked.
Timberlake: "Who doesn't like to shoot guns? Oh god, I dream about it. I'm from Tennesee. People are born with them. I'm kidding."
4:16 Hey Justin, why did you want to take this role? "It seemed cool to me to have this character who was set in the future and this script from a fantastical guy like Andrew Nicchol." Great!
4:17 The panel has suddenly come to a screeching halt. Amanda Seyfried has said three words. Timberlake and his quiet co-star leave.
4:18 A quick clip from Rise of the Planet of the Apes plays onscreen and Lindelof introduces the film's director Rupert Wyatt. Amanda Seyfried is presumably confused backstage, wondering why she drove in from Los Angeles to stand idly next to Justin Timberlake's one-man Comic-Con show.
4:20 After a short clip about video effects (where someone says basically, "it's important for movie apes to look like real apes"), Lindelof brings Andy Serkis onstage. Applause from the Lord of the Rings fans!
4:24 Serkis on performance capture: "Performance capture is not a genre. It's a tool that allows actors to transport themselves into anything."
4:26 Serkis on the challenges of playing Gollum versus an ape: "Gollum was a psychologically and physically challenging character. [...] Caesar was even more of a formidable challenge. It was a huge, huge thing because the emotional relationship between him and [James Franco's character] requires a lot from an actor on a live action set."
4:27 Lindelof and Serkis throw to another Rise of the Planet of the Apes clip. John Lithgow's character walks out of his house, hops into a sporty new car that he cannot operate (because of the Alzheimer's) and crashes it into parked cars everywhere. A furious neighbor runs outside to yell at Lithgow. Caesar watches this overblown suburban street war, jumps outside and protects Lithgow's honor. All while wearing jeans. After scaring off the neighbor, Caesar and Lithgow share a tender hug on the sidewalk. Scared bystanders back away.
4:33 Lindelof suggests audiences should root for the apes. "Caesar's kind of like the Che Guevara of apes?" Serkis responds, "Exactly."
4:36 Serkis has a few minutes to answer questions from audience members. Someone asks whether shooting The Hobbit is a challenge.
Serkis jokes, "Oh, no. It's easy." Then he gives a real update: "Basically, I've shot all of the Gollum scenes that are in the movie and now I'm directing the second unit. [...] It's an amazing job and I'm happy to be doing it."
4:40 Asked how Serkis became interested in motion capture, the actor says, "I didn't really seek it out. [...] It was the way that we pioneered during the creation of the character of Gollum. The first time, lifting my arm and looking on screen and seeing Gollum lift his arm, I just thought it was amazing. [...] To be able to puppeteer that and get inside of that tiny character, was just amazing. [...] Then when Peter Jackson asked me to play King Kong, I did it. [...] There just are no limitations. Except for fear...by the acting community. Mainly about not appearing onscreen. Which is not a worry to me because it is all about transformation."
4:45 Serkis says goodbye to Hall H: "I'll see you all on the fifth of August when the apes will rise." Lindelof jokes, "The Statue of Liberty is so screwed!"
And with that, the Fox Comic-Con panels have ended.
4:55 Robert Rodriguez appears for his own panel. Hall H has emptied out but the director says he has some big announcements to make...but first thanks everyone for supporting Machete.
5:00 "Spy Kids 4 comes out next month!" I hope this isn't one of the big announcements. Rodriguez explains the 4D dynamic of the new film featuring Jessica Alba. "There are eight instances throughout the movie where a number flashes on the screen and whatever the character smells, you will smell. Some of the smells are good and some are pretty wrong."
5:01 Announcement time! "Frank [Miller] has written a script for Sin City 2. It follows the same format as Sin City. [...] There is a scenario where it could be shot as early as this year. That would be the best time for it, before I get into these other projects. I'd also love to do that in 3D because I have an idea for 3D that hasn't been used before."
5:05 Rodriguez says that his advice to anyone wanting to break into the industry is to "re-think traditions" and starts discussing the projects he is working on with his Quick Draw Productions beginning with...Heavy Metal! Rodriguez throws to a temporary graphic title sequence. The leftover Hall H crowd claps respectfully. Rodgriguez introduces Heavy Metal founder Kevin Eastman, who explains how he started up the magazine.
5:15 "There is so much potential for Heavy Metal. It doesn't have to just be animated. [...] I know that we've talked about different ways of doing it and we're still open to it."
5:20 Because everyone Rodriguez has told about the project has wanted to participate, the director is setting up a website (www.amd.com/heavymetal) so that fans can pitch their own ideas and possibly win the chance to work on the project. "Really work on it because I told you to."
5:30 "Rather than announce" the next and final project, Rodriguez throws to another graphic sequence, this time of Frank Frazetta artwork. Last year, the director announced that he would be remaking Frazett's 1983 collaboration with Ralph Bakshi Fire and Ice. In Hall H, he announces that, with the help of the Frazetta estate, he is still planning that project along with a museum in Austin, Texas in the artist's honor.
That concludes Thursday's Comic-Con panels. Check back in tomorrow for more Comic-Con coverage.