SDCC ’13: Warner Bros. Panel Live-Blog
Hall H is off to a giant start with panels the Warner Bros. panel for Godzilla, Seventh Son, 300: Rise of an Empire, Gravity and The Lego Movie. We’ll be live-blogging the whole ordeal so stay tuned for the latest breaking news and reactions to the footage.
Warner Bros.’ Seventh Son Panel Live-Blog:
Chris Hardwick is here to moderate and his enthusiasm is just fantastic. The 3 wide screens are back in Hall H and I can’t wait to see what we’ve got in store here.
I thought we were starting with Godzilla but seems like Seventh Son is taking the stage with Jeff Bridges on stage now.
Jeff Bridges says the film is “chock full o’ myth”.
They showed an extended trailer that showed a ton more action as well as hinted that the witches vs. army is more because of bad blood between Bridge’s character a former flame.
Here today there’s Jeff Bridges, Director Sergei Bodrov, Kit Harington, Antje Traue and Ben Barnes.
Antje (Faora from Man of Steel) is now fully entrenched in this Comic Con scene.
Ben Barnes – I play a young pig farmer in the middle of nowhere but he knows he’s meant for more. He just feels alienated until Jeff Bridges’ character turns up. I get sold to him as a servent and a great bond forms between them so they can fight the forces of evil. It’s a good old fashioned good vs. evil, with moral dilemma’s thrown in.
How was it working with Jeff Bridges?
Ben – It was a dream come true! Looking back at my first con from a couple years, all my answers were basically “because Jeff Bridges is in it” it’s gonna be awesome!
Kit – Where do you fall in this story?
So I’m Jeff’s long suffering apprentice. You meet me at the start of the film and I’ve grown good at what I do but it’s not good enough. I’m in a few exciting, action-packed scenes.
Kit – You’re sort of isolated out shooting and now you get to come to Comic-Con and see what that has all lead to. What’s that like?
I’ve definitely suffered as far as shooting locations go. In Game of Thrones, I’m in Iceland freezing. It was great to see how much care and money they put in this film.
And now on to the fan questions:
Jeff – It seems like there’s a lot of physical action in this movie, how was tough was that?
It was kind of tough but fun too. It brings you back to being a kid. For me, a lot of acting really gets down to being advanced pretend. Like when you were a kid. It’s basically what acting’s all about. You get all the kids, all the gear, people to teach you how to do those moves.
I think the trick with big movies like this with special effects are marrying the CGI with actually practical, amazing things. We did a lot of that in this film. We had a wonderful SFX supervisor (Chris Hardwick’s girlfriends Dad, by the way) who was terrific.
Sergei – what was the balance of special effects to practical effects?
It was my most ambitious project. Jeff did a lot of stuff himself. Special effects when you’re creating these monsters are fantastic.
What are the challenges of directing CGI and live action?
For me, it’s kind of the same challenges of other movies. When you have really good actors and a great crew – it’s just the most important to get the emotions and forget about the CGI. CGI is second to the faces and the acting.
There seems to be a lot of action, drama, love, etc – what’s the most challenging part?
Antje – We had a couple fight scenes that I really enjoyed. But with this movie, fighting with a beautiful dress – it’s heavy and feathery. It was just beautiful.
Ben Barnes – we did weeks and weeks of fight choreography – with staffs, knife throwing, swords. We tried to make all the fight scenes different. The hardest part for me was keeping track of the story and your character through lines. Sometimes you’ll shoot a scene and the one before it in the story you shot four months ago.
Kit – I had to do a wirepull where they put a harness on your back and tug you. I loved the physical aspect of this, I love action roles.
Jeff – For me, the challenge is telling the story. Sergei and I talked about it quite a bit and I ran across a quote that kept me on track: I couldn’t grab all of it, but the meat of it is “…the line dividing good and evil cuts through every human being, and who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Our task as a filmmaker is to make stories about realizing peace and its struggle.
This is based on myth, and the 7th son of the 7th son is gifted with second sight – how faithful is this story to that mythology?
Sergei – it’s pretty close, but of course we’ve taken some liberties. You’ll see the movie and judge.
Warner Bros.’ Godzilla Panel Live-Blog:
They rolled the mood piece from last year’s panel.
Gareth Edwards (Director), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson, and Bryan Cranston are all here to talk about Godzilla.
Gareth – They finished the last day of shooting 2 days ago. As soon as it wrapped, hopped on a plane from Hawaii to San Diego to right here. I’ve been in a bubble for the past year, so it’s weird to come here and see Aaron in Kick-Ass 2 posters and Bryan in Breaking Bad posters.
The crew that I worked with, they’ve done these types of movies a lot, they thought it was a great creative process from the studio since they gave us so much creative freedom.
Elizabeth – you’re not really used to a movie of this scale, how was it?
I expected it to be really different. It felt small, creative. I never waited around for a set, we just went at it so it felt like a smaller production in a way.
Aaron – I think Gareth made it feel like a big budget art film.
Bryan – Godzilla was always my favorite monster when I was young. He was unapologetic, unlike King Kong. I want to see destruction! At first, I didn’t know if this was a good project for me to do because it’s so huge. Someone once offered me a role to do the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz in a play – but that’s just a losing situation because it wouldn’t live up to the original. But then I talked to Gareth and watched his movie Monsters (rent it if you haven’t seen it!) and it was fantastic that he could make a monster movie into an emotional character piece that you’re invested in.
How do you balance the humanity and the monster action?
Gareth – we took a lot of time figuring out the story and characters. It was important to me that the people were inherently a part of the monster side. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to give away here…
Fun Fact: The film’s code name was “Nautilus”. When crossing in to Canada, border check apparently looked him up on IMDB and saw he was doing Godzilla. They were just like “don’t fuck it up man” so there was a lot of pressure, even from the nicest Canadians.
And now it’s opening up for fan questions…
How much pressure did you have to keep Godzilla faithful versus putting in your own touch/voice?
Gareth – There was tons of pressure, but I probably put more pressure on my self since I’ve always wanted to do a Godzilla movie. It was always intended to be a true Godzilla movie. When putting together this project, I really had to view it as my passion project and not just a blockbuster. I really wanted to make a blockbuster with heart and soul and slightly artistic.
And now, a sweet new clip (or maybe Bryan Cranston will just strip for us all in Hall H…). They just finished filming 2 days ago. The clip shows everyone looking shocked and devasted as the world crumbles around them. There’s a crazy spindley-legged creature attacking a train car only for Godzilla’s foot to step in to the frame. Tons of destruction as the train gets thrown, airplanes blow up, and then Godzilla’s roar. Amazing.
They just showed a surprise clip from WARCRAFT. Get excited, gamers!
Duncan Jones is here as director of Warcraft. He did Source Code and Moon.
“This is a once in a life time thing. You hope to make films that delve in to fantasy. In Warcraft, you get to create a world and start from scratch.”
They’re going to start shooting in early 2014, but that’s about all the info they’ve got right now.
300 Rise of the Empire: Live Blog
The panel starts with a lengthy trailer that delves into the background story of Xerses. It…looks….awesome.
The story takes place around the same time as the first movie, but gives a grander scale.
Rodrigo Santoro on returning: It was great to come back and revisit this intense character. He’s a fun character to play and we see alot more about him in this movie. I thought it would be interesting to bring a back story.
Eva Green says it’s fun to play such an intense badass character because that is so unlike how she is at home. She would go home from working and listen to classical music.
How do you keep the action stuff from stopping you to develop the character.
Sullivan Stapleton- It was in the script and i just brought that to life. It was alot of fun I mean I got to play with swords for months.
Noam Morro on working with Zack Synder- It was great to work with Zack because he helps you out when you ask him for help, but he also will stand back and let you do your thing so it’s a perfect collaboration it was a dream situation.
Noam says that virtually the whole film is green screen, so when he returned home, he took out everything green. Green shirts, green props, everything green.
Eva on working with green screen- Thank god I had really good actors with me it’s like theater whee you use your imagination most of the time, so that’s it, good luck!
Noam on differentiating from the first one: It’s a great question how do you take something that redefined cinema in many ways. I think we did it successfully because it’s really exciting to create a visual language that pushes the envelope forward. Much of the film is set on water so it brings about different challenges. There are a few distinct battles in the movie and they all have their different style.
Gravity: Live Blog
Director Alfonso Cuaron- The story is two astronauts in space and it is only those two Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It is a non-stop ride we wanted people to feel like they were floating in space. The action is always ongoing.
There is no sound in space and that it how it is in the film the trailer has to have sound. They showed a two minute clip of one of the main action sequences, and boy is it intense. It is very interesting with no sound but I think I like it. It builds up the suspense.
Producer David Heyman and Sandra Bullock are here. It is Bullock’s first time at Comic Con!
Bullock on knowing the performances would drive it: It should have been scary but I think what was scarier was the technology behind it that had never been used before. It was very daunting but it was the brain child of so many brilliant people.
Alfonso on the average work day: It was an intense experience for Sandra. The technology that we used required for her to be insulated. She had to be in a 9×9 cube on set for hours on end. The end of the stage was rows and rows of computers and wise geeks. It was very mathematical but the focus was on the performance and emotional journey.
David on the challenges: The biggest thing was the lack of gravity and making it realistic looking. There was a camera that would come shooting at her at 25 miles an hour and it would stop on a dime right in front of her, so I’m sure that was scary for her.
Sandra on what she was getting into: When we first met, Alfonso said that the only way to do it was the vomit comet, which is a plane that goes down for 30 seconds, then shoots back up, and it gives you zero gravity. I’m deathly afraid of flying so after doing that I didn’t care what we did it was all good for me.
Fan Question for Sandra. How was training for Gravity?
I’ve been a dancer all my life and we trained every day for six months before training and while training and I wanted the character to be as androgynous of her life. I wanted her to be a robot essentially.
Question: Was there ever a point where the studios tried to step in?
Alfonso: There’s always a process when making a film. At the end of the day they were fully behind the film from every standpoint. The executives were big supporters of the technology and they were really behind it.
David: One of the most exciting things about working with Alfonso is that he’s a mad man and he pushes the envelope and he’s a pain in the ass but he’s the best kind of pain in the ass (panel laughs). He never stops and is always pushing the limits.
Where did you draw inspiration for this?
Alfonso: There were alot of films I drew from: Dead Man Escapes a French Film, The Duel by Steven Spielberg. What we wanted to do was a film that was an emotional journey.
Last question: In Children of Men there were long shot scenes. How difficult was it to grab those?
Alfonso: It’s not difficult for me it’s difficult for everyone around me. When you do these kind of takes you depend on alot of great people. You can do alot of technical things but if it doesn’t have a meaning then it doesn’t mean anything. The weight is on the actors and speaking of pain in the ass she would be going through every single thing and wanted clarity on everything. At the end, it’s collaboration and you are only as good as your collaborators.
Gravity hits theaters on October 4, 2013.
The Lego Movie Live-Blog:
Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Chris McKay are here to talk about attacking the world of Lego.
Phil Lord – we had a 4 hour movie last year, and just had to cross our fingers, cut, and hope we can more more after this.
Chris Miller – It’s part CG, part Lego but the point of it is to look like a supercharged brick film.
They’re going to show a clip that kind of shows what the directing process is like….
The clip showed the main stars “auditioning” for their roles and then Lord Business (Will Ferrell) takes over the production, even bossing around lego Phil and Chris. Then it leads in to a trailer featuring a lot of the stuff seen in the feature. This movie looks way more fun, funny and cute than I ever expected.
There are some special cameos in the movie that they’re allowed to talk about now:
DC lego sets – Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, Cobie Smulders will be the first film incarnation of Wonder Woman. They’ve really got an all-star voice cast!
You can see the care that goes in to the lego building community – how does the building of lego factor in to the story?
Dan Lin – Fans were incorporated into the film. We had fan submitted shorts and the world is built by their creativity, really. The water, this entire world is lego.
What’s the relationship like with lego and their TV shows?
Dan – It’s been a great partnership with work in Denmark (Lego corporate offices), Los Angeles, and Australia. They really helped form characters and story.
How long does it take to make this?
Hoping 3 years, but you never know.
What was your career arc like – from Clone High to now?
Phil Lord – it’s paved with failures, commercially. A lot of our career is hilarious misunderstandings. Chris Miller – this is our first feature project that people were excited about it from the get-go. People were skeptical when they heard about 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Phil – I think it’s pretty punk rock to make kids’ film, and this is the weirdest kids film.
The lego universe is so large – how did you chose which characters to include?
Chris Miller – we cut it down a lot. At one point, it was 14 characters. I insisted on having a classic space character as one of the main guys.
Phil – At some point, Dan had to say “guys you can’t have 3 space guys.”
Dan – We kind of picked our favorite characters. Chris’s mom even sent his old space lego kit to be included in the movie. It was a lot of nostalgia.
How did you manipulate legos in to ways that have never been done? Since this is the first lego movie, you had to do something new.
Phil – Everything is made out of brings. We didn’t want to cheat, we wanted to make a movie that was something a fan with an infinite amount of time could have made it.
The kid who asked the question said he wanted to see only a little bit of CG because the lego TV shows cheat. Preach it kid, he was the highlight of this Q&A right there.
Can we learn the voice cast of the Ninja Turtles?
Phil – Warner has installed a robot in our hearts and it’ll explode if we tell you. You can found out by going opening weekend, February 7, 2014.
Last panel: Edge of Tomorrow: Live Blog
Emily Blunt is here, and Mr. Tom Cruise, along with Doug Liman and others.
Tom Cruise and Chris Hardwicke break out in an impromptu “I wanna know what love is” song. Awesome.
Cruise and Blunt look badass in the action packed footage.
Doug: It takes place a few years in the future and Tom Cruise has the ability to replay the day and it just so happens to be on a day where there is a huge battle. It is rare to find something so original and yet so satisfying.
Emily: This was the hardest preparation I’ve done for a movie. I learned all kinds of martial arts, weight lifting, and we had to get warmed up because the suits were heavy and tough to work with. Doug said that our personalities did a 180 when we were in the suits.
Tom: I always wanted to work with Doug Liman what he does with the Sci-Fi genre is turn it on it’s head and the structure was great. The alien invasion movie has become a trope everyone knows the language of it so now we can focus on the characters. It was unique to work with Emily and her character. They call her the “Full Metal Bitch”. It’s a great romantic story as well and Bill Paxton is in the house. He is being called to the stage as I type.
Tom: This kind of film the suits we were in gives it a different tone. The amount of training and stunts that she did we were very impressed with the effort. Emily interjects saying: He is the most fearless man I’ve ever met the things he was willing to do were incredible.
Was it fun for Tom to do this role?
Tom: The structure of the piece is so complex for a writer to do but the writer made it easy. I’m a lover of movies I want a great story and to go on a journey and they nailed it on this one. It’s a great character to play with alot of highs and lows.
Fan Question: Fiction involving time travel presents problems for humans. Is there other fiction you drew on?
Tom: The structure that was come up with to keep the narrative going and keep the characters going and it was alot of fun. There’s great pace and drama throughout and we were always looking to add more to it.
Emily: The extra challenge is that he remembers each day but I’m meeting him for the first time each day so it was exciting and challenging to play with that problem and it was great to delve into the kind of problem on screen.
Did Tom draw on any of his old characters.
Tom: I didn’t really I always try to identify what my character is and how they play in this story. Just discovering it throughout the process and discussing it with everyone. With comedy there are different kinds but with this you have to find you specific focus on the story.
Question about Tom’s stunt work. What was the most challenging stunt?
Tom: There’s stuff with the suit that was tough. I just want to entertain you all and it’s a dream and honor to do it and everyday I think of what we can do to make it better. We talk about the suit which was anywhere from 85-120 pounds depending on the day and you learn quickly how to take a hit with the suit on.
Edge of Tomorrow comes out June 6th, 2014!
SURPRISE: Zack Snyder’s here!
He’s here to thank everyone for supporting Man of Steel and wanted to take a second to personally address future plans – it’s official that there’s going to be another Superman movie. He’s not going to say what the movie is about, BUT…he can say that maybe there’s a single element that he could help us out with. They’re writing it now, so it doesn’t exist, but there’s something he found that helped him. he brought out Henry Lennox (from Man of Steel) to read something that will help tell that story.
I want you to remember, Clark – the one man who beat you. and then queue the Batman/Superman logo! While this news broke earlier this morning, it was still some awesome showmanship to really announce that to the fans.
Stay tuned for more live-blogs throughout the day!