Over 4,000 people woke up early this morning to get in line for a packed day of movie panels in the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H. While many will sit all day hoping to have the patience to see the debut of Marvel Studios' "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger," the first panel of the day includes the highly anticipated premiere of footage from DC Comics' Emerald Crusader, "Green Lantern." The Warner Bros. panel will also find the first footage of Zack Snyder's "Watchmen" follow up "Sucker Punch" and a special "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" presentation. And we're gonna chronicle all of it (and then you can look for bad YouTube video coverage later).
And away we go...
People trying a group clap to get the panel started. Also appears there is some sort of World Cup horns blaring in a corner of the packed hall. Either that or someone brought a trumpet.
Geoff Boucher of the LA Times come out to start the panel. He first introduces Geoff Johns, current DC maestro of the comic book Green Lantern. Bizarrely, he's sitting in front of Ryan Reynolds ID card. And before the cast comes out, Johns introduces some footage...
"Green Lantern" footage is very teasish. We start off with Martin Strong's voice as Sinestro, telling the viewer to concentrate on the light in front of them. The footage then cuts to a montage of Reynolds as Hal Jordan, Blake Lively as Carol Ferris, a shot of Peter Sarsgaard turning into Hector Hammond - monstrous -- a shot of an alien Green Lantern, Jordan learning how to use his ring to create a huge energy fist in a fight and then a master long shot of what must be Oa, home of the Guardians. Oh, and no shot of Reynolds in costume by the way.
Reynolds and the cast appear on stage and he admits he didn't know as much about the character as others and felt he was a combo of Chuck Yeager and a playboy. Reynolds says he can "tell a joke, throw a punch and kiss a girl. Who wouldn't to play that for a movie? Let alone two or three."
Sarsgaard, "I'm a size 60. If you know hat sizes. I didn't realize I was going to have a large head until I had one on me. Being in the kind of makeup I was in this film. It was a whole other. kind of acting. It's a total blast. I had more fun doing this movie than I've had in a long, long time."
Director Martin Campbell says the tone of the movie is light, it has a lot of humor, but the relationships between the characters are very real. But, the action is also very real." He also sucks up to the crowd saying James Bond is nothing like Green Lantern.
More importantly, Campbell also talks about the costume. "You've obviously seen the costume. It's always a work in progress. We've lost the white gloves. We just thought it looked far cooler and far more interesting. In some ways it's hard to see, there are certain lines which we decided our costume which evolves from the ring, it's more like a skin than opposed to a costume. That was the concept of it. All the lines are lines of musculature"
Producer Donald DeLine says the film will feature all of the 3600 Green Lanterns. Admits its part "space opera." Says you'll see many of your favorite Green Lantern Corps characters (whew).
Johns tells a funny story about how years ago Warner Execs once asked if they could do the movie without the ring. "Right then I thought, 'there is never going to be a 'Green Lantern' movie.'"
Reynolds on shooting in New Orleans; "Yesterday's weather report was actual fire. It's a warm place. It's tough to shoot some of the action scenes outside. We've got about three weeks to go."
Reynold's wife Scarlett Johannson is better known as the Black Widow in the Marvel movie universe. Any domestic strife? Reynolds jokes, "We've had some strongly worded dinners." (Cue the laughs). "I've said this before. We probably have a lot more comic books lying around than your average married couple, but maybe not."
Sarsgaard makes Hammond sound very creepy. It doesn't hurt that he can sound pretty creepy too. And now, questions from the audience! (And no, they haven't suggested watching the footage again. We're not sure why.)
Will there be any shared DC projects on film? Johns, "There will be a lot of DC projects coming up, but I can't talk about them on this panel. (Boo). After the crowd responds with an "Awww." He then adds, "Maybe."
How did Reynolds get involved? Reynolds says Campbell convinced him to do the role by showing him the production designs for Oa. "I didn't realize they had every intention of making me work for it in every shape and form. I screen tested for it a number of times. What pushed it over the edge was that I saw this guy who is seemingly arrogant and cocky who is given this gift which is incredibly humbling to him which I thought was remarkable for a super hero film."
Is there a chance for a "Justice League" movie? Geoff Johns, "There is always a possibility for everything, but i think the scope and success of Green Lantern will lead the charge for everything DC does.
What costume would you wear to Comic-Con? Reynolds, "I would like to be a wookie, because I would like to be cute and dangerous."
Sarsgaard, "I was obsessed with Captain America."
Mark Strong, "I would love to show you Sinestro, because I think he looks amazing."
Producer G"Barry Allen, Flash."
"Ryan Reynolds." (Laughs.)
An adorable cute kid asks Ryan Reynolds to give the Green Lantern's oath. And he does! (Very well.) Then Ryan signs a Green Lantern comic for the kid.
Is there room for Alan Scott in the "Green Lantern" mythology? Johns, "There is always room."
Is Parallax i the movie? Reynolds, "Parallax is in the movie. I better be allowed to say that. (Laughs.) Parallax is there. He's the physical manifestation of fear in our movie."
Now, our moderator takes over again. Time to ask about flying..guessing this isn't like Superman. Not as much CGI as you'd think. Reynolds, ""Each Green Lantern has a distinct finger print of how they fly. These things can do things and bank and do somersaults, things you couldn't do a few years ago. It was one of the most fun aspects of the film."
Before they end the panel, Reynolds says, "This ring which I am extremely attached to is a great tradition that these rings are passed on from one to the next and I think it would be only fitting if I parted from this ring and left it with an audience member in the crowd. Figure out exactly how to do this."
A member from the audience comes up with the magic ticket. Reynolds says, "This actually means we are married in space."
Wow. Didn't show the footage again. Mistake! Mistake!
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
Tom Felton makes his Comic-Con debut. Getting screams from the crowd.
Felton, "The last 10 years has been an impossible journey. It's great for me to be here for the cast and crew to say 'Thank you' from the bottom of our hears"
Felton," It's bizarre to think I started when I was 12. These last two films we have put everything we had into it and I'm excited to see this footage."
An extended 5-minute sequence is show. This writer can't do it justice, but it looks very epic, very dramatic, very scary and it looks like it will make a boatload of money. No doubt, the footage will soon make it into other trailers. Shoot, Part 1 is only four months away.
Zack Snyder comes on stage. The moderator hypes up "Punch" as though it could be the next "District 9," "300" or "Iron Man."
Snyder says its fun to make a movie that is original and not based on "super glue." Snyder says the girls haven't seen the footage and introduces them so they can also watch it on stage. Here comes Carla Gugino (Mrs. Schultz), Jamie Chung (Amber), Vanessa Hudgens (Blondie), Jena Malone (Rocket), Emily Browning (Babydoll). It appears there is no Abbie Cornish in the house...
[Sadly a lot of this part of the live blog was lost due to internet issues.]
The footage shown was hard to describe. Image a stylized mix of futuristic robots, samurai warriors, burlesque numbers, WW I bunkers, big guns, an insane asylum and other post-apocalyptic worlds. Oh, and Jon Hamm too. It would help to watch it again, but overall the film should spur a lot of debate.
The girls are overwhelmed by the footage. The crowd seems interested, but a bit ambivalent. Might be because the film's story is so hard to describe.
Snyder reveals that each actress/character has their own musical number. Other than the fight choreography they were doing, their time was occupied doing this other crazy choreography."
Browning, "I didn't get to do a dance." "Every time we see a dance is when [the characters] get transported into other worlds."
Snyder, "I will say I spent a lot of time in working on this movie the device or the part of the movie that either transports you and then the rules of reality of the world when you're in the alternate reality."
Snyder,"I think the movie has a chance of being rated PG-13 to be honest. If you are familiar with a movie called 'Lord of the Rings,' they killed a lot of Orcs in that movie and got a PG-13."
Gugino, "You do have incredibly empowered women. I think what's cool is that women are always looking for multiple layers, because women are complex creatures. I think Zack who is an amazing writer, director and visionary, but he also really likes women so he writes really awesome characters for us to play."
Snyder reiterates an early report that he's working on a follow up to "300" based on a new, upcoming
Hudgens, "It was amazing. I do this because I do projects that I'm passionate about. I heard about 'Sucker Punch' and I read the sides and I thought, 'This is the coolest movies ever, but there is no way Zack will ever give me the part.'" Obviously, and to her surprise, he did.
Thankfully, they decide to show the "Sucker Punch" footage again. The crowd certainly liked it much more the second time around. On second viewing, the footage is extremely violent (which means it could be anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours of action), there is a massive dragon on one of the worlds, the dance/musical numbers are quite suggestive and stunning (although they give a hint of a "Moulin Rouge " flair) and it almost feels like a hybrid of numerous video game-inspired worlds. One thing is clear, the more a user can see the footage, the more intriguing it becomes. It doesn't sell on the first go around, but grabs your interest the second time. Something Warner Bros. should take note of.
That's it for the first panel of Saturday's busy movie panels. What did you think?