Comic-Con 2013 is upon us! And in addition to all the stuff the convention was originally intended for (like comics) it’s become a huge show for some upcoming movies. So each day, we’ll be attempting to give you the skinny on everything in the movie world that’s going on at the convention. With reckless abandon, let us dive in!
Grace Gains Distribution: The indie horror movie shooting in Vancouver was acquired by Sony. It’s being directed in his feature debut by Jeff Chan, best known for directing live action shorts for the Call of Duty video game franchise, and stars Alexia Fast, veteran of Jack Reacher and Blackbird. Grace falls below the radar at first glace, but with producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones on board, EP on horror heavyweights Insidious and Sinister, not to mention films like Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem and indie thrillers Redemption and Dead Man Down, this could be one to keep an eye on.
Archie Zombies Hit the Comics First: A while back we reported on a new movie based on the classic Archie comics with an undead twist. Well, that movie is still in the works, but it’s hitting print first. And this being Comic-Con, there’s a trailer for the new book. Just think of it as a pre-preview:
Amazing Spider-Man 2 Electro Footage: A while back we were given our first look at Jamie Foxx as Spider-Man villain Electro. The images quickly circulated around the web, with much ballyhooing about departures from the comics’ original character design:
A good decision in our estimation, and there is comic book precedent for the design of Foxx’s version. Fast forward to Comic-Con, and we now get our first (albeit very brief) view of the character in (limited) motion. It’s more a teaser for a Foxx appearance tomorrow, but fun nonetheless:
Comic Book Adaptation Avengelyne Planned With Gina Carano: The former MMA fighter and star of Haywire and Fast and Furious 6 is delving deep into the ’90s comics boom (not to mention the modern comic book movie boom), and is attached to star as the eponymous Avengelyne, a fallen angel who must seek out and protect humanity’s last hope from the forces of the devil. The character is the creation of Rob Liefeld, who also was behind the creation of X-Force, Cable, and Deadpool before moving from Marvel to Image Comics. The film is being planned as an Underworld-esque dark action romp. No director or writer has been chosen, but the creative team that is in place includes Brooklyn Weaver, producer on the forthcoming Out of the Furnace.
Kit Harrington, Cate Blanchett, and Djimon Hounsou Are All in How To Train Your Dragon 2: 2010’s surprise animated hit has a sequel coming next summer, and in addition to returning voice talent like Jay Baruchel (This Is the End, She’s Out of My League), Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig, and others, it will feature Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and established character actor Djimon Hounsou. Blanchett is coming off a starring turn in Woody Allen’s latest work, Blue Jasmine, while Hounsou has been the subject of a number of casting announcements and musings recently. There’s a third film in the now-trilogy Train Your Dragon films, and director Dean DeBlois pointed to The Empire Strikes Back as a touchstone for the second entry during the DreamWorks Animation panel. We can only hope…
Ender’s Game Screens Clip: Unfortunately we don’t have the footage, but the much-anticipated adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s seminal sci-fi novel screened a clip at the Summit Entertainment panel. One of the challenges of adapting the property is certainly showing the intellectual development and internal struggles of protagonist Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield). In the book, this can be accomplished by the narrator, but Summit seems intent on assuring audiences their movie can do it, too. The scenes reportedly featured Butterfield in a progression of video game-ish prowess (in fact, there’s a scene in the book where Ender masters several training video games, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise).
Divergent Will Be Re-Mastered for IMAX Release: In other Summit Entertainment book-adaptation news, Divergent, based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth, will release in IMAX, as well as on traditional screens, on March 21 of next year. The book (and movie) is the first in a trilogy, which Summit hopes to grow into a major franchise in the vein of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. The film stars Shailene Woodley (who will play Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4), Kate Winslet, and Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher, A Good Day to Die Hard).
Time-Traveling Continuum Being Developed Into Feature Adaptation: We can’t imagine this being a big buy for Relatively Media based on an install base of fans, though undoubtedly there are some, but we have to admit, the premise sounds pretty cool. Continuum centers on a team of time-travelers from a relatively near-future Earth in which humanity is almost extinct following a nano-terrorist attack. A team of historians and soldiers are sent back to present-day New York to preemptively save the human race by finding the perpetrators. Sounds like a combo of Terminator and Inception. Up and coming writer Greg Russo is on board to pen the script.
Visionaries Panel With Alfonso Cuaron, Edgar Wright, and Marc Webb: In a panel all about filmmaking, but hardly devoid of upcoming films (with the directors’ Gravity, The World’s End, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, respectively), discussion turned to the theme of building drama through making the ordinary extreme. Each director spoke to the necessity of introducing “maximum devestation,” though with a indie comedy, a big budget summer movie, and a serious dramatic thriller, each obviously applied it in different ways. For Cuaron, it spoke to the idea of having a single actor in space with a minimum of anything else. Quote of the panel probably goes to Cuaron:
Gravity was an amazing miscalculation; it took longer than i thought. It was supposed to be out last November and we weren’t ready; I still haven’t finished it!
– Alfonso Cuaron
To the Land of Science Fiction comes Science Fact (Sort Of): Comic-Con is the land of superheroes and pseudo-science. Or it is most of the time. It’s been a while since we reported on a little indie spacefarer known as Europa Report, but buzz has been building about just how realistic this fictional search for life on Jupiter’s moon can be. Their panel, in which they showed several clips of the film, featured an honest-to-goodness astronomer. Director Sebastian Cordero, producer Ben Browning, and others spoke to how actual scientific research (like how thick the ice crust of Europa is believed to be) and images from satellites (including photos of Europa’s surface) influenced how they made the movie. They even screened the film for scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Audiences can see the film in theaters on August 2nd, and it’s already available on VOD.
Bring Me Their Heads!: The time-bending X-Men: Days of Future Past centers on Magneto’s (played by both Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender this time around) worst fears realized – mutants are being rounded up, persecuted, and killed. Comic-Con featured an exhibition of the heads of their robotic prison guards:
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters next May.
Godzilla Concept Art Looks Oddly Familiar: Hot on the heels of Pacific Rim is a new promo image for another, more historically famous giant monster movie. Concept art of the titular monster rising from the sea to threaten an aircraft character looks startlingly similar to the aquatic emergence of many of Guillermo Del Toro’s Kaiju monsters:
A Godzilla panel is planned for Saturday, so for more monster goodness check back for our Day 3 overview.