Quint at Comic-Con: KING KONG vs Rex & TENACIOUS D!!!
Published at: July 17, 2005, 3:36 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a little report on the double feature panel I was most looking forward to at this year's San Diego Comic-Con 2005. It has been no secret that I'm gonzo for what I saw when visiting the set of Peter Jackson's KING KONG. What I saw was amazing, everything from the footage shot, the style of the production design, Weta's bigature and model work and the animatic footage knocked me on my ass.
Back in my first batch of KONG reports I talked about seeing the animatic for the T-Rex Vs. Kong fight where I described some of the beats of the tumble. Now, 6500 people have seen the last 2-3 minutes of the fight, in a much more colorful and more complete version than I did. Below the coverage of the KING KONG panel you'll find out a bit from the TENACIOUS D set they did at the Con, including new music from their upcoming film!
Peter Jackson recorded an intro where he teased the audience with whether or not he'd give us any exclusive clips. He did an "I can't hear you!" type thing. It came off really funny, the audience laughing and eating it up. They showed the footage after Jackson prefaced it to make sure people knew that it's a huge digital sequence with Kong fighting the Rex family that is mostly unfinished. He showed an example of what an animatic is and what it represents by showing an animatic from RETURN OF THE KING from the Pelennor Fields battle, then the final scene.
He said the Rex fight was about 7 minutes long in the movie and we were getting the final 3 minutes. The effects for the sequence are all in different stages... a lot of Naomi Watts' stuff is still bluescreen and the digital stuff went from partially textured to rough grey to pretty damn close to finished looking. However Jackson was quick to note that even what looks to be almost finished is still only about halfway there.
Now the basic beats of the animatic I saw were unchanged, so I'm going to link you to my detailed description of the animatic and go into the different, near finished details I saw.
The pacing of that animatic was tight already, but seeing in detail the aggression of the Rexs, the landscapes, the editing in of Naomi's reactions to all the dangers... this sucker flies and is edge-of-your-seat type stuff. It's everything the animatic promised, even in this rough form.
Especially nice was the vine scene, where Kong drops Ann when he, she and 2 of the Rexs fall over the edge of a cliff and into the thick and tangled vines that are draped between the cliff wall and another wall. Ann gets tangled and is swinging back and forth as one of the Rexs that Kong had beaten pretty badly (also tangled and swinging) tries to eat her. The Rex uses its body weight and leverage (its foot is on the far cliff wall, so it can push off to try to get the helpless Ann Darrow) to swing closer and closer.
Kong is about 200 feet below beating up on the other Rex when he hears Ann scream. He looks up and sees her in peril, so he leaves the Rex he's being on to climp up the cliff wall, trying to get to her in time. The urgency in Kong's face can be read, the tension of the scene amped up tenfold from the animatic I was shown.
The most finished CG looked great. Matter of fact, this half-finished point was about as good as the really, really good CG out there today. I can't imagine what the final product will look like.
I'm so psyched!
The panel arrived unannounced right when the lights came up from the clip that was shown. No one was announced in advance or in any of the programs but all three leads were there.
Adrien Brody, Jack Black and Naomi Watts all appeared to field questions from the audience.
-Let me first say that Jack Black is a fucking rock star. It's the first case in my life when I remember listening to a band that no one knew or seemed to care about except for me and my friends. Now Black got all the love of all the near 7,000 people in the room. Half the people didn't even know Adrien Brody's name and hardly anyone asked poor Naomi anything. Yet Jack got asked 2 different times if Kyle Gass (KG of Tenacious D) made a cameo in KONG.
The first time he said, "No." Three questions later he got asked it again. This time he said, "Yes. Rage Cage is in it. He plays Son of Kong!" to much laughter.
-Jack was asked how he got the role of Carl Denham. He said Peter, Fran (Walsh) and Phil(ippa Boyens) approached him instead of the other way around. He said, "I did mental backflips" at being asked to be in the film.
-Jack sang on the panel. Someone asked if he was going to write a KING KONG song. He said that he had actually written one, but it wasn't going to be on the soundtrack. (Lots of laughs at that). The audience urged him to go into it... he was hesitant, but then Naomi and Adrien started the drum-beat of the song. It's very tribal and very funny. I don't know when you'll get to hear it, if ever, but it's really fuckin' cool.
The crowd loved it.
There wasn't much else of interest brought up, so I'll go into the Tenacious D set that happened right after. Goodbye Naomi!
The D spent about 40 minutes doing a set and there was an incredible amount of people there. Like I said above, total fuckin' rock star. Kevin Smith came out to introduce The D (after a stumble on the way up, which is rather funny considering he was talking about how awesome the Kelsey Grammer falling off the stage clip that went around the net a few months ago was at his panel a few hours previous... sorry Kevin!)... Anyway, Smith said that there are only 9 cocks out there that he'd suck... there were 10, but he finished off Affleck, so now there are only 9. The D are numbers 5 and 6 on the list, so he had to introduce them.
After calling them up on the stage, Kyle dropped his pants, ass to the audience and pecker to Smith and invited him to start. He was turned down and so started. They played 3 original songs from the upcoming TENACIOUS D IN PICK OF DESTINY. My brain is fried from this rollercoaster of awesomeness, interviews and lack of sleep, so I can't remember a string of lyrics, but I'll do my best to fill you in on what the songs were.
The first was the opening of the movie that started as a story of JB, it had tons of dramatic ups and downs and some filthy fucking language. Little JB argues with his father over his love of music and prays to Dio for guidance. Dio answers and tells him to go to Hollywood where he will meet up with another and begin the greatest band in the world.
The second song was called something like Dude, I Fucking Miss You or something close to that and was in a post-breakup of the band. Short song. The third and last song was very "City Hall-ish" if you know the D's previous work. It was all about the USA turning into a piece of shit. All very Tenacious D and very funny.
They also performed Fuck Her Gently, Tribute, Flash/Wonderboy, Lee and did an encore of their Tommy medley. They rocked the house.
Between sets Jack said that they had one week left to go on the filming of the movie and that "no bullshit" it was going to be great. I can't wait!
I wish I could have some pics to share with you from the concert, but they didn't allow pics from the crowd during the D performance. I hope you guys enjoyed the article. I have tons of stuff still to report. Look for a bunch of that tomorrow night. 'Til then, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.