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Quint at Comic-Con: Thursday's panels... IRON MAN footage, 3:10 TO YUMA, MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN and some nifty posters!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my wrap-up report from the Con. I don't advise it... but I know if I were reading the first thing I'd want to do is look at the IRON MAN descriptions... They're at the very end... scroll down until you hit the photo of Favreau, but promise you'll come back up to the top and read after you get all geeky excited about IRON MAN, okay? I saw two big panels today and conducted 6 interviews. Yikes. Panels were Paramount and Lionsgate… Let’s start with Paramount… You’ve already seen the Indy 4 and Star Trek stuff, but the panel got kicked off by HOT ROD with Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone (they showed the “punch dance” sequence, the Footloose moment where Andy works out his demons by dancing violently in a forrest while smoking and drinking, followed by a 2 minute long fall down a mountain… lots of laughter from the audience).

STARDUST with Jane Goldman and Neil Gaiman and now Gaiman is still on the stage, but the red-headed Goldman has been replaced by Roger Avary and they’re about to show the BEOWULF trailer. I’m expecting STAR TREK and possibly a surprise IRON MAN presentation, even though they’re doing IRON MAN officially on Saturday… Plus some INDY 4 stuff… SWEENEY TODD stuff! Okay, now they’ve released the poster. Pretty sweet.

CLOVERFIELD trailer runs. JJ Abrams takes the stage. “I want a monster movie. I want a great monster movie, have wanted it for so long. We need our own monster, for our own movie. I want something that is just insane and intense.” He told a story about visiting Japan with his son and seeing Godzilla all over the place. That’s when he thought that what we needed was our very own monster icon, in the same type as Godzilla, but something original and our own. The real trailer, real poster in the coming months. Not called MONSTROUS. Hahah, but the poster is real. Just missing MONSTROUS as the title. THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES… Phil Tippet and authors. Brought designs.

The designs are very toad-like. Mix it with a bat. It's a goblin. I have no idea about anything SPIDERWICK, so I can't tell you how great of a realization it is, but it could be something I'd expect to see come out of Henson Studios. The goblins go from 2' 3" to 3' 3. Tippett talks about creating a visual representation, building each of these goblins, fully sculpt and color them for lighting reference as well as a visual reference for the actors. They run some animation tests. Looks like big moving toads. It’s a pretty typical powerpoint type presentation that shows us how they shot for the effects… clean plate, visual reference pass, etc. They show us some footage with temp effects. Freddie Highmore is tripped up by the goblins, they bite his leg, but are in some protective circle. Teaser trailer runs. We've seen it before, I think. Can't say I'm too excited to see this, but it was cool to see Phil Tippett do his thing. Judd Apatow introduces trailer for Drillbit Taylor. Owen Wilson, a bum, is hired to protect kids from school bullies. They do it again, to pander to comic-con attendees... $280 million budget, Michael Bay did 2nd Unit... about a magic school... with robots and communication for the dead. The trailer started with a bunch of hard-asses being interviewed. Bouncer looking guys, kung fu dudes, etc. Then there's Owen Wilson who exudes confidence, says he’s worked for 3 presidents and can protect anybody… cut to the prê-teen nerds hiring for protection from school bullies. Looks the most typical and safe of the Apatow comedies, but it also looked like a lot of fun. Seth Rogen is one of the writers, so I trust this’ll rock. Let’s detour to Lionsgate’s panel before I circle back to finish off with Iron Man. I won’t be long… I didn’t see much of this panel thanks to an interview with Favreau at the head and a series of interviews at the end… So, the big thing was that SAW IV was denied, by Comic-Con, the ability to bring their footage because it was too harsh. This is a big issue I’m having with the Con and I’ll address it soon, but for now, the SAW IV panel. I didn’t see the footage (thanks to my string of interviews), but the director said the film just got through the MPAA and got hit with NC-17. They played it like they might not release a cut, R-rated version, but I’m sure we’ll see them play ball. If not, then that’s pretty awesome of them to challenge the MPAA with such a huge franchise. I doubt it, though.

Let’s talk a little bit about 3:10 TO YUMA. They played a couple clips, but the kick-ass one had Peter Fonda trying to steer an out of control stagecoach being chased by Russell Crowe and Ben Foster plus some gang members. Fonda takes a shotgun and aims at a horse and rider firing on the carriage. We zoom in and see a full saddlebag with a piece of dynamite sticking out. Fonda takes aim, fires and BLAM, the horse and rider explodes in a fiery mess. The carriage flips and Fonda is thrown. Crowe approaches, admiring the armored coach. “Hell, it would have been cheaper if you let me rob the damn thing.” Fonda grimaces and just tells him to kill him. Crowe, “I’m not going to kill you, not like this.” Fonda: “I’ll come after you.” Crowe (with a smile): “I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN They showed the trailer, which was pretty neat looking. Actually, they showed 2 trailers… the teaser was great and the full trailer was very traditional. The teaser was just an empty subway train running along its tracks. Inside the floor is slick with blood, glistening in the flickering light and we get looks at gore hanging off the hand-holds. All the while, the screeching of the train on its tracks grows louder and louder. Nice, simple trailer. And Clive Barker was really fucked up on something… maybe just life, but he was going on some crazy tangents about pot cookies. Alright. Enough procrastinating. Jon Favreau appeared in a video apologizing for not being there. He said, however, that he wanted to still show something. One note that has to be addressed… above the monitor was a piece of production art that no one mentioned or pointed to or anything… but it was Iron Man fighting who I assume will be Iron Monger. Grey, hulking… at least twice the size. The rumors are that the technology comes from the Mark 1 and it looks it. Anyway, Favreau turns around and clicks a button on his computer and the footage starts. It was about 20 of the cheesiest seconds from the old IRON MAN cartoon, complete with politically incorrect Mandarin. As the audience laughed, Favreau hopped on the stage to Black Sabbath’s IRON MAN.

He said that they planned on showing some footage, but then they scheduled a bigger event on the Marvel panel Saturday. The audience; “Awwww…” Dramatic pause… then Favreau: “Buuuuttt… maybe we could show some footage here first…” Crowd: (Roaring cheers). First off, the film looks beautiful. Matthew Libatique (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) did an outstanding job. Crisp, lots of depth of field, natural colors. We’re introduced to Downey as Stark. He’s a bit of an asshole. He’s a weapon designer and he’s good… and he knows it. He’s actually a smart-ass… a little in the KISS KISS BANG BANG tone of character. He stands in front of an army group, mountains behind him. “Repulsor technology. They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked pretty well so far.” Next bit… he’s stopped in what looked like Vegas… Favreau has a cameo as his body guard (Happy Hogan?!? Maybe not… maybe just random cameo #3, but he’d actually be a great Hogan), but Stark allows a very attractive reporter to get some time with him. “You’ve been called the Da Vinci of our time. What do you say to that?” Stark: “That’s ridiculous. I don’t paint.” Reporter: “And what do you say to your other nickname, The Merchant of Death?” Stark: “That’s not bad.” Next cut was to Downey riding in a hummer with some army guys. One of them asks to take a picture. He makes some cracks about no gang signs as he poses. Out the front window, past a smiling army passenger we see another hummer suddenly explode. We see some cuts of action as the caravan gets taken down. Downey stumbles through the sandstorm (heartbeats on the soundtrack) and in the craziness an explosion goes off right next to him, knocking him off his feet. Next thing we know, he’s waking up in a cave, mid-section bandaged. He peels some of it off and reveals a crude contraption… a steel circle over his heart, with two wires leading down to a car battery. A man is working next to him, whistling. Stark: “What the hell did you do to me?” Man: “What’d I do? What I did is to save your life. I removed all the shrapnel I could. There’s a lot still there. Want to see? (He shakes a glass filled with tiny metal shards) Take a look. I’ve seen many wounds like that in my village. That (points to the device on his chest) is an electro-magnet hooked up to a car battery and it’s keeping the shrapnel from entering your heart.” Then we get a montage of Stark getting up, working in the metal shop with this man… prisoners both. VO: “I should be dead already. Unless it was for a reason. I finally know what I have to do.” Man: “What are you building, Stark?” He slams down a cooling Mark 1 mask. Stark: “I’m working on something big.” Then we get to see the Mark 1 in action. Glimpses of it as he puts it on and then we see some men with guns standing outside his door. We hear him coming, they look terrified… the door buckles as it’s hit. It buckles again and then if flies open, the Mark 1 standing there. It’s bulky, moves slowly, but it is bullet-proof. The bullets bounce off. In fact there’s a moment when he takes a Universal monster-like swing at someone, misses and gets his arm embedded in the cave wall. He struggles to pull it out as one of the gunmen approach quietly from behind him, unnoticed. The man raises his gun to the Mark 1’s head and pulls the trigger. The bullet ricochets back at the man, hitting him in the head instead. Iron Man looks over his shoulder like, “What was that?” He pounds the shit out of these guys, sending them flying into cave walls. The whole time the guitar solo section from Sabbath’s IRON MAN is playing. I don’t know if it’ll be included in the final picture, but it was awesome in this context. He beats down so many people, then gets to the cave entrance and unleashes on the crowd there with two wrist-mounted flame throwers. The audience went bat-shit. Afterwards we got glimpses of Jeff Bridges (bald, with a beard), Gwyneth Paltrow (who looks surprisingly good as a redhead) and then the only CG elements… The Mark 3, Red and Gold outfit flying through the sky, being chased by jets. Maybe not chased. They weren’t firing on him, but he did seem to want to out-distance them. And he didn’t have much trouble doing that. The footage ended with the logo, then back to Iron Man in the sky, the jet’s catching up… he ducks his head down, opens his palms, pointing them behind him and both repulsors shoot, sending him speeding out in front of the jets, going so fast as to make a sonic boom. It was actually really incredible. Downey proved he can be Tony Stark. Favreau proved that the practical effects look amazing and that our trust in him was worth it. I can’t wait to see more. I am so damn tired now it’s not even funny. I’ll be lucky to get 4 hours at this point. Ah, Comic-Con… Let’s show you two posters. I’m going to upload them into their respective posts, as well, but here are two geeky posters… and I gots them both, bitches!


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