2oth Century Fox brought several films to Hall H this year, all of them impressive. The following is a round up of a few great moments from the panel including some footage description we were treated to. Besides “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Fox hadn’t really announced what other films were being presented. I will end with “Apes” as it ended the panel, so we’ll just go in order.
In one of the few “only at Comic-Con” moments that I’ve experienced today, legendary director Ridley Scott found a way to join the panel live from Iceland. Thats right, we are in San Diego but Ridley was standing on top of a waterfall answering questions from moderator Damon Lindelof. Besides talking about the film and its stellar cast, including Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and the beautiful Charlize Theron (who was present for the Q&A), Ridley gave us an amazing look at “Prometheus”.
The footage actually looks exactly like “Alien”. Some might say thats not a good thing, but I loved the hell out of that film so I say bring it on. A lot of people have been assuming that the film is actually an “Alien” prequel. Ridley stated during the panel that there is only a bit of DNA from that film that exists in Prometheus. However, I think it’s safe to say that the DNA shows up at the end of the film giving credence to that rumor. Charlize Theron was on hand to talk about her character, who feels like it could be “new Ripley”. She states that her character is ‘a suit who slowly sheds that skin through the film’. She is basically warn down to the bone by the end of the film and states that this is unlike anything she has ever done before. Overall, I have high hopes for it as it looks like Scott is where he belongs.
This film is directed by “Gattaca” and “The Truman Show” scribe Andrew Niccol and stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy. As much as I love all those actors, I’m most excited about Vincent Kartheiser’s involvement in the film. Some of you may know him as Pete Campbell from AMC’s “Mad Men” and in this he seems to playing a perfect little weasel, just as in the Emmy Award winning series. The film is about a future world in which people stop aging at 25, and have a year before they die unless they “earn” their time. Justin Timberlake plays Will Salas who has been framed for the murder of a man who had a lot of time on his hands. He goes on the run all the while stealing time and giving it to people who don’t have any left. Yes, it’s a modern day Robin Hood, but it seems really interesting. I think it walks that fine line where it could be terrible or really good. So let’s just say I’m optimistic. But with a solid cast and Niccol at the helm, I say bring it on.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This is Fox’s golden goose this year and it looks better and better every time I see it. I’ll start by saying that I don’t really care about the “Apes” franchise. I have never seen the older films and don’t really have a strong desire to. I made the mistake of watching the Tim Burton film, which didn’t help clearly. However, this prequel looks pretty stunning. I would say that overall it feels a bit generic as far as uprising films go, but it LOOKS amazing. When you have the folks over at Weta taking care of the Visual Effects, we don’t question their resolve to make a beautiful film. When you add Andy Serkis in the motion capture suit playing the main character of Caesar, you start to get more than excited. Serkis was on hand to discuss being back in the suit playing another ape. For those who aren’t aware, Serkis also played King Kong in Peter Jackson’s film, but revolutionized Motion capture, and should have been nominated for an Oscar for his role as Gollum, in the “Lord of the Rings” films.
We were shown quite a bit of footage included the entire sequence of Caesar protecting John Lithgow from the trailer. It gets very tense and represents the first time Caesar realizes he’s not supposed to be living as a human as he has been doing during the film thus far. He knows he shouldn’t be there. The facial features on Caesar are mind boggling. All the apes look photo-real and it’s wonderful. We were also giving a really nice long sizzle reel at the end of the panel that includes a lot of action from the third act of the film. Included in the reel was the moment right after that gorilla attacks the helicopter from the trailer. Let me safely say, that helicopter goes down.
Overall, I am really very excited about this film. It has made me very interested in seeing what happens after this ape revolt portrayed in the film. The film lays down the seeds of the complete takeover and that is really fascinating to me. I can’t wait to see this.