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Archive for the ‘San Diego Comic Con 2009’ Category

SDCC 09: Robert Rodriguez Panel

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Robert Rodriguez

The Sin City helmer on what’s coming up next for him.

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez appeared at San Diego Comic-Con today to talk about his new family film Shorts, during which time the Sin City and Planet Terror director also updated fans on what’s happening with several of his upcoming projects.

Rodriguez said that he’s producing the remake of The Creature From the Black Lagoon now, which he said was as fun as any of the family films he’s made. He is also producing Predators, which he recalled was a script that he originally wrote back in 1994. 20th Century Fox reapproached him about it recently because, as the filmmaker put it, they thought the Predator franchise had gone astray with the Alien vs. Predator movies.

Rodriguez said Fox is letting him make the movie his way at his Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas, and that his ’94 script will be the basis for it. K&B are already doing effects work on it for a 2010 release.

The next project that Rodriguez will helm will be Machete, based on the faux trailer he did for Grindhouse. That will start filming in the next few weeks. He recalled how he and Danny Trejo have actually been kicking the idea around since 1993. Rodriguez promised fans that Machete will be as good or better than the mock trailer, “out of control,” “crazy” and “a lot of fun.”

Rodriguez said his dance card for the next year is full so don’t expect Sin City 2 to go before cameras for at least another year.

SDCC 09: Where the Wild Things Are Sneak Peak

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Get a sneak peak at Spike Jonze’s new project.

There’s been quite a lot of talk about Spike Jonze’s long-in-development adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Over the years, we’ve heard and reported on production delays, reshoots, rumors that he film simply wasn’t up to WB’s liking, and more word that the film was, quite the opposite, a hugely successful and heart-wrenchingly emotional work. Thankfully, Warner Bros. chose to open their Comic-Con panel by highlighting the film, and if the footage screened for us today is any indication, “successful and heart-wrenchingly emotional” is by far the most accurate description.

Beginning with a brief video featuring Sendak and Jonze discussing the film, the panel focused largely on the fact that this isn’t a straightforward adaptation of the material. With Sendak’s blessing, Jonze is interpreting the material in a way that is meaningful and personal to him. Sendak is, in fact, overwhelmingly supportive of Jonze’s approach, stating that it honors the intention and spirit of the book while expanding upon its themes. As the film’s lead, Max Records, quoted of Sendak, anybody who doesn’t like the film “can go to straight to Hell.”

Where the Wild Things Are image 1

While Jonze was not in attendance, Warner screened three scenes for Con attendees. The first was a simple sequence of Max walking through the Kingdom of the Wild Things – of which he has been named king – with the monster Carol, voiced by James Gandolfini. They stroll through a forest lit by the late-day sun as Carol tells Max that everything in the kingdom – except that hole, that stick, that rock – belongs to him now. They proceed into a vast desert in which Max spies a massive animal and seems filled with wonderment. Carol simply says, “That’s the dog. Don’t feed him or he’ll follow you everywhere.”

The second sequence is one in which the Wild Things begin to play, jumping gleefully atop one another as Max tries desperately not to be crushed. Soon, Max is encased in small dome of creatures, who each murmur about the joys of the day as the fall to sleep, and so does Max. The final scene showed the building of a giant fort, as all the Wild Things pitch in for its construction, using their massive size and strength to dig tunnels, toss rocks and heft mile-high tree trunks.

Where the Wild Things are Image 2

What strikes us immediately about the footage is a strange, almost melancholic mixture of wonder and sadness, joyful exploration and a deep, desperate longing. The tone is immediately striking and, at least to a sentimentalist like myself, remarkably beautiful. This is underlined by the hulking, hunched-over, droopy-eyed design of the creatures themselves, creatures which seem exceptionally stylized and yet strangely real. There’s also a great sense of danger – that these are giants playing with a small, fragile boy, however good their intentions. In just those few short clips, there was humor and drama in plenty, and we suspect that fans might just be in for a magical, fantastical treat later this year.

SDCC 09: Peter Jackson Updates IGN

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

The Hobbit, Lovely Bones, Tintin, Dambusters and more.

Christopher Monfette from IGN reports on the goings on at San Diego Comic Con 2009.

IGN was part of a very select group of people invited to attend an intimate conversation with filmmaker Peter Jackson in the aftermath of a screening of the absolutely stunning District 9. For a whopping 90 minutes, Jackson filled us in on his latest batch of projects, including The Hobbit, The Lovely Bones, Tintin, Temeraire and Dambusters. Look for a more robust report on the conversation later during the Con, but for the moment, check out the updates below:

The Hobbit

With The Hobbit, I didn’t want to be too involved with looking over the shoulder of the director. Part of the reason I wanted to produce the films and not direct them was not to compete against myself… Guillermo is there because I thought he’d do a terrific job with that movie. It wasn’t the job for a novice filmmaker.

We’re about three weeks from turning over the script for the first Hobbit movie to the studio. We wrote a treatment for the two films which we pitched to the studio. There was talk about doing The Hobbit as one movie and then doing a bridge movie to Lord of the Rings. We worked through the storyline and thought that we could squeeze The Hobbit into one movie, but even with a three hour movie, you’d be amazed with how much of that story you’d have to lose. We included all the events that we’d like to see, plus the fact that we wanted to embellish a few things and put a couple extra narratives in for Gandalf and the Necromancer. So we decided that the two movies should be The Hobbit, Part One and Part Two.

The Lovely Bones

I had done four of those big blockbuster effects movies and I just felt like trying something that was going to be hard and difficult and very different. Like anyone we know, you just want to keep trying things that you aren’t sure that you can do. So this seemed like a very interesting challenge. I loved the book. I cried when I read the book. I think how you take that book when you read it is very much based on your own life experience – if you had loved ones that you’d lost, you’d take a very different direction. And the film is equally personal. It was a very, very difficult book to adapt. It doesn’t lend itself to a film structure. We haven’t slavishly followed the book. There are big sections of the book that we didn’t use; we elaborated on other bits. It’s certainly a personal adaptation rather than a copy.

It’s not my vision of the afterlife; it’s Susie’s. She’s a little girl in 1973 when she dies, so we had a very ’70s idea of the afterlife. People refer to it as Heaven, but you never actually see Heaven in the story. The idea, which is in the book, is that each person experiences it based upon what their life experience is, so what Susie experiences in her afterlife is based upon being a 14 year old in 1973 and the pop culture she’s grown up with and the life experience she’s had. But she’s also wonderfully funny, too. We didn’t want to make a tear-jerky film. The great thing about Susie is that she doesn’t feel any self pity. She’s got these wonderfully ironic, wry observations. She watches her family deal with her death; she watches her killer; she watches the police bungle their investigation, which drives her crazy in a very humorous way. And she comes up with a very bad idea of trying to use her father as a weapon against the killer.

You have this degree of freedom to create a slightly hallucinogenic experience, but that’s fleeting in the sense that she also witnesses what’s happening. She can see what happens, but she can’t be heard.So she’s very frustrated, and even though there’s this crazy fun that she has for awhile, I would say that the tone of the movie is very much like a thriller.

The Temeraire Series

The Temeraire are a series of books we’ve optioned. I think it’s going to be six books soon. I love the idea of the Napoleonic times, when there was a Navy and an Army, but there’s also an air force, which are these dragon-like creatures. So the British have an air brigade, but the French do, too. You have these great, Napoleonic battles with flying dragons and ships.

I’m thinking about whether it should be some form of miniseries. With six books, I really don’t like the idea of making a big-budget movie of the first book and it not doing well at the box office and suddenly that’s the end of the series. Six books makes such a compelling story that I like the idea of adapting that as a series.


Steven Spielberg has just finished his first cut. I’m actually going to see it when I get home. He did the motion capture for that and directed it, which he was doing for six weeks. Then it comes down to New Zealand, to WETA, because our company is doing the shots. So Steven and I are collaborating on the production of the film and I’m going to keep an eye on the effects shots.

For the second film, I’m keeping my options open at the moment, but I am very partial to the Seven Crystal Balls. I’m going to read them all again. I’ve read them about three times in the past two years, so I’ll do it again and see which one… Everybody who’s working on Tintin is a fan of the story. It was huge in England; it was huge in New Zealand. I grew up with these books. Everyone who’s working on the movie, to some degree, grew up with Tintin. And in Steven’s case, he got turned on to Tintin after Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is a very Tintin-esque kind of story.

District 9


One of things I’m thinking of is possibly shooting Dambusters in 3-D. I wanted to get my head around the technology, so we got the equipment and shot some material to see how it looked.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Interview – Taylor Lautner Interview

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Poster Prnt - Style A

Check out the Twilight Saga: New Moon interview with Taylor Lautner at the San Diego Comic Con 2009. There is also an interview with Ashley Greene.

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