Comic-Con 2008: 20th Century Fox

San Diego Comic-Con has begun again and 20th Century Fox kicked off the action with the first panel for three of their big releases.

Wolverine: Hugh Jackman showed up to massive applause. Having just gotten off the plane and with shooting just wrapped, the super-buff Aussie hunk got the crowd riled up as he ran into the audience and shook “Wolverine” creator Len William’s hand with very thankful platitudes of gratitude. Jackman calls it “action-packed and bad ass!” and we’ll get to see a lot of berserker rage.

Then came the footage, a montage of clips with Wolverine and Sabertooth line up to be executed – but neither dying. A young William Stryker (Danny Huston) reveals he’s putting together a special team (we see some Gambit and Deadpool footage). We see the experiment that made Wolverine, including a bit where he rises nude (tastefully shot) and wet out of the tub to attack people. There’s also a young kid with claws, Wolvie and Sabertooth fighting, Wolvie hanging onto a helicopter, and Wolvie on a bike shredding his claws through a truck which causes it to flip.

The Day the Earth Stood Still: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, and director Scott Derrickson turned out to promote the sci-fi remake. The studio screened three clips.

The first was shown in the trailer and has Klaatu brought into an interrogation room and question his real motives. The trailer scene plays out and then Klaatu seems to electrocute the interrogator and is able to take control of him psychically and gets the manto tell him how to exit the building. He then takes the man’s suit and somehow emits a sonic shockwave causing the guards to collapse in pain.

The second scene is a more intimate scene between the young boy Bobby (Jaden Smith) and Klaatu (Reeves) .The pair are sitting in the back of a truck and the kid says the alien doesn’t look scary. He apparently told his mom to kill Klaatu, but has since changed his mind.

The final scene is a big trailer/action montage. Lots of lights (later becoming giant spheres) come down on various landmarks across the globe and are able to send out massive shockwaves that level much of New York City around Central Park. Gort appears walking out of the sphere which is glowing orange hot but is obscured by the intense light.

Reeves says that the new Klaatu is a colder more distant figure than the character in the original film, but this allows for more of an arc as he begins to develop humanity throughout the story. Connelly says that this version of the film takes a deeper exploration into the relationship between Helen and her son.

The director says the new technology pays homage to the original, though is not hard mechanical but something more organic. Hundreds of permutations of the giant robot Gort were done but they ended up coming back to a design not far from the original. WETA is still working on him and the details are still not finalized on some elements.

Max PayneDirector John Moore says that the video game to movie adaptation uses a lot of subjective viewpoints with the camera to make the audience feel like they are Max Payne, thus they “kick the s**t out of the camera” throughout. The film uses a digital hard drive camera system called Phantom which can shoot up to 1000 frames per second – allowing for super slow motion shots.

Mila Kunis says she did some weapons and baton training for the film and she gets to beat Mark Wahlberg up in the feature. Kunis also got to speak various swear words in her native Russian language. Ludacris, taking on a role originally written for a older white male, plays a smart internal affairs agent who’s on Payne’s heels throughout the film.

The panel showed three clips, the first has an old car pulling up to an apartment building. Mark Wahlberg enters, gun up, looking for someone named Alex. He finds a body dead on a floor and an unseen attacker dressed in black proceeds to thrash him.

The second is set in a subway station where three hoods follow Payne (Wahlberg) into the bathroom and try to get his watch. Payne however tells them details of what they were up to earlier in the day. This pisses them off, thinking they’ve been followed. Wahlberg knocks one out, proceeds to shoot the stalls as one crim tries to crawl away, and the third runs off along the subway tracks.

The third is a special Comic-Con exclusive trailer/clip set to the ‘Whole Lotta Love’ song. The primary scene is Payne engaging successfully in a shoot-out with a SWAT team. There’s also glimpses of demons, “Prison Break” star Amaury Nolesco with interesting facial tattoos playing some kind of crime lord, Wahlberg doing a flip backwards and firing off a rifle.