The mini-major is headed in a new direction, steering away from the grisly horror films that helped establish it and towards other genres. Will it work? Judging from the films in their line-up at Con this year it looks unlikely.
Punisher: War Zone
The Spirit: The most promising project was the Frank Miller-directed comic book adaptation “The Spirit”, and yet even it. Miller, producer Deborah Del Prete, Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jaime King all showed up to promote the project and showed off three clips indicating the film veering away from the gritty “Sin City” comparisons in favor of an almost screwball comedy approach at times despite Miller’s protest that there’s nothing campy about the film’s humor.
Response to the already released trailer’s screening again was polite but not enthusiatic. A fight scene clip had Spirit (Macht) and Octopus (Jackson) basically in a brawl with various objects wacking each other from a spanner to a crow bar, to bricks to even a toilet. Another scene has him trying to seduce his true love Ellen, and then a rookie cop who walks into the room – naturally a pissed off Ellen throws a scalpel at him. Finally a scene had Eva Mendes fighting with Octopus and then diving underwater trying to retrieve a chest and come up inside a darkened building. That scene was shot using CG tricks so Mendes’ hair and make-up would remain perfect underwater.
Samuel L. Jackson revealed that the size of the guns of his villainous Octopus character grows larger each time he shows up, meaning that by the end they were so ridiculously huge they had to be custom built by hand.