Comic-Con 2008: Summit Entertainment

San Diego Comic-Con has begun again and newcomer Summit Entertainment had their very first panel.

Twilight: When first announced, the scream in the 6,500-capacity Hall H was so loud my hands immediately covered my ears as a reflex. Screaming continued throughout every single introduction of cast members, author Stephanie Meyer and director Catherine Hardwicke.

The first clip showed a scene from near the end of the film with Bella (Kristen Stewart) in an empty house hearing her mother’s voice. She opens a door to find its a family video playing on a TV. She turns around and the three ‘bad vampires’ are there and James (Cam Gigandet) taunts her. As she tries to escape, he jumps over her and throws her to the ground. He then grabs her calf and squeezes hard til she screams. Edward (Robert Pattinson) shows up and punches James, James grabs him and they fight – breaking many windows and mirrors in the process. James also takes a bite out of Bella.

Young girls kept screaming through the presentation, especially when Pattinson appeared on the monitors. When director Catherine Hardwicke revealed that Pattinson actually fell off a bed during a kissing scene, the crowd again went wild – as they did when Pattinson joked about Kristen’s audition scene becoming a three way on Catherine’s bed with Hardwicke filming.

The film has been through ten weeks in the editing room with the sound design, score and visual effects currently underway. Some of the cast members will apparently do at least one of the songs for the film’s soundtrack. Meyer herself has seen about 15 minutes of completed footage.

Knowing: Director Alex Proyas turned up to promote the sci-fi Nic Cage thriller which he just finished shooting. A clip was shown at a school in 1959 where an outcast young girl is drawing a series of numbers when the teacher takes the sheet away from her. Cut to the modern day where Nic Cage’s son gets the sheet and sees a creepy man watching him. Much of the rest of the clip plays out like an extended verion of the trailer with the airline accident and the warning of an even larger disaster to come.

The film itself is a quite low-key affair so as to have more of an effect on people. The central relationship is between Cage and his son, and Cage plays a character who has lost faith and over the course of the story comes to believe in an order to the universe. Rose Byrne plays the daughter of the older version of the young girl from the 50’s. Proyas also says his attachment to the Silver Surfer film is just a rumor. The film is scheduled for March 20th 2009.

PushThe opening credits for the Paul McGuigan-directed sci-fi thriller played, detailing the history of the characters with world governments setting up divisions to develop psychic soldiers. Telepaths are watchers, telekinetics are movers, and people who force thoughts into others are pushers. Camilla Belle, Chris Evans, Djimon Hounsou and McGuigan turned up to promote the film.

The characters aren’t superheroes as such, the film is trying to be a more realistic take on psychic abilities. Among the various characters, Hounsou plays a ‘pusher’ who is the head of the division in charge of recruiting psychics and can enhance other psychic’s powers. A clip showed off Hounsou’s ability as he gets a sub-ordinate to put a gun in his mouth and shoot himself.

Evans is a mover whose father was killed by the division as a kid and he’s now hiding out in Hong Kong. A second clip of an early action sequence has Evans and Dakota Fanning eating at some Hong Kong fish market and she’s trying to recruit him into the division. The pair are soon on the run from psychic Chinese goons able to scream audio signals that can kill and shatter a lot of tanks full of fish – sending water spraying.

Among the characters Fanning can see the future, and Belle is a pusher who is the only survivor of the drug used to create the psychic warriors. There’s also sniffers (identify people where they’ve been), wipers (erase memory), stitch (regeneration) and shadows (make themselves practically invisible). When psychics use their powers, their eyes change to black. Much of the stunts were done for real, including the exploding tank scenes which Fanning herself was involved in.