Apologies for the late arrival of your Movie News Cheat Sheet, but as I arrived back in New York late last night, I figured it might be smart (and ultimately more legible) to get some rest and digest all of the info that came out of San Diego Comic Con as this week, the Cheat Sheet is here to celebrate just that, SDCC 2011. With a massive amount of some of the hottest Hollywood has to offer flying in for the event, the convention was absolutely brimming with movie news.
We’ve got everything from new trailers and posters, to updates on new productions like the handful Robert Rodriguez has planned as well as where Steven Spielberg stands with Jurassic Park 4. As for the completed projects giving fans a taste of what they’ll have to offer, Francis Ford Coppola made quite the impression, not necessarily with the footage he presented from Twixt, but with the way he plans to manipulate it.
The barrage of fans that turned out for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn got the goods on what to expect from the birthing scene as well as how Taylor Lautner approached Jacob’s “imprinting.” Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance made a surprisingly good impression while The Amazing Spider-Man’s Rhys Ifans, just couldn’t handle the security precautions con participants are required to abide by.
Read all about those stories and much more in a special edition of the Movie News Cheat Sheet, an ode to San Diego Comic Con!
1. The Avengers Concept Art: Not only does this set consist of seven gorgeous renderings, but they all combined to make one wicked looking banner. We’ve got individual posters for Scarlett Johansson’ Black Window, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo’s The Hulk, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury alongside Agent Clouson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). These really are incredibly refreshing versions of character posters. Not only do the individual designs keep away from the standard tiresome format of forcing a character to strike a silly pose in front of a blatantly digital background, but Marvel takes it one step further by using them to, well, give the Avengers a chance to assemble with style. Compare these to the ones for Snow White and the Huntsman and you’ll see what I mean. (via Film School Rejects)
2. The Good and Bad Of Rhys Ifans: Rhys Ifans made quite an impression on San Diego this weekend. His trip started on a high note with fans getting the first taste of the Lizard at The Amazing Spider-Man’s Hall H panel. During the footage presentation, Ifans appeared as Dr. Curt Connors in human form, but, later on, the transformation scene played, showing Ifans, re-growing a human hand and donning scales. But that’s nothing compared to the full body reveal which came in a bathroom scene during which the Lizard surprises two ladies having a chat. “Behind them, a toilet starts to bubble and then the floor around it begins to crack. An enormous hand emerges from the hole and we see the lizard for the first time in full.” It was all downhill from there, as Ifans took his bad guy role a bit too seriously, getting into a scuffle with a Comic Con security guard. Ifans was arrested, cited for misdemeanor battery and then sent on his way. (via Coming Soon and NY Daily News)
3. The Walking Dead Trailer: Sure, this is a place for movie news, but as one of the best trailers I caught all week, the season two trailer for AMC’s The Walking Dead is deserving of a spot on this list. It’s a whopping four minutes and 39 seconds long, yet you still won’t want it to end. The formation of the piece is particularly smart and effective as it opens with a striking scene from the new season, cuts to a recap of some of the most memorable moments from season one, then to a montage of elements from season two just before wrapping with an extended look at another new sequence. The combination does an excellent job at filling in newcomers and an even better one at getting fans hyped for round two, particularly during the middle two sections where we get to see the characters we’ve grown to love and we’re they’re heading come October. Plus, that last moment on the highway looks absolutely brutal in the best way possible. (via AMC)
4. Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park 4: There’s not much to this, but it’s worth a mention as the continuation of the Jurassic Park franchise has been a hot topic for some time now. Steven Spielberg made his first Comic Con appearance in support of his upcoming film The Adventures of Tintin, but, while there, he spoke to ComingSoon.net about his plans for Jurassic Park 4. He said, “We have a story, I can happily announce right now.” Spielberg added, “We have a writer … Hopefully, we’ll be making Jurassic Park 4 in the near future. In the next two or three years.” So, nothing particularly concrete just yet, but based on these quotes it does seem like the film is more of a sure thing that ever.
5. What’s On Deck for Robert Rodriguez: Robert Rodriguez is a big talker. Not only did he reveal his plans to make two more Machete films during his panel in Hall H, but he also announced plans for another Sin City. He said, “Both Machete sequels have been green lit,” but noted only one is 100%. Of Sin City he explained Frank Miller completed a script and “it could shoot as early as later this year.” The film will be an adaptation of Miller’s A Dame to Kill For, but will have two new Sin City-set stories within it. But wait; there’s more. Rodriguez also confirmed his plan to take on the anthology film, Heavy Metal. In an official statement, Rodriguez explained his effort to get the fans involved by creating a website that’ll allow users to submit suggestions for worlds, characters or stories. Click here to check out his call for collaborators. (via ComingSoon.net)
6. Francis Ford Coppola Edits Twixt on the Fly: Francis Ford Coppola isn’t just making a new movie, but a whole new style of editing. Twixt focuses on a writer in the midst of a book tour. Upon hitting a small town, he gets a first-hand taste of a murder mystery after which he’s haunted by a ghost named V. Forget the fact that the plot sounds, well, a little unusual; get a load of how Coppola plans to complete the piece. During the Hall H panel, Coppola showed the audience a clip. A little later, he played the clip again with alterations based on the audience’s reaction to the first viewing. Now his plan is to hit the road and have a “live mix” of the film at various locations. As reported by CinemaBlend.com, Coppola explained, “I’d love to go on tour a month before it opened and go on tour myself, with all my collaborators and live music, and actually perform the film for each audience uniquely for them. A different version for each audience.” Sounds interesting, but as CinemaBlend and many other outlets noted, it doesn’t seem as though Coppola’s solidified the logistics of the effort just yet.
7. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Looks Surprisingly Good: While I didn’t make it to this panel myself, I was incredibly surprised to hear that the footage shown in Hall H of the Ghost Rider sequel is quite good. Cinema Blend reported, “That trailer was actually pretty damn awesome. Seriously dark, lots of flame, much better CGI and A LOT of action. We may need to start getting excited for this one.” Slash Film even titled their article, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Comic-Con Panel: This May Not Suck.” Geeks of Doom called the trailer, “a high-energy schizophrenic montage of amazing stunt and camerawork, all in 3D.” I’ve spent almost four years trying to erase the first Ghost Rider from my memory; might I have to re-watch and bring it all back to prep for the second? Looks like it.
8. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Birth Scene Gets Gory: For those of you who read the books, you know the infamous birthing scene in Breaking Dawn is particularly tricky when it comes to abiding by the franchise’s PG-13 rating. As I reported on Thursday, during the Breaking Dawn press conference, Robert Pattinson called the moment, “hardcore,” and “graphic.” He added, “There’s no way to do it in any kind of tame way.” While it may not be as grisly as the birthing scene, Taylor Lautner has a moment of his own that’s bound to get a great deal of attention too, the one during which he must “imprint.” Lautner explained he was nervous about the moment and spent a great deal of time talking to both Condon and Stephenie Meyer about what “imprinting” really looks like.
9. Trailers: Knights of Badassdom, Haywire and Drive: The new trailer of Knights of Badassdom might not make LARPing look cool, per se, but it does make it look like one crazy adventure, or at least when “Succubus from hell” is involved. Haywire’s looking quite badass as well, albeit a different kind of badass. Gina Carano stars as a covert ops specialist seeking revenge after she’s double-crossed by one of her own. Lastly we’ve got the new red band trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. This trailer is particularly intriguing for it does a complete 180 about two thirds of the way through, going from a heart pumping synopsis to oddly operatic showing of brutality courtesy of a change in background music.
10. Box Office: Comic Con vibes were clearly in the air across the nation as the latest superhero flick, Captain America: The First Avenger had absolutely no problem dethroning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Captain America opened with a strong $65.1 million, but fell just short of topping Thor’s $65.7 million start. As for Potter, it took a shockingly steep fall, losing 72% of its week one profits. On the bright side, it did start with $169.2 million, so that still left it with another $47.4 million this time around. Friends with Benefits is off to a rather weak start coming nowhere close to the openings numbers of recent comedy releases like Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses. While both of those films found themselves around the $30 million mark, Friends with Benefits only claimed $18.6 million in week one. The fourth spot went to Transformer: Dark of the Moon, which saw a somewhat modest drop of 43.5%. Horrible Bosses fell even less, just 33.1%, but only claimed $11.9 million, which was not enough to top Dark of the Moon and its $12.1 million week four haul. (via Box Office Mojo)