Posted on 26 July 2010.
Every year, Comic-Con in San Diego is one of the biggest events for studios to unleash the latest in upcoming films. The event has grown from a pequeno little event for comic book fans to an industry extravaganza where studios and stars come out to hype the latest in films, whether they are in production, have wrapped, or are still at the very early planning stages. Various announcements are made with regards to casting (the big one this year was with regards to Mark Ruffalo’s replacement of Edward Norton as the Hulk in The Avengers upcoming movie) and general hoopla, panels and parties are held. It all sounds so, well, like so much hype. I have never attended.
That being said, I still try to keep you abreast of the most significant of happenings there. Usually, those are an announcement or two and some footage in regards to trailers. Last year, there was probably a little more info, due to Avatar having a presence, but there are still some interesting pieces to report on from this year.
I have read a few things on what the “results” of this years event are. By results, I mean, what films came out ahead, what got left behind, or what stayed about the same on the expectation meter. So, I give you win, lose or draw from Comic-con, primarily based on the piece done by Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times. I will add my own thoughts based on what his takes are of the events proceedings with regards to films we are ready to see, this year or next, and maybe in a case or two, even 2012.
Cowboys & Aliens
This makes sense given that Jon Favreau has been known to be incredibly fan friendly and interactive at Comic-Con (and other events for that matter). He can do no wrong in fans eyes, given the popularity and success of both his Iron Man films. Additionally, bringing Harrison Ford out for a public display during the Cowboys & Aliens panel, only served to heighten the experience. That being said, this 2011 movie is one of the farthest from release/earliest stages of production, of about any film that was discussed at Comic-Con. SZ said bringing Ford out is “precisely the kind of Comic-Con moment that’s long forgotten when a film finally comes out.” I couldn’t agree more, but this is off to a good start.
This was kind of being looked at as a potentially nice action film, a trip down memory lane for all the big names involved, but Sylvester Stallone‘s movie gained the most goodwill from the event it sounds like. SZ says “Comic-Con has sealed its fate: “The Expendables” (“Explodables?”) is destined to open big.” I am not surprised by this, when Sly rolls out several other cast members for a butt-kicking good time. But to me, the film may not offer enough to get me excited. I am still on the fence as to whether this will be a cheesy good time or just a boring clunker with big names. If I had to put my money on it, it would be both.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
This is one of those movies that visually looks wholly original, which is a good thing. Fans ate up the media blitz at Comic-con. Whether that will translate into box-office success remains a question mark though. This seems similar to Kick-Ass which generated buzz in San Diego last year, only to see middling (small) box office results. Star Michael Cera is the x-factor; a make or break film in a sense I believe.
Let Me In
This is a remake of an underseen Swedish “horror” film from two years ago, Let The Right One In. It seems as if fans basically want the same movie, but in English, if this is to work. I think positioning the film in the horror genre means it needs to deliver more jumps and scares than the original, which actually was more of a character vampire piece. I am curious to see how this goes. I liked the original enough to have an interest, but will US audiences as a whole feel the same? SZ saw this one as a potentially slightly positive churning film.
Director Zack Snyder‘s 300 and Watchmen earned him hype for this female-centric film. Rolling out a half-dozen cast members was only going to work in the film’s favor for this event. But whether or not the movie will draw women (or enough men) remains to be seen. Watchmen was a disappointment on release, so I can’t help but think that Sucker Punch, even with its lower expectations, won’t wow at the turnstiles. Hmmm.
Hype was already pretty high for this one, so #sdcc did nothing to diminish that. It will be interesting to see if the old generation of cult fans for the original turn out for the new spin from Disney. The footage didn’t wow me, but I still expect this to be well-received. SZ says it is “well-positioned” as a December release this year. Probably so.
This has been one of those films that continues to look like a failure thus far and Comic-Con’s presentation didn’t do enough to sway that opinion, here or there, it seems. SZ says “it was impossible not to hear the dissenting voices questioning, perhaps fairly, the histrionic costume-drama of the exposition and the generic explosions that followed. For some reason we have a feeling these voices will only grow louder.” This one just has looked generic to me thus far, but it is Marvel so there is still hope that this will turn in the right direction in the next year before its release. I remain skeptical though.
The Green Hornet
I read elsewhere a piece on the question of what director Michel Gondry had done to warrant such fanboy lust. After reading the piece and thinking about it myself, I had to concur. I mean, he has done some great things visually in commercials, and I really enjoyed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but honestly, his resume beyond that film as a director is pretty bad. A list of movies you’d like to like, but didn’t. Ditto for star Seth Rogen in my book. A fresh face in Knocked Up, has really turned into a one-trick pony incapable of being a lead and carrying a film on his own. Add that to the fact this is supposed to be an action movie, and I can’t help but think this will bomb. SZ says “The panel was vexed by the same problem as the trailer: the inability to choose, or find the right space, between comedy and the more serious business of superhero mythology. This one made few inroads at Comic-Con.” Not a good sign.
Share your thoughts on what films on this list you are excited about and which maybe, you are not as thrilled about. I’m listening.