WONDERCON – A 3-Day Journey into Movies and Comics (but mostly movies) Part 2

DAY 2 – Saturday

Ah, Saturday, the biggest and busiest day of Wondercon! For Hall A, which I walked straight into yesterday with no problem I now have to wait in a long and winding line as if I were at Disneyland. Are all these people here for 10,000 B.C. or Steve Carell? Surprisingly I get in in under five minutes, not bad. However, inside is a different story. While yesterday I found a good seat no problem, today I wander for a while to find myself in a terrible seat unable to take any decent pictures.

Director Roland Emmerich and two of 10,000 B.C.‘s stars, Camilla Belle and Steven Strait, are up on stage talking about the film. It isn’t super interesting so I won’t bore you with too many details. But there are a few quotable moments.

Fan: Is it true your next film is 2012?
Emmerich: Yes, it is true.
Fan: What can you tell us about it?
Emmerich: Nothing.
Audience roars with laughter.

A little kid asks a question: What inspired you to make movies?
Emmerich: Well… (long pause, audience laughs) then he goes on to give a typical explanation.

And in case you were wondering, Emmerich ‘s favorite superhero is Batman.

Next up a guy from Lucasfilm surprises us with a little glimpse of the up coming CGI animated Star Wars film Clone Wars which is due out in August and will lead into the new CGI animated television show. The background, ship and robot designs are really good but the faces of the people leave something to be desired. However, if the story is good I’m sure this will be forgiven.

After that comes the first great moment of the day. We get a brand spankin’ new trailer for Get Smart before Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and director Peter Segal come out on stage the to do a Q & A about the film. Most the questions go straight to Steve and when Anne finally gets one, she is asked what it was like working with Steve. Here’s some of what they had to say (listen for the idiot who gets booed away by the crowd):

When that wraps up I leave Hall A to head to a smaller room where some tech guys are talking about the DVD release of Beowulf. They open with what again appears to be a DVD special feature. Afterwards the guys talk about the motion capture process they used to turn Crispin Glover into Grendel and how they turned Ray Winstone in the dragon. Using his facial expressions to give more life to the creature. They talk about how Neil Gaimen was the dragon advisor on the film and some other interesting things as well (I’m sure it will all be on the DVD so I don’t feel too bad not going into super detail). They show the various stages of the process and talk in detail about it. It is all very technical without any flair. This is a very different experience than that of Hall A, much more intimate and almost refreshing because of that. Still, until now I really had no desire to see the film. Now I’m excited for it’s upcoming DVD release on Tuesday.

After Beowulf I go out and buy some more comics, taking a break before heading back into Hall A. Wondercon is one of the only places in the world where you can bump into someone, apologize for it and then realize that they are decked out in full Stormtrooper gear. Let me tell you it’s a very surreal experience.

So I head back into Hall A where I catch a glimpse of the upcoming film, Shutter. Some rather creepy clips from the film are shown then the stars; Rachael “Transformers” Taylor and James “Heroes” Kyson Lee are interviewed. Not wanting to even deal with finding a seat at this point I camp out in the very back of the hall against the wall with the parents courteous enough not to haul their babies deep into the crowd.

Then comes the avid con goers’ wet dream. To talk about the new X-Files film creator Chris Carter, writer Frank Spotnitz, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny take the stage. Apparently this is the first time in Con history that Duchovny and Anderson have appeared together. The crowd goes insane as you well might imagine. They also go insane for the film’s trailer, which is pretty good, I must admit. Here are highlights from their 30 minute Q & A (Listen to how nuts these guys get!):

After that Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and John Cho take the stage to talk about Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. They show a very long clip of the film, very little which is funny. John Cho, however, is very entertaining. When asked about playing Sulu in the upcoming Star Trek film, he can’t say anything as J.J. Abrams is keeping things tightly under wraps.

The last big event of the evening is Jon Favreau talking about Iron Man. They show some pretty stellar clips as well. Favreau is an interesting guy because he seems very down to earth as well as having a very good understanding of the Hollywood Machine. Here are highlights from his Q & A:

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As the battery dies on my camera and my arms collapse at my side from attempting to hold the camera still for so long (note to self: buy tripod!) I decide it is time to be on my way. Besides, I am already thirty minutes late for work.

Afterward: Sadly, do to events beyond my conrol I was unable to attend the third and final day of Wondercon. However, I don’t feel too ad because as far as movie stuff goes not much was missed. They had Trailer Park in the morning where all the summer trailes were shown but I’m sure most of those are on-line by now anyway, and there was a screening of Justice League: The New Frontier and while I’d like to have seen it, it comes out on DVD Tuesday and I’ll just go ahead and rent it like the rest of you.