Tim Burton made his second appearance at Comic Con this year on board the panel for 9. This time he is attached as producer to Shane Ackers new animated film “9”. After being shown the trailer for “9”, director Shane Acker, producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, as well as stars Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly came out for a panel discussion and Q&A. What was talked about is after the jump.
First Shane Acker talks a bit about making the short film for this movie (available on YouTube and nominated for an Oscar in 2005), a labor of love that took years of his life away sitting in front of a computer. Now that he’s got a-list starts and a bigger budget, he could finally see the larger story he wanted brought to life.
While the short only involves characters 9 and 5, the movie has all 9 characters battling for their lives in a kind-of post-post apocalyptic world. The premise is that these 9 creatures were created by a man as he and the rest of human kind were dying. In Acker’s words, “it’s a quest for these characters to find out where they are and what they came from and in order to do that they have to discover who the humans were in the past.”
We are also shown a clip from the film that was surprisingly spoilerish regarding the fate of one of the characters but also introduces Connelly’s character 7. When asked about working on a voice-over only film she says, “I’d love to be able to do stuff like that in a live-action film, but I don’t think I could it off in nearly a fantastic manner as she does.”
After someone the moderator compares Frodo’s epic journey in Lord Of The Rings to 9’s in 9, Wood has this to say about his role, “They’re both coming into the world and forced with a task they must face. 9 has so much he has to figure out, and he comes into this world and he sees that there are others like him who are sequestered in this fear-based hierarchy that’s keeping them from getting any answers. He doesn’t know to be afraid, so ultimately he carries on and that sets forth the journey at hand.”
Undoubtedly the star of the panel was producer Tim Burton. Many of the audience questions came from people who obviously missed the Alice In Wonderland presentation the day before and neglected to acknowledge that Burton is merely a producer of this film and not the director. When one person asked Burton directly how long the animation process took, Burton look down the table at Acker and said, “I don’t know, maybe you should ask the director about that” to which Acker responded, “About 4 years.” Burton also felt the need to defend his disposition after someone pointed out his films tendency for darkness by saying, “I’m actually quite a ‘light’ person.”