SDCC 2010: DRIVE ANGRY 3D Panel with Nicolas Cage

     July 23, 2010

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Nicolas Cage returned to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday to promote Summit Entertainment’s Drive Angry 3D, directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D). It also stars Amber Heard and William Fichtner and will be released February 11, 2011. Cage plays Milton, a mysterious demon type hell bent on getting revenge on the men who kidnapped his daughter.

Hit the jump to hear about the footage and info from the panel.

drive_angry_3d_image_01The panel kicked off with a 2 minutes sizzle reel which, it was pointed out on multiple occasions, was shot in 3D, not post converted. Drive Angry looks very much like the exploitation films those like Robert Rodriguez are currently making  — with all the old school muscle cars, blood splatters, explosions and guns that one would expect. The 3D goes from gimmicky, point-out-of-the-screen stuff, to more subtle depth stuff, but overall it certainly works for the tone of the movie — which is obviously just violence and fun.

Drew McWeeny, who was moderating the panel, then brought out Lussier (no relation to me), Cage, Heard and Fichtner. Lussier said the film just finished being shot 9 weeks ago and visual effects only began 3 weeks ago but they knew they wanted to get something edited special for the Con.

Having already shot a 3D movie, the difference with Drive Angry was he wanted the 3D camera to be more mobile. Plus, from its inception, the film was always conceived as a 3D movie and that played in from day one.

Cage talked about his character and said he likes him because he is very mysterious.

This is Cage’s first 3D movie and from the beginning he was excited how being in a movie like this would influence his performance, particularly physically.

Heard took her role because she loves being a bad ass chick.

Fichtner was mad he didn’t get to drive the ’69 Charger, but he did get to drive a hydrogen tanker.

Cage enjoyed being reunited with Johnny Martin whom he worked with on Gone in 60 Seconds as well.

The film was inspired by movies like Vanishing Point, Bullitt and other action films from the late Sixties and early Seventies. The title came from the fact that they were writing the movie on Groundhog Day and got to talking about the driving scene in the film where Bill Murray tells the groundhog “Don’t drive angry.”

never_back_down_movie_image_amber_heardAmber Heard was nervous to work with Nicolas Cage but she called a few friends to check on what kind of guy he was and they all said he was cool.

Someone then asked some weird question to Cage if he would recommend living in an haunted mansion in Louisiana and he said yes. I wonder if that was a reference to the new Del Toro project?

Cage took the project both because of the character and because he grew up on films like this and thought it would be awesome to blend that with the new technology of 3D.

He said he is drawn to supernatural films like this, Ghost Rider and others because it allows him to be very wild as an actor.

Cage believes the ’69 Charger he drives in this is cooler than Eleanor which he drove in Gone in 60 Seconds because this one had Amber Heard on the hood.

One of the movies that Cage could watch anytime is 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Heard said all the stunts and cars and stuff appealed to the Texas in her.

Drive Angry has a ton of potential. It’s still being finished, of course, so while the footage didn’t inspire anyone to run out and get in line, it certainly has all the elements of a fun, bad ass action flick. Especially in 3D. We’ll find out in a few months.

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