Three of the best improv comedic actors around helped kick off the Hall H programming at 2010 San Diego Comic Con with a lot of laughs and some good looking 3D footage. Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill joined director Tom McGrath to pump up Megamind, which will be released on November 5, 2010.
They group presented a five-minute extended trailer for the film, which features Ferrell as the titular villain who actually kills his arch-nemesis (voiced by Brad Pitt) and finds himself at a loss of purpose. Hit the jump for our rundown of the funny panel, where Brad Pitt was rumored to be in attendance. And kind of was.
Ferrell came out first, dressed in full Megamind get-up complete with huge head and blue painted face. He said he brought breakfast for everyone, which was six donuts and a half-gallon of OJ. Tina Fey came out next and did the same bit, but said since she bought the 7-11 mini donuts herself, she wanted 1/100th of a penny back from each person. She then added that the guy she “met” in her hotel last night forgot his Admiral Ackbar costume, which spawned an “It’s a trap” joke. Jonah Hill was next and basically just ripped on Ferrell for being dressed up.
Next up was the footage. It began with much of the same stuff from the latest trailer, and then segued into scenes of Megamind killing the Brad Pitt character, Metro Man. That led into a montage of Megamind walking around town, being bad, and mostly over having actually accomplished what very few super villains have done. There were some great visual jokes, too, including a spoof of the “Hope” Obama image and even a Godfather joke.
McGrath then teased that Pitt was going to come out, but it was just Ferrell with a standee that got a huge laugh.
The Q&A then began, moderated by Drew McWeeny of HitFix.
- McGrath talked about the origin of the idea, which was to flip the superhero genre on its head while being respectful to the superhero archetypes. They then teased that the Jonah Hill character has a major twist, which was basically spoiled in the footage. I won’t spoil it here, but, it’s pretty much what you think. I mean, he’s a nerdy guy in a superhero movie.
- Ferrell joked that the idea for the movie came from him just wearing this outfit around the lot and then he pitched it to Jeffrey Katzenberg. There was a lot of awkward pauses that got huge laughs.
- Since every superhero has a villanous nemesis, they were each asked who their Hollywood nemesis was. Tina Fey said Betty White, and that she’d be fighting her on pay-per-view very soon. Jonah Hill said Mel Gibson’s wife, and that he formally supported Mel, dropped the mike and walked off stage. It was hilarious. Ferrell said his nemesis was Charlize Theron, and that he didn’t want to get into it. This type of off-the-cuff humor was what this panel was all about.
- None of the actors had glasses to watch the footage but Ferrell said he enjoyed it because he was high on paint thinner.
- Jonah then walked back on stage and said that he actually wasn’t sure what Mel said and now that he read it, he only supports a quarter of it. “The Laker tickets, right?” Ferrell said. Jonah confirmed, but also he agrees that the Jews killed Jesus. That got a huge laugh.
- Ferrell talked about how he approached the character as a villain but with a slightly pathetic tone. The director added that despite all the humor that was obvious, the story had a great heart to it too.
- Ferrell voices a few different parts in the movie.
- Each person then answered a few questions, talking about how they enjoyed being in a movie like this, how it’s nice to do superhero films as well as movies their kids can see, etc.
Then the audience got to ask questions. Or sort of. First was some dude who ripped off his shirt to reveal the words “Mega Mind” on his chest. Next was Bob Stencil who set up a joke about 3D movies, mentioning Avatar, Megamind, and The Smurfs. “Are blue characters here to stay?” A girl then asked what their favorite moment as an actor was, and each person gave a joke answer for each other. Fey responded genuinely, though: when she got Carrie Fisher to say “Help me, Liz Lemon, you’re my only hope,” on 30 Rock, that was pretty great.
The questions then went back to McWeeney. He asked McGrath what it was like working with 3D and he said “we’re past the pointy sticks,” and that the 3D is great for action and even in the emotional moments. It always moves the story forward.
Drew then asked Jonah to spoil his character twist again and he said he had some breaking news. “I’ve been cast to play the Hulk in The Avengers.”
And with that, a hilarious – albeit it not that enlightening – first panel was over.
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