It’s mid-April – which means it’s time for a slew of articles covering Anaheim’s WonderCon: aka the mini, nicer, friendlier Comic-Con. I’ll be recapping all the ‘bigger’ panels of the day from Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Sony Pictures hopefully in a moderately timely manner.
First up for the day, Warner Brothers previewed their upcoming slate of features starting with Edge Of Tomorrow, the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt “Groundhog Day meets [insert-your-alien-invasion-film-of-choice-here] mash-up.” Co-star Bill Paxton was on hand to preview some exclusive footage from the upcoming sci-fi flick and offer insight into its making. For a recap of the footage (hint: there were a lot of explosions), hit the jump.
The panel opened with a new trailer for the film. It opens with Tom Cruise in a plane, getting ready to be dropped down into the middle of a war – when the plane is hit and explodes. Cruise than ‘wakes up’ to earlier in the day when he first arrived at the draft camp. We’re then treated to a montage of Cruise getting killed – hit by a car, blown up, shot in the head, strangled via alien tentacle… If you’ve ever wanted to watch one of the biggest movie stars on the planet get killed a hundred times, this seems to be the film for you. But after each death, Cruise reawakens right to that draft camp – fully conscious each time of what has happened to him before. The movie looks HUGE – there was one particular shot of Cruise and Blunt on a boat as dozens if not hundreds of steam-punk looking tentacled aliens chase them that simply floored me.
After the footage was screened, costar Bill Paxton took the stage to discuss the upcoming sci-fi action film. Bullet Point highlights are below…
- Bill Paxton on the balance between special effects & character work in the film and what attracted him to the project: “At the end of the day it has to be a story with characters we all emotionally relate to so the stakes are high and we feel for the characters… I was finishing up Two Guns when I got a call about this film – I knew Tom Cruise and Doug Liman were attached. So that’s all I needed.”
- Paxton on his character General Farrell Bartolome: “I think they hired me just so I could say ‘Game over, man’… My character from Aliens would probably really enjoy my character in this film. I’m a little bit of a Southern hillbilly. I’ve got this squad – and Tom is told to join and I’m told he’s a war deserter… but instead of being down on the character – I’m like “Oh, son – you’re going to be reborn. Reborn or get your nuts blown off.”
- Paxton on the difficult shoot: “The film was shot in England where we shot Aliens. Actually in the studios where they shot the Harry Potter films. I went to the stages – and there’s Tom trying out the [metal armor] suits and the first thing he says to me is ‘Hey Paxton – have you been working out?” Because those mechanical suits are 75 pounds. Tom had been training for three months. I had just got there… There were actual metallic wires hooked up to the suit so it didn’t weigh so much on our shoulders… I really earned my bonus on this one.”
- Paxton on returning to directing: “I desperately want to get back in the directors chair. I’ve been prepping The Bottoms [based on the suspense novel by Joe R. Lansdale]… There’s also a John McLaughlin script: Seven Holes for Air, which we adapted from a comic.
- Paxton on his career as a supporting actor: “I think I’ve become the guy that supports the guy. You fans have been so good to me and so supportive. The roles you first embraced me in like Chet in Weird Science and Hudson in Aliens. I came up doing those types of roles. And as much as I enjoyed playing the lead in Twister – I feel like I’m having a renaissance in my career playing the supporting roles. Let some other shmuck come in every day to shoot. I much prefer playing the more colorful supporting characters.”
- Paxton on whether or not he’s gotten a call from James Cameron about a certain bunch of semi-animated sequels: “When Jim calls – I think of it as if it were the bat-phone. No matter what it is, I’m in…
Edge of Tomorrow opens June 6th. Click here for more WonderCon coverage.