Legendary Films held their first ever Comic-Con panel today kicked off their inaugural run with aplomb, bringing out plenty of A-list talent and displaying concept art for four different projects.
In addition to Pacific Rim, Legendary brought Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Sergei Bodrov and Alicia Vikander for Seventh Son, Bradley Cooper and Alex Proyas for Paradise Lost, and Mark Protosevich and Casey Hudson for Mass Effect. Read on for a summary of the presentation and details on the concept art.
The Seventh Son
First up was The Seventh Son which will hit theaters in 2013.
Concept art flashed across the screen throughout the presentation displaying several gripping fantasy images, most notably a gigantic goblin face bursting out of a hillside; It’s not a monster coming out of the hill, the monster IS the hill.
Another provocative image was that of a badly burned man riding horseback. The rider smoldered with charred flesh and exposed bone seemingly fused to his armor. Meanwhile, the horse was even more skeletal with nearly its’ entire skull exposed. The image was stark and I have no idea how it will translate to the film’s presumable PG-13 release.
This film represents Bodrov’s first salvo into Hollywood following his brutal and gripping Genghis Khan bio-pic Mongol. Bodrov explained the film’s premise:
“It is about an old witch hunter who is hunting his old enemy but now he needs a new apprentice because all of his old apprentices have died… it’s a dangerous job.”
Bridges plays the witch hunter with Barnes taking the role of his protégé. “The characters are dark and kind of surly and the relationships don’t come together as fruitfully as you might expect,” said Barnes, highlighting the complex relationships that form the backbone of this fantasy yarn.
Bridges bragged about the film’s impressive technical prowess.
“You just gotta get used to it. But no! You can’t get used to it! Because as soon as you do it’s something new!”
Up next was the most impressive display of the whole panel, Proyas’ adaptation of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost.
This movie looks in-friggin-credible. If the concept art is any indication of the scope of the film and the visual palette of Proyas’ vision for Heaven, Hell and the battle between G-d and Satan this movie could be one of the most visually breathtaking things ever projected on the silver screen. Plus, Milton’s poem is onreme of the most deeply affecting and profound pieces of literature ever written. If you’ll pardon the pun, the movie could well be sublime.
The concept art for heaven featured tens-of-thousands of Seraphim circling around a giant spiraling tower of leading to YHWH’s throne, represented by blinding white light.
The painting of Hell was less immediately gripping, featuring the typical deep reds and massive plumes of fire, but it did showcase a great deal of intricate thought.
The image of the clash between YHWH and the rebelling Angels was reminiscent of the destruction of Hogwarts on the poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but far more ambitious with the mountains cracking and crumbling beneath the castle. Said Proyas:
“Were going to make an incredible epic film about the Devil’s fall from grace and the Archangel Michael. Adam and Eve play heavily in it as well. This film couldn’t have been made a few years ago. In fact, we’re not even sure we can make it now. But we’re gonna try.”
“It’s a very small story to me about a nuclear family. [It’s about] two brothers and their father and what happens when one brother feels betrayed by his father.”
The panel closed out with a discussion between Mass Effect creator Hudson and screenwriter Protosevich about their upcoming adaptation of the popular gaming franchise. Said Protosevich:
“I think when you’re playing the video game coming from the perspective from a producer or director or writer you can get seduced by the idea that the game is a good idea for a movie because the visuals are so cinematic. And also because of game play. If the gameplay is exciting it’s easy to think this action would be so great in a film.
I feel like in the early days there was this approach of trying to recreate that in a movie rather than pausing that and thinking about the story and character and philosophical elements that make for a good movie. And most games don’t have that. [Mass Effect] certainly does. And I have been offered many games over the years and some of them were like very attractive women. But then when you sit down to talk to them you discover that they have a lack of character.”
Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.