Warner Brothers Press Conference RoundUp – JONAH HEX, THE BOOK OF ELI, THE BOX

     July 25, 2009


Friday was a big day at Comic Con for the good folks over at Warner Brothers. Down in Hall H, the directors, producers, and stars of 7 of Warner’s upcoming stable of films took the stage to talk about their projects and treat the audience to debut clips and surprises. Up in the press room we got a chance to talk more in depth with the teams behind several of these blockbuster contenders.

The big guns come out after the jump as Denzel Washington and The Hughes Brothers talk Book of Eli, Josh Brolin and Megan Fox gunsling for Jonah Hex, and Cameron Diaz and James Marsden ponder the meaning of The Box.

The Book of Eli movie image Denzel Washington (3a).jpgFirst up was the post apocalyptic survival thriller The Book of Eli directed by Albert and Allen Hughes and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis.

“I don’t like the word (post apocalyptic). We have a great story aside from it being post apocalyptic,” said Allen Hughes in response to the film being called a “post apocalyptic western”. Despite this, the filmmakers admit to taking great influence from Sergio Leone and the spaghetti western style. “It has echos of a western.” Commented Gary Oldman. “The last movie we did was about Jack the Ripper,” elaborated Albert, “so we researched those movies and flipped the vision.” Despite the resistance to the labels, the film does seem to follow suit for a post apocalyptic action film. “People kill now for what we used to throw away,” said Washington, “Water is the currency for survival. The one who knows where the well is is king.”

More from Eli:The Book of Eli cast comic-con 2009.jpg

-In creating the look for Eli, the directors relied on a series of 3 books from the 80’s that took a scientific approach to what would happen to the world in a post apocalyptic environment. The landscape of the film is stark and barren, with no signs of vegitation until the end of the film.

-The Huges said that having Denzel onboard was the key to getting Eli made.

-When asked about why it took so long for the Hughes to make another movie, they said “It’s hard to find great material”.

-Denzel said that the physical work on this film was the real adventure for him. He took great pleasure from getting to train and work with “brilliant martial artists”.

Jonah Hex Poster.jpgNext up were stars Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender, and Megan Fox, Director Jimmy Hayward, and producer Andrew Lazar for DC Comics fan favorite Jonah Hex.

“No bullshit, it’s amazing to have 6,800 people react to that teaser,” said Josh Brolin in reference to the overwhelming response the Hex footage had gotten just a few minutes before in Hall H. “You felt a buzz.” You could instantly tell how proud Director Jimmy Hayward, a life long Jonah Hex fan, was. “I never thought Jonah Hex would be made.” He said. He and Brolin had both connected over their love of westerns during the shooting of the film, and the common respect was very clear in the room. “I love that (Jonah Hex) is an anti hero, and that the comic keeps coming back.” Commented Brolin.

More from Hex:

-It was confirmed that there are definite supernatural elements to the Jonah Hex story, though the rumors of John Malkovich’s voodoo practitioner villain raising armies of the dead are untrue. They said Malkovich’s character is more of a terrorist than a magician.

-Josh Brolin had to spend 3 hours a day in makeup to get the classic Jonah Hex look. There were 3 separate layers of prosthetics necessary to achieve his look, and when he added the total number of hours he spent in the makeup chair up, it was 5 ½ days worth.

Jonah Hex cast - megan fox comic-con 2009.jpg-Megan Fox filmed for 5 days, but said that at the end of those 5 days she had never been more exhausted. She was also a big fan of getting to wear the period costumes.

-The entire cast was singing the praises of Michael Fassbender’s performance in the movie. Brolin commented that after the movie comes out “You will know him.”

-Jimmy Hayward said that Warner Brothers is working on a new animated short featuring Jonah Hex, though was able to give little information about it.

The Box movie poster final - Richard Kelly.jpgFinally in the roundup comes writer/director Richard Kelly, and stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden for The Box.

“What I love about this film is that it feels like a classic Kubrick, Hitchcock suspense.” Said star James Marsden about this big screen adaptation of a the moralistic short story turned Twilight Zone episode “Button, Button” . “It’s a very existential story,” said Diaz commenting on the suspense of the characters decisions and consequences in the film, “Every day we push a button. Every time we make a decision we push a button.” Director Richard Kelly expanded on this saying “The button can be a symbol for many things. It feels like it’s from a myth.”

More on The Box:

-Richard was excited to be working with a studio for this film. He said Cameron and James really gave him the opportunity to work with Warner Bros, and that he got to make “exactally the movie I wanted to.”

-When asked what attracted Cameron to this role when she is best known for her romantic comedies, she said she “Saw a beautiful love story in this.”

-Visually, Richard Kelly said they used a very simple, controlled, and symetrical design and approach to the film. “It was a lot like math, making sure it was very logical. Everything was very deliberate.”

-Cameron says she is very excited about being part of Green Hornet and working with Michele Gondry.

The Box James Marsden comic con 2009.jpg

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