SDCC 2010 – BATTLE: LOS ANGELES Press Conference

     July 23, 2010


Collider was present during the press conference for Battle: Los Angeles with cast members Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez, producer Neil Mortiz, and director Jonathan Liebsman.  Battle: LA is an urban warfare movie following a group of marines combating an alien invasion.  Everyone on hand was ready to give more juicy details about the film, their roles, the future of 3D, and other tidbits.  Hit the jump for the highlights of what was discussed at the press conference.

battle_los_angeles_set_photo_aaron_eckhart_01Although the press conference did not reveal more information about the aliens in the film, Mortiz said that the  premise to present the alien invasion from a Marine battalion’s perspective.  “The battle happens to be going on in Los Angeles even though the fight is happening in many cities across the country,” he said. “What I responded to is just the reality of the script which is what would really happen if aliens did invade.  I think what Jonathan [Liebsman] was able to do was to take that and when you watch this movie you really do feel that you’re in the middle of a real war against the aliens.”

Eckhart described that the film will be close to realism if the Marines had to fight off an alien invasion, adding that he started to adopt Marine mannerism and the talk style.  Eckhart said, “They put us in a boot camp for three weeks where we ate together, slept together, showered together, called each other names, and learned our weapons.  To this day, if I saw one of the guys I’d probably call him by his character’s name and really those guys bonded to really get to know each other.”

Liebsman wanted to distinguish the movie than any other typical alien movie.  He described, “I’ve never seen a realistic urban combat movie that involves aliens.  Of course, [James] Cameron’s Aliens was in space, but I’ve never say that it is Black Hawk Down with aliens.  Something happens on earth, a real alien invasion, and what would that feel like with a foe that’s superior to us and with our military.  I love war films and science fiction.  This is the combination.”

It is expected that Los Angeles will be pretty much destroyed, but the director insisted the film will not go after many landmarks.  “I think we went after Los Angeles as a sort of city,” Liebsman said.  “I’m from South Africa and so I wouldn’t really know what the landmarks are, but it’s all about the freeways and the urban sprawl and combat.  I don’t think that aliens would have the Wikipedia travel thing on where they would go and say ‘Let’s go after the Hollywood sign.’”

battle_los_angeles_michelle_rodriguez_image_03They also admitted that Rodriguez’s character was a last-minute addition to round up the plot and character interactions.  “My tech sergeant character wasn’t even in the original script,” she said.   And she added her character was a tech-savvy she needed to deeply research the role, but her geeky side and military family upbringing made it is on her.  Moritz even joked, “I promised Michelle when we killed her in Fast & Furious that I’d have another movie for her.”

Eckhart indicated that he did not believe The Joker will be in the next Batman movie.  He said, “Obviously Heath [Ledger] was supposed to reprise the role.  I suspect that they’re not going to have The Joker in the next one.” He would love to be in the next Batman film, but Two-Face obviously died previously.  However, he did admitted that he read a script, but divulged no details.

Rodriguez defended James Cameron use of digital technology to replace actors in his latest film of Avatar.  She said, “I saw what Jim did with Avatar and what the future of films was in his eyes.  He wanted to transition the respect towards the actor more so because you are literally looking at an enhancement of the actor’s performance.  You’re not looking at some guy who’s an animator creating the emotions or creating the actual performance.” Battle: Los Angeles will be in theaters on March 11, 2011.


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