Last weekend I was at WonderCon for the first time, and despite being treated like the middle child of conventions, it in no way disappointed, especially when it came to what Warner Brothers brought on Saturday. Even though they kicked off the day in the arena, their panels were still on my mind after Fox presented theirs.
The first panel they began with was Edge of Tomorrow with Bill Paxton. I’ve been excited for this film since SDCC 2013, and not just because of Tom Cruise bursting into song with Chris Hardwick. The point is, I’ve been waiting for this film for a while and the footage we saw, along with what Bill described has me all the more excited to see this one, especially in the theaters. If you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out. It doesn’t necessarily convey some of the dark humor that the film contains, and while we see more of them, we don’t get too much information on the “mimics”, the alien invaders, which Bill described as being able to know what the soldiers fighting them are going to do, before they do it. Bill also talked about the tone and setting of the film having a deliberate D-Day feel, and while he’s not sure if it’s intentional or not, its release date (June 6th, is on the anniversary of the battle at Normandy). Now, not to take away from the awesomeness that I expect the movie to be, moving on to Bill Paxton himself. Bill Paxton was both gracious, and funny, and talked about how he feels like he and his career are having a “renaissance” of sorts, as he’s getting back to and enjoying playing more “colorful” supporting roles and letting “some other schmuck” do all the heavy lifting, so to speak. All in all, it was definitely a great way to begin the big studio day at WonderCon.
The next panel of the day, Into the Storm was for a movie I hadn’t heard about yet, and it looks great. The film is set in a small fictional town which is suddenly hit by several tornadoes. Richard Armitage ( a.k.a. Thorin Oakenshield) plays a high school teacher having to get his son, and Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori, from The Walking Dead) plays a storm chaser. For those that follow Walking Dead, I’m really glad that she’s not the one tracking down a kid in this movie… but that’s beside the point. The effects look amazing. Director Steven Quale talked about wanting to be able to have a good balance between hand-cam shots, and deliberate filming, so far the preview looks like there was a great mix, but we’ll have to wait until the film comes out to really tell.
Finally, the best moment of the Warner Brother’s presentation came to pass, during the Godzilla panel with Director Gareth Edwards, we got to watch some new footage (some of it still incomplete… which is part of why I love these conventions). That being said, of course one of the most epic moments of the footage has already found it’s way on Intsagram (and I’m sure other outlets), and quite frankly I wish Gozilla would just stomp on whoever those folks are. There’s a reason why studios bring awesomeness to conventions, and it’s not so cruddy sell phone videos can capture the footage and put it online.
Now then, Gareth Edwards was almost as fun to watch as the new footage. Some of his comments (as if the clips weren’t enough) really affirmed for me how epic this film is going to be. He talked about things like how Godzilla was a metaphor for the bomb, because no one could come right out and say it. He mentioned how even if no one saw the movie he’d have made it anyway, because he was so excited to do it, and then he explained why saying something like a giant lizard destroying a city *should* be absurd. However, (and I’m paraphrasing here) how ever many thousands of years ago we lived in caves, and we lived in fear of animals/nature, taking our food, destroying our homes and killing our loved ones. Now out “caves” are 300 stories high, and deeply within us there’s that instinctive fear, so as our caves has grown so has the fear of that animal or monster that could take it all away. I can’t wait to feel very afraid on May 16th!