Summit stepped up to the plate to become the first studio to present upcoming films in Hall H. Throughout the day, the massive room had been virtually empty, but with the promise of new Divergent footage and the return of Harrison Ford to Comic-Con, the seats quickly filled to capacity.
Here's what went down at the two panels.
Intro: The latest YA novel to try and take a shot at becoming the next megamovie franchise kicked off the first big panel in Hall H with exclusive footage. Author Veronica Roth's series spent 26 months on the New York Times best-sellers list. The series has since spawned two more books, the third one of which Roth offered a brief tease to fans of the franchise.
Who Was There: Author Veronica Roth, director Neil Burger, Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Eggert, Zoe Kravitz, Christian Madsen, Miles Teller, Mekhi Pfieffer, Maggie Q, Ben Lloyd Hughes, Ben Lamb, Amy Newbold
Biggest Surprise: Roth couldn't hold herself back and decided to tease fans that the third book is in the franchise has been completed and was written from two perspectives: Triss and Four's.
I suppose we could add the fact that no one bothered to ask Woodley about what's brought about her sudden Spider-Man casting change last month. Perhaps it was a missed opportunity or maybe the sci-fi-heavy fan base didn't really care about the comic book movie sequel.
The New Stuff: We saw a compilation clip of Triss (Woodley) becoming a member of Dauntless (the tribe representing bravery). The Dauntless initiation involves a bunch of new recruits who are asked who will dive off the ledger of a building. On the roof below is a large hole with a dark, ominous consequence awaiting the jumpers. Triss volunteers to jump first.
Unsteadily, she climbs onto the ledge and jumps off the building, landing relieved in a safety net. She is then pulled out by Four (James), who asks her what her name is. She stammers, he makes fun of her and after gathering her composure, she says her name is Triss.
The film then closes with a compilation of Triss and Four and then a knife-throwing sequence between the duo. The release date tag at the end includes an announcement that the film will get IMAX release.
"I never saw her as an action star, never saw her as a superhero, she's a very normal girl put in elevated situations." - Shailene Woodleey on how she views Triss.
"Just by listening to your accent, half the audience just got pregnant." - Moderator Chris Hardwick to James after he answered his first question with a soothing British accent.
Intro: The back end of Summit's panel was the adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel from the mid '80s. The panel also marked the return of Con favorite and fanboy legend Harrison Ford.
Who Was There: Producer Bob Orci, director Gavin Hood, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Harrison Ford, who walked out onstage to a huge applause.
New Stuff: The Hall H crowd was treated to a new trailer from the movie. The new trailer is much more action packed than the first trailer which landed online a couple of months ago. We see a lot more of the grand CGI sequences and backgrounds used in the film. The focus is very much on the visual eye candy than on the actual story here.
"This was the first time I ever had to do any training before a film. We went to space camp, did boot camp, there was a lot of training." - Hailee Steinfeld
After taking objection to moderator Chris Hardwick's summation of Ford's character in the film, the actor followed his response with, "I am never coming back here." Hall H blew up in laughter.
"My goal was to stay true to the story and sprit of Ender Wiggin." - director Gavin Hood
The final audience question found a fan asking Ford about how Han Solo would do in Ender's army to which Ford responded, "I don't think Han Solo would be good in anybody's army. He's what we nowadays call an independent contractor."
Overall Hall H Crowd Reaction: Divergent had its niche fan base that was cheering in the front portion of Hall H, button was clear that the majority of the people were there to see Ford. Even the new trailer for Ender's Game failed to solicit a loud cheer at its conclusion. While it’s hard to gauge how the two films will perform off of one convention, they both at least have the support of their loyal fan bases.
New Ender's Game Content:
Ender's Game: "Mazer Rackham's Run" Video:
New Divergent Content: