Fans who arrived at Hall H this morning were greeted by a two mile long line to get in. While the early marquee panel, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained drew a healthy amount of interest, the majority of those lined up were there for Warner Bros. marathon panel.
Three movies received the spotlight – Pacific Rim, Man of Steel and The Hobbit.
First up was Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Always an entertaining (and profane) panelist, Del Toro was joined by cast members Ron Perlman, Idris Elba and Charlie Day.
Fans were curious to get a first look at footage from this sci-fi action flick and Del Toro didn’t disappoint.
In a true rarity, side screens were opened up in the front of Hall H and various imagery from the film were displayed. The crowd was then blown away by footage of giant robots and giant monsters battling each other.
Del Toro referred to the film, “not as an action movie, but an adventure movie with huge emotional content and a sense of awe.” He also added that Comic-Con would be the only place this footage would be screened. He said that the production would go into “radio silence,” for the remainder of the year.
Pacific Rim isn’t due in theaters until July 12, 2013, but it’s safe to say, Comic-Con and the Hall H crowd gave the film a seal of approval.
We thought Man of Steel would be up next, but Legendary dropped a true bombshell on Hall H. The lights were dimmed and footage began to play. A man was narrating over scenes of rubble and metropolitan destruction. And then that iconic roar echoed through the room and the crowd went wild as Godzilla thundered through a heavy cloud of dust.
Gareth Edwards was then introduced to talk a little bit about the project. He said this new Godzilla would be realistic and grounded and that there was nothing sci-fi about it. The teaser screened again and, with the crowd now knowing what it was, a loud cheer erupted at the end.
So Superman is next, right? Nope. WB took full advantage of their marquee Hall H time and brought out Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in a surprise appearance to promote their movie The Campaign, hitting theaters in a few weeks. If anything, the panel served as an entertaining diversion and helped lighten the mood in the room.
An extended version of the trailer was shown including the complete baby punching scene at the end. When the lights came back up, moderator Chris Hardwick couldn’t stifle his laugh as he recalled the ripples on the baby’s cheek as Ferrell punches it in slow motion.
Finally, it was time for Man of Steel. Warner Bros. had been extremely secretive about the film leading up to Con. Of the three films that WB was bringing to Con, Man of Steel was the only one that didn’t receive a Comic-Con exclusive poster until it was revealed at this panel.
Director Zack Snyder was joined on stage by Henry Cavill as the first trailer for the film hit the Hall H screens.
The trailer starts off with Russell Crowe narrating about what it means to be special and different. There’s hints of Christopher Nolan all over the trailer from the blaring horns in the soundtrack to the dark, origins tale that focuses on the humanity of Kal-El.
When the lights came back up, the crowd erupted in a frenzy, so much so, that during Q&A a fan burst into tears.
Cavill said that he looked at three particular story arcs to prepare himself to play the role – Death of Superman, Return of Superman and Red Sun. He said the first two arcs showed, "the extent he’s willing to go."
Fans wondered about a possible Justice League movie and Snyder addressed the issue saying that, “First we need to get Superman’s house in order, then who knows what’s possible,” leading many to believe that a JLA movie is several years away from happening, if at all.
Man of Steel flies into theaters June 14, 2013.
Following up Superman was Con favorite Peter Jackson. Having recently wrapped on filming of The Hobbit, Jackson has since launched into editing mode and brought with him footage from the film. Joining him on stage were cast members Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood.
The panel opened with a new production diary highlighting the final five days of filming. From there, Jackson walked out on stage with a camcorder and asked everyone to shout, “Hi from Comic-Con!” as part of a new production diary. He then segued into a 12-minute series of clips from The Hobbit.
The clips open with Gandalf talking to the dwarves and trying to convince them to take Bilbo along with them on a journey. We also see an extended scene between Bilbo and Gollum as Bilbo tries to get directions on how to get out of Goblin Tunnels. All Gollum wants to do is play riddles. From there, we launch into an extended montage of various scenes from the film before finishing with Gandalf talking with Galadriel about his doubts.
The crowd really liked the footage and frankly, WB really knocked this panel out of the park. As the marquee panel of Hall H, they truly elevated the game for any studio who brings content to future Comic-Cons.
The first part of The Hobbit opens in theaters December 14.