Warner Bros. is one of the few studios showcasing their upcoming films at this year’s WonderCon in Anaheim. The event's opening panel featured Warner's Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro and The Conjuring director James Wan.
Pacific Rim opens in theaters July 12 while The Conjuring opens the following week on July 19.
We're blogging live as the event takes place inside the Anaheim Sports Arena.
11:40 a.m. – Hitfix’s Drew McWeeney walks onstage to moderate the panel. First up is The Conjuring, the new based-on-true-events horror movie from James Wan. The panel opens with the teaser trailer being shown again. Many in the crowd are watching the footage for the first time and get a kick out of the jump scares. There are random two-claps from people in the audience.
11:45 – Wan walks onto stage and introduces a new exclusive clip featuring the two daughters in the movie as they sleep in bed at night.
The scene: Two sisters are sleeping their room. The younger has an invisible spirit tug at her foot, then grab her leg. She sits up, peeks over the edge of her bed, over the side and sees nothing. She sits back up on her bed, crouched, in total fear. She then looks underneath the bed. Random people in the audience two-clap. The floor board creeks. Nothing jumps out, so she sits back up and sees the door creak a bit. She wakes her sister up. Seeing her younger sister frozen in fear, the older sister asks what’s wrong. “Do you see it? There’s something behind the door. Someone is standing over there.” “I don’t see anything,” the older sister replies. “It’s looking right at us.” There is nothing but a darkness behind the door. The older sister gets up and walks over to the door. The audience bristles with nervous energy. “It’s standing right behind you,” the younger sister says, but before the older sister can react, the door slams shut.
11:50 – The lights up come back up. Lorraine Warren and Cindy and Andrea Perrone are introduced on stage. They are the people whom the movie is based on.
11:53 – McWeeney asks, "What was the process of making this movie?" Wan responds saying, "I’ve been a big fan of Ed and Lorraine for a long time and when the opportunity arrived to tackle this story and to do justice with what they went through, I couldn’t turn it down."
11:55 – Warren says, "I was so astonished that there were so many things that were accurately portrayed." Wan adds, "I don’t have anything else to prove in the genre. This family, what they went through was terrifying, but what I love is the family unity that got them through this."
12:00 p.m. – The film was handed an R rating from the MPAA, though there is nothing graphic in it. "We designed the movie to be PG-13. When the MPAA gave us an R, they said it was just too scary. They said there’s nothing you can take out to get it down to PG-13."
There’s a round of applause as the first half of the WB/Legendary panel comes to a close. Next up is Pacific Rim.
12:02 There’s huge applause as Guillermo del Toro walks out onto the stage. He says that the film is "85% complete, we’re just working on the music and putting some finishing touches on it."
12:04 – A new trailer exclusive only to WonderCon and the upcoming Cinema Con is shown. The footage looks spectacular and there’s HUGE applause when the lights come back up. The film feels like a Guillermo del Toro spin on the Evangelion franchise. It's loud, it's big and closes with a robot dragging a freight ship through a street and then smacking it upside a Kaiju's head.
12:06 – The first question posed to Guillermo is in regards to the scale of the film. He answers, "The thing that you want to convey with a movie like this is awe. These 25 foot tall motherf**kers were in the largest studio we could find. We built several blocks of Hong Kong to destroy." He adds that all the actors that operate the machinery inside the robots "broke," except for Rinko Kikuchi.
12:10 – Ron Perlman’s character in the movie is explained. "He plays a black market Kaiju parts dealer," del Toro says. He adds that the script was written over the course of a year and was inspired by World War II elements.
12:12 – "Charlie Day looked like Rick Moranis, J.J. Abrams, he changes a lot in thie movie," del Toro jokes. "I wanted to have a scientist that was a punk."
12:15 – Guillermo explains how the giant robots work. “There’s two people inside operating the robots and they are linked by memory. So if they’re both good fighters, then they’re paired together inside the same robot.” He adds that “we designed a lot of monsters and robots and then had an American Idol each week and voted a few out. And it was great because the ones that were left were refined. In total, there are 12 kaiju (monsters) and 9 robots in the movie.”
12:17 – Audience member asks Guillermo about Justice League Dark aka Dark Universe. Del Toro says that the next film is he working on is called Crimson Peak, a "Victorian, turn of the century ghost story." He says that Justice League Dark will feature Constantine in the lead and that the various characters origins stories will be weaved into the overall story.
12:20 – "Mimic was my worst experience making a movie because the studio wanted Alien and I wanted Mimic. The most amazing, creatively free experience I’ve had was making Pacific Rim."
12:21 – A father and his young son dressed up as Captain America step up to the question mic. Before the kid can ask his question, del Toro says, "Captain America, don’t talk like a Mexican man," referring to his usual potty mouthed banter on panels. Del Toro once again talks about what caught his interest about the movie.
12:25 – "Let’s show the trailer again for Captain America!"
12:27 – The cover of the graphic novel is shown on the big screen in the arena. Del Toro starts to talk about some of the inside pages, but when nothing appears, concedes, "Well, you’ll see the pages when you buy the goddamn thing."
The panel ends with a huge applause again as Del Toro walks off stage.
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