Sony has traditionally made a big splash at comic book conventions such as WonderCon and Comic-Con. This year is no different as the studio brings three of their upcoming films into the Arena to showcase to fans.
This year’s WonderCon presentation brings an interesting mix of genres. There’s the young adult novel adaptation Mortal Instruments that will look to tap into the teen crowd while the end of the world comedy This Is the End should bring the laughs. And then there’s Evil Dead, this weekend's super gory reboot of the 1981 Sam Raimi cult classic.
Mortal Instruments opens in theaters August 23 while This is the End hits June 14 and Evil Dead opens this Friday, April 5.
Here is the panel stream from inside the Anaheim Sports Arena.
2:38 p.m. – Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross walks out to moderate the panel. Mortal Instruments is the first panel for Sony. There’s huge applause as the film’s two leads, Lily Collins and Jaime Campbell Bower walk onto the stage. Two new character posters are displayed on screen as they walk out.
2:41 – Author Cassandra Clare talks about seeing her book get adapted to the big screen. "It’s extremely surreal. They lived in my head for so long so it’s weird to see the sets and stuff that I thought up." Clare admits that she hasn’t seen the final cut of the film. "I really want to see what the demons look like. And Magnus’ body. I have a cameo in that seen."
2:46 – Clare is asked about how faithful the film is to the book. She responds, "The producers keep it pretty close to the spirit of the book. There are some things that need to be altered, otherwise it would be a ten hour movie."
2:48 – Collins and Bower are asked if they were intimidated by the book’s fan base. Collins responds saying, "I’ve been a fan of the books before I was cast so to when I heard they were thinking about me, I was honored to involve myself in the process. I just had to separate the fan’s expectations from what you can physically do."
2:50 - Clare is asked how much input she had in the film. She said she was surprised how involved she was, saying that she was given the casting director’s phone number and that "we literally spoke to each other for hours every day. I saw all the casting videos, the sets, the costumes, all that stuff."
2:52 – A brand new trailer is shown, primarily featuring footage that we’ve already seen in the first trailer. Watch it here:
3:00 – The cast is asked what other character from the book they loved other than the one they play in the movie. Campbell says, "I love Isabelle," because she's "ruthless." Collins says Magnus.
The panel ends and as a transition to the R-rated footage that is about to be shown, the P.A. announcer says that those who are squeamish should leave the room. Why? Because the next panel is the super bloody Evil Dead.
3:15 – The panel starts with applause as the Evil Dead title card appears on the big screen. Before any of the cast come out on to the stage, a new red-band WonderCon exclusive trailer is shown.
3:18 – Principal cast takes the stage, with the largest pop going to (of course) Bruce Campbell.
3:20 – Campbell talks about why it took so long to get the film made. "Well, first Sam [Raimi] was off making other movies like Spider-Man and that took up 10 years of his life and I’ve been busy with my hit TV show, Burn Notice, so it’s no wonder it took so long." Campbell says that when Raimi heard that director Fede Alvarez was a huge fan of the trilogy, things started to come together.
3:26 – The MPAA rating is brought up, specifically, how did the movie manage to get away with an R and if any changes were made to secure the rating. Alvarez says, "We took nothing out to get the R-rating. I think it’s the hardest R-rated movie out there."
3:27 – Star Jane Levy is asked what her worst day on set was. "Probably being buried alive." Campbell scoffs, "Big deal." The audience laughs. Levy continues, "I had plastic tied around my head with oxygen tubes behind my ears and I was lying in a ditch. That was probably the worst." Co-star Jessica Lucas adds that, "this was the most extreme thing I’ve ever done. They brought in an movement instructor to teach us how to walk like zombies."
3:29 – A fan asks if there’s the potential for Raimi’s world and Alvarez’s Evil Dead world possible colliding sometime down the road. Alvarez responds saying, "Yes. My dream, as far as from a fan’s perspective, is as Sam was making Army of Darkness 2, the stories merge."
3:32 – A clip is shown, introduced by Sam Raimi. The scene features Jessica Lucas being possessed by a demon, slicing her face open with a shard of glass then attacking Lou Taylor Pucci’s character, stabbing him repeatedly in the face with a syringe. He manages to throw the possessed woman off of him. She bangs her head against the porcelin sink, which fractures at the end. Backed into a corner, there's a close-up of Pucci as he pulls the needle from the syringe out from just under his eye. The possessed woman regains consciousness and with a shard of galss in hand, begins to crawl toward Pucci. He picks up the fractured piece of the bathroom sink and bashes her head in repeatedly until Shiloh Fernandez bursts the door open. The scene ends with a bird's-eye view of the possessed woman's head completely mashed into a pool of blood.
3:39 – Campbell is asked what he thought about coming back as a producer. "Watching other actors go through carnage? Absolutely fantastic."
3:42 – Alvarez is asked if there were any limitations. "No rules, no limitations. We wanted to make this as outrageous, bloody and over the top as possible."
A standing ovation and "Bruce" chants conclude the panel. Much of the crowd remains for This Is the End, a movie that we haven’t seen or heard much about since the short film that Seth Rogen and his friends released back in 2007.
3:55 – The panel begins with Danny McBride, Craig Robinson walking onto the stage. Rogen then comes on stage dressed as Wolverine. "I thought we were all coming out as X-Men. What the hell guys?!”" Then Rogen's directing partner Evan Golderg walks on stage in an S&M outfit.
3:58 – The green band trailer is shown, with an axe-wielding Emma Watson bashing Rogen in the face with the handle clearly stealing the clip.
4:02 – For those not familiar with the set up of the movie, there's a party going on at James Franco's house with a bunch of celebrities when all of a sudden, the end of the world begins. The celebrity death count is quite high. How high? "Definitely in the double digits," Rogen says. "It was funny to see famous people die in super graphic ways. Most of them bought into it and thought it was funny as well."
4:04 – A clip is shown. The end of the world has just begun and everyone rushes outside. Michael Cera appears in a jump suit that only a color blind person would wear. He faces the crowd and asks who stole his cell phone. Unbeknownst to him, a street light behind him falls and impales him through the torso, then slowly lifts him up into the air before plunging into a rapidly opening hole in the ground. Panic ensues and celebrities begin to die, including Rihanna plunging into the bottomless pit and Aziz Ansari hanging on for dear life, only to be kicked in the face repeatedly by Kevin Hart. Aziz’s arm rips off at the elbow and he plummets to his death.
4:10 – Another clip is shown. This one is titled The Exorcism of Jonah Hill. The clip is a riff on The Exorcist, with Hill playing a possessed self chained to the bed. Jay Baruchel walks into the room with Rogen, Franco and Robinson and repeatedly says, "The power of Christ compels you!" much to the annoyance of Hill. There is no real payoff to the clip, it just sort of ends.
4:15 – Rogen assures the audience that there is no overlap with what happens in Edgar Wright’s end of the world movie, The World's End.
The panel ends and the crowd filters out of the Arena as the groundscrew preps for the Wondercon Masquerade.