San Diego Comic-Con: Movie Report

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San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and there’s a lot of news to collate and sort. Here at SciFi4Me, we’re still going through the pile, but we thought we’d at least get these summaries out as quickly as possible. Here, compiled for easy consumption, are the major news items for movies.

(Note that this is the Non comic book movie pile…Those get their own list.)

THE GIVER

On Thursday, author Lois Lowry of the 1993 novel, The Giver introduced about 5 minutes of footage at San Diego Comic-Con along with the new film’s cast members Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush,producer Nikki Silver and Jeff Bridges. The film is being produced by Weinstein Co. and was shot primarily in South Africa. It is scheduled for release on August 15th.

[via Variety]

LEGENDARY PICTURES

Legendary Pictures announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Godzilla 2 is in the making, and even previewed a teaser reel. The big Godzilla news: Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah will be the next monsters in the Godzilla franchise. Gareth Edwards, who is currently working on the new Star Wars film, will return to direct the sequel. Following the success of the first Godzilla movie, Toho Co., who own the rights to the Godzilla, has granted Legendary Pictures rights for multiple sequels.

Moderator Jessica Chobot also introduced some teaser material for As Above, So Below. The story takes place under Paris in the catacombs, and has a very documentary-style feel to the shots. A group of explorers gets stuck underground and start to discover hidden tunnels and rooms, where things start going very wrong.

Also, Michael Mann appeared for the first time at Con to introduce his new film Black Hat. Set in the world of Black Hat hackers, this film stars Chris Hemsworth and incorporates a large scale crime story into the theme.

Mann says, “I started to do research and wanted to do a film about a black hat hacker in federal prison. I looked at who is this guy? What does he feel? What’s his elevated experience? It was pretty stunning. I hung out with these guys, and they go into this zone of 7, 8 hours of coding. It’s a kind of escapism, but in reverse. They don’t escape into a fantasy or ficiton – the escape into a place with real impact in the physical world.”

This film is scheduled to release on January 16th, 2015.

Guillermo del Toro was welcomed to the stage with a roaring set of applause, as they talked about  Crimson Peak, a gothic horror story starring Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska. Del Toro is actually quite busy as of now! He just got the green light for Pacific Rim 2, is editing Crimson Peak, is producing The Strain for FX, and, if that was not enough, he is also a writer of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Additionally, director Duncan Jones also took the stage to introduce his new film Warcraft. This film is expected to be in theaters in March 2016, due to its extensive use of CGI. Jones says, “It’s a bit like trying to make Lord of the Rings and Avatar at the same time.”

The footage shown has been described as incorporating weapons pulled straight out of the Blizzard games, and Jones said he’s pulling from the game’s twenty year history to make the film accessible for both long-time fans and newcomers.

[via Variety, Newsarama]

RELATED: San Diego Comic-Con Targets Salt Lake Comic Con

SKULL ISLAND

SDCC attendees were in for yet another big surprise; revealed through a teaser trailer (much like the other recent Legendary releases) is the new Skull Island, a film featuring King Kong. Though no details have been released about the story, the teaser footage revealed the island itself and Kong erupting from the greenery. Most likely the beginning of a new franchise. Much of the current speculation for that film, however, lies on who will actually direct the film? Del Toro seems to be a very possible candidate, but only time will tell.

Skull Island is expected to have a release date of November 4, 2016. This film is not expected, however, to be a sequel to Universal’s 2005 version of Kong, but is intended to explore the island itself in a much deeper way than it has ever been explored before, since its introduction in 1933.

We now know that they have reached out to Joe Cornish as a candidate for writing the script. Whether he will accept the job is still a mystery, especially since he has been offered too much to choose from already, such as Universal’s Section-Six. 

[via CinemaBlend, Deadline, Variety]

INTERSTELLAR

A big surprise hit SDCC Thursday when Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey took the stage of Hall H to introduce the new film Interstellar.

Says McConaughey: “I can tell you a lot, but I’m not going to.” He plays a pilot/engineer grounded in a world where space exploration has been shut down.

Nolan says he was inspired to make the film because of the decline in interest in the space program. “Growing up when I did, the idea of a journey that would take you not just through the solar system, not just through this galaxy but into a whole other galaxy, that’s as big a journey you can try to imagine telling on film,” the 43-year-old filmmaker said.

Co-starring Anne Hathaway, Interstellar hits theaters in November.

[via Deadline, NY Daily News]

TUSK

Kevin Smith has announced via Twitter, the the release of his latest film, Tusk, will be September 19. In a nutshell, the film is about a journalist (Justin Long) who finds himself the victim of an old man’s horrific experiment. The script evolved out of a prank listing on Gumtree, an online classified advertising community. Smith and co-producer Scott Mosier discussed the topic — a landlord offering free board on the proviso the tennant dressed up and acted like a walrus – on an episode of SModcast. Smith premiered his trailer for the horror-comedy at SDCC.

[via Here Is The City, Variety]

 DREAMWORKS ANIMATION

As part of the DreamWorks Studios presentation, Benedict Cumberbatch made his first SDCC appearance, showing up in San Diego to promote the new Madagascar spinoff film, Penguins of Madagascar.

Cumberbatch stars as Classified, the leader of a secret animal operation, who teams up with the usual Penguins – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private – to stop villain Dr. Octavius Brine (an octopus voiced by John Malkovich). Cumberbatch, who is also known for his role in Sherlock, and as the dragon Smaug in the upcoming film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, was rumored to have been in the running for the title role in Doctor Strange until word leaked that Joaquin Phoenix has become the front-runner to play the Sorcerer Supreme.

[via Deadline]

More SDCC coverage continues…

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