Day 2 of WonderCon got off to a busy start for all. The parking at the convention center this year has become a major issue for a lot of people. Lack of direction by Anaheim Police and convention center staff did not help the situation. Upon my arrival early this morning I headed to the Arena to try to get into the Warner Bros panel that had confirmed this week that they were going to show something from Godzilla. So we waited in a very long line but was able to get good seats and the arena filled up very quickly.
First up was Edge of Tomorrow directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Cruse, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton. They showed a new trailer for the film and it looked better than the previous one. Bill Paxton a fan favorite was there to talk about the film. He talked about how heavy the suits were and it was a difficult shoot but Cruse was always rallying the troops and keeping spirits high. He thanked all of the fans for supporting him and he has been lucky to have roles that have been fondly remembered.
Next up was Into the Storm and is best described as Twister with more crap flying around. Irwin Allen would be proud of the spectacle of destruction that they showed us. Director Steven Quale and cast members Richard Armitage, Max Deacon, Jeremy Sumpter, and Arien Escarpets were on hand to talk about the film. The cast talked about how hard it was to do a lot of the scenes because of the large wind machines that were always going. Armitage talked about meeting with a teacher to help him with his character. If you are looking for Twister 2 then this is your movie this summer.
And finally what the crowd was waiting for, Director Gareth Edwards showed the final trailer but brought a clip that was probably about 8-10 minutes long and we were the first public showing of a full view of Godzilla himself. It also showed one of the other monsters in the film. I won’t spoil the clip but let just say that this is the Godzilla film that we have long hoped for. The crowd went nuts. Edwards talked about how hard it was to come up with the design of Godzilla and TOHO was involved with it also. He was adamant with cast to make the film real and not become a joke. He told a story about Brian Cranston that he had always thought that Hal from Malcolm in the Middle was a closet gay father and Brian said that was not the case. Edwards was quite embarrassed about that one.
Next up was the 20th Century Fox panel hosted by Ralph Garman and it was much more star-studded event than Warner Bros. (although it didn’t top Godzilla from a nerdgasm standpoint)
First up was How To Train Your Dragon 2 with Director Dean DeBlois and star Jay Baruchel. DeBlois talked about how this was the middle film of a trilogy and everything would not be answered in this film. Barchel was glad to be back as Hiccup and all of the original cast was back. DeBlois said that the actors were a spoil of riches. They showed the first 5 minutes of the film and it looked fantastic. DeBlois praised composer John Powell and was thrilled that he was doing the score again.
Director Matt Reeves showed off an extended trailer from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and stars Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis talked about how the filming on locations with tough weather was difficult. Reeves said that no had done filming with 3D cameras with motion capture before because he soon realized how difficult it was going to be. All of the actors talked about the reason that they did the film was because of Reeves and the script. Reeves also said that there were not as many nods to the original film as the last one did.
Maze Runner is another YA box office grab. And while the crowd seemed excited it was mostly because of Televisions Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien and Will Poulter. Director Wes Ball said that the budget was not very big and all of the money was on the screen. Novelist James Dashner said that he was happy with the way the film was done and the changes that they had to make due to time and money. The film looked like a cross between Lord of the Flies, Cube, Enders Game and The Hunger Games rolled into one. Dashner said that he was influenced by Flies and Enders books as a young man.
Fox then pulled a surprise that no one anticipated. Garman said that Fox had convinced Director Matthew Vaughn to show a clip from the Mark Millar’s comic adaptation of The Secret Service starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cain. No one saw that coming and it looked really good. It was a scene in a pub where Firth beats up a gang of kids in “bullet time” visual fashion then went into trailer mode showing other scenes from the film. It was using James Bond music in the clip and that gives you an idea of the type of film that it’s going to be. It played well with the crowd.
NOTE THIS SECRET SEVICE PHOTO IS FROM THE INTERNET AND NOT FROM THE CLIP SHOWN AT WONDERCON TODAY
Finally the one we were all waiting for was both good and bad. X-Men Days of Future Past was supposed to have Brian Singer there but with recent events Fox had to do damage control. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg stepped in and said that they were going to show a new clip but it was the same one that had been online and led into an extended trailer. I was nice to see it on the big screen and really looked fantastic and no one was disappointed. Kinberg talked about the huge cast and that they shot all of the future sequences first then the past scenes in the 1970’s.
After being in the arena for day so far I left and headed over to meet some friends and headed to the big Batman 75th Anniversary panel and luckily a friend was in the very long line already. Thankfully we made it into the panel where Jim Lee, Peter Girardi, Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman all talked about what Batman meant to them and how the character is such a huge influence on them. Smith told a story of how Matt Wager told him that he should not be ashamed of the 1966 Batman series and that it was important to the history when that was not popular. Conroy talked about how blown away he was when he saw the first footage of the animated series. They showed both the Timm directed B&W Batman shot and the Batman Beyond short he did with Darwyn Cooke. Smith showed the cover to Batman/Green Hornet #2 by Alex Ross and said that back in the day that the crossover of on the television show was like the Avengers film was to todays audiences. Lee talked about Hush and how the book was done in secrecy and that would be nearly impossible to do now.
Next up in the same room was the Adventure Time panel that was packed with both young and old. Creator Pen Ward along with animators and writers Andy Ristaino, Jack Pendarvis, Adam Muto, Steve Wolfhard, Jesse Moynihan, and voice actors Kumail Nanjiani, and Jessica DiCicco. They showed clips and the highlight of the show was a “radio play” that Ward had written and drawn the night before and they performed it live. The crowd went nuts and I hope that Cartoon Network was filming it so everyone can see it. The line to ask was a madhouse but a little girl gave Jessica DiCicco a handmade Jake doll that was adorable.
There were two more panels Bob’s Burgers and the IDW Artist Edition Panel that I will cover in the next few days. There were noticeably less cosplayers at the show today and that might have been due to the masquerade that took later Saturday night. I did get a couple of good ones that I saw. I did get a bizarre shot of the Jesus protesters and the NBC Rosemary’s Baby banner that made for a weird picture.