Maxwell Heech writes from WonderCon;
Okay, this is it! My first panel of WonderCon! (yes, I did get here late due to the intolerable traffic of Anaheim and the Disneygoers) The lights dim and I sit back for three panels from Sony’s upcoming slate for the summer.
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES
First up is the panel for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross takes the stage and introduces cast members from the film (Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Kevin Zegers), as well as the author of the source books, Cassandra Clare.
Opinions are rather dubious of the film in the audience, other than the rapid fan girls in the crowd that is. It seems as if Sony is among the many in Hollywood fishing for the next big young adult franchise, filling the void left by the ending of the Twilight movies. Many have tried and there doesn’t seem to be a winner yet.
They then screened a new trailer for the film that sets up Collins as a girl with a hidden connection to the Shadow Hunters, a clan of warriors that maintain the balance between Good and Evil. Beings that only she can see by the way. The film comes off a a cross between night Watch and Harry Potter, going so far as to call the non-supernatural folk Mundanes instead of Muggles.
The cast seemed to have an excellent time on the film and were adamant about wants to portray the characters again in future sequels. Clare also expressed her happiness in being so involved with the production, fully expecting to not even hear from the production until the premiere. She was delighted when she was kept in the loop the whole time and heavily contributed to many decisions in the film, including casting.
We shall see if they come up with a worthy first installment in a new franchise on August 23rd, one week after Percy Jackson 2.
The next panel up was the one I was most looking forward to, the reboot of one of the greatest horror franchises ever, The Evil freaking Dead! Brought out were cast members Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, and Lou Taylor Pucci, as well as director Fede Alvarez, and the man himself, Mr. Bruce Campbell.
All were thrilled and disgusted to have worked on the film. Levy in particular took away a harrowing experience as she had never worked in horror before, and will likely not top the gore put to her in this movie. Moderator Ross put all the blame on Pucci shoulders, which is fair, as he did read from the Book of the Dead.
A clip was shown, which was detailed to us to be relatively early in the movie where Lucas’ character Olivia is found alone in the bathroom, clearly possessed and clearly sawing her own face off. She flips and attacks Pucci’s Eric, almost killing him with a syringe before he bashes her head with a toilet seat.
It was a short clip, but short enough to tell us exact what we want to know, which is that the film was in good hands. Fede Alvarez was quick to say that everything possible was done practically with maximum effect. Campbell (in addition to being his damn charming self) was more than happy to revisit the franchise as a producer this time, rattling off a list of things that worked better this time around than during the production of the original. Alvarez also promised this will be the most hard R-rated movie ever, as they had to very few cuts for the MPAA.
The best thing heard the whole panel was that both Alvarez and Campbell hope to one day (after Army of Darkness 2 of course) combine both Evil Dead franchises with Ash and the new characters fighting Deadites together. That would kick so much ass! Evil Dead is out this Friday.
THIS IS THE END
The last panel of the session was also the funniest, as it was the much anticipated adaptation of Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel’s Internet short, Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse, later to be retitled This Is The End. As you probably can infer, the movie is about the Apocalypse, as witnessed by the Apatow gang (as themselves) at a rocking party at James Franco’s pad.
Rogen and co-writer/co-director Evan Goldberg were present (in costume no less), as well as fellow cast members Danny McBride and Craig Robinson. They expressed how fortunate they were after Green Hornet to finally have enough pull to get this project off the ground, and that the studios were actually okay with a movie that kills off all their most valuable celebrities.
We were then given not one, but two clips of all the chaos, one involving the party getting interrupted by the end of the world and the ground opening up and swallowing Michael Cera and Rihanna among others. It is a joy to see Cera acting like an asshole here as it is completely against type. Even poor Aziz Ansari meets his maker as he is kicked into the Pit by Kevin Hart.
The next clip contained far less death and had Jonah Hill possessed and tried to a bed. Hilarity ensues when the remaining characters try to exorcise him. Jay tries his hardest to use lines from film The Exorcist, but demon Jonah just makes fun of him.
I have high hopes for this one as all the actors involved are just tearing into each other physically and emotionally and they have all the ammo they need with all the other End-of-the-world movies in the last ten years. This Is The End opens in June.