WWLA: Mega Movie Panel

Sun, March 16th, 2008 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Jami Philbrick, Staff Writer

The audience in the Mike Wieringo room that gathered on Saturday at WWLA for the "Mega Movie Panel" was excited to see an exclusive new cut of Warner Brother's upcoming "Speed Racer" film.

The movie staring Emile Hirsch ("Into The Wild") as the famous car driver is set to be released on May 9th and is directed by the Wachowski Brothers and produced by Joel Silver. The trailer included never before seen race sequences, a closer look at the Mach 5 and Christina Ricci as Trixie. Not to mention our first look at Matthew Fox as Racer-X and yes, he does take his mask off.

The panel included Ricky Purdin (Wizard Magazine) and Adam Tracy (Toyfare Magazine). "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" producer Jeff Katz was scheduled to appear but could not as he was needed on set in Australia. Can you blame him?

Nevertheless, the panel gave the crowd the breakdown on all the comic book (and then some) related films coming down the pipeline in the near future. While most of the information was previously known, here are the highlights.

"Iron Man" will hit theatres on May 2nd. Samuel L. Jackson IS playing Nick Fury but his cameo may not appear in THIS film. They also confirmed that there is a crossover between this movie and "The Incredible Hulk".

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," opens May 22nd.

They could not confirm rumors that the warehouse shown in the trailer is in fact the warehouse from the end of "Raiders of the Lost Arc".

It still remains unclear if Shia LaBeouf is in fact playing Indy's son or not. They could confirm that John Hurt will be in the film as Indy's long spoken about mentor Abner Ravenwood (Marion's father).

"The Incredible Hulk" will be released on June 13th. The film is a complete re-boot, however the characters origin will be shown briefly. The title character is not CGI like the last film but instead motion capture similar to the Silver Surfer in "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer."

Tim Roth ("Pulp Fiction") is playing the Abomination and if you saw the trailer that went on-line last week, he does throw down with the Hulk. And the panel confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. has in fact filmed a scene for the movie playing Tony Stark.

"Wanted" will hit theatres on June 27th. They confirmed that the super-hero element has been lifted from the film, but the first quarter of the movie is about the same as the book. The "fraternity of super-heroes" has been changed to a "fraternity of Assassins."

"Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" blazes into theatres on July 11th. Ron Perlman is back as the red one and has a new weapon. "Big Baby Gun." Purdin described the plot to be similar to Bill Willingham's popular comic "Fables," a world formally inhabited by fairies and magical creatures. Well, they're back and they want to take over. Expect lots and lots of monsters.

"The Dark Knight" the sequel to "Batman Begins" will be out on July 18th. The panel confirmed that Aaron Eckhart is playing both Harvey Dent and Two-Face.

When asked if there would be any problems due to Heath Ledger's untimely death they stated that Warner Brothers has said that the actor had completed all work on the film including any additional ADR.

Also, there will be a direct to DVD animated film in the vein of the movie called "Batman: Gotham Knight." It will be done in Anime style and feature seven stories written by comic scribes such as David Goyer ("Batman Begins"), Brian Azzrello ("100 Bullets") and Greg Rucka ("52"). It will also feature Batman baddies such as Killer Croc, Scarecrow and Deadshot.

"X-Files 2" is out July 25th but without the cigarette smoking man. They also mentioned that there is a set photo now on-line that has a huge spoiler. However they would not say what it was. You'll just have to Google it yourself.

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" will first play in theatres on August 15th. It is a 3-D animated film and is the first 100 minutes of the TV series that will follow on Cartoon Network in the fall. They also confirmed that the film and series is going to bridge the gap between "Episode 2" and "Episode 3."

On September 12th, "Punisher: War Zone" shoots into theatres. It, too, is a re-boot of the series and stars Ray Stevenson ("Rome"). The audience had a good laugh because in the promotional photo shown, the actor looked similar to Steven Seagal in "Under Siege."

"Quantum Of Solace," the new James Bond film, opens November 17th. It's directed by Marc Forster ("Stranger Than Fiction") and again features Daniel Craig as everyone's favorite spy. The film starts an hour after the last one ends, but the panel confirmed that "Q" is not going to be featured in this movie.

"Whiteout" starring Kate Beckinsale ("Underworld") and based on the comic by Greg Rucka is scheduled to be in theatres sometime this year.

January 16th, 2009 is the release date for "Will Eisner's The Spirit" directed by Frank Miller. Gabriel Macht plays The Spirit while Samuel L. Jackson portrays his arch-nemesis The Octopus. The film also boasts a cast of beautiful women including, Scarlett Johensson, Eva Mendes and Jamie King.

The long awaited "Watchmen" film will be out on March 6th 2009 and is directed by Zach Snyder ("300"). "The Black Freighter" story from the comic will also be included in the film, but only on the DVD release and will appear in anime form. Gerard Butler of "300" would be the voice of the pirate.

"Dragonball" based on the popular Anime series will kick into theatres on April 3rd, 2009. Justin Chatwin ("War of the Worlds"), Chow Yun-Fat and James Marsters ("Smallville") star in the film.

"X: Men Origins: Wolverine" claws it's way into theaters on May 1st, 2009. The film takes place 20 years before the first "X-Men" film. Hugh Jackman returns as Logan with Live Shcreiber ("The Omen") as Victor Creed and Danny Huston ("30 Day's of Night") as a younger William Stryker.

The panel confirmed the rumors about other "X-Men" characters from the comics appearing in the film. Dominic Monaghan has been cast, as Beak and Ryan Reynolds will indeed play Deadpool.

J.J. Abraham's "Star Trek" has been pushed from Christmas of this year to May 8th, 2009. When asked about plot details the panel could only confirm that there is a time travel element to the story and that it will feature both Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto ("Heroes") as Spock.

A yet untitled fourth "Terminator" film is set for release on May 22nd, 2009. It's directed by McG ("Charlie's Angels") and stars Sam Worthington and Christian Bale as John Connor. This is the first of a new planned trilogy however John Connor will not be the lead character in the first film.

The panel could not confirm the rumor that the character of Reese (Michael Beihn) from the first film would be featured in this one. They did state that these new films would not be connected to the current TV show.

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