Perhaps the most anticipated panel on Friday, Sony previewed footage from their three scifi films, Total Recall, Looper and Elysium before a packed Hall H. Total Recall was first up and with the main cast in attendance, director Len Wiseman previewed a 7 minute reel with a ton of action sequences. The cast and creative team spoke about how the movie is different from the original in that it’s much more dramatic and darker in tone. Wiseman remarked that though this is a big action movie, he was intrigued by the central mystery of the film.
Next up was Looper. The footage presented showed a much more violent tale than I thought with tons of shots of Joesph Gordon-Levitt’s character killing people and some intense fights between him and his older self Bruce Willis. Rian Johnson seems to have created a unique world inspired by his love for Phillip Dick novels and spoke about while time travel logic plays a role in the film, that it’s merely there to set up the story, then get out of the way. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt answered several fan questions, mostly pertaining to the challenges of working on this film. One key point both actors made was that due to changes in physical appearance it became easier to focus on their characters because “the exterior gives clues for the interior.”
Last but not least, Neill Blomkamp, with Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster, and Matt Damon in tow, brought footage from Elysium, his highly anticipated follow up to District 9. The footage that was shown wasn’t completely finished but very impressive. It’s like a spiritual sequel to District 9 in look and feel, but with an outer space element added to it. There’s a definite sense of the power struggle between the haves and have-nots in this tail, with Matt Damon representing the have-nots as a factory worker who kidnaps an important Earthbound resident in order to get to the station. We only got a brief glimpse at Jodie Foster’s character (who is French in the film) but the biggest reveal was that Copley, who played everyman in District 9, would be strapping on some serious armor to play the film’s kick ass villain. The cast and director talked about the joys and troubles of shooting on location (they filmed in the 2nd largest garbage dump in the world and routinely ended days covered in fecal matter) as well as how Blomkamp made sure to limit the use of CGI shots to background, allowing the actors to interact with each other instead of a tennis ball.
Sharlto also let slip that his character in Maleficient would be “Angelina’s one true love.”