Although many fans were hoping to see a glimpse of the reboot of the Fantastic Four, the still shooting film opted out of Comic-Con this year, making the Fox panel a bit of a letdown for many, especially after last year’s epic cast reunion for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Instead, we got treated to five very different movies from the studio, starting with Mazerunner. Based on the best selling young adult novel from author James Dashner, The Mazerunner is about a young teenager who awakes in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or even what the maze is.
Fox previewed the movie for an eager audience this Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, with Dashner, director Wes Ball, and stars Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario up on the podium. After showing a clip of the opening scene, Author James Dashner said that when he saw the final film recently, he said it was such an emotional experience, saying he was crying afterwards. “They took the vision of my book and turned it into this magnificent film.” Director Wes Ball mentioned both Jurassic Park and Aliens when discussing his aim in designing the Grievers, the creatures which chase the runners inside the mazes and terrorize the kids. One big flub though was when actor Dylan O’Brien accidentally gave away the death of another character while up on the panel. Oops. Better luck next time, kid.
The next movie to be previewed was the animated film The Book of Life. Produced by Guillermo del Toro and Directed by Jorge Gutierrez, and with Guillermo del Toro, along with stars Christina Applegate, Channing Tatum, and former Hellboy Ron Perlman making up the panel. (star Zoe Saldana was absent, as was Diego Luna.) Everyone on the panel seemed to have a hard time describing just what the movie was actually about, and just kept saying things like “It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” Luckily, they showed the film’s trailer, which did a better job describing this Mexican Day of the Dead themed movie than anyone on the panel. Director Jorge Gutierrez tried to describe it by saying that “you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Del Toro then talked about just how the movie came to be, after Jorge Gutierrez showed up at his house in a truck and with copious amounts of tequila, and a collaboration was born. To make things even more bizarre, towards the end of the panel, ’80s rapper Biz Markie, who’s song “Just A Friend” is used in the movie, showed up on stage to lead Hall H in a sing-a-long of the very same song. Call me a grumpy old man, but all I could think was “why is this happening instead of seeing any Fantastic Four footage?”
The next movie on Fox’ panel was Let’s Be Cops, their late summer comedy that is set to open at the end of August. As part of the panel, Fox brought out actors Rob Riggle, Keegan Michael Key, Nina Dobrev, and Damon Wayans Jr. Jake Johnson who is the co-lead with Wayans,t he didn’t attend the panel, as he is in New Orleans shooting Jurassic World. Still, Fox provided a mildly amusing video message from Johnson, where he is shown kicking back in a random hotel with the implication being he just paid for a hooker. Some of the clips shown were genuinely funny, and some were somewhat painful, so it’s still hard to tell just how this movie is going to play, even with everything shown at the panel. The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev kind of summed things up saying ““Let’s be real. It’s a boys’ movie. I’m the girl,” which doesn’t inspire a tremendous amount of confidence, but we’ll see at the end of this month.
Hitman: Agent 47 was next, starring Rupert Friend, who audiences might recognize from the television series Homeland. Friend couldn’t be there because of his shooting schedule with Homeland, but as they often do in these things, he sent a recorded message for the Hall H crowd. A trailer was shown for Hitman, where Friend plays a stylish assassin who seems to be good at everything. I’ll admit to never having seen the original Hitman movie, or ever played the game, so at lot of the appeal of this one was lost on me. The panelists were just actors Hannah Ware and Zachary Quinto, who seemed especially excited about playing a kind of evil version of the film’s lead. Something about this series seems really low rent to me, and even the audience reaction seemed lukewarm to this one, or at least as lukewarm as Hall H gets.
Last up was Kingsman: The Secret Service, the latest collaboration between Matthew Vaughn and comic book creator Mark Millar. The last time these two worked together we got Kick-Ass, so fans have a reason to get excited for this one. Original comic book creator Mark Millar was actually the panel’s moderator, although Matthew Vaughn couldn’t attend, he did provide a video for the fans wearing a Kick-Ass mask and joined by actor Mark Hamill (who has a role in Kingsman) who had on a Hit-Girl wig. Hammil made a joke about being in the UK working on an “obscure little movie” (I don’t have to explain what that movie is, right?) The pair then introduced the first clip for the crowd, which was a very sixties Bond influenced clip. The second one was the same one that played at WonderCon earlier this year, and its fair to say both clips worked well on the Hall H audience. The Q&A portion for Kingsman was cut short due to time, which is unfortunate because I’d say this is the one movie on the panel the audience wanted to see more of and got cut down the shortest.
Which of these Fox movies are you excited to see the most? And were you disappointed by the lack of any Fantastic Four or X-Men news? Sound off in the comments below.