New York Comic Con: Glimpses at 'The Dark Knight,' 'The Spirit,' and more

Millermendes_lIn terms of headcount and sheer star power, New York Comic Con is hardly akin to San Diego yet. Still, year 3 marks the first time Hollywood has finally started to dip its tentative toes into these here nerd waters. Highlights from a few of Saturday’s presentations:

The Dark Knight: DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz introduced, to thunderous approval, the new Dark Knight trailer, which will hit the masses in about two weeks. Yes, Heath Ledger was there as the Joker, all deliciously steely glares and menacing deadpans. He bore knives and guns, then delivered this blunt directive to his crew: ”Kill Batman.” Still, watching his dark performance, it’s hard not to be reminded of the tragedy surrounding Ledger’s life and death. So in perhaps a marketing twist, the focus was quickly deflected to the tense dynamics between D.A. Harvey Dent (who’ll go on to become the disfigured villain Two-Face and is played by Aaron Eckhart), Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), and Bruce’s former flame Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

The Spirit: With help from moderator Kurt Loder (yes, MTV’s Kurt Loder!) and flirty star Eva Mendes, comics creator-turned-screenwriter/director Frank Miller (pictured, with Mendes) debuted a Sin City-kissed teaser-trailer about the lady-lovin’ vigilante who fights crime in Central City; sincerely emphasized the impact his friend and Spirit creator Will Eisner has had on his work; then offered this nugget when asked why he cast the not-so-well-known Gabriel Macht as the title character: ”Holllywood has produced many male actors, however very few men.”

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Star Wars: Fans filled up the auditorium seats fancying a glimpse at something — anything! — new from the new Indy movie…to no avail. (Apparently, Lucasfilm is stockpiling for San Diego.) Fans did, however, get a look at the Indiana Jones Original Adventures Lego videogame (out June 3, 2008; watch EW.com’s First Look here). Think of every iconic Indy scene that you can, only built cutely in Legos, and you’ve got the idea. On the Star Wars front, the company simply offered more reminders of The Clone Wars movie — that CG-animated take on that intergalactic throwdown that occurred between episodes 2 and 3 — out Aug. 15, and its companion TV series airing on the Cartoon Network and TNT this fall. The clincher: an assembly of four or so Clone Troopers, in costume, on the floor. (A videogame, The Force Unleashed, will come out Sept. 16, in which you play Darth Vader’s secret apprentice between episodes 3 and 4.) Also there: Seth Green and his Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich, who, in addition to giving EW a shoutout (the duo met after Senreich read in our pages that Green was a geekish toy collector), provided such anecdotes as how one of Lucasfilm’s mandates in making Robot Chicken Star Wars was not to use the word penis. (This is no joke.)

After the jump: Prince Caspian and Wall•E.

addCredit(“Miller and Mendes: George Napolitano/FilmMagic”)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: After inspiring one of the best gangsta-rap songs of 2005, the Narnia franchise is returning and promising violence. Stars Peter Dinklage (reluctant, new-to-Narnia hero Trumpkin), Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), and William Moseley (who plays Peter Pevensie) introduced a trailer to Prince Caspian that brought to mind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 300, and maybe, if you squinted your eyes, Braveheart and Buffy. (That trailer premieres on Tuesday at IGN.com.) Meanwhile, the third Narnia installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will likely start shooting in October for a May 2010 release. If the franchise stays a box office success, producer Mark Johnson said he’d like to shoot The Silver
Chair
after that.

Wall•E: Comic Con isn’t all about sociopaths, masked horndogs, appendages, and violence. Representing the family-friendly Wall•E, Pixar production exec Jim Morris, who had the crowd at I used to work at ILM, introduced four lengthy clips from the animated film about an abandoned robot that’s tethered to a humdrum job and develops a humanistic personality. In the first clip, he sweetly bats his eyes at EVE, a robot delivered to Earth in a rocket; in the next, he innocently courts her. Other footage featured M•O, a small, white, easily flustered robot that searches for foreign contaminates on fellow robots, and as such befriends Wall•E and EVE. And the last clip? EVE decides to jettison her suiter into space, but when the vehicle sets to self-destruct…well, we won’t give it away. Let’s just say the sequence involves a fire extinguisher, an explosion, and some truly satisfying physical comedy.
— Nisha Gopalan, with additional reporting and writing by Mandi Bierly

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: After inspiring one of the best gangsta-rap songs of 2005, the Narnia franchise is returning and promising violence. Stars Peter Dinklage (reluctant, new-to-Narnia hero Trumpkin), Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), and William Moseley (who plays Peter Pevensie) introduced a trailer to Prince Caspian that brought to mind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 300, and maybe, if you squinted your eyes, Braveheart and Buffy. (That trailer premieres on Tuesday at IGN.com.) Meanwhile, the third Narnia installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will likely start shooting in October for a May 2010 release. If the franchise stays a box office success, producer Mark Johnson said he’d like to shoot The SilverChair after that.

Wall•E: Comic Con isn’t all about sociopaths, masked horndogs, appendages, and violence. Representing the family-friendly Wall•E, Pixar production exec Jim Morris, who had the crowd at I used to work at ILM, introduced four lengthy clips from the animated film about an abandoned robot that’s tethered to a humdrum job and develops a humanistic personality. In the first clip, he sweetly bats his eyes at EVE, a robot delivered to Earth in a rocket; in the next, he innocently courts her. Other footage featured M•O, a small, white, easily flustered robot that searches for foreign contaminates on fellow robots, and as such befriends Wall•E and EVE. And the last clip? EVE decides to jettison her suiter into space, but when the vehicle sets to self-destruct…well, we won’t give it away. Let’s just say the sequence involves a fire extinguisher, an explosion, and some truly satisfying physical comedy.
— Nisha Gopalan, with additional reporting and writing by Mandi Bierly

Comments (4 total) Add your comment
  • Bob Andelman

    Thanks for the update on Frank Miller’s Will Eisner’s The Spirit movie. Fans can keep up on all the latest Eisner and Spirit news at http://www.aspiritedlife.com/blog/

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