Hollywood’s new Superman flew into Comic-Con on Saturday, but said very little about director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, which begins shooting in Chicago next week. Instead, Henry Cavill landed in Hall H to talk up Immortals (opening November 11), an epic fantasy inspired by Greek mythology directed with ferocious flair by surreal stylist Tarsem Singh (The Cell) and co-starring Mickey Rourke, Luke Evans, and Kellan Lutz. The real stars of the show were two pieces of footage: a 3D trailer overstuffed with awesome images of extraordinary scope (monolithic statues; a tidal wave; an imploding mountain); and a battle scene showcasing Evans’ Zeus. Tarsem told attendees that his R-rated movie was “a little darker” and “a little more hardcore” than previous teases may have suggested, and the elaborately choreographed fight sequence between Zeus (supported by other warriors in gold plated armor) and hellacious, subterranean creatures – filled with bloodshed and beheadings and man-beasts getting split in half with a swing of the sword – proved it.
The panel emphasized Immortals’ more youthful and sexy depiction of the ancient gods. But Comic-Con attendees were fixated on more geeky things. Speaking for a cynicism about 3D that seemed to permeate all of Comic-Con, one audience member asked for assurances that the technology in the movie wasn’t lame, citing Clash of the Titans as an example of 3D done wrong. (An awkward moment for Evans, who starred in the 2010 movie as the sun god Apollo.) “My stuff … lends itself well to 3D,” said Tarsem, whose painterly style is marked by static, meticulously detailed still-life compositions with great depth of field where individual elements suddenly activate with dynamic action.
Cavill was cordial to the crowd when he spoke, which wasn’t often. Fans were asked to keep their questions focused on Immortals. Moderator Geoff Boucher of The Los Angeles Times did ask the star to explain why Warner Bros. decided to move Man of Steel from late 2012 to summer 2013. Cavill declined to comment. “There’s nothing I can say,” says Cavill, “other than it’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. … I can’t wait to get started.”
Lutz – Emmett Cullen from the Twilight movies (the Twihards screamed every time his name was said aloud) – drew laughs (and a few baffled looks from fellow panelists) with some salty wit about his character, the ocean god Poseidon. “The Little Mermaid is my favorite movie. I just watched it many times to get into character,” joked (?) Lutz, who impishly referred to himself as “the king of wetness.” Frieda Pinto made cryptic reference to her most awkward day of work, but left it to Tarsem to spill the beans: Her first day on set was a sex scene with Cavill. “It turned out gorgeous,” said Tarsem. Quipped Pinto: “How could it not? It’s Henry.”