Legendary brings King Kong, Mothra, and del Toro's ghosts to Comic-Con

After a sweltering few days in San Diego, Legendary Pictures offered up some chills in the form of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, wedged in between the revelation of some Godzilla 2 monsters and footage teasing a new King Kong movie called Skull Island.

CRIMSON PEAK

The 2015 gothic horror-romance Crimson Peak, which will star Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam, got a special showcase on Saturday—showing off both its ghosts and a cast of somewhat sinister mortals. “It’s a gothic romance. It’s R-rated. It has incredible beauty, but it’s also very violent,” the filmmaker said before introducing a reel of footage with haunting voice-over by Hiddleston.

“A house as old as this one becomes, in time, a living thing,” the unseen actor whispers as we see an ancient-looking doorknob open, some fluttering, dying bees on a dusty floor, and an endless, shadowy hallway in a Victorian mansion.

“It may have timber for bones and windows for eyes, but sitting here all alone it can go slowly mad,” Hiddleston’s character goes on as we see more ornate stairwells, and appearances from the cast looking angry, disturbed, or terrified. “It starts holding on to things, keeping them alive when they shouldn’t be. Some of them good … Some are bad. … Some should never be spoken about again.”

After the clip, del Toro said, “We have scary ghosts, but scarier people than ghosts,” and said the inspiration for the story was “the freedom to tackle a great adult story for a female lead.”

He promised to return to Comic-Con with more before the 2016 release. “Next year we’re going to come back. You’re going to get me, but also Tom F–king Hiddleston!” del Toro said. “Tom Hiddleston is so f–king nice. It used to be in the past you were either nice, or you were good-looking and an a–hole.”

Legendary didn’t release the teaser footage, but they did put out the clip above of del Toro touring their Comic-Con booth, which features some of the same imagery.

GODZILLA 2

Rhodan. Ghidorah. Mothra. Look for these kaiju to do battle once the sequel to this summer’s Godzilla gets underway.

In its Comic-Con presentation, Legendary Pictures presented a thank-you video from director Gareth Edwards, who credited enthusiasm from the fan convention for helping get the movie made after a teaser was unveiled here years ago.

The director, who said he’d be turning to the monster-mash sequel after wrapping up work on a Star Wars spin-off film, then offered to reveal some of the monsters we may see in a follow-up.

Everything he said after was bleeped out, and his mouth was covered by a black box to prevent lip-reading. But that was just a prank aimed at the crowd…

Moments later, Legendary chief Thomas Tull presented a teaser video of what appears to be decades-old footage of monsters in the South Pacific, waging war against battleships and nuclear explosions. Ominous audio of President John F. Kennedy talking about global threats plays over the scenes.

We see the shadow of a multi-headed dragon, a close-up of giant moth eyes, and mutant pteranodon. “There is still one secret that remains hidden: There … Are … Others.”

This time, the footage listed those three monsters by name—no tricks, no teases. And Tull said Legendary had worked out a deal with Godzilla‘s Japanese producers, Toho Studios, to acquire the rights to those classic creatures.

The crowd’s roar of approval, as you can imagine, rivaled the giant, radioactive lizard’s.

BLACKHAT

Heat and The Last of the Mohicans director Michael Mann made his Comic-Con debut to show off the first trailer of Blackhat, his January 2015 thriller with Thor star Chris Hemsworth as a hacker working with the government to stop a terrorist who uses computer networks to create catastrophes.

We got the first still of the filmmaker and star, but the trailer won’t be released publicly for now. (The crowd at Comic-Con waits many hours for this exclusivity). The clip began with aerial footage of a nuclear power plant’s cooling tower, collapsed and smoldering, after a cyberattack causes a radioactive disaster.

From there, Hemsworth’s Robin Hood-styled digital expert is recruited from prison, where he’s serving time for an attack that cost a major bank $46 million in losses. To win his release, he agrees to help a global team take down the unseen threat

“All of a sudden you realize how vulnerable we are in these days, and information you think is safe and is a secret, isn’t,” Hemsworth said. After talking with a hacking expert about how susceptible his own devices were, the actor said: “That’s it I’m getting rid of my computer and turning my phone off!”

WARCRAFT

Then it was time to bring the Doomhammer down on Hall H.

Director Duncan Jones (Moon and Source Code) also showcased his upcoming videgame-to-film epic Warcraft.

“In this case it really merits an origin story,” Jones said. “We want to show how the world of Azeroth falls into conflict between orcs and humans. So that’s what we’re doing.

Although the game has been around in various incarnations for 20 years, the challenge will be drawing on that material in a way that excites longtime fans while introducing newbies.

“Comic-Con is the perfect place to show that is possible,” Jones said. “There are a lot of people who weren’t into comic books before they saw all the superhero movies and got galvanized by it. There are a lot of people who haven’t played the game and we can bring an awareness to them of Warcraft with this film.”

He said shooting on the film—which stars Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, and Clancy Brown—is already complete, but so much of the movie is digital visual effects that it will take until March 2016 to complete.

The footage was narrated from the different perspectives of orcs and humans, each one decrying the violence and hardship created by the other. Spoiler alert: They don’t decide to resolve their differences with diplomacy.

SKULL ISLAND

“You’re the ones who made the trip here, which is why we bring special stuff here,” Tull said in the final moments of the panel. “We have been tinkering around with one thing, but if you guys want to see it …

The audience indicated in the affirmative.

What played out next was a sweeping shot of a stormy ocean, and a point of view that swept up onto a lush island, a large wooden wall.

The voiceover growled: “Long stretches of the world cut off forever … the earliest beginings of the world, when vegetation lined the earth. It came in the shape of an unrestful and noisy dream.”

Fro there, the POV plunges into the jungle before rising up on a rocky cavern that, viewed from one specific angle, seemed to resemble a human skull.

“It’s very existence was improbable. Being alone in the wilderness it had gone mad. It looked at you with a vengeful aspect. It penetrated deeper and deeper into the very heart of darkness.”

And what emerges from that cavern is a familiar sight: A gigantic gorilla, who looks a lot less nice than Tom Hiddleston.

Legendary didn’t reveal anything else except the title: Skull Island, and that it was due in theaters in 2016.


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