!!! Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe (San Diego Comic-Con Part 2) !!!

So last night I told you all about the Marvel Studio's panel and various other things at "the con" (at least stuff I thought was cool). Tonight, I will try and finish what I started last night by giving you the lowdown on the really cool Warner Bros. panel that also took place last night. Both Warner Bros. (all two of them) brought their "A" game to show the very excited crowd the awesome things they have in store for the foreseeable future.

First up was the new film from director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth as if you didn't know) called "Pacific Rim". The film is about a future where nations must ban together to fight giant creatures called "Kaiju" in giant robots called "Jaegers" for the future of the planet. All is not going well and mankind must turn to unlikely heroes with outdated robot to turn the tide (yes, I know I sound like a studio PR machine). All I got to say is, "Giant robots fighting giant creatures directed by Del Toro, where do I sign up?" I love Godzilla movies, I love giant robot movies (Transformers and Iron Giant), how is this not one of the best ideas ever. Del Toro is one of us. He is a fan first and a director second. He only makes the movies that he wants to see. Luckily for us, he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood today. The first Del Toro film I saw was "Mimic". That could have easily been an extremely cheesy premise and been an even bigger disaster on film, but he turned it into a fun and scary little movie that surpassed my expectations. Next up was "Blade II" and having liked the first Blade film I was a little worried that they had changed directors too quickly. Well again, I should not have worried, because Del Toro gave it his own unique style and made a kick butt vampire movie (that didn't sparkle). Then came "Hellyboy", an adaptation of the comic created by the incredible Mike Mignola (I have been a fan for awhile). Del Toro knocked it out of the park, and did so with the help of the creator himself. It's no small coup that he got Ron Perlman to play "Big Red" and that he stayed true to the comic in all the right ways. After that I started to seek out his work from before he came to Hollywood. Films such as "The Devil's Backbone" and "Cronos" (find that one on Criterion Collection Blu -Ray, I highly recommend) are two of my favorites. Find these movies and watch them, you will be glad that you did. He continued to impress me not only with his directing and designing but also with his knowledge of all things geeky. Pan's Labyrinth is a movie every genre fan should see. After "Hellboy II" he attached himself to every film that came his way and no one knew what was next. We found out that he would be co-writing and sole directing "The Hobbit" with Peter Jackson producing (cause Peter is just as busy as Del Toro). If there was anyone that could have taken over the world of Middle Earth from Peter Jackson it was Del Toro. Alas, it was not meant to be. Contract negotiations between studios for who had the rights to "The Hobbit" dragged on and Del Toro was forced to move on. Now, here we are and we have a new film (Pacific Rim) directed by Del Toro coming this next Summer and it's going to be awesome. From the reports of the footage that was shown (which you can read about in the link at the end of this article) this sucker is set to rock your socks off. And yes, if you were wondering, Ron Perlman is in this one too (so is the always great Idris Elba so there no reason not to see this movie). I really am disappointed that there will be a media blackout from now until Christmas, cause I am dying to see anything from this thing (the rumor is we'll get a trailer in front of "The Hobbit", but that's like forever away). I can't wait.

On a side note, after the resent Make-A-Wish foundation's very cool Hellboy thing, of which you can read "here" (Ron Perlman is the greatest man alive for doing this), Del Toro has decided it's time to get the ball rolling on "Hellboy 3". We all owe that special little kid our thanks for hopefully getting Del Toro to finish one of the coolest film series to come along this side of Marvel and the Batman movies. Here's to
making that happen guys, get on that. You can check out Del Toro's comments "here".

Next up was truly a surprise to everyone there. Gareth Edwards (director, writer, and dang near everything else for his movie "Monsters", see it you'll like it) came out and blew the roof off the place with footage from his take on the Toho classic "Godzilla". We had heard very little about what was going on with this movie but now we know. Apparently it's going to grab you by the brain and rip it out through your nostril. I can't wait to see footage of this. Gareth is staying true to the spirit of the original and he even showcased the classic "Roar" in the teaser footage. This is the kind of movie that can benefit from being more dark and less campy. That's what we're getting from this one if everything pans out. Again, giant monsters can't be beat. Check out what was shown in the link below.

On the flip side, I'm still conflicted about this "Superman: Man of Steel" thing. No Williams score, no "S" shield on the cape, and a darker tone more akin to what's going on with Batman (Batman = Dark Knight, Superman = Man of Tomorrow or "Boy Scout" how hard is that?). I may be wrong and this may be great, but I could also be right and DC and Warner Bros. have once again screwed the pooch. Let's all hope I'm wrong. I guess we'll find out when the trailer shows up in front of "The Dark Knight Rises". Until then, we'll wait and see. The footage is hard to get your head around without seeing it and all the talk about making this a clean break from the Donner version does not instill me with confidence. At least he does fly in the teaser, so there's that. I'll let you know what I think after I see "Rises". Read the description of the footage at the link below.

Finally from Warner Bros. we got more info on "The Hobbit". Peter Jackson showed up and updated everyone on the progress of the film. It seems that he wants to make it fit in with the LOTRs films so everyone who's crazy enough to watch them all back to back to back etc. can do so (lots of Mt. Dew needed for that kind of task). He also said that principle photography is complete, but they could film more stuff next year. He stated that he wants to not only capture the fun and humor of the original's more child oriented story but also the heavier elements that Tolkien added in the Appendices of LOTR. He also said that there would definitely be Extended Editions of "The Hobbit" and possibly a splitting of the second movie into two. I'm ok with that. The more Middle Earth the better. Can't wait to see the next production blog that was shown at the con, should be good as always. You can check out more "here" and at the link below.

One more bit of news I missed yesterday, in the Iron Man 3 panel (which Downey Jr. made a surprise appearance and did so thru the audience, he's so cool) footage was shown of RDJ and John Favreau playing off each other as Tony Stark and Happy Hogan (Favreau gets a bigger part because he's not actually directing the film, but it's also good to know that Shane West has him there to help guide the production as an executive producer). While that's cool stuff that touches on things from "The Avengers", the real highlight was the first footage of Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin (yes it's official now, no more "truth avoiding"). This is great news because they would have sold themselves short if they had not paid off all the little hints throughout the first two films. Again, it seems that Marvel is listening in on the thoughts in my head and going with that for their story ideas. First we have "The Winter Soldier" storyline in Captain America, now we have the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, that's what I call service. Now all Marvel has to do is either get back all their characters from the other studios or make deals to have those characters appear in Marvel Universe movies (I figure I'll put it out there and see if I can go three for three, can't hurt right?).

I'll be back back soon with my thoughts and hopes for the last season of the greatest show that no one watches, "Fringe". You can check out a play by play of everything in this article about the Warner Bros. panel "here" and the Iron Man 3 panel "here". I'm still working on that Spider-man review (Comic-Con kinda pushed it to the side) and I hope to have it up soon. Hold on tight and "Stay Classy".

Todd "Ringwraith" B.

One more thing, Karl Urban is under a gag order from J.J. Abrams about his comments on the Star Trek 2 villain and the deny machine is in full operation. Kahn? Gary Mitchell? Clint Howard? You guy's guesses are as good as ours. Let us know what you think in the comments below or in the forums. Thanks to Ain't It Cool News for the story and picture.

[ComingSoon.net and SuperHero Hype]