Disney played it fairly low key during its Comic-Con panel in San Diego, choosing not to make news but rather promote just four projects: Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” videogame toon “Wreck-It Ralph” and “The Lone Ranger.”
Last year, studio announced that Guillermo del Toro would helm a “Haunted Mansion” pic.
But there no such pronouncements Thursday afternoon.
It didn’t matter. The panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick, went without a hitch, with Tim Burton and Sam Raimi, especially, relishing the attention from the room of 6,000 in Hall H and eager to share new footage from their films.
After showing footage from the black and white Frankenstein-themed stop-motion pic, Burton called “Frankenweenie” “the perfect Disney movie” “People forget Disney movies are about heart and are sometimes scary.”
Sam Raimi Mila Kunis. “Going to work was really magical because the sets were built and were real.”
For “Oz,” Raimi said “the 3D was a great tool to build this new world we’ve never seen before,” inspired by Frank L. Baum’s books. Plot too was taken from moments of Baum’s books and put in sequential order, with the rest of the plot made up to tell the story of how the wizard, played by James Franco, winds up in Oz.
Franco was not on the panel. Neither was Rachel Weisz, but Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams joined Raimi.
“Wreck-It Ralph” director Rich Moore said it was easier-than-expected to land the game brands and characters like the ghosts from Pac-Man, Bowser from Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros” and Sonic the Hedgehog.
“At first it seemed like it would be very difficult but if we’re making a movie about videogames we thought we should have the characters from different videogames,” Moore said. “We met with reps from the different companies and they said yes.”
Added John C. Reilly, “When you’re the rep for ‘Frogger,’ which isn’t that popular anymore and you get a call from Disney who wants to make a multiimillion dollar movie, you say yes.”
Disney ended the panel with a montage of slick action sequences from Jerry Bruckheimer’s tentpole “The Lone Ranger,” still in production in New Mexico. Director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp were not on hand to discuss the footage.