×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Prometheus’ stokes hottest fire at Wonder-Con

'Alien' prequel leads strong pack of summer popcorn-pic presentations

The strongest summer-movie buzz coming out of WonderCon centered on Fox’s “Prometheus” as the studios revved up fanboy interest in tentpoles that are opening too early for a presence at July’s Comic-Con.

Aside from Fox, Universal, Sony and Open Road also successfully presented at the event.

With co-scripter Damon Lindelof moderating a Q&A in the Anaheim Convention Center ballroom Saturday, Ridley Scott acknowledged that the storyline had evolved and the film is now in fact a prequel to “Alien.” Fanboys had long wondered why Scott and Lindelof had been saying their project had ” ‘Alien’ DNA” but was not necessarily connected to Scott’s 1979 classic. The direct ties to “Alien” offers Fox a key marketing and buzzmaking hook for the film, which bows June 8.

Traditionally held in San Francisco, WonderCon was moved to Anaheim this year while its Bay Area venue is renovated.

Though Fox’s footage was limited to the new trailer, reaction on Twitter and the bustling convention floor was noticeably positive. Significantly scaled up from Scott’s original “Alien,” “Prometheus” — starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Idris Elba — looks fresh, expansive and scary, with action on the surface of a distant planet where dome-topped spacesuits and crashing star cruisers complement the claustrophobic, trapped-with-the-monsters tone of pic’s predecessors.

“We’re almost action-filmed out, and we’re almost science-fiction-filmed out,” Scott said, acknowledging the glut of alien-menace fare. “So the question is now, how original are you going to be?”

Not seen in “Prometheus” materials: any extensive shots of actual aliens. Universal, however, opted for an intimate autopsy of its fighting extraterrestrials from May 8 blockbuster “Battleship.”

Director Peter Berg and star Brooklyn Decker were onstage while two long clips unspooled: a zany meet-cute scene between Decker and “John Carter” star Taylor Kitsch and a very close encounter with one of their battle armor-clad alien adversaries (spoiler alert: the scene ends very badly for the alien).

“At its core, it’s supposed to be a big, rousing, fun piece of summer popcorn madness,” Berg said of the Hasbro boardgame adaptation, acknowledging early “skepticism as to why we would want to try this.”

Universal also presented “Snow White and the Huntsman,” with a surprise appearance by star Kristen Stewart, who joined evil queen Charlize Theron and director Rupert Sanders on the ballroom stage. The WonderCon audience was shown extensive, never-before-seen footage, revealing more trippy fantasy and magical elements than before.

Asked what kind of research he did to develop a sweeping epic from the simple fairy tale, first-time feature helmer Sanders quipped: “I actually did a lot of research. I read those seven pages like a dozen times.”

Sony cued up the eight-minute sizzle reel it previously unspooled from its “Spider-Man” reboot, while star Emma Stone and director Marc Webb minded the stage. Studio also presented “Resident Evil: Retribution” and garnered some positive buzz for the first footage from time-travel noir thriller “Looper,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a younger version of co-star Bruce Willis.

Fox also delivered a new trailer for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” while Open Road showcased its space-prison actioner “Lockout,” a FilmDistrict production starring Guy Pearce as a mercenary infiltrating a space-based supermax prison that’s been taken over by inmates.

More Film

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2017’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

  • China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to

    China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to Hit French Theaters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Midnight Blur Films has signed a deal with French distributor Les Acacias to release Chinese arthouse drama “Three Adventures of Brooke” in France this year, the Chinese production company told Variety on Saturday. A release date has yet to be set for the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Chinese newcomer Xu Fangyi [...]

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Makes Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

  • ‘Flowers’ Director Baptiste Petit-Gats Interview

    Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

    France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.” In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking [...]

  • Fanny Litard, Jérémy Trouilh on ‘Blue

    France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

    French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The [...]

  • MFFF: 'The Collection' Director Blanchard Readies

    'The Collection' Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

    Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content