News for Jul. 17, 2005

Comic-Kong Reports!

7/17/05, 10:22 am EST - Xoanon

Comic-Con 2005: King Kong Panel
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Mr. Grooism

*Whew!* Where to begin?

I'll start with the Universal King Kong panel of course! Hopefully we'll also hear from 33and76 and Gorillagurl, neither of whom I unfortunately got to meet, or someone else, because the crowd to get into the panel was soooo huge I missed the beginning!!!!!!!!!!! Harumph, some kongspy I turned out to be! Regardless, I got some good info, but hopefully someone else could fill in the blanks.

By the time I got in there were easily 8,000-10,000 fans in Hall H, with many thousands more behind me waiting in vain to get in. Naomi, Adrian and Jack were there and fielding questions; I immediately got in line to ask questions but, *sigh* no dice, they were finished well before they got to me.

They showed about a 3 minute long extended scene of just the Kong vs. V-Rex battle that left me breathless. OMG, I'm not describing a single thing because you've gotta see this yourself! It was a mix of finished, unfinished and previs that was a battle like nothing ever filmed before, anywhere!!! Folks, this one scene exceeded my wildest expectations, it was a rollicking vicious battle that ranged all over the place, but like I said, no spoilers from me!

Adrian fielded a question that should settle some debates; there is NO emphasis whatsoever on doing anything remotely like KK76. More on that later!

Naomi said she was seriously nervous about trying to fill Fay Wray's shoes, but PJ helped put her at ease. She says they do pay heartfelt homage to Fay, especially in her "Scream Ann, scream for your lives!" scene. She says she really wanted to tap into Fay's performance there, and felt she succeeded. King Kong '05 will definitely have unexpected humor but much darkness as well!

Jack Black was hysterical, but unfortunately too many of the folks asking questions had no interest in Kong and were there for Tenacious D (T.D.), and wasted questioning with attitude and fluff. One guy said he was warned not to use foul language, so although he wanted to discuss T.D he'd instead address his question to "the dude on the left (Adrian)!

He then asked Brody a T.D. question using a mild expletive. Whatta loser.

The next guy had a question for James Brody (sic!), and Adrian went into a mock rage, jumping up and ranting and raving. He was seriously funny and mocked the guy out in a fun way.Someone asked Jack if he'd written a Kong song, and Black said something like "Yeah , I have but it's not going to be in the movie, that's what Howard Shore is for."

He declined when asked to sing it, but Adrain Brody, obviously having heard the song, started thumping a tribal beat loudly on the desk, Naomi joined in, and Jack looked around helplessly before giving in and belting out an AWESOMELY FUNNY Kong song! Go Jack!

After the panel Tenacious D performed. all I can say is T.D. ROCKED! They were hysterically funny, gut-splitting nasty humor and hard driving rock that amped the entire place past 11 on the Spinal Tap scale!

Earlier in the day, the Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen and Forry Ackerman panel discussed Kong quite a bit, but it was all rehash of both Harryhausen and Ackerman's previous panels, complete with the same KK76 quote (he keeps saying KK72, but that's ok, hee hee)! It was otherwise a fascinating look at these three legends, their careers and their deep friendship going back to their late teens and early twenties!

I described for both Richard Taylor and Ben Wootten about our KIKN slang, such as SKIIPS, which especially fascinated Richard!. I also described the Sticker Kong phenomenon to Ben, who was both amused and perhaps a little worried, hee hee!

I got to speak to Richard Taylor at great length again. I asked him Shine & 8th's question about whether Ann Darrow's performance would be more like KK33 (mostly terror throughout the film) or more like Dwan's in KK76 (terror evolving into real affection and sappiness). It was largely a "no comment, see the film" but let me just say he totally put to rest any fears that this relationship will in ANY WAY resemble Dwan, ok? Not a chance!!! It will also be unlike Ann's in KK33, being more complex in structure, but he couldn't say more for obvious reasons. We have to see the movie, folks!!!

Later in the week I'll have some pictures of a crew hat he gave me that my buddy took with his digital camera, and then by the weekend I'll have my own pictures developed, scanned and posted.

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GG

I'm thoroughly exhausted and my mindís still processing everything, but excited enough to post a few quick impressions (I'll post my proper report w/pics tomorrow night or sooner if possible in the Spoiler Forum because believe me I've got tons of spoilers); before I get into it I should let you guys know there was NO TEASER POSTER unveiled (at least not at the presentation--haven't checked out the booth yet, doing that tomorrow), which was a big letdown only initially because the presentation itself made me forget all about any ole teaser poster:

Two words: FREAKING AMAZING!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! I cannot believe what I've seen, and I wish you ALL could've been there!!!! The secret guest panelists were none other than.....ADRIEN BRODY! NAOMI WATTS! and JACK BLACK!!!! I nearly peed my pants -- I had a feeling JB would be there because of the Tenacious D set (which was also....yes, AMAZING) but had NO IDEA both Adrien and Naomi would be there! more on that in a sec, because right before that was something simply incredible, and I STILL can't believe I got to see it...

The presentation started off with a filmed Peter Jackson intro, which started off pretty unremarkably (talking about how KK inspired him to become a filmmaker, etc., all stuff we know). Then he introduced and screened the trailer, which weíve all seen. AND THEN he said he had a special treat: A KEY SCENE FROM THE MOVIE!!! it was great because he talked as if he were actually there, like he'd say so you guys wanna see this stuff, of course the crowd went wild, then he'd jokingly say, what was that? I didn't hear you? which made the crowd (6500 plus!!) really go wild. Sorry this isnít verbatim since I didnít have a tape recorder, but itís pretty much what took place. Then he went on to explain that what we were about to see was still in the unfinished stage, and he was rightóit was basically animatic footage spliced with actual footage. Six minutes of KONG heaven, I tell you. Iím not going to spoil this here (see spoiler forum tomorrow, or maybe mrgrooism will beat me to it later tonightJ *note to mrgrooism Ė sorry I missed you! Way too many people to plow through) but basically I think what I saw was the same 6 minute animatic that Quint wrote about in his AICN Kong reports; in other words the showdown between Kong and the 3 Rexes. Oh. My. GAAAAAAAAA-D. Except for a couple of shots (ie from the teaser to the teaser trailer and most recently, the latest PPD) this was ALL NEW. The way in which the sequence is choreographed, even the sheer concept of it is just unbelievably amazing. And SOOOO Peter Jackson. Iím reeling. Iím seriously in awe here, people. So much so I neglected to take pictures and I apologize Ė I was simply speechless and spellbound. Again, hoping it didnít affect mrgrooism in quite that way. I donít think I was the only one. I kid you not, that huge room was silent during the whole thing (up until the iconic money shot at the end of it which of course had people squealing with delight Ė the whole KONG presentation got the best reception of the evening by far) Ė I donít recall seeing flashes go off during the scene, people were so spellbound. Luckily, they showed it AGAIn at the end of the presentation (just a couple of minutes of it though) so I was able to snap a few. Not sure of the quality though since I didnít have the best seats and donít own a digital camera. I gotta tell you though, thereís no way in hell this will lose the special effects Oscar this year. I donít see anything approaching anywhere near this good.

So it was over and everyone cheered wildly; it was here that immediately after the lights came up the announcer (just a random Comic Con staffer) introduced Adrien, Naomi and Jack! The audience leapt to its feet and we all just applauded and screamed like crazy. I donít think ANYONE knew all three of them would be there. In brief (again apologies for not recording this, but I will post more as it comes back to me), Adrien gushed about how great the experience was, Naomi said it was a ďdauntingĒ experience, but great nonetheless (she seemed a little on the quiet, soft-spoken side) and JB was hilarious, saying it was the ďgreatest filmmaking experience heís ever hadĒ. It was obvious that he had many, many fans in the audience because he got the most questions. Adrien even made a joke about it at one point, then got up to strut his stuff (really! It was great). Also JB was goaded by one of the fans to do an impromptu KONG song and he did one! I donít know his work that well so I donít know if this was an actual Tenacious D song or if he made it up right then and there. Iím not remembering exactly how it goes at the moment, but both he and Adrien provided drum accompaniment! Awesome! Stuck around for his set afterwards and it ROCKED the house!

Thatís it for now as Iím completely exhausted but feel free to ask me any questions and Iíll do my best!!! Again (even without the teaser poster), it was completely amazing, and I wish you could have all experienced itÖ.tomorrow I look forward to a more leisurely day, browsing and buying stuff!!!! and of course, pictures!!! Woo hoo!