SDCC 2011: Screen Gems Panel — UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING and ATTACK THE BLOCK
The cast (Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, and Theo James), original trilogy filmmaker Len Wiseman, and the new directors have taken the stage and screened an extended 3-D trailer for Underworld: Awakening. All the 3-D screened in Hall H has looked way above par; maybe all it takes to put the technology to good use is proper illumination and calibration! Ironic that you’d see the best 3-D projection anywhere in a 6,000+ seat exhibition hall with four separate screens.
- Wiseman on the creation of Underworld: “I was originally working on a werewolf concept that didn’t feel fresh enough… and it ultimately became a sort of West Side Story of vampires and werewolves.”
- Beckinsale’s favorite movie shoot: the first Underworld. Also, Nothing but the Truth (for which me and one other guy applaud).
- Joe Cornish on the inspiration: “I grew up in South London and love these 80s creature-features–E.T., Gremlins, etc. I wanted to see a movie in where I grew up and I thought it would be cool if instead of landing in the backyard of a sweet boy like Elliot, an alien landed in the backyard of some badass mofos.”
- Cornish on the aliens: “Sometimes you feel that the monsters in movies are a bit same-y, that the monster from Harry Potter could wander into Cloverfield. So I wanted to do something different, go back to practical effects. They’re really there. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s based on a sort of rotoscope technique, combined with live action. It occurred to me that [this] might work better than a mix of CGI and live-action.”
- Wright on the status of the Blood & Ice Cream trilogy: “Me and Simon Pegg are going to start writing next month.”
- Wright and Cornish on whether they’ll return to TV: W- “If it’s the right thing, and some of the TV being produced in this country, like “The Walking Dead”, is incredible. C- “I like the big screen experience, personally [...] so I made this film to be a theatrical experience.”
- Wright: “The thing that really works about Attack the Block is that the monsters are really there, and I think it helps the actors to have something to react to. I think the best movies are a mix of [CGI and practical effects], which is what Spielberg does.”
- John Boyega says a big acting inspiration for him was Season 4 of “The Wire”.
- Cornish: “My template is always An American Werewolf in London. That movie captured London better than British filmmakers [...] That movie is real, and the characters and the environment are serious, before it’s funny. [...] [Likewise] I don’t want Attack the Block‘s jokiness to undermine the heart.”
- On a potential sequel: “We’ve had loads of ideas, but if we did a sequel I’d like to pick up from the moment this one ended, like Halloween 1 & 2. But we [may need] Benjamin Button technology.”