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July 2006
Comic Con 2006

Twentieth Century Fox’s Never Before Seen….
Author: Rebecca Bredholt

Twentieth Century Fox unleashed a pile of laughs and looks at their upcoming feature films. While the film giant has represented at Comic-Con every year for the last 12 years, this is the first time a senior executive came to introduce a new feature. Elizabeth Gabler, President of Fox 2000 Pictures, has greenlighted projects like Castaway, Walk the Line and Phonebooth. The quest for original material, she explained, never ends. In August 2003 when Rodney Ferrel read Eragon, they knew they had their next big gem. Random House republished the originally self-published trilogy; Fox acquired the rights to the film. In a convention center hall that holds 6,500 people, the audience watched in complete rapture as the epic adventure began to unfold. Starring Jeremy Irons, John Melodic and introducing Edward Speleers, the sci-fi/fantasy thriller blew the crowd away with fire-breathing dragons, mystical landscapes and a gripping story of a young man in search of his destiny. The clips of the dragons were extremely quick, not allowing enough time to critique the CG quality of the image. Of course, what little was shown of Malcovich and Irons in their wizard-like robes inferred a significant motion picture that would be worth the wait. The release date is set for Dec. 15, 2006. The real story behind Eragon is the lead, played by unknown Edward Speleers, who isn’t even an actor. Gabler explained that she nearly had to pull the plug on the project after a worldwide search failed to turn up the role of Eragon. A late-night call from England brought Speleers to the forefront, a young, blonde Brit with blue eyes and olive skin. He was henceforth launched into martial arts training and acting classes in Europe. Vivendi Universal will release a video game based on the story’s premise later this year – on which Speleer’s voice can be heard via his own character.

“Pathfinder” is a new film with sword-swinging action that treks the clashes of the Vikings as they landed in America 600 years before Columbus. With a graphic novel influence, the director of photography worked hand in hand with the sketch artist to give the film a comic book look with Gladiator style fighting. The scenes were literally painted right before they were shot. Director Marcus Nispel wanted the film to be as historically accurate as possible. In addition to his historical research, the Smithsonian coincidentally released an exhibit proving that the Vikings had traveled as far south as New York around the same time that they went into production. The story: One boy is left behind in an Indian village after a Viking invasion. Raised as a native, the man (Karl Urban) becomes adept at not only fighting aptly with a sword, but incorporating nature into this attacks. One of the clips showed this Tarzan-looking character emerging from swampy waters while simultaneously slicing a Viking up his belly before he can realize what’s happening. “Pathfinder” invades theatres on September 8th.

Also on the line up from Fox is Reno 911: Miami. On hand to review special clips from the film were three of the characters from the TV show. The film retains the same comedic format as the TV show – a fictional comedy presented as a documentary. Dressed in uniform the “officers” defended their performance as law enforcement against the film’s portrayal of their moronic behavior. “I feel like we’re on trial here,” one of the exclaimed before he held the Fox PR representative up at gun point until he agreed to change the title to “Heroes on Patrol.” The slapstick threesome also demanded to know why they had to share a hoagie sandwich and the kid from Eragon got his own limo. Defensive of their lack of star-like treatment, one of the cops pointed out that the stars from “Snakes on a Plane” were getting VIP treatment for their roles in a “stupid movie.” “Snakes on a Plane,” the actor protested. “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. I had a similar idea that bear gets on a space station.” The movie clip showed two officers playing with their metal detectors like they were musical instruments, running them up and down over each other’s belt buckles. Another scene drawing laughter from the crowd was of an airport security line, where they pull a foil package out of a man’s bag while demanding that he lie face down on the ground. Holding him at gunpoint, they unwrap the elongated object in question to discover that it is just a burrito. More slapstick ensues as the conveyor belt gets stuck, and as one officer attempts to fix it, the other one inadvertently gets trapped inside as he is x-rayed over and over before being released. For those who live for base humor, Fox is releasing what appears to be the lowest of the lowbrow comedy, “Borad.” This mocu-mentary follows main character, Borad, a reporter from Kazakhstan as his news agency sends him to the United States for cultural immersion. There’s a scene of him with his elderly mother in his homeland. A scene of him leaving his country with a herd of children running after the car. A few scenes with Borad breaking some antiques in a store somewhere in the South. But nothing really jars the mind like the final shots of Borad running naked through the lobby of a hotel, followed by his grotesquely obese sidekick as they argue over reasons for going to California on their journey. This naked chase scene began in the hotel bedroom when Borad leaps onto the bed, chocking his fat friend who is masturbating in the nude. The two hairy, naked men wrestle themselves into insinuating positions (doggy style, etc) as they fight. The crowd panted in laughter as Fox wrapped up this shocking series of movie previews.



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