SDCC11: Legendary Panel Discusses Several Pre-Production Films, ‘Mass Effect 3’

Legendary Entertainment, one of Hollywood’s smaller production firms,came to San Diego Comic-Con for the first time this year to talk about some of their upcoming films currently in pre-production. I sat down Friday, not sure what to expect, however I was excited to learn more about their upcoming films and hear from some of the directors and stars themselves chat about their various projects.

First up was the ‘Pacific Rim’ panel, presided over by acclaimed writer, producer and director Guillermo del Toro. His new flick stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Rinko Kikuchi and in Guillermo’s own words, features “Giant f***ing robots fighting giant f***ing aliens.” Ah Guillermo, always so colorful. Set to release in 2013, the film’s plot is quite simple, but also strikes me as something we haven’t quite seen before: as aliens attack and threaten the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

Next, we were treated to a special appearance by Jeff Bridges, the dude himself, who came out to chat about ‘The Seventh Son’ with co-star Ben Barnes as well as director Sergey Bodrov. The film deals with a seventh son of a seventh son who learns how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches, and bind boggarts in the 1700s. Some interesting and quite scary concept art flickered on the screens behind the panel as Jeff and Sergey talked about this very different sort of picture.

“It is about an old witch hunter who is hunting his old enemy but now he needs a new apprentice because all of his old apprentices have died. It’s a dangerous job,” explained Bodrov. Bridges is cast as the witch-hunter with Barnes playing his new apprentice.

Bradley Cooper wandered onto stage next to discuss with director Alex Proyas, his adaptation of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost. Cooper joked that it was only natural after ‘The Hangover’ 1 and 2, that he would end up playing Satan. Proyas showed off some concept art for the upcoming film, which will definitely be an action-heavy take on the epic poem centered on the war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer.

And last, but not least, the panel ended with an interesting announcement regarding the ‘Mass Effect’ video game series. In development for a 2012 release, creator Casey Hudson and screenwriter Mark Protosevich chatted about their upcoming adaptation of the popular story-driven gaming franchise. I’m always a bit wary of any sort of video game to feature film translation, if any game has a chance to make it, this one does.

To prime the fan’s excitement, some footage from the third installment of the popular game franchise was on display, courtesy of Bioware. The short but sweet sneak peek showcased the game’s main character, Commander Shepard as he tries to save the galaxy from the Reapers by rallying civilizations of the galaxy together.

Overall, Legendary managed to put together a vibrant and diverse panel despite not having any serious footage or exclusives to showcase for Comic-Con, and points to a push by the company to ratchet up the excitement for some of their in-the-works projects. The lack of footage was more than made up for by the great talent on display. Panel attendees were also treated to a free copy of ‘Mass Effect 2’ on the platform of their choice as well as a cool ‘Hot Wheels’ black van emblazoned with the company’s logo.

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