SPOLER WARNING: The following report contains spoilers for the plot of “Megamind.”
The first Hall H panel of Comic-Con International in San Diego was a fun one, as Will Ferrell – spending the entire panel dressed as the titular villain himself – Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) and Jonah Hill (“Superbad”) all took the stage to discuss their new DreamWorks Animation film, “Megamind.”
Ferrell took the stage first, dressed in character as Megamind, with a large blue head, blue face, and what looked like a blue spacesuit one might see on the old “Star Trek” TV show. Fey and Hill, however, did not follow suit, with both arriving in street clothes.
“I thought you all were gonna dress up?” Ferrell asked. “I feel like a turd up here.”
Fey joked that she was in fact in character – in the movie, Fey voces Roxanne Ritchie, a TV news reporter. Ferrell, however, didn’t want to hear it. “It’s one of those things that… I just feel bad for you,” Hill told Ferrell. “But [Ferrell] always radiates a sexual energy.”
Tina Fey quickly changed the topic to her one-night stand the night before.
“Whoever I met last night, and I took you back to my hotel room? You left your Admiral Ackbar costume there,” she joked to the delight of Hall H. “It’s cool, I just want to know…can I keep it?”
Someone in the crowd was on their toes, and shouted to Fey, “It’s a trap,” an outburst that warranted a laugh from Ferrell.
The group then introduced an extended clip from the movie “Megamind,” which hits theaters on Nov. 5 in Real D 3-D and IMax 3D. The segment introduced the assembled crowd to two main characters – Megamind and Metro Man. Metro Man, voiced by Brad Pitt, was launched in a rocket ship from his dying home world at the same time as Megamind, leading both characters to share an obvious Superman-like origin. When they arrived on Earth, they took two different paths, with Megamind becoming a super villain and Metro Man developing into the suave hero of Metro City.
Megamind becomes something of a joke to the city, as all his evil plots inevitably fail. But then, in a twist: Megamind uses the power of the sun to defeat his arch-enemy, successfully turning Metro Man into a smoldering skeleton.
Megamind then decides there’s only one thing left to do – celebrate. The character dances up and down the streets of Metro City and generally does whatever he wants to with no recourse.
“It’s unfathomable the power…it’s unfathomed…it’s without fathom!” Ferrell said of his character after the clip wrapped. “We wanted to tell the story from the villain’s point of view. We can’t talk too much about Jonah’s character,” he warned.
“We can’t talk about it, right? There’s a twist – it’s a monster twist,” Hill said of his character. In the preview, Hill’s character is introduced as a plucky young cameraman for Ritchie, wielding a giant crush on the news reporter. At one point, the character is wearing his own superhero costume and goes by the name of “Tighten.” “[DreamWorks CEO] Jeffrey Katzenberg would shoot an arrow through my head [if I tried to talk about my character].”
At this point some fans started chuckling as Ferrell struggled with his costume onstage. “What happened? Is it my collar?” Ferrell asked. “I’ve been hanging out in this costume for a year.”
A fan asked the three-person panel if the actors had any real-life celebrity arch enemies.
“Betty White is my nemesis,” Fey said. “We will fight in a pay-per-view special in February.”
“Mel Gibson’s girlfriend is my nemesis. I just want to come out and officially support Mel Gibson,” Hill said. He then stood up and flipped off the crowd as he walked off the stage.
“Charlize Theron [is my nemesis[,” Ferrell shared. “I can’t get into it, but there’s a lot of bad blood.”
Hill then returned to the stage.
“I, uh, just read a few things Mel said…it was paraphrased when I first read it…” he told the crowd. “I’m going to have to take a few things back that I said…”
A fan asked Hill what it was like working in an animated film.
“I mostly make R-rated films,” Hill said. “So it’ll be nice to make a movie, if I ever have kids — or my nieces and nephews — I can take them to see my movie, and I won’t go to jail.”
Ferrell was asked what it was like to finally play the villain.
“I guess I’ve technically played a villain before — Mugatu in “Zoolander,”” he said. “But this is the first time a bad guy turns into a good guy…he realizes, there can’t be evil without good.”
Some of the fans didn’t like hearing a possible spoiler from the movie, but that didn’t seem to slow the panelists down. In fact, Hill jokingly threatened to reveal the twist with his character, but quickly backed down when the crowd started shouting “No!”
A fan asked Fey – after complementing her beauty – what her background was with comic book characters, and if she could talk about her character in the movie. “I grew up watching the old Superman TV show and all the Christopher Reeves movies,” Fey said. “My character is a sassy reporter, she’s an archetype. I see her origins in Lois Lane, Princess Leia…she doesn’t mind hanging from a rope.”
Hill told the audience he was a lifelong comic book fan, and then attempted the big shocker of the day: “I’m officially announcing it right now… I’m playing the Hulk in the next movie,” he joked. “Thank you to all the people, thank you Marvel! Me and Downey are going to make it look good!”
As a parting shot, Ferrell had some advice for the Hall H crowd.
“If you’re going to do this,” he said, pointing to his elaborate costume, “use the right stuff – don’t use spray-paint.”