The second movie studio presentation at Comic-Con International this year was Lions Gate Entertainment. Known for genre fare, the studio seemed to bring a bit of everything: comedy, a western, and horror -- plenty of horror.
They kicked off their presentation with the comedy, however, in the form of "Good Luck Chuck." In this film, comedian Dane Cook plays Chuck. Apparently, after any woman sleeps with Chuck, they find their soulmate (and it ain't Chuck). Cook then meets a lovely young lady played by Jessica Alba, and falls madly in love with her. Naturally, he worries that if they have sex, she'll find true love elsewhere. He doesn't sleep with her ... comedy ensues.
Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, and director Mark Helfrich were all on hand to talk to the crowd. They said they had fun making the film, which contains a lot of physical comedy. Alba indicated that she had the bruises to prove it (where those bruises were, she didn't mention).
Next up was "3:10 to Yuma," a remake of an older movie by the same title. Directed by James Mangold ("Walk the Line"), this movie's cast contains many talented folks: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, and Peter Fonda. Crowe and Foster are criminal brothers in the film. When Fonda and Bale capture Crowe and try to take him to Yuma, Foster's character goes on a killing spree to free his sibling.
Foster and Fonda were present to talk about some of the film's details. Foster said that Crowe took most of the cast to "cowboy camp," so they could learn to ride horses and how to live in the wild, wild west.
With all the "tough guys" in this cast, you may wonder who was the alpha dog? Foster said that he and his castmates were in agreement that the one who was capable of killing them all was definitely Fonda. Fonda just smiled.
After this, it was time to take a ride on the "Midnight Meat Train," based on a short story by Clive Barker. Showing up to talk about the film were actors Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, and Vinnie Jones, along with Director Ryuhei Kitamura and Clive Barker himself.
In the film, Cooper plays a photographer who stumbles onto a brutal killer named Mahogany, played by Jones. Apparently, this killer carries a bag of rather "interesting" tools, his favorite being a hammer full of spikes.
Once the Q&A started, Barker had lots of interesting tales to relate to the audience ... and not all were about the film. The author said that there were three 'forming' experiences in his career as a horror writer:
Number one: his first autopsy.
Number two: his first embalming.
And number three: the first time he went to a slaughterhouse.
When asked how he came up with the title "Midnight Meat Train," Barker responded that he was "bad with titles, and not so good with marijuana."
He said he had written a bunch of short stories, and many needed titles. One night, he went to a party that a friend of his -- actor Simon Bamford ("Nightbreed") -- was attending. Bamford had brought a "special" plate of cookies to the party.
Barker confessed to having a sweet-tooth, and ate most of the cookies himself without realizing how "special" they were (the secret ingredient wasn't love). In any case, when the effects of these cookies had worn off, Barker had all his short story titles, including "Midnight Meat Train."
The author concluded by answering a question about further adaptations of his works. He said the "Books of Blood" will be filmed this fall, and "Pig Blood Blues" should be filmed in 2008. Bloody fantastic!
Closing up the Lions Gate presentation was "Saw IV." Representing the film for the con was Director Darren Lynn Bousman and Producer Mark Burg. Between the two of them, they had lots of fun tales to tell about their love of this gory franchise.
To begin with, it may surprise many that there is a "Saw IV" due to the death of the villain at the end of "Saw III." As a matter of fact, Bousman (who also directed both "Saw" II and III) said he didn't plan for there to be a fourth. He said he purposely filmed the demise of the villain in III so that there was no way he could come back.
But he is back.
Bousman said when Burg contacted him with the script, it was so well-written he couldn't say no. And to emphasize the fact that Jigsaw's back, they brought out the actor who plays Jigsaw, Tobin Bell. Burg commented, "Legends never die."
They said that this "Saw" film will be the most intense yet. As a matter of fact, they had just received the news this day that their film was given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA. They weren't sure yet if this meant an appeal or a re-edit (or a release as NC-17) since they had just received the news.
After this film is complete, Bousman told the audience a tiny bit about his next project -- "Repo!", a rock opera he plans on filming. The "repo" in this case refers to the repossession of body parts. That's right -- more gore. Bousman said he enjoys it and that this would be a "hard R" rock opera. Fans of the "Saw" franchise applauded their approval.
With a quick showing of some of the "Saw" gore to come, Lions Gate completed their presentation. "Saw IV" will be in theaters October 26th.