When the first trailer for Red dropped last month, we were pretty excited. Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren packing automatic weapons? Count us in. Since then, we’ve been keeping our eye on all things Red.

Luckily, Red was in full force today at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. In addition to a Hall H presentation, there was a Red press panel featuring Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, and Karl Urban (Star Trek), along with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, the original creative team behind the graphic novel, were also on the panel. Read on to see what the stars of the film had to say about the much-anticipated new movie:

The panel started with a question for Bruce Willis. An attendee complimented Willis on his recent string of action movies (Die Hard, Surrogates) and then asked him if this stage of his career feels like the “right time” for action.

Willis replied that he always questions whether it’s the right time to do any of the films he chooses to do. One reason he was interested in Red is because he felt the film was very “ambitious” in the way it straddled multiple genres. Depending on who watches the movie, Red could be viewed as a romantic film, a comedy, or a straight-up action film.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura added onto Willis’ remarks saying that there are six or seven tones in the film and that director Robert Schwentke did a great job holding all those different tones together. Helen Mirren voiced her agreement saying “Robert was very good at maintaining the overall style of acting as well as the overall style of the movie.

Someone asked how the actors feel about comic books becoming mainstream in Hollywood, to which Mirren replied that she thinks it’s “exciting to see it burgeoning and expanding into a real total art form.” Mirren admitted that she hadn’t thought much about comics, but was enlightened to the value of graphic novels by reading Harvey Pekar (who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.)

Willis chimed in that he thought Ellis and Hamner put together a very well thought-out story, but it was still ambitious to turn a 66-page graphic novel into a 120-page movie script. During the adaptation process, Willis said sometimes the cast would wonder “Where are we?” but that Schwentke always knew where the story was headed and how to keep the film progressing.

An audience member asked Helen Mirren if she enjoyed being in an action movie and if she learned anything from Bruce Willis. Mirren replied that she had great fun and that “You always learn from great movie stars and Bruce is a great movie star.

Continue to the rest of the press conference…

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