One of the more highly-anticipated panels of the upcoming 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International is Shane Acker’s ‘9’, a new CGI-animated film about a dystopian future where mankind has been eradicated by machines and only nine living rag dolls remain to protect life itself.

Many have been impressed with the visual splendor and creative imagination behind 9; the fact that the film is based on a Oscar-Nominated short film and has producer’s like Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) backing it is no small endorsement either. As a preview of what you can expect from 9 at the ‘Con this year, check out a few words from Tim Burton and some new stills from the film: Said Tim Burton in a recent interview with MTV News:

I just love the texture and stop-motion feel to [the film]…I know animation is broadening its horizons but this just felt different… I liked the world that [Acker] created and the texture. It felt like a different type of animated film. The visuals were helping to create the story. I just felt very in tune with the look and feel of it.

Our goal as producers—if you see someone you like, you don’t want to suppress them—the goal was to create an environment where [Acker] can do his thing…My attitude is always to give suggestions and if he uses them fine, if not, okay. We wanted this to be grounded and slightly realistic in the similar vein to stop-motion, let the film breathe. We wanted it to have mystery and let it breathe.

The panel for 9 at Comic-Con will include Burton, co-producer Bekmambetov, creator/director Shane Acker and stars Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly, who voice the characters of “9” and “7” respectively. In regards to what fans can expect from the panel, Burton hinted, “Probably a sequence or two.”

The panel for 9 will take place on Friday, July 24th from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. See you there.

If you can’t make it to Comic-Con but want to see more of 9, check out some stills below, which were released exclusively to a few lucky websites by Focus Features:

9 still 2009 Comic Con Preview: Shane Ackers 9

"9" vs. a Tech Beast


9 still 2 2009 Comic Con Preview: Shane Ackers 9

"5" and "6" in peril


9 still 3 2009 Comic Con Preview: Shane Ackers 9

"9" holds the key to life


9 still 4 2009 Comic Con Preview: Shane Ackers 9

"9" and "7" on the run

For better looks at the pics, head over to MTV, EW, The Anime Blog & Buzznet. If all these numbers are confusing you, get to know the characters of 9 (dolls 1-9) by going here.

‘9 will be in theaters on 9-9-09.  The 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International will take place from July 23-26th.

Source: MTV & io9

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