Today's panel for Sony Pictures in the massive (but not big enough) Hall H began when director Ruben Fleischer was introduced on stage with his first task to present a brand new exclusive Zombieland trailer "just for Comic-Con."
The trailer began and it was awesome. The entire crowd was having a blast and enjoying a few good laughs. This trailer showed off some really great shots (some repeated from the first trailer), we saw some slow-motion zombie kills, comedic gore scenes, great character moments and Woody Harrelson dual-wielding Chainsaws. Win!
After the trailer, we were introduced to the key cast members which included Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson who all joined Fleischer on stage for the panel.
They started the discussion by talking about what brought them to this movie and their thoughts on their first roles in the zombie genre - which was worrisome to the cast members except for Emma Stone who thought it was pretty cool to begin with. Her favorite part was being able to use a gun which she quickly fell in love - with the training, they said she's a great shot.
As for Woody and Jesse, once they read the script, they couldn't put it down and I'm happy they didn't because they are both fantastic in their roles from what we've seen so far.
Next, they played a clip for the crowd which depicted Jesse Eisenberg's character having his first Zombie experience. A hot girl from down the hall banged on his door frantically as she screamed for help. He let her in to comfort her, hearing her story about being attacked by some crazed man... who she later reveals tried to bite her.
After some funny narrative dialogue by Jesse's character, we see them wake up from their little nap on the couch and to no surprise, the no-longer-attractive crush of his had turned undead and went on a rampage after him... and the hilarity ensued.
Later, they moved into Q&A which was unfortunately loaded with audience members asking awkward and non-entertaining questions about what they'd do in real life zombie situations or what weapon they'd use, blah blah, etc..
One of the questions asked what their favorite way to take out a zombie was. Here are their responses:
Woody: Chainsaw (quick response)
Emma: butt to head with a shotgun resulting in an 80 foot fall
Jesse: some crazy amusement park contraption (I didn't get what he was saying)
Ruben: The infamous zombie kill of the week from the trailers: piano drop
All of the panelists said their inspiration was the script which was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. As for their favorite zombie movies (which they seemed to know little or nothing about), Emma Stone likes Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, director Reuben loves Shaun of the Dead, saying that "It certainly nails zombie comedies."
Woody Harrelson started his response by saying "You know, zombie movies really scare the %#@* out of me." His choice is 28 Days Later after some help from the others on stage - He couldn't think of the name but said after that "was a sleepless night after." Jesse also said 28 Days Later but clarified jokingly saying he's scared of every movie, especially Shrek.
One of the speakers asked about the Bill Murray rumor and whether or not he'd be appearing in the movie. His follow up question was "If so, how can they use him to take out a zombie?" which generated some laughter from the hordes of people in attendance.
"I can confirm that there is a rumor about Bill Murray. I don't know about the last part."
He also answered another question about a potential sequel:
"There'd be at least 3-4 probably. It'd be nice for steady work."
After this, we were treated to another scene where Woody and Jesse meet the two girls followed by a series of different sequences of the movie. The best scene here was a snippet of Woody on a roller coaster ride shooting targets (zombies) as he rides with the camera following from behind.
Overall, this was a fun and excellent panel to observe. Everyone had a great time and I think this will be a big hit. For me, this is a perfect film for what it attempts to do and it's certainly on my must-watch list.
Zombieland opens October 9, 2009. Check it out!
The second half of the Sony Pictures panel featured Roland Emerich's 2012 - Check it out!