Peter Jackson showed more than 12 minutes of footage from his two Hobbit films to close out an extravagant Warner Bros / Legendary Pictures presentation in Hall H on Saturday (14).
Earlier in the day Quentin Tarantino talked up Django Unchained for The Weinstein Company and refused to be drawn on whether there would be a third Kill Bill film.
The first part of Jackson’s epic, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will open on Dec 14 in North America day-and-date with most international territories heading into the holiday period.
The Hobbit: There And Back Again, based on an original bridging story that leads into the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, will open a year later.
Jackson showed 12-and-a-half minutes in 24 frames per second (after a mixed response to his 48 frames per second footage at CinemaCon in April) and dispelled rumours that he might one day adapt JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. “That is owned by the Tolkien Estate and they don’t like the [Lord Of The Ring] movies so probably no,” the New Zealander told the crowd.
Stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis clearly enjoyed the adulation and Serkis paid fulsome tribute to Jackson and close collaborators Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh for giving him the opportunity to not only revisit the Gollum role but act as second unit director.
Earlier in the presentation Guillermo del Toro, who incidentally shares a screenwriting credit on both Hobbit films, showed first footage from his Jul 13 2013 action epic Pacific Rim, in which giant robots battle giant monsters.
This was one of two films from Warner Bros partner Legendary Pictures. CEO Thomas Tull also showed a specially created teaser for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla remake and introduced the British director of Monsters by describing him as a genius.
British actor Henry Cavill spoke about his role as Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel, set to open on Jun 14 2013. Snyder introduced footage and remained coy about the villain, although it is no secret that Michael Shannon portrays General Zod.
When asked who would prevail in a fight between Christopher Nolan’s Batman and his Superman, Snyder replied: “Batman’s awesome, but really?”
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis changed the tone when they took to the stage to talk up their roles as rival politicians in Jay Roach’s comedy The Campaign, due out on Aug 10.
Earlier in the day Quentin Tarantino and the key cast from Django Unchained excluding Samuel Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio regaled attendees with stories about the making of Tarantino’s homage to the spaghetti Western. The Weinstein Company will open the film on Dec 25.
Attendees watched the industry sizzle reel and heard Jamie Foxx and Christoph Walz discuss their on-screen relationship. Waltz plays a dentist turned bounty hunter who frees Foxx from a chain gang and shows the latter the benefits of his newfound trade.
When asked about his next project, Tarantino said: “I’m not sure if there’s going to be a Kill Bill 3. I was always going to wait 10 years so we will see what happens.”
In a panel dedicated to Open Road Films, Michael Pena and director David Ayer spoke about the process of filming police thriller End Of Watch, which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal who was unable to attend due to filming commitments.
Ayer said financier and international sales agent Exclusive had been “fantastic” in granting him the freedom to make the film and allowing him to have final cut.
Open Road will open End Of Watch on Sept 28. Attendees also saw footage of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which Open Road releases on Oct 26.