Big Hero 6 and Tomorrowland are two anticipated films from Disney, and they're breaking silence on both films Thursday at New York Comic Con to kick off the convention.
Chris Hardwick took the stage to a near standing ovation from the very excited crowd, ready to moderate the panel. "Getting through this building - Javitz is like a Habitrail. But we're here, we're very excited, and there's a lot of stuff we're going to show you."
Directosr Don Hall, Chris Williams, and producer Roy Conli took the stage to talk about their film.
"I pitched Big Hero 6 right after coming to a New York Comic Con a few years ago, and I got to hold Cap's shield," Hall said. "We're super stoked to be here. This is a dream project for me. I grew up loving two things more than anything: Marvel Comics and Disney Animation."
Hall gave a shoutout to the original comic book creators of Big Hero 6, Man of Action's Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle, and then thanked Joe Quesada for his help throughout the film's development. The CCO of Marvel Comics was heavily involved, according to the director.
Big Hero 6 takes place in San Fransokyo, a mash-up of the two cities as implied. The story is "about a young genius named Hiro, who starts off using his genius in back-alley robot fights. His brother wants him to use his talents for something more. He brings him to his school to try to inspire him into going down a more positive path with his talents," Williams said. An exclusive clip was shown next.
The clip shows Hiro at the technology school his brother attends, where he meets the rest of the cast, and they each show off their specialties.
Baymax's introduction drew lots of laughs, as well as several "Awwwwws."
Lots of applause. Then the voices of Go Go, Honey Lemon, and Fred; Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, and TJ Miller respectively took the stage.
"We just saw the movie two days ago - just seeing the Disney logo made me tear up," Rodriguez said. "I was actually on a robotic team in High School so this role was so me!"
Miller joked that his battlebot's power would be to "curl up in the fetal position."
Chung described Go Go as "dry, and sarcastic, pretty tough - she has a soft side you'll see in the film, but it's rare."
The cast recorded about a year ago, and Williams joked that "we didn't let them improvise at all," before giving them credit for really bringing a lot to the characters.
"To speak to the process, it is weird," Miller said. "You're in a room on your own, and it feels like a vaccuum, but you can see them laughing, but it's silent, so it's so weird. You'll do 50 different versions of a line, and they're standing there staring at you. Like Chris said, most of the best lines came from us," he said with a laugh. "It's really amazing to see it as the story is developing, record, and then see what it is a year and a half later, what you guys have just seen, it's incredible."
Miller said, "I've always wanted to work with Marvel and with Disney, so seeing those two logos come up at the start of the movie, I feinted for the first third of the movie." While the promo materials so far haven't said much about Marvel, the panelists are mentioning its origins quite a bit.
Another clip was shown featuring Baymax when he's on a low charge, which basically makes him act drunk.
Lots of laughs.
Hiro and Baymax took the stage next, Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit.
Adsit said, "it's very strange to be up here right now, because I try to get into this room every year for the past several years." The actor is a big comic book fan. "I don't have the stamina that you guys do to wait in line. Being central to a movie like this is mind-blowing. I really can't believe it. I thank these guys, because I've been a fan for so long. To be up here with these amazing actors and amazing film makers is a thrill."
"I come to Comic Con, and I wait in line! I go see people that I admire, get sketches - I've never gotten in this room before. I'm just really excited," Adsit said earnestly.
Potter said that "Hiro is a lot smarter than I am, and a lot better looking than I am," where Miller interrupted to say, "He's right!"
Potter then continued, "He is a genius, but he needs to be put on the right path. You'll see how he's doing something illegal then becomes really a good kid. You'll see it in the film."
A third clip was shown featuring Baymax being altered into the "armored weaponized warrior," as Williams said.
Hiro develops the prototype armor, then programs Baymax to know Karate. Again, lots of laughs. Virtually everything Baymax said or did drew laughter from the crowd.
After applause, they showed one more clip, with the whole future team running from the new villain, who stole "microbot" technology from Hiro - there's your reason why Hiro feels so motivated to take him down.
The chaase sequence teased in the trailers was the full scene shown, and the most action-packed one yet. Baymax still had a couple of laugh-inducing one-liners though. Again, copious applause.
A little skit was done, with Baymax scanning the crowd, zooming in on a man cosplaying with an axe in his head. "You have a hatchet buried into your skull!" Applause and laughs at the skit.
One final clip before it was time to switch over to Tomorrowland. The last one was a full third trailer - again, it now starts out with "Inspired by the Marvel Comics Series."
Next up was Tomorrowland, "which has been very secretive," Hardwick said. Producer Damon Lindelof and Director Brad Bird took the stage.
Lindelof started talking about the genesis of the film. "I was having lunch with the president of Disney live action, and talking about what a Disney movie could be. We looked at Pirates of the Carribean and how it surprised me that a movie could be made out of a theme park ride, so I said, "If I was to make one, I'd make it out of Tomorrowland. If someone like Brad Bird could direct it, I'd go see that movie!' He said, 'Do you know Brad Bird?' and I said, 'I do not!' Then we got this box full of stuff from Disney and the Imagineers, and started going through it and thinking about making a movie out of it."
"We met and started talking about it, and it just clicked," Bird said. "Not showing anything has worked so well for us!" he said, then showed a teaser poster for the 2015 release. And then: a clip, the first "coming attraction" teaser footage of Tomorrowland!
A young woman played by Britt Robertson is picking up her belongings out of some kind of holding cell. There's a pin with her stuff, and when she touches it, she teleports to a special hidden land - she's standing in a wheat field and there's a huge futuristic city in the background. "What if there was a place, a miraculous place..." George Clooney says in voicover in the background. "You wanna go?" Someone flies by in a jetpack and it's out on May 22, 2015.
"So clearly, there's this pin, that this young woman Casey finds. We were inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where there's this vision and then you go towards that," Lindelof said, careful not to spoil anything.
Bird says Casey is "someone who might need the pin at that moment, because the future is not so bright." Lindelof said, "and she's been given that pin by a character named Athena, who we won't be saying anything else about."
Raffey Cassidy who plays Athena, Britt Robertson (Casey), and Hugh Laurie (David Nix) took the stage.
Cassidy said Athena is "a good character because she's helping people - but she's not really good because she does things for her own reasons."
Laurie said of David Nix when asked the same question, "Oh, I'm a good character" while staring scarily at the fans. "I can say nothing. I got involved because these two fine gentlemen at the end of the table asked if they could give me a story they had to tell. They described to me an attitude, a way of thinking about life and the future that had never occured to me. I had never heard anyone articulate this idea. I left that meeting thinking these guys were onto something really exceptional, something powerful and uplifting.
"And I'm not an easily uplifted person, becasue I'm English! It was really an amazing meeting. A few weeks later I read the script under the beady eyes of an armed man, I think he was armed. I'm still fascinated to know how it ends," he joked. "It was really terrific."
Laurie said, "My mind was duly boggled, it's such an amazing story."
Robertson said, "I can tell you that Casey is roughly 17, I am a high school student. I am a dreamer, and I am recruited by someone to explore Tomorrowland, and I'm done. I'm so scared to say anything wrong!"
The young Cassidy similarly danced around her character description. "She can be thoughtful..." and Lindelof leaned in to tell whisper to her what she could say. "She's extremely optimistic, and she knows karate," she said with a smile, then Lindelof covered the mic.
Asked about working with Clooney, Cassidy said, "he's very fun and funny." Robertson said, "he dances a lot! He kept us dancing." Here's the teaser trailer!
Laurie said that Clooney wouldn't play music and dance with him. "He's not here so that frees me up to say a few things. He's looked at as this saint. There's no mention of the drinking, the shouting. He's lying about his age - he's 75..." and Clooney took the stage, crept up and hugged Laurie while the crowd gave a standing ovation.
"Thank you, Hugh," Clooney said over the screams. "It is not lost on me that I'm spending my honeymoon at Comic Con," he said to laughs. "But it's good to see you all."
Clooney said to Lindelof and Bird, "That teaser trailer was it? Isn't there more?" and asked the crowd, "Do you feel overhyped?" It's Clooney's first Comic Con (at any comic con) "I think after my role as Batman, I was disinvited from any comic con for 20 years." Hardwick deadpanned, "No one is saying that... out loud!"
Clooney said he met Adam West here today and just said to him, "I'm really sorry."
Asked about making the movie, he said, "it was really fun. Hugh and I got to hang out in the Bahamas - two former television doctors!" to applause. "We got to see the world, have a lot of fun, work with really great people. Wait, really, that's all they're gonna see? Just that minute? I'm barely in the teaser! I have to say, I'm a big star," he kept pestering Lindelof. "It's my first Comic Con, I have to show up with something."
Lindelof said, "If we're going ot show something, it should have large amounts of you in it." Clooney replied, "Well yeah."
And a new scene of Tomorrowland was shown, exclusive to the panel.
Casey hops a fence with the name "Walker" on the mailbox. There are cameras everywhere. Casey goes to the door, knocks, and says, "I want you to take me there. To the place I saw when I touched THIS!" and shows him the pin. Clooney's Walker comes out of the house after blasting her with some kind of soundwave. "You're not supposed to do anything. You ahve been manipulated into thinking you're part of something incredible. Like you're special. You're not."
"So that's a no?" she says." The next shot is of her sitting crouched in the door in the rain. She sets fire to a tractor and starts driving it toward his house. Walker is an inventer of some sort. He uses a hyper-charged fire extinguisher to freeze the whole tractor in place, and she gets into his house, locks the door, and blasts him with the sound gun.
There's a room with TVs everywhere showing civil unrest and natural disasters - and a countdown.
Someone comes, looking robotic and smiling, saying, "You are now harboring a fugitive element. You have one minute to comply." A second one joins him in attacking. A third one comes in and his head gets blown off by one of Walker's traps - yup, robots. They continu trying to get to Walker and Casey. His whole house is one big series of inventions and booby traps. One of the robots refers to "Governor Nix," so it sounds like Laurie is the bad guy after all.
Walker and Casey rocket away in a rocket-powered bathtub, and that's that!
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for tons more from NYCC 2014!