The second panel in Hall H at Comic-Con International: San Diego saw Legendary Pictures taking the stage with a mystery slate of films.
Moderator Jessica Chobot brought out CEO Thomas Tull to the stage, and he introduced a video message of Godzilla director Gareth Edwards "who is locked up in a galaxy far, far away."
"We get to make another one! But first I need a break from the pressure of working on a major franchise, so I'm here in San Francisco doing a little scifi film (a Star Wars one)." Yes, Edwards will be back to direct Godzilla 2, he confirmed.
Next came a bit of teaser footage showing warfare and "A secret remains hidden. There are OTHERS." A flying monster - yup, it's MOTHRA confrimed for the sequel. GHIDORAH confirmed for the sequel. "Conflict inevitable... Let. Them. Fight."
"Now we have more monsters to play with and we're excited about," Tull said, "Thank you Comic-Con, it all started here and we can't wait to show you more."
Next, Chobot introduced As Above, So Below trailer. The story takes place under Paris in the catacombs, and has a very documentary-style feel to the shots. A group of explorers gets stuck under ground and start to discover hidden tunnels and rooms, where things start going very wrong. "Your past will haunt you. Your fears will torment you. Your sins will punish you." Holy crap that's some terrifying footage.
John and Drew Dowdle took the stage and said the "Catacombs of Paris are awesome - 200 miles, six stories of twisting corridors. It's pretty much the best place to put a horror."
There's a subversive subculture in Paris that "practically live in the Catacombs. People stay down there for weeks on end. We were actually the first production ever given permission to shoot in the off-limits areas of the catacombs."
Next out to talk about Black Hat was Michael Mann, in his first ever Comic-Con appearance. "Thank you so much for having me here, I've heard from my friends like Guillermo del Toro about how enthused everyone is and it's great to be here."
The new movie is working with a "large scale crime story" that is centered around the titular Black Hat hackers. "I started to do research and wanted to do a film about a black hat hacker in federal prison. I looked at who is this guy? What does he feel? What's his elevated experience? It was pretty stunning. I hung out with these guys, and they go into this zone of 7, 8 hours of coding. It's a kind of escapism, but in reverse. They don't escape into a fantasy or ficiton - the escape into a place with real impact in the physical world."
Mann introduced a teaser then, the "first view anyone has had of anything on this film."
"This isn't about money. This isn't about politics. I can target Anyone. Anything. Anywhere." says the voiceover. It's Chris Hemsworth as the hero, coming in from federal prison to help stop the hacker. He gets his hands dirty in some close up fights and action, too, though.
Chris Hemsworth then took the stage with lots of screaming female fans welcoming him.
"Out of my top 5 or ten movies, a lot of them come from Michael. There's no one who does precision and detail like him. To work with someone like that is the best experience I could have. It's intimidating. I've come to Michael a couple days and say, 'Maybe I could say this more something like that...' And he'll just stare at me. I go 'Okay, we'll do it the way you wrote it.' (laughs)"
Hemsworth said his character is very inteligent and interesting to play. Mann said that "Chris is a terrific actor and a terrific guy," before going into the plot a bit more. "It is amazing how the plot we came up with is now the world we're living in."
Rather than workouts like for Thor, Hemsworth had to learn how to type properly and "at least the basics of how to code. So I was talking about it all to this guy that was teaching me, and he said he could literally turn on my computer from over a network and turn on a camera in your computer or your phone, it was really scary!"
Black Hat (formerly "Cyber") comes out January 16, 2015.
Next is Crimson Peak and Guillermo del Toro, who got a huge pop from the crowd.
"After having such a great experience with Legendary on Pacific Rim, they came back - Universal had acquired a film very personal to me. Legendary said let's do it, the way you want it. I thought it was a perfect way to return to the genre. I urge you guys to check out the Gothic experience at the booth."
"You know, it's traditional for people to bring at Legendary panels something they say is "a little bit" and then it's this huge thing with soldiers coming out and bombarding your family, but we're a year and a half out, and this is really the little bit. Next year, we'll come back, and you'll get me and you'll get Tom f*cking Hiddleston! I have to tell you, Tom Hiddleston is the nicest f*cking guy on Earth. It used to be you could be the chubby guy who was nice and made jokes, or really good looking and an asshole, and this guy just breaks that all."
The sample footage del Toro brought played, with a door creeking open and monologue from Hiddleston. "A house as old as this one becomes in time a living thing." He got a big pop when appearing on screen. The house itself is the villain of the movie. Quick solo shots were shown in succession to further tease fans. Big applause for the October 2015 film.
While Hiddleston is in it, the lead is really Mia Wasikowska. "I wanted a movie with a female lead who wasn't just focused on her romance or whatever."
del Toro asked the audience two questions to answer to Legendary. "Number 1: Hellboy 3?" HUGE applause and cheers. "Number 2: The Mountains of Madness?" only slightly less cheers. "Okay, now it's f*cking over." and he left the stage.
Warcraft was up next, and director Duncan Jones took the stage. He says he's drawing from the 20 years of history and working with Blizzard to make it both very accessible to people new to the franchise, and fun for fans.
"It's a bit like trying to make Lord of the Rings and Avatar at the same time," and the movie isn't coming out until March 2016 because of it. They're layering a lot of CGI and "a whole fantasy world" over what they shot during principal photography. Footage ran next.
A hall of armors and weapons. There's a story being told from the perspective of both humans and orcs. There are items, and weapons pulled straight out of the games. A couple quick shots of action, and good applause.
Thomas Tull came back on stage to thank the panelists and to thank the fans who came, and to give them one more thing.
"I do want to say, del Toro posed a question, and I'll say, when he's done with Pacific Rim 2, we'll talk."
One more piece of footage was shown to close out the panel. It's a Skull Island teaser trailer, with King Kong featured last in the shot. This was the secret movie with Universal Pictures based on an established property Legendary teased several weeks back (the one some rumors pegged as a Namor movie).
"Prepare to explore the mysterious and dangerous Skull Island. In theaters November 4, 2016," Legendary tweeted after the panel, later adding in a press release: “Previous works have touched on the island, but staying and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions.”