Update: The Red band (see: rated R) trailer shown during the panel was released Monday afternoon, with lots of Jessica Alba, lots of spraying white blood, death, destruction, and general Sin City mayhem. Take a look right here.
Original Panel Recap: Frank Miller and company are back at Comic-Con International: San Diego, with the latest news and previews on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the second film iteration of the franchise.
Geoff Boucher moderated the panel, and introduced Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller to start things off.
"It used to be that there was a lot you had to do to bring a comic to the screen. Rather than looking at this as taking a book and making it a movie, we wanted to adapt film into Frank's book," Rodriguez said.
"I think comic book movies that have been coming out have been getting better because they're closer to the source material," said Miller. "It's a different thing to take a character and throw him into a board room full of people who think comics are crap and have them turn it into something that proves they can be."
Asked about his penchant for deconstruction, Miller talked about when he started work on Sin City. "Becasue of my work on Batman and other projects, I was invited to be a screenwriter. But there were too many bosses, I wasn't happy at all. So I moved away, sat down, and decided to create the comic book that could not be adapted into movies, and that was Sin City."
Rodriguez said, "Yeah, and now I go to him and say 'Hey I think this is really cool, I want to turn it into a movie.'" Miller conceded, "This crazy Texan showed me how to do it."
The story "Just Another Saturday Night" kicks off the film, and Hall H was treated to footage of the adaptation. Marv is back, emerging from a car crash. The syle is all there, including the black and white with little splashes of red. Jessica Alba as Nancy is dancing while Marv's noir monologue continues.
Marv slowly but surely recalls what happened on his "Just another Saturday Night." There are some new styles, with action sequences happening around Marv's head while he's talking.
Cast came out next, led by Rosario Dawson aka Gail. Josh Brolin, playing Dwight McCarthy. Nancy as played by Jessica Alba came out last.
Along with A Dame to Kill For and Another Saturday Night, there's an "original story for Nancy. People will be pleasantly suprised to see her turn into a warrior," Alba said.
Brolin joked, "I wanted to play Nancy but itdidn't work out." He was drawn to Miller and Rodriguez's work. "You don't necessarily know it connects with you until you're into it. I've known Robert for 20 years and we've worked together. Finally, you're working with two iconoclasts who are unapologetically themselves. I think the way Robert really dives into what's created makes this different from other adaptations."
Dawson toalked about the way the city is segmented, and you see the geography of it more in this movie. "It makes it more of a real place. You think maybe I'll turn the corner and go there, or I'll see these people."
Frank Miller helped coach the actors on how to deliver certain lines. Dawson said it was so helpful and she loves how the unique language "makes it come alive."
Rodriguez calls his role "the facilitator, more than a director. I made sure, right from the start of the first one, that it was always called "Frank Miller's Sin City" to make sure people knew whose vision this was."
"This is a huge cast. These people really bring these characters to life. Eva Green does an incredible job as The Dame. It's taken a long time to get to the screen, but it wouldn't have worked any other time but now. We started shooting before we had the whole thing cast!" The Director said that the performances are "100 times better than the first film, because everyone knows what they're doing now."
There are scenes between Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin - but they shot them completely separately, due to shooting schedules.
Asked about the difference between working on Sin City and Batman, Miller said that he "gets really protective of any character I work on. But it's different when you're creating something whole cloth.
"Something that emerged when we were working on the second movie was that the whole world had gotten used to the world of Sin City and the way that it was. The cast was more comfortable with the dialogue I had written and such. When Jessica showed up to shoot, she was already in character - my first thought when I saw Jessica was, 'I haven't seen her in 8 years, how did I piss her off?'. When Rosario showed up she was so ready I had almost nothing to say, I just said "Try on the executioner mask."
Dawson wasn't supposed to do anything to her hair because she was working on another movie, but after one day of shooting trying to do work arounds, she shaved it herself because "she didn't want anyone to think she didn't bring it this time," Rodriguez said.
He praised Alba as well, saying, "It's one of the great transformations in this film."
Powers Boothe is "one scary mofo," Alba said, and "Eva Green is a scary, awesome lady."
Rodriguez knew they wanted to do "A Dame to Kill For" as a second film (after they skipped it the first time). The brand new stories that Frank created for the film are "a great thrill. Frank would draw original story boards, sometimes ahead of time, sometimes right on the set." The director loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt's work in helping create this new character.
Miller said, "One of the storyboards, I had to draw an action pose for Jessica. I drew the way I draw, but I thought it was this unrealistic and impossible pose. I look on the stage and there she is in the exact pose, and I asked her how she was doing that. She just said to me, 'I do what you draw, Frank.'"
Fan Q&A went next.
Miller said he's been happy with the adaptations of his work, as the directors he's worked with have made it so close to the original intention.
The actors had various styles and levels of preparation. Mickey would sit and listen to Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" before every scene. Alba used an acting coach.
Miller really likes watching the scenes between two actors with the green screen - he said it seems to make them much more intense. Rodriguez agreed that it helped make them trust their instinct more. "I would take them in the back and teach them to paint - even when they thought they couldn't, and then I made them paint these portraits of their characters to help get more in touch with them." Yes, those paintings will get released to the public.
They actually shoot the film in color, then strip away the color, and then put some in. "We have a different use of color even than the first film," said Rodriguez.
"Robert and I are already talking about Sin City 3," said Miller, "So you better show up to number two or they won't give us money for it."
Any plans for another Sin City graphic novel? "Inevitably," said Miller. "I have a stack of stories I want to do. What year? I'm not sure."
"Martha Washington on the big screen or somewhere... it's going to happen, but it has to be done right. And this time I'm going to be a prick, it will be done my way," Miller said of another of his properties.
Dennis Haybert is playing the role Michael Clarke Duncan did in the first one, and Rodriguez said "he does a great job to play that part for his friend, and also to play the role the way Frank created it."
Another clip was played, a montage of scenes from the film. Nancy gets some noir monologue of her own this time. Scenes from the comics are juxtaposed with their live versions. There is some really vicious violence, and incredibly creative use of color and style.