This morning, the Beat has *front row* access in Hall H! What does Warner Bros have in store? The cast of Justice League and Aquaman are expected to make an appearance, along with presentations for Blade Runner 2049 and Ready Player One.
Hang with us for a couple of hours today and we’ll keep you abreast of any big reveals!!
- We’ve got about 15 minutes before the show is off to the races. We have to put the phones down for any video that gets shown, but we’ll do our best to describe what we see.
- I have a feeling we’re going to get a repeat of last year’s hall-surrounding cyclorama style screen.
- Unrelated: word of Iron Fist changing showrunners is the talk of the first couple of rows.
- We are seated near some very excited folks. 10 minutes to go!
- You can follow along with Heidi’s tweets at @comixace and Alex is in the photo-pit, so expect some beautiful shots of my boyfriend Jason Momoa.
- We’ve been warned there’s gonna be smoke headed our way. What is gonna happen?????
- And the final announcement ahead of the panel is being relayed. It’s happening!!!
- Out comes the director of programming for the show
- Chris Hardwick is introduced on stage as the moderator for the panel, after a trachea shaking intro. I’m still recovering.
- We get a super retro intro for Ready Player One, and out comes Ernest Cline and Steven Spielberg
- Spielberg called the book the most amazing flashforward and flashback that he had ever experienced. And that the creation of the virtual world from the book took two years.
- And next comes a bit of footage that will gave a quick look at the film. A very dystopian Columbus Ohio where Tye Sheridan’s lead character escapes into the virtual world that’s populated with a ton of pop culture figures (I spotted the Iron Giant and Freddy Krueger). There was an especially great segment at the end timed to Rush’s Tom Sawyer that gave way to a race sequence. CGI looks a little early days but that may be intentional.
- And the cast joins!
- There’s an interesting discussion about the virtual characters that each actor had to inhabit for the film kicked off by Olivia Cooke.
- Ernest Cline thinks the film looks better than anything he had imagined with the book. And believes the film will kick off new interest in virtual reality.
- Also Ben Mendelssohn shares his praises for their director. “When you turn up for work, and your boss is Steven Spielberg…” etc
- In a response to an audience question, Cline feels like the Arthur C Clarke of virtual reality, though he also notes that he stands on the shoulders of people like William Gibson and Neal Stephenson
- For another question, Spielberg says that he opted to not include any of his own past work in the film, despite its 80’s reverence, or he would have had to defer to another director.
- Spielberg does also say that the Iron Giant plays a major role in the movie.
- Next up is Blade Runner 2049
- We were treated a super cool presentation that laid out the timeline of the sequel, taking place 30 or so years after the original film. Replicants had been prohibited due to a worldwide blackout. Thanks to the efforts of Jared Leto’s character, the prohibition had been lifted but humans and replicants live in two very differing societies.
- Leto can’t be here but in a wild twist, he appeared virtually
- And out comes the cast
- When asked why he took the film, director Denis Villeneuve said “I didn’t want anyone else to f*ck it up.”
- Gosling said of the original film, that it was one of the first movies he’d ever seen that left him unsure about how he should feel, particularly with its moral ambiguity.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.