Marvel, Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Disney, The Weinstein Company and possibly other major studios may have bowed out of the Comic-Con game this year, so while that's sadface time for the fanboys, it's good news for anyone who wants to see something a little left of center. One already odd choice is Steven Soderbergh, who will be in attendance for the first time with Gina Carano for his action spy thriller, "Haywire." Now you can add a way bigger wtf: Francis Ford Coppola will be there, according to a press release.
Does this mean we should be expecting something extra-weird and strange from Coppola's "Twixt Now and Sunrise," the third film in his forget-wine-I'm-making-films-again renaissance? Hell yes.. Starring Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning and Ben Chaplin, we know it has parts shot in 3D, will have a killer score (more on that later) and Coppola describes the film as, “one part Gothic romance, one part personal film, and one part the kind of horror film that began my career” (and Dern has described it as a murder mystery with parts of the dialogue spoken in rhyme wtfx2!).
When Coppola speaks of his early horror films, he is of course referring to films like "Dementia 13" and "The Terror," pictures he did for Roger Corman's AIP studios. With a Halloween release already being eyed, this may not be like anything we've seen from Coppola in recent years (sorry, we're purposely forgetting "Bram Stoker's Dracula" exists).
Meanwhile, Coppola seems to have fallen in love with American electronic musician Dan Deacon. Deacon is composing the film's score (no shit), and part of the Comic-Con presentation will include Deacon, who will help demonstrate the interactive experience of the film.
'Twixt' follows three self-imposed mandates that Coppola requires in all of his new work: his own original story and screenplay, some personal element, and be self-financed. Based on some crazy dream he had, this one is going to be one to watch regardless if it's a full on success or not. Like "Tetro," it may be an uneven picture that takes risks (see those color Fellini-like sequences that didn't really work), but is ultimately worthwhile.
Here's the official 'Twixt' synopsis: A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He's unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.
Incidentally, in case you're wondering, Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" is also skipping Comic-Con. With a March 23, 2012 release date already locked in place and a production that just started a few weeks ago, Lionsgate is probably learning from the mistakes of studios that showed early, weak and rushed footage to fans that started an early backlash instead of an early buzz (see "Green Lantern").
What is at Comic-Con? So far it's Tarsem's "Immortals," "The Raven," "Shark Night 3D," an early entire look at Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens," the indie genre film "Bellflower," "Fright Night" and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1.” Films expected to have some presence include "The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” and more. Fans are cogently speculating the lack of Marvel and Disney means that most of Marvel's announcements will be at the D23 expo in Anaheim in August, now that the super-hero studio is under the Mickey Mouse umbrella.