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Comic-Con: Video and Art Round Up, Del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 23, 2010 at 9:08AM

Check out some of new trailers and teaser clips revealed at the Con. Here's a compilation of visuals for Tron: Legacy, Megamind, RED, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Johnnie Depp made an amusing video appearance at the Disney panel Thursday, promoing the 3-D pursuit of the Fountain of Youth.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Check out some of new trailers and teaser clips revealed at the Con. Here's a compilation of visuals for Tron: Legacy, Megamind, RED, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Johnnie Depp made an amusing video appearance at the Disney panel Thursday, promoing the 3-D pursuit of the Fountain of Youth.

At the Hard Rock I ran into Tron producer Sean Bailey, who seemed relieved that his baby went over well at Hall H. He's now Disney's head of production, trying to figure out how to play the game at a time when no one knows what the rules are anymore. One good sign: talking Guillermo del Toro into directing Haunted Mansion. Del Toro was working at Miramax on Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, that he also introduced at Comic-Con, probably the most promising footage I've seen here. Bailey wanted Del Toro because he brings authenticity, he said, knowing that the Eddie Murphy adaptation carried negative baggage. Del Toro happened to respond enthusiastically. Shock Till You Drop has the official poster.

This one will have to be PG-13 though, as opposed to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which scared the bejeezus out of me. It's based on an old TV movie that Del Toro chased down rights to and developed over many years, trying to hang on to freedom from studio interference. He hired an animator-turned-director, Troy Nixey, who had sent him a short to see.

Thompson on Hollywood

Del Toro encourages artists to send him things to look at--shorts or art work--as opposed to scripts, which he often doesn't read. Nixey can't believe his good fortune, that Del Toro liked his short and offered him this movie and surrounded him with strong support. But it's Del Toro's vision that is being executed, although he respected Nixey's visual acumen. Del Toro talked about the genre of horror mythology this story comes from, like changelings: this one features an ash pit in a dark basement full of nasty creatures which are trying to pull people down into their world. One startling image of a young girl crawling under a sheet to see what's moving when a hideous head pops into the frame haunts me. And then there's period footage from a prologue about a man being pulled into the dark pit under the house. Scary.

Tron: Legacy The newest trailer shows a shot of the young Jeff Bridges, the age he was in the original Tron. Also included: light discs cutting people in half and a spooky arcade.

Megamind Will Ferrell plays a blue-skinned cartoon villain that manages to kill the hero, Metro Man (voiced by Brad Pitt). With absolute power comes ennui.

Summit's new RED trailer shows fast-paced action sequences, and more lines from the drug-addled ex-CIA agent played by John Malkovich. This looks promising, mainly due to its stellar cast.


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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Johnny Depp appears in costume and dreadlocked to promise zombies in the next installment. Zombies + pirates = ?

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Studios, Video, Marketing, Guillermo Del Toro, Comic-Con, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Action, Johnny Depp, Summit, Disney


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.