Two sequels shared San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H Friday afternoon.
It’s hard to tell which caused more excitement: Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to the ultra-violent surprise superhero hit of 2010; or Riddick, the long-awaited continuation of the Pitch Black saga.
Attending the Kick-Ass 2 panel were director Jeff Wadlow, writer Mark Millar, artist John Romita, Jr., and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Cristopher Mintz-Plasse.
Interesting in his absence was star Jim Carrey, who has chosen not to support the movie in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. The moderator, cast and crew all seem to have respected this choice, because no reference was made to it during the entire panel.
When asked how he felt about getting to work on this movie, Wadlow answered “I felt like I won the fanboy lottery.”
Taylor-Johnson, looking a little overwhelmed by the crowd, was really impressed with the script. “It was a page turner, I was cracking up laughing. It was emotional, and it took these characters through a wild kind of journey, really complex, and brought these characters to a whole new level, and I was super excited for it.”
Mintz-Plasse talked about working with his acting coach for a full month before filming in order to prepare for such a dark role. In addition, he was filming a TV show in Los Angeles at the same time, so he was flying back and forth between London and LA all during filming.
“So I didn’t have much time to fully prepare,” he said, referring to his fight scene with Taylor-Johnson.
I would land in London, go straight to set, learn the fight that day, and then shoot it that night, whereas Aaron’s been doing one-armed push-ups for three months and is totally prepared and kicked my ass.
Chloe Grace Moretz, in Boston but speaking to the panel via satellite link, spoke about Hit-Girl facing life as a high-schooler. “What she realizes is that, whether it’s a drug dealer on the streets and a murderer, or a bad girl at school who is hating on these poor kids, she has to bring justice to the situation, and she realizes that Mindy Macready and Hit-Girl are the same person.”
The three newcomers to the film were then brought on stage: Lindy Booth, Donald Faison and John Leguizamo. Faison received by far the biggest applause from the audience.
When asked if he would even consider directing a Kick-Ass 3, Wadlow said he’s been so focused on making Kick-Ass 2 he hasn’t even had time to consider what would come next. “So much of why we all wanted to make this movie was to push these characters as far as we could. Mark and John did a brilliant job of that in the comic, and we just wanted to take it even further in the film. So we’ve been so focused on this journey I haven’t started to think about what Kick-Ass 3 would be. We wanted to go so much further beyond what you’d expect from a sequel. This is not a rinse-and-repeat sequel where we just have the characters do the same thing again, we put ’em through a meat grinder.”
Before the panel closed Donald Paison added “Aaron and I had a fight scene where we get to fight a bunch of people. We shot it in Toronto, and we did it in five hours. I remember the next day I slept for about 24 hours, and he went to work the next day and had to do more, which, the one armed push-up shit, that’s real.”
The next movie featured that hour was the long-awaited continuation of the Pitch Black saga, Riddick. Writer/director David Twohy was joined by stars Katee Sackhoff and Vin Diesel to answer questions about the movie.
While Sackhoff received enthusiastic applause, the audience went predictably wild when Vin Diesel took the stage.
Twohy said, as this was an independently made movie “and we knew we wouldn’t have all the money in the world” that he and Diesel decided a survival story would be the way to go.
Twohy, in describing Sackhoff’s mercenary character Dahl, said she came to the planet hunting Riddick, but she comes to realize that “while he may be the most dangerous thing on the planet, he is not the worst thing on the planet.”
When asked what he thinks drives his character Riddick, Diesel replied that “he’s driven by some quest for identity. We’re introduced to this character in Pitch Black, and he’s kind of mocking where he comes from for his own amusement. And we, throughout the mythology, learn more about who he is and where’s he’s from.”
Sackhoff said she loved her character Dahl, “how strong she was, that she didn’t really apologize for anything. I don’t see a weakness in her, and that’s something I haven’t played before. I usually play a vulnerability with a character, and with Dahl there was no vulnerability, other than that she was a woman. I loved it, I loved the script, I loved the idea of it, and I got to shoot really big guns.”
Photography by Hillary Papirio