Only at Comic-con do you get three terrific directors on one stage to talk about what they do.
Directors Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Edgar Wright (The World's End) and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) teamed up for a discussion of filmmaking at the Entertainment Weekly "Visionaries" panel in Hall H at Comic-Con on Thursday.
Moderator Anthony Breznican quizzed all three about the logistics and challenges of making their respective movies. Cuaron spoke about making a film in which his two leads -- Sandra Bullock and George Clooney -- are floating for the entire time. He also spoke about the difficulty of shooting the final battle scene in his classic Children of Men, which was done with as little editing or cutting as possible: "We could only do two takes a day ... on the last day, we had one more shot to get before losing the location, and I thought I was looking at the end of my career."
Cuaron also said that Gravity isn't finished yet ("one day I'll finish it") but that he hopes to make a horror movie next.
Webb spoke about why he likes Spider-Man so much, saying that he loves that the character has everyday concerns about life but then has to go off and "fight gods." He also explained that he was fascinated with using Electro (Jamie Foxx) as the main villain because he loved the idea of a character who could "disappear into electricity."
Webb added that he likes to keep the set loose and allow his actors to improvise: "I enjoy being surprised by what the actors do that is different from what I expected. I try to create an environment where happy accidents can happen every day."
He also hinted that there's "more of the Spider-Man universe" to explore (does that mean he's going to make TAS 3 and 4 as well?), but that he has a physical comedy film he'd like to make at some point.
Meanwhile, Wright discussed staging the fight scenes in The World's End (in which five old friends reunite for a pub crawl in their hometown and end up battling an alien invasion) in such a way that there's very little cutting and it looks like all the actors are doing all the fighting themselves: "It was really fun to design those fights ... there were lots of heads and limbs coming off."
Wright (who confirmed that he's making Ant-Man next for Marvel) recounted shooting a scene for The World's End and doing at least five takes, each time noticing that star Simon Pegg was wincing a little each time. After Pegg assured him that he was okay, they got the shot and the actor then let Wright know that he had broken his hand. "If the actors look a bit beat up in the film," quipped Wright, "That's because they are."
The World's End is out Aug. 23, while Gravity arrives October 4 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out May 2, 2014. We're looking forward to all three, especially after listening to the filmmakers. How about you?