Legendary Entertainment brought a trio of strong films to Hall H on Saturday.
First up was Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, which has been at Comic-Con before but is now in the home stretch before its October release. Del Toro and stars Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska arrived in Hall H along with the latest trailer -- sadly no additional footage was shown, but watching that gorgeous trailer on the big Hall H screens was still worth it.
Del Toro himself says that Crimson Peak is "the most beautiful movie I've ever made," and he reiterates that with its R rating and complex story and characters, it's the first time he's made one of his "adult" films in English instead of Spanish (as with The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth).
Chastain mentions that she can't really talk about some of her favorite stuff in the movie because it's spoilerish. Hiddleston, however, says that "the last act is an emotional rollercoaster ... it exists at a very intense pitch," adding, "The last 45 minutes of this film is headlong and thrilling and contains twist after twist."
Next up is director Michael Dougherty, who is following up his cult hit Trick 'R Treat with Krampus. For the uninitiated, Dougherty tells the hall that in European folklore, Krampus is "the dark Santa Claus ... he comes down the chimney, but instead of bringing presents, he throws you in a bag and beats you with a stick."
The trailer that premieres here begins almost as a comedy, playing traditional holiday music over scenes of people brawling over items in stores and squabbling at a family dinner. But it eventually settles on one family (led by Toni Collette and Adam Scott), whose home is soon invaded by a visitor that is decidedly not Santa as the tone turns darker.
Scott says that Dougherty pitched him on the movie by sitting and talking about Amblin movies like Gremlins, Goonies and Poltergeist for two hours, adding, "He's carrying the torch for character-driven horror movies that everyone can enjoy."
Finally, the screens on either side of the main stage open and extend to nearly the very back of the hall as host Chris Hardwick introduces Legendary's big ticket for the day: Warcraft.
Director Duncan Jones comes out and notes that it's his third year in a row at Comic-Con to talk about Warcraft, which has been in post-production for more than a year. This time, however, he's got more to show. First each member of the cast is brought out as their characters are flashed on the screens in brief clips, including Travis Fimmel (Lothar), Dominic Cooper (King Llane), Ben Foster (Magus Medivh), Ben Schnetzer (Khadgar), Ruth Negga (Lady Taria), Toby Kebbell (Durotan), Rob Kazinsky (Orgrim), Clancy Brown (Blackhand), Daniel Wu (Gul'dan) and Paula Patton (Garona).
Then, after some brief talk, which includes Brown giving one answer in Orcish and Kazinsky telling the audience, "I am a gamer and I know what you're expecting, and I promise you that Duncan Jones has made the movie you want to see," the lights dim and the extended trailer rolls out.
The first half introduces the Orcish Horde, their characters and their plight, the discovery of the portal through which they can pass to another world, and their march through that doorway. Then the trailer switches to the humans of Stormwind, who see the Orcs as beasts that must be destroyed.
With a lot of visual cues from the game and a cinematic look not unlike The Hobbit, Warcraft genuinely looks like the most ambitious animated film ever attempted until the humans are introduced into the action. But it's rendered in a way that looks photorealistic, while the trailer also emphasizes the story and the fact that neither side is necessarily wrong (although the scenes of battle between the two would make you think otherwise).
I'm not a gamer, but my sense -- judging from the crowd response -- is that Warcraft will indeed give fans exactly what they want.