SDCC: In Hex footage, Brolin kicks ass, Fox shows it

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Even though Jimmy Heyward's film was sandwiched between presentations for Where the Wild Things Are, The Book of Eli and Nightmare on Elm Street, among others, Jonah Hex roused the crowd with a terrific (if short) screening of footage and an appearance by cast members Michael Fassbender, Josh Brolin and, perhaps most importantly, Megan Fox.

The teaser trailer resembled a spaghetti western more than a modern action film. In the footage, Hex is almost mythological, a gunslinger whose story is bandied about among dusty townsfolk; in one shot, a crow climbs out of his mouth and flies away. As co-star John Malkovich announces, "The war begins here," Hex retorts (via editing), "I figured hell would be something like this" as trains explode and mayhem ensues. Hex's appearance is jokingly addressed ("I cut myself shaving") but never specifically explained: The right side of his face boasts a gaping hole that is sort of contained by a stretched piece of flesh, and Brolin looks creepily authentic as the disfigured cowboy.

Then, of course, there's Fox, who spends most of the clip in a corset and pantaloons; she looks terrific, but it appears that her character is by no means eye candy, firing pistols with both hands and taking out would-be aggressors while dropping clever catch phrases. She was also the focal point of many of the questions once fans were availed of the Hall H microphone, but she deftly navigated her way around any of the less appropriate questions to talk about her character, whom she marveled about getting to play.

Fassbender is a relative unknown to most American audiences, but his anonymity should be short-lived after playing one of Malkovich's henchmen in the film, a guy who he says he took inspiration for from a combination of "Clockwork Orange and 1970s Riddler Frank Gorshin." His appearance even in the clips was memorable, not only because of his physicality (his face is covered with tattoos), but because his character has an anarchic quality that is the kind that audiences love to hate. Ironically, he was most emphatic about his work with the absent Malkovich, whom he described as "so softly spoken and yet so menacing" in the film.

As for the film's potential fantasy quotient, Heyward took a moment to clear up a few rumors. "There's no voodoo, no army of the undead," he said. "It's a western action picture." But Brolin called the film "a phantasmagoria of insanity," revealing his hope that other films will be influenced by their film, which he admits was itself was inspired as much by '60s and '70s spaghetti westerns as it was the comic-book series.

Fox's appearance again distracted the crowd from the film itself, especially when an attendee made an inappropriate request for her to participate in a sex tape. (Thankfully his microphone was cut off and he was ejected from the room.) But her pantaloons, corset and bustier notwithstanding, Jonah Hex promises (perhaps unfortunately) to be less about the actress showing her ass and more about kicking those of others alongside Brolin, Malkovich and her male counterparts.