Why Warner thinks it has a hit in Ninja Assassin

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Remember we said the Wachowski brothers and James McTeigue's Ninja Assassin would be a must-see at Comic-Con this year?

Remember when it didn't appear on the official schedule, causing us to say it's probably going to be a surprise screening?

Well, we were right: We have confirmed a report (on that Warner Brothers will screen Ninja Assassin on Thursday night about 11 p.m.

The best part: It's open to you! If you hit the Warner Brothers booth on Thursday, you can score tickets for the screening. A ticket doesn't guarantee a seat, so go early!

We'll reveal that we've actually seen Ninja Assassin, and while we can't give you a review yet, we can say we see why Warner is choosing to unveil it to the public in a sneak preview months before its Nov. 25 release date. It's freaking awesome, and producer Joel Silver knows it and Warner knows it and they want to build buzz for it.

They'd have to be confident about the film: You don't screen a genre-busting movie at the biggest gathering of in-the-know genre fans unless you know you've got the goods.

We'll say this much about it: Ninja Assassin smartly honors the traditions of the martial-arts film with an original story that feels as ancient as ninjutsu itself, but with a modern sensibility that tweaks the genre's conventions in new and surprising ways. The film takes the idea of the ninja, which had devolved into a self-parody, and made it potent and frightening again.

And the movie showcases a relatively unknown but charismatic new star, South Korea's Rain, who will certainly make a mark not only in martial-arts films, but also likely in mainstream cinema, if Ninja Assassin is a hit as everyone hopes. (You saw him briefly in the Wachowskis' Speed Racer.)

Check it out and let us know what you think!