July 22, 2011 2:47pm PT by Jay A. Fernandez
Comic-Con 2011: Robert Rodriguez on 3D, the 'Sin City' Sequel and 'Red Sonja'
The day after his Quick Draw Prods. panel in Hall H, Robert Rodriguez went into some more detail during an interview at the Hard Rock Hotel Friday. With him was Leslie Sobon, VP of global product and outbound marketing for AMD Austin, the hardware company Rodriguez has worked with over the last decade. Unfortunately, my digital recorder decided to slack off and neglected to record their actual voices speaking. But here are the main points they discussed:
Rodriguez’s new Quick Draw Prods. is designed as a multimedia company that will produce films, TV, video games and more. AMD’s role in this (what Sobon terms a “fellowship”) is to develop equipment like its accelerated processing units (APUs) that allow Rodriguez to shoot more efficiently for content that will play well across all platforms. Upcoming projects, such as the remake of Fire and Ice and spinoffs from the Heavy Metal property Rodriguez mentioned at the panel, will take advantage of these new tools.
Rodriguez says he likes that AMD developments in technology force him to stretch creatively to meet the new possibilities. This includes the new Sin City movie that he’s working on with Frank Miller. They plan once again to co-direct the film, only this time using 3D that Rodriguez says will really enhance the CG-noir landscapes the content uses (the actors are filmed against green screen). Miller is working on finishing the screenplay now, which has reverted back to the trio-of-storylines approach of the first movie—“A Dame to Kill For” plus two new stories Miller has devised. Many of the characters from the first film would reappear, and Rodriguez says he doesn’t see scheduling as a problem since in the last one the green screen allowed him to shoot actors in the same scene as much as eight months apart. No one has yet been cast, though the writer-director claims they could shoot it soon and quickly, as early as the fall.
The onslaught of 3D use doesn’t seem to bother him much. Like most filmmakers, Rodriguez feels that not every movie is right for the format but that audiences are selective enough to send the message to studios when they think it’s a bad idea.
Asked about a Predators follow-up, Rodriguez said that while possible nothing concrete has been discussed since he’s busy with so many other projects. He did point out that the toys and merchandising (many of them here on the Con floor) got a huge bump from the film, and as we all know, merchandising is as good a reason as any for a studio to push another sequel. Rodriguez acknowledges that Spy Kids is now primed for more editions since his Spy Kids 4, which opens August 19, introduces a new set of kids. (He also has a pair of Machete sequels lined up—the first already greenlighted and the second to take place in space.)
And with Conan the Barbarian getting a reboot, I asked Rodriguez about his long-gestating Red Sonja remake. He said that that had been ready to go at one point but that the rights owners wanted to give Conan a re-birth first to make sure people were ready to re-enter that kind of universe. (The Lionsgate release opens opposite Spy Kids 4.) That type of circumstance is one of the reasons Rodriguez says he’ll never work for anyone else again. With Quick Draw he plans to finance and produce his own movies outside of the studio system so that he can get rights to the things he wants to make and not have to wait for other people’s decisions.