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Disney showed off Oz, The Great and Powerful, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and the animated movie Wreck-It-Ralph, but it easily saved the best for last: a surprise look at The Lone Ranger. The footage was short and sweet: In a beautifully designed Old West, the train was the technological power. So he who controlled the trains controlled everything.
There were glimpses of Johnny Depp as Tonto, Armie Hammer as the masked cowboy, and plenty of visual stunners — trains going off the rails, a bullet shot through the air in slo-mo, quick cuts of faces, set to a rock-style soundtrack. The reaction was immediate: Fans in Hall H traded “awesomes” with each other. (Some online commenters, however, already are describing it looking “overblown.” That might not be a surprise for a $250 million movie from Gore Verbinski, the filmmaker behind Pirates of the Caribbean.)
Still, Disney got what it was looking for — an impact. Another of Disney’s big gambles for next year is Oz, The Great and Powerful, a Wizard of Oz origin story of sorts.
Sam Raimi, along with actresses Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, talked about the story of the movie, which doesn’t open until March. “It’s really the story of the wizard,” Raimi said. “How the wizard was and how he came to be the wizard we know. He’s a little selfish at first … Oz is the land of the second chances for him. Kunis made it a point to say the movie isn’t just a CG-laden extravaganza but something real. Sets were built,” she said. “It was all there. It was in front of you.
Disney revealed footage of Oz, which, like the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, started off in black-and-white then changed into vibrant color when James Franco (the titular wizard) lands in the enchanted land. The Oz section was full-blown fantasy, putting Raimi — one of horror’s masters and the director the Spider-Man trilogy — in a new genre.
Tim Burton showed off Frankenweenie, talking a lot of how his childhood schooldays were a huge influence on the movie, while Rob Moore, John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman talked Wreck-It-Ralph.
Ten minutes of the animated movie unspooled, offering fans the various video game world explored in the pic about a bad guy video game character who wants to change his destiny.
Reilly had several hilarious interactions with fans, which was in keeping with one of the funniest panels not just of the day. Much of that has to do with moderator Chris Hardwick, the CEO of Nerdist Industries who also is a comedian. He brought out a loose vibe to the affair, cracking wise, and also letting Burton, Raimi and others riff loosely and memorably.
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