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Comic-Con 2010: SUPER Panel

 

One of the movies that you might not have heard much about from Comic-Con this year is James Gunn's Super. Gunn, who directed the cult classic Slither, wrote the story back in 2002 and is now in post-production on the feature, which is another in the long line of superhero stories (like Kick-Ass, Special, Defendor, etc.) set in the "real" world.

What separates Super from the rest is A) the phenomenal cast, which consists of Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Nathan Fillion, and Michael Rooker, and B) the balance of real-world drama to the story mixed with what appears to be excessive violence. In the footage we were shown at the panel at Comic-Con 2010, Rainn Wilson's character - a down and out guy who resorts to dressing as a superhero to deal with his issues - beat the crap out of someone who cut in front of him in line at the movies. After asking the guy not to cut in line and receiving an F-bomb as an answer, Wilson gets out of line, goes to the trunk of his car, changes clothes comically in the backseat, and then emerges as The Crimson Bolt, armed with two wrenches. He walks straight up to the guy, and after the guy questions what he's doing since he could clearly see Wilson changing clothes in his car parked across the street, Wilson bashes his forehead in with a wrench, causing a huge panic from the people around him. Sounds dark, but it was really funny.

In a rough trailer they showed, Ellen Page's character discovers Wilson's secret identity and wants to become his kid sidekick. This role looks a lot goofier and more physical than the hyper-intelligent characters she has been pigeonholed into playing early in her career. Nathan Fillion - who barely got any screen time in the trailer and footage - plays The Holy Avenger, a presumably comical side character who I'm guessing ends up teaming with Wilson and Page to take down Kevin Bacon's Jacques, a local drug dealer who steals Wilson's drug addicted wife, played by Liv Tyler.

 

The cast (minus Kevin Bacon) showed up with Gunn at the panel, and seemed very enthusiastic about the project. Gunn revealed that they had an incredibly fast-paced shooting schedule, shooting about 50 set-ups per day when most Hollywood films are lucky to get 15 set-ups knocked out in a day. The A-list cast was also praised for taking a tremendous pay cut to be involved with the film, agreeing to the absolute minimum payment their guilds would allow because they believed so much in this project.

It was refreshing to see a really low budget project like this be awarded its own panel to drive up awareness about the movie, considering most of the films that got panels this year were 100 million dollar epics. I'm really looking foward to seeing Super on the big screen and hope it secures the distribution it needs to make it across the country; these are the kinds of original projects that don't come around too often in Hollywood and we should reward their originality by seeing them in theaters if we can.

Had you heard of Super before this post, and are you looking forward to it?

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