Comic Con 2009: Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘Tron’ and ‘Christmas’ Panel

Next was Alice in Wonderland with director Tim Burton making his Comic Con debut, and making his way to the stage to a rousing applause. A short back-and-forth between Oswalt and Burton had Burton telling us the film used “every [filmmaking] technique. There’s lots of different ways to do things and we ended up mixing them together and tried to find our own way to tell this motion picture.”

Next came the trailer footage, which was edited slightly different than the recently released teaser seen to the right and it was also in 3-D, and while there wasn’t necessarily a narrative, it looked wildly impressive including shots of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter stomping across the table to greet Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum wandering through a forest of mushrooms with Alice, a shot of Alice with the White Queen and Helena Bonham Carter bursting through doors as the Red Queen. It looks like it has the ability to be creepy as well as a lot of fun. The Comic Con version also didn’t have the narration and used MGMT’s “Time to Pretend,” which really gave it an extra punch giving me the impression the film will be a sort of dark adventure with plenty of lighter moments.

As for Burton’s adaptation of the Lewis Carroll story he says plenty was taken from Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem referring to previous adaptations saying, “It was always just a girl wandering around passively with a bunch of characters [and we wanted to] weave it into a story that had a movement to it and not just a series of weird events.” If what was shown is representative of the entire film, March 5, 2010 will be a day to look forward to.

The final presentation of Disney’s panel included news the sequel to the 1982 classic Tron will be titled Tron Legacy, which lends into a storyline described by the film’s original star, Jeff Bridges, who is returning as Kevin Flynn. Bridges said:

It’s basically a story about a son’s search for his father. The first Tron in ’81 there was no Internet… and so what you saw was so new and fresh — I can guarantee you’re going to get that same kind of pop with this one. Everything is going to be superized.

Yes, he said “superized” and Oswalt even gave him a jab for it.

Joining Jeff Bridges on stage were director Joseph Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, co-writer Steve Lisberger (who also co-wrote the first film), Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. Hedlund stars as Flynn’s son Sean who goes on a search for his father. Actually, a clip from the film shows what may or may not be Sean’s first trip into Tron City as he is told a signal from Flynn’s Arcade has been received. He shows up, the arcade looks like a condemned building, but he hits the lights and the place powers up to the tune of Journey’s “Love Will Find You”. Walking through the room he soon finds the arcade version of “Tron” and ultimately finds a secret doorway behind it, he goes through and the clip ends.

After the clip they showed a gallery of concept art which included several shots of Tron City which is said to have been sitting on a server for years, evolving, becoming more realistic, darker and more visceral. It will also be shown on a much larger scale and even have weather systems. The art also included a look at the new beefed up Recognizer, the new version of the Solar Sailor, the fifth generation light cycle as well as Flynn’s second generation light cycle, which will be shown in the film in flashbacks. Finally, there was a look at a vehicle called a Light Runner, which is much like the Light Cycle with a beam of light behind it, but it can carry two passengers and go off the grid.


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