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Monday, August 5, 2002
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: X-MEN 2 PANEL
By Rob Allstetter/The Comics Continuum
SAN DIEGO - If Bryan Singer does for two hours what he did for two minutes, he'll have a big winner with the X-Men sequel.
The director of X-Men and the upcoming X-Men 2, Singer returned to Comic-Con International on Saturday and brought the crowd of 4,300 a treat: a clip from the movie.
Although he only had two weeks of material to pull from - including no special effects - the clip was met with overwhelming approval, drawing standing applause and roaring cheer from the crowd.
The footage actually opens with the end of the first film. Xavier and Magneto are playing chess in Magneto's plastic prison, and Magneto says, "Does it keep you awake at night? The feeling that someday they will pass that foolish law and come for you -- and your children." Xavier says, "It does indeed."
Then the new footage kicks in as Magneto's words become prophetic. Armed government troopers infiltrate the X-mansion and the youths of the school, including Bobby Drake, hide.
Then it cuts back to the end of the first film with Xavier saying, "I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to that school looking for trouble."
Wolverine is then shown running down a hall, claws out. Brian Cox's Stryker is shown leading the agents through the compound. More action, including Wolverine and Pyro making a car explode into fire.
Cut to Ian McKellen's Magento, who in his white prison outfit, screams, "You should have killed me when you had the chance." Xavier is shown outside the plastic prison, agonized. There are also scenes of Cyclops and a screaming Rogue. And there's a scene of Stryker standing in Cerebro, his hand on the helmet in a triumphant post.
Next is a close up on an assured and menacing Magneto, who says, "The war has begun."
Then it cuts to the X-Men 2 title logo, Xavier saying "Eric, what have you done?" and Wolverine charging at camera, swiping with his claws.
* On the sequel's story: "It's basically the problems between mutants and humanity. The problems with humanity are turned up a notch. Things are more tense and more lives are in jeopardy."
* Comparing X-Men to X-Men 2: "The first film was very much like a trailer for this film. It was very difficult to establish a number of characters . The actors were discovering who they're playing, they're discovering the story and the world. It was kind of difficult. This time, now, it's the chance to flex the muscles of the X-Men universe. We have more time schedule than the first."
* On how the events in X-Men 2 might effect X-Men 3: "There are things in this movie that will lay the groundwork for eventual things to come. But it's hard to say what those things will be without me saying what those things are. (laughter) There are some intense things that will happen, particularly in the third act, in this picture that will take us to that third movie.
"This movie is more about the humanness. There's a human character who poses a threat and factors into their live, both on a global spectrum and also the X-Men spectrum.
"The third picture would delve to be bigger, but it was also be personal, almost a character journey. This one is that, in aspect of Wolverine's issue of origin, but it's also the threat of human nature. That's something that intrigues me very much."
* Is Gambit in the movie? "No. Well… there's a moment we have, but… "
* Is Beast in the movie? "Beast? No. Well… there's a thing, but not specifically."
* Will Halle Berry's Storm be featured more in the sequel? "Oh yeah. She dropped the gold statue (Academy Award) down and said, 'I want more.' About a year-and-a-half or two years ago, after the film was done, we were doing some publicity for the film over in Europe and it was her birthday. So I got her a cake with a sparkler on it and handed it. She tried to blow it out and eventually she did.
"And I asked her, 'What did you wish for?'
"And she said, 'More shit to do in the sequel.'
"She's an immense talent, as everyone knows, and there will be more things. But it's difficult to service so many characters, particularly when you have Wolverine, Rogue, Xavier and Magneto."
* Is he doing anything with Juggernaut or the Danger Room? "No, no. I love Juggernaut actually and I think the Danger Room is cool, but because of the story … We dabbled with ideas and Danger Room designs, but not in this picture."
* Will there be new mutants in the Brotherhood? "The Brotherhood's leader is in prison, but there might be … I can't say. Things get a little intense with old villains and new villains."
* Will there be new material in the second X-Men DVD? "There should be more material. I don't really know. I'm so involved in X-Men 2 right now. X-Men 1, there's a lot of B roll material we've shot, there's more how-done stuff and pieces."
* On the Phoenix Saga becoming part of the movie franchise: "This movie is not the Phoenix story, but that story has possibilities."
* On Nightcrawler: "You'll see scars on his face. He's got a little history with him, this guy. He's got a past. Alan Cumming is playing the role. And he's acrobatic and can teleport. And he's sort of gets sucked into the middle of this whole sort of what we'll call a hate triangle that's going on in the story."
* On the Rogue/Iceman relationship continuing: "Yes. But it's not a love story, X-Men."
* Will there be Sentinels in the movies? "We discussed things like Phoenix and Sentinels. You have to be very, very careful with that - you know, giant robots. If that's not done right, in the right context, that's not going to work."
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