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NEW YORK -- Lionsgate staged a presentation for The Spirit on Saturday New York Comic Con.

Following are highlights:

* Panel host Kurt Loder introduced director Frank Miller and producers Michael Uslan and Deborah Del Prete and actress Eva Mendes.

* Introducing Eva Mendes, Miller said, "A week or so into shoot, I realized she had created her own Sand Saref and I was along for the ride.

* Miller said adapting The Spirit wasn't so much distillation as discovery. He said based the script around Will Eisner's 14-page Sand Saref story.

* Miller said he is "very proud" of how the movie is coming together and praised Del Prete's help.

* Miller said the film had to be as bold as the comic was in the 1940s and purists might be in for "a bit of a shock."

* Uslan said he met with Eisner 14 years ago and promised to make The Spirit right.

* Mendes said she was a little nervous initially. "Is he going to be weird? Let me tell you, he's very weird and what a joy to work with.

"He's an amazing actor's director. He referenced movies I didn't even know."

* Del Prete said she was with Eisner at his last Comic-Con appearance in San Diego and talked to him about what was important to him for the film.

* Asked about green-screen filming, Miller talked about Robert Rodriguez's work on Sin City, but noted that The Spirit is increasing that technology exponentially.

* Miller said he wanted the actor to play The Spirit to be a lesser-known and become famous in the role. He said it was a long, hard look to find Gabriel Macht in the role.

"He is actually able to stay on the screen with Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlet Johannsson," Miller said. "That's quite a feat."

* Mendes said her character "is a jewel thief who has been married 15 times and killed every one of her husbands."

* Del Prete said it was important to have a blend of action, humor and romance for the film. "It is not a camp movie in anyway," she said. "The funny parts are very organic to the movie."

* Del Prete said more than 1,600 special effects shots still need to be done.

* Del Prete said The Spirit will feature an original score.

* Mendes said Ghost Rider was a completely different film that The Spirit, "more like a fun cartoon."

* Miller said he's written part 2 of what he sees as a trilogy of Sin City movies. He said he's "allergic" to discuss any kind of scheduling.

* Miller said he will definitely direct more films in the future. "I love the job," he said.

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