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Comic-Con 2008: “The Spirit” Panel

At the panel today for The Spirit, director Frank Miller opened the proceedings, recalling the story of his long-running friendship with Will Eisner.  Highlights from the panel follow below courtesy

  • Miller was joined by producer Deborah Del Prete, who talked about Miller’s vision of the project, saying The Spirit captured Eisner’s original intent if not matching the look exactly.
  • A trailer, the one already released, was screened for the audience.
  • Jackson joked with the audience about playing Nick Fury: “You know, when I was a kid,” he said, deadpan serious, “Nick Fury was a white man. I’m so glad he evolved into something that finally made sense to me.” “But don’t worry!” he promised, “You, too, can grow up to be a black man!”

Jaime King and Gabriel Macht joined the stage and the first bit of all-new footage was screened.  Here’s the summary:

This bit showed Eva Mendes as Sand Saref in a skin-tight wetsuit. She battles with the Octopus on the edge of the water and then dives underneath where she and a diver are trying to retrieve a sunken chest. They dodge bullets from the Octopus’ gun, though the diver is clipped in the arm. With the Octopus jumping in the water after them, the two swim and come to the surface inside some kind of darkened building. The diver says to Mendes, “It’s the Octopus. You know what he can do.”

She replies, “Shut up and bleed.”

Back to the panel highlights:

  • After the clip, Miller explained to the crowd that the scene was shot with a new kind of camera that allows for enough frames per-second to simulate the floating-effect of hair in water.  Miller told Mendes to “act like the Flash” so that her movements could be slowed down later.
  • Miller, speaking about the basic plot of the film as summarized by CS: Miller talked a bit about the basic plot of the film; Police officer Denny Colt is nearly killed by a bullet wound but awakens to find himself in “a new reality,” able to do things he couldn’t before. In addition to incredible endurance, Colt’s pheromones have been altered, causing mutual attraction between himself and any woman he meets. “A major part of the story is how tough he is and why’s he’s so tough,” offered Miller.

New clip:

Miller showed a clip of The Spirit with Sarah Paulson’s Ellen Dolan in an office. She comes on to him, telling him, “Keep the mask on. Something tells me it might be better that way.”

Ellen tells the Spirit, “But we don’t even know your real name.”

To that he responds, “I’ll tell you my real name,” just as a Detective shows up with an new assignment and a heavily Baltimore-accented sexy assistant. After they all leave together, Dolan furiously throws a scalpel into their exit door.

And one last clip:

The final clip features the Octopus battling the Spirit in sewage. Jackson hits him with a severed head, a cinderblock and then a giant wrench. The Spirit seems to get the upper for the moment, beating the Octopus into the brown water when the villain pops up again from out of nowhere and slams a toilet down on his foe. With the ring of the seat, stuck around the Spirit, the Octopus laughs uproariously.