SAN DIEGO – If you followed our WonderCon coverage this year, then you saw a fair amount of material about Tarsem Singh’s new film, “Immortals.” We interviewed the cast and the director, we spoke with producer Mark Canton, and I even moderated the panel with Henry Cavill and Luke Evans. I walked away from that thinking that the film looks very stylish, and that it’s obvious Tarsem’s not doing anything like a traditional take on mythology, but instead a supercharged superhero take on gods and titans.
There were two chunks of new footage from the film shown today in Hall H, the first of which showed scenes from throughout the film. “Long before Man roamed these lands, there was a war in Heaven. The victors declared themselves Gods. The vanquished were renamed Titans and imprisoned deep inside a mountain.”
The film deals with King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) deciding he is going to unleash those titans to topple the gods, and the gods turning to Theseus, the one human they think can lead an army against Hyperion. Much slow-motion and bloodshed ensues.
There is nothing remotely realistic about the film. It looks like a painting, with the colors and textures of a Caravaggio, and with crazy bursts of hyperviolence. The gods here are young and beautiful, because as Tarsem put it, “If you were immortal and could live forever, would you want to look like Henry Cavill, or would you want to look like Mark Canton.”
The panel today consisted of Frieda Pinto, who looked amazing in a pair of shorts that made her look like about 7’4″ of legs, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, and Henry Cavill. Along with Canton, Tarsem, and the producer Gianni Nunnari, they talked a bit about what they’re playing. Pinto is the Oracle, Dorff plays a slave who rises to become a soldier named Stavros, Luke Evans is Zeus, Kellan Lutz is the self-described “God of Wetness,” Poseidon, and of course Cavill is Theseus, the human who the gods turn to for help in their war against King Hyperion.
Pinto talked about making the jump from indie films to big fantasy productions like this and “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” and she said it was mainly an exercise in patience, learning how to hold onto a character when you’re shooting ten days, off for a few weeks, back on for a few more days.
Pressed to talk about the absent Mickey Rourke, none of them would really respond. Finally, Nunnari jumped in to talk about how they had to make sure Mickey would show up to the set every day, but he and Mark would argue about whose job it was, both scared to actually go get him.
The other piece of footage that was debuted today for the crowd was a truly insane fight sequence, from near the end of the film. While Hyperion’s troops fight the warriors who side with Theseus, deep inside the mountain, some of Hyperion’s men work to free the Titans. They break a seal, and suddenly Zeus and a few other gods drop down into the place where the seal is located. Zeus snarls, “None of you will leave here” at them, and then it’s on.
There was one image in particular that defines just how far the crazy violence in this one goes, when Zeus cut a guy in half, head to crotch, and both halves fly in different directions in slow-motion. You’re literally looking at a cutaway diagram of everything, brain to balls, falling away slowly enough to really appreciate every detail of it. Heads are cleaved open or just cut off, bodies are smashed against walls, and there are casualties on both sides.
Once Zeus has killed all of their initial opponents, he unearths these giant chains and pulls down the statues all around the room, bringing down the entire mountain around himself. And there are shots from the outside, as the mountain falls, showing the debris as it blows out into the battlefield. It’s crazy just in terms of scale.
Most of the Q&A was just people admiring how pretty all of the cast members are, and Kellan Lutz kept disturbingly calling himself the “God of Wetness.” Overall, my feelings now are the same as they were at WonderCon. It’s going to look sensational, and now we need to wait and see how the storytelling is.
We’ll see when “Immortals” is released on November 11, 2011.