Joseph Gordon-Levitt Became Bruce Willis: Quick Hits From The ‘Looper’ Comic-Con Panel

Minutes after the Total Recall panel finished talking three-boobed hookers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, and director Rian Johnson took the stage at Comic Con to share an extra long preview of Looper and then talk time-travel and how JGL became young Bruce Willis. Here are some quick notes and observations.

  • The film looks badass. I can see a scenario playing out where I walk out of the theater thinking Looper collapsed under the weight of its own ambition (plot summary here), but I can also tell you based on the premise, talent involved, and the extended footage I’ve seen nothing is going to keep me out of the theater opening weekend. The look and feel is there and by all accounts all involved are 100% bought in to making something career-defining.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the real deal. The guy is just too smart, talented, dedicated, and charming not to be around for a long time. He was Cranston levels of happy to be there and answered every question thoroughly and sincerely. I mean, c’mon, just look at this guy…
  • JGL’s young Bruce Willis performance is going to be fun. I went into the panel fully aware that Levitt and Willis play the same character at different ages, I just wasn’t entirely clear how they were attempting to pull it off. Here’s what you need to know: It was all on JGL to become Bruce. Makeup and prosthetics were a big part of this, the nose sticks out most. JGL spent weeks watching nothing but Bruce Willis movies on repeat. His audio playlist was exclusively Bruce Willis dialogue from past movies. Bruce even recorded all of Levitt’s lines for Looper for JGL to listen to over and over. The goal wasn’t to impersonate Bruce, but to instead embody him. Levitt noted that his favorite actors are the ones who disappear into their characters and this is the most he’s ever attempted to do that.
  • Emily Blunt is fully aware that this is the best movie she’s ever been a part of. Now that’s not saying a whole lot, but it wasn’t difficult to pick up on how proud she is to be part of the film.
  • Bruce Willis was REALLY into it. Or at least that’s what JGL says. Maybe they were just attempting to shake the ain’t care image the actor has developed, especially since Bruce couldn’t make the panel since he’s filming another Die Hard. But it came off like the three at the panel couldn’t believe how enthusiastic Bruce was about the project, getting all hands-on and shi*t. The diner scene between Bruce and JGL that I saw a clip of could prove to be fantastic.
  • Rian Johnson cares. This guy just wants to make great movies with great people. Every director should be required to feel the same. I can’t promise Looper is going to be tremendous, but I can promise at this point in time that I believe it is going to be tremendous.