Comic-Con 2007: Universal Focus/Rogue, part 2

It may go without saying, but the announcement of a film entitled The Strangers that stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman wasn't exactly super-exciting. Especially when writer-director Brian Bertino comes in and he looks about 17.

But ever so slowly, the presentation started to warm this cynic's heart. The premise of the movie is that a young couple are terrorized in their home by masked assailants for no apparent reason. In theory, this seems like a good way to tap into fears about the randomness of terrorism without actually getting political.

The first clip shown involved Liv being terrorized. Fine and good, and the cartoon-little-girl masks the attackers wear are appropriately creepy, but the trailer tries to milk scares from a record player needle becoming stuck.

Riddle me this: How many couples Liv and Scott's age do you know, in 2007, who play records?

Scott and Liv come out with the director. This is apparently Liv's first convention appearance ever.

Scott: "I was terrified reading the script."

Liv is asked to speak in Elvish. She says that she was warned this would come up, and recites one of her lines. Says she doesn't quite remember what it means -- something about Aragorn looking older but she still loves him.

Liv is asked how she gets into character for a movie like this. Says one actor's trick to look emotionally drained is to tire yourself out. The soundstage was huge, like a football field, and she and Scott would run laps in order to look exhausted and emotionally frayed. The movie takes place over a four-hour time-span.

BEST FAN QUESTION OF THE WHOLE CONVENTION: Audience member asks Liv, "Is it really hard for you to watch Armageddon without getting sad that Bruce Willis doesn't make it back?"

Liv replies that she hasn't seen it since making it. She doesn't watch her own movies. "I always think I suck when I watch." (In the case of Armageddon, Liv, your instincts are correct.)

A fan suggests that Scott should play Captain America. Crowd likes this idea. I don't. He really isn't that good an actor.

As with Kate Beckinsale earlier, Liv gets a lot of the same question rephrased different ways: How is it different to be in Lord of the Rings versus playing a regular person? Liv doesn't have a good answer, but why should she? It's a silly question, however you phrase it.

The teaser trailer is shown. Vintage-style slideshow of houses for sale deteriorates into nightmare scenario. The clip ends with a bloody Liv crawling along the floor -- time for lily-livered ninnies to cry "torture porn!" again.

Next up is a look at Doomsday from director Neil Marshall, who pauid homage to Evil Dead in Dog Soldiers, and one-upped The Cave with The Descent. Here, he seems to be combining 28 Days Later with The Road Warrior, or, as it's called in the UK, Mad Max 2.

Marshall was inspired by '80s apocalypse movies like Mad Max, Escape from New York, The Warriors.

Premise is that a virus causes all of Scotland to be sealed off and quarantined. 25 years later, the disease shows up again in London. Amid rumors that humans have survived in Scotland, a team is sent in to see if they can find an antidote there. They discover an anarchic world ruled by Malcolm McDowell. Hey, what did you think they'd find?

One week of shooting, involving a castle, was done in Scotland. The rest of the shoot was in Cape Town, South Africa.

"The bigger, the better. The more carnage, the better." Marshall is the man.

Possible future project is called The 9th Legion, based on a true story, which is described as The Warriors set in ancient Rome. Cites Walter Hill as a huge inspiration.

Actors from both Dog Soldiers and The Descent will appear in Doomsday. Had to sell the rights to Dog Soldiers 2 to get the first one distributed, so the sequel, if it's made, will have nothing to do with him. Has no idea if anything will be done with it.

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