SDCC : Paul Panel


I met one of my idols today, Sigourney Weaver! Life.Is.Good! (And what a doll she is… very down-to-earth!)

Weaver was part of the “Paul” – Greg Mottola’s new flick starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – panel, as was Mottola, Frost, Pegg, Seth Rogen, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jason Bateman.

They talked. We listened. Oh… and we watched footage!

The footage we were screened sees Pegg and Frost’s characters, two comic-book loving nerds from the UK, hitting Comic Con. They’re soon back on the road, headed towards Roswell, where they encounter a car wreck. This is where they meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), a cheeky gray-skinned alien that people have a tendency to faint around. We’re then introduced to some of the supporting characters in the film – a kidnap victim, played by Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio as dimwit CIA agents, and the villain, a hunter character played by Jason Bateman.

Though the film was directed by Mottola, of “Superbad” and “Adventureland” fame, the footage might have you believe this is an Edgar Wright film – easy assumption, I guess; not only does it star Wright’s go-to guys, Pegg and Frost, but the tone, sort of a horror/comedy/action hybrid, is very reminiscent of “Shaun of the Dead”. Oh, did I mention I loved it?! No? Well, yeah, the footage was great – I’m thinking this might be the movie of 2011! Another winner from Greg Mottola.

Anyway, this is what was revealed at the Panel :

– Pegg and Frost came up with the idea while they were working on “Shaun of the Dead” (in particular, the scene where they fling records at the zombies). They were hoping for some sun, so they could shoot the scene, and thought how great it would be to shoot a film in the dessert – where the sun’s always out.

– Bateman compared his character to Yaphet Kotto’s in “Midnight Run”.

– Weaver said she’s providing the voice for a pivotal character in the movie.

– Jeffrey Tambor said he walked the convention floor and was mistaken for Dr Phil.

– San Diego’s Fire Marshall wouldn’t let Mottola film the Comic Con scenes in the area. Thus, all the scenes of Comic Con were shot in New Mexico.

– Lo Truglio not only stood-in for Rogen, as ‘Paul’, but inspired some of the dialogue (Lo Truglio would ad-lib a bit; Rogen would like his stuff, so would keep it).

“Paul” is released next March.