CCI, DAY 3: WARNER BROS. PRESENTS “300”

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: July 23, 2006 | Publication: Comic Book Resources | Author: George A. Tramountanas
Publication/Article Link:http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=7946

"300" Director Zack Snyder
Fans who appreciated how faithful the “Sin City” movie was to the comics will be tremendously happy with the film “300” – based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel by the same name. For Comic-Con International in San Diego, Warner Bros. brought out the film’s director, Zach Snyder (“Dawn of the Dead” remake), stars Gerard Butler (“Dear Frankie”) and David Wenham (“LOTR: The Return of the King”), and “300’s” creator, Frank Miller.

The panel kicked things off by showing a trailer made for the film. The audience’s sheer joy at what they saw was heard throughout the hall. It looked exactly like the graphic novel. Not only that, it made this reporter want to read Miller’s book again. There was plenty of blood and guts (and nudity!), and it was like no other ancient Greek battle ever committed to film before.

The audience was so thrilled by the trailer (as were the actors, who hadn’t seen it before) that it was shown two more times before the panel concluded.

After things had quieted down from the trailer screening, a Q&A began. The following information was gleaned from this session:

* An audience member commented on how great the backgrounds looked and how faithful they were to the graphic novel. Snyder said all the credit went to Miller. “I didn’t have any ideas of my own, so I used Frank’s.” Miller, in turn, gave credit to Lynn Varley who did the backgrounds for “300.”

* As for the costumes in the film, the Spartans don’t wear much. Butler said when he initially put on his costume, “I pretty much have never felt so stupid in all my life. I asked myself, ‘How am I going to get through this?’”

Then he said he got used to it after awhile, and by the end of the film, “you just want to look bigger than the other guys.”

Wenham’s response to this centered around the first time he read the graphic novel, which was after he was cast. He said he got to the first appearance of his character in the book , and he was naked! The actor said he quickly “hit the panic button” and called his agent, but then got used to the idea.

However, when Wenham first found out he’d be in a codpiece the whole movie while filming in Montreal during the winter, he called Snyder right away. The director laughed, recalling this.

* Snyder said that the film took about sixty days to shoot.

* An audience member asked a question which brought up the sexuality of the characters. He mentioned that we saw men and women “getting together” (and rather explicitly) in the trailer, so he wanted to know if we’d be seeing men “with” men?

Miller responded with a straight face. “No. We call this fiction.”

* In discussing the technical difficulties, the subject of the characters’ capes came up. Butler indicated that they kept flipping over their heads and that their sword arms kept getting tangled up in them. Plus, he added that the capes were quite weighty and felt very heavy by the end of the day.

“Spoken like a true Spartan,” chided Wenham.

“But it huuuurt,” Butler jokily whined.

* Frank Miller discussed his trip to Greece when researching “300.” He said he went on a historical tour and made a side-trip to the “Gates of Hell” (which was quite different now with a treacherous freeway nearby).

He added that the land and the sea were Greece’s biggest weapons in fighting invaders (that, and freeways!).

* When asked what the most rewarding part of the film was for him, Wenham responded: 1) Getting paid to be in the best shape of my life; 2) Working with Zach Snyder, whom he said is the only director he’s ever worked with who was calm every day of a shoot; and 3) being in a movie inspired by a Frank Miller graphic novel.

* The trailer had Nine Inch Nails music, and Snyder hopes to score the movie with music that sounds like a mix of contemporary and classic.

* Snyder said he believes Hollywood has a changed mindset now when it comes to adapting comics nowadays. He stated that “they feel graphic novels don’t need to be fixed anymore, just filmed.”

* Miller commented, “Everything about the movie feels timeless yet contemporary.”

* An audience member asked Miller if there were any comic book characters that he wanted to write that he hasn’t yet. Miller said that a number of the Marvel characters were appealing, as well as many in the DC pantheon. However, he’s placed a bunch of those characters in his “All Star Batman,” so he feels he gets to them when he can. That said, he added that he prefers working on his own stuff.

* The reason Butler got into acting? “Alcohol.”

He then smiled and followed up by admitting he had always wanted to be an actor. Butler told the audience, “You only have one life. Follow your heart and go with your dreams.”

The panel then wrapped up with one more viewing of the trailer, and a lot of cheers from the audience.