I’ve flown direct from CinemaCon in Las Vegas to WonderCon in San Francisco. The first day presented two interesting panels, one for the Steven Spielberg-produced alien invasion television series Falling Skies and the other for Warner Bros’ big screen comic adaptation Green Lantern. Read the details and my thoughts after the jump.

Falling Skies:

The first clip involved two men, a father and son played by Noah Wyle and Drew Roy, running through a post-apocalyptic city setting — destruction, fires, guns firing, lasers blasting. They escape through an alley and connect with a big group of people. An alien spacecraft flies over them and drops a bomb on the city behind them that leaves a really impressive explosion. The clip was very impressive from a television stand-point — it looked very high budget and cinematic.

The secpnd clip shows them trying to break in to rescue the children who have been kidnapped by the aliens and are being used “for alien purposes.”. The kids have some type of alien device on the back of their necks which somehow controls the children. The aliens, who are sporting cool looking mech suits try to stop the recovery mission.

Another clip shows a normal day in the life of these survivors. Moon Bloodgood plays a pediatrician helping some of the injured. She ask Noah what they’re plan is and he says “Retreat, regroup, return, revenge.” I have a theory that the involvement of Bloodgood or Summer Glau in a movie or television project usually means its going to be a failure. I hope not in this case.

Here is what I learned about the show:

  • The show starts 6 months after the alien invasion, which makes it a bit different than most of these types of alien invasion stories.
  • The time period was chosen to deal with the human drama of figuring out how to deal with life after the invasion.
  • They have also said that the series will feature no flashbacks. We will not see the invasion itself in the series.
  • The aliens aren’t hidden or obscured. The aliens have six legs and strange tusks. I’m wondering how much it will cost the production to create computer rendered alien creatures for each episode.
  • The world is depleted, all electricity is gone, communication is dead. An electric magnetic pulse is activated when the Aliens attracted, so every device with a transistor doesn’t work and the survivors need to make do with whatever they could create.
  • Not only is the technology gone but the military has been taking out — leaving moms, fathers and kids to fight/run.
  • Robert Rodat, who wrote the screenplay for Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot wrote the pilot episode.
  • We are not told why the teens are taken but that they are targeting an age range os 12-18.
  • We were given the first 12 pages of a Falling Skies comic book which fills in what happened in the time between the invasion and the television series. 4-page segments will be posted online, and the whole thing will be released as a graphic novel this Summer.
  • Originally the show was titled Concord, a reference to the American Revolution. And the show has some similarities, as common men called into these roles or survival.
  • Two survivors are going through a girls room, Drew Roy’s character and his love interest. We see a moment shared between them before Noah Wyle’s character opens the door, interrupting their kiss.
  • We were told that one scene will be released on TNT.tv at a later time.

I was very impressed with the footage that screened. Everyone is getting a vibe that the series is The Walking Dead but with aliens, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. From the few clips, I already like some of the characters on this show more than I do some of the characters on The Walking Dead. I just wonder how long this series can sustain a big epic feel on a television budget without resorting to budget-crunching episodes with the group hiding away from the danger (aka action).

Green Lantern:

At Warner Bos’ Green Lantern panel, they again screened the 10 minutes of footage from CnemaCon. We’ve already talked about this footage (see previous blog posting). I’ve heard that four mutes of the footage will officially go online this weekend. They also premiered two new character posters from the film, one of Green Lantern, the other of Carol Ferris. You can see the Green Lantern one above.

Since I’ve already seen the footage, I thought I’d cover some of the questions and answered asked during the panel:

  • They again confirmed that a new Green Lantern trailer will be attached to Thor.
  • Blake Lively made the decision to dye her hair rrown for the role of Carol Ferris to be true to the comics.
  • Ryan Reynolds spent six months training for the film. He says that its much harder for a 6’2” man to do gymnastics than you might think.
  • Reynolds says he’s read a bunch of the comic books and that “he would be an asshole” if he hadn’t.
  • Reynolds was asked to recite the Oath, just like he was at ComicCon. But this time he did it with the audience doing so as well, in unison.
  • When asked about going from playing a Ccmic book villain to superhero, Reynolds responded: “Look, Deadpool is not a villain, he’s an asshole.”
  • Lively stressed that Geoff Johns was on set for most of the shoot making sure they got it right.
  • Reynolds compared Hal Jordan to Han Solo saying he “can get the girl, tell a joke and throw a punch.”
  • Reynolds said there are “so many unknowns” about a possibly Deadpool movie, and admitted they did a lot of things wrong in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but if they get the chance to make a feature they will do it right, “which means hard R.”
  • Reynolds stressed that Jordan can throw a joke here and there, dry one liners, but he didn’t improvise much because he wanted to keep it true to the comic book character.
  • Reynolds says he was planning to come to the stage and reveal he is going to play The Flash because it’s April Fools Day, but decided better of doing so. He says Deadpool and Green Lantern will probably be the only two superheros he plays.
  • In the film, there is a moment when Tomar-re explains to Hal in the film that his suit is made of energy.
  • Reynolds says he has not yet been approached to be in the Justice League movie. Geoff Johns would only confirm that the superhero team-up movie is in active development.
  • Atrocitus won’t appear in this film.
  • Reynolds said that Bradley Cooper would be his choice to play The Flash.
  • Lively shot Green Lantern in his Gossip Girl break. She shot her last scene on Gossip at 1am in New York City and was on set  for Green Lantern in New Orleans later that morning.
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