Jul 25, 2011

COMIC-CON: Haywire Trailer, Poster and Panel

Really spotty Internet connections kept me from posting timely updates from Comic-Con, but now I'll play catch-up after the fact. One of my favorite panels I attended was for Steven Soderbergh's upcoming spy movie starring mixed martial artist Gina Carano, whose non-acting background is offset by the presence of heavy-hitting, big-time actors like Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor and freshly-minted spy star Michael Fassbender. The trailer clearly seems to be cut around Ms. Carano's dialogue, as she barely speaks in it and doesn't exactly impress when she does, but it doesn't seem like the sort of movie where speaking really counts for much anyway. What she does do very convincingly is fight, and that seems like a more important skill set for as action-heavy a spy movie as Haywire. Furthermore, Carano demonstrated ample charisma in person on the panel. I remember the heady days of the early Nineties when the right combination of fighting ability and charisma could make an action star... and I liked them. Beyond Carano's performance, this trailer delivers some classic spy iconography in atmospheric shots of European cities and streets. It's a sort of spy movie Soderbergh hasn't attempted before, and I'm eager to see what he does with it. On the panel, he confessed that he's a fan of the spy genre, and that should come as little surprise to anyone who's seen his non-traditional espionage films like The Informant! or The Good German. (Unfortunately, nobody asked him about The Man From U.N.C.L.E.)

Besides the trailer, Soderbergh debuted a complete scene from the movie at the con in which Carano fights Fassbender in a hotel room. It's a particularly brutal smack-down, heightened by the fact that they're both in formal wear. It was clear from the clip that Soderbergh's still determined to light his interiors in a dim orange hues (is he just using the fluorescents in the room?), which I find kind of annoying, but it was also clear that Carano's skills will go a long way in convincing moviegoers of her character's black ops background. I kind of feared for Fassbender's life watching those punches land, and had no doubt that she was entirely capable of beating him up. (As it turns out, those fears were justified. Soderbergh shared that one misstep during shooting landed him briefly unconscious.)

Haywire opens in January.

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