SDCC: Live Bloggin’ the Sucker Punch Panel

ON is inside Hall H for the Warner Bros. Comic-Con presentation for Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, starring Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac and Scott Glenn, and we’re live blogging it, so stay tuned and refresh often to keep up with what is happening as it goes down live.

Opening on March 25, 2011, it’s Snyder’s first movie based on one of his original ideas. had a chance to visit the Vancouver set last year, but we’ve been under embargo so we couldn’t tell you anything about what we saw, but we will say right now that the Hall H audience is going to FLIP OUT when they see what Zack’s been up with his mostly-female all-sexy cast. We’re not sure anyone really knows what to expect from it because the general premise that was released doesn’t really give anyone a good impression of all the crazy stuff he’s been doing now that he doesn’t have original source material to worry about.

Right now, they’re doing the presentation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, which will be written up by our own Blake Wright, but Snyder’s new movie is up next. Tom Felton a.k.a. Draco Malfoy has made a surprise appearance to present the footage, but we’ll be ready to live blog the Sucker Punch part of the presentation when it starts in a few minutes.

Geoff Boucher suggests that the presentation for Sucker Punch could be another “firecracker” that’s been lit in Hall H at Comic-Con and he introduces Zack Snyder who comes out to big cheers, and he’s being asked a few general questions about the movie.

Zack says he’s been working on the movie for eight years or longer, and that he was a fan of fantasy and that he just had this journey he wanted to “torture these girls with” and they agreed. (The girls being the female cast mentioned above.)

They’re bringing out those very same girls before showing the footage. Out comes Carla Gugino, Jamie Chung, Vanessa Hudgens, Jenna Malone and Emily Browning, and they followed with an insane montage of footage we will describe as best we can in a second.

The footage begins with Emily Browning’s character Babydoll’s eyes opening and the title card “Close Your Eyes” and Scott Glenn’s voice asking “What are you looking for?” and then we hear Carla Gugino’s Polish accent telling Babydoll, “push through your fear to find your own paradise.” Gugino’s voiceover does a count-off… “1… 2… 3… 4” then we hear the opening drums of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” and we see Scott Glenn as Babydoll’s stepfather driving a large old car with Babydoll in the passenger seat as the car drives into the Lennox House for the Mentally Insane in Brattleboro, Vermont here he commits his stepdaughter. We then see lots of scenes of Babydoll in the insane asylum being introduced to Gugino’s Madame Gorsky, who says, “What you’re imagining now, you control this own world.” Babydoll closes her eyes again and the insane asylum transforms into a brothel/dancehall where all the female patients are prostitutes. (The original footage is very muted almost black and white, a bit like Sin City, but in the world where it’s a brothel, it’s a lot more bright and colorful.) Gugino says, “Your fight for survival starts right now” and we see a slow-motion snowflake falling on Babydoll’s eyelash and the footage turned into an insane fast-paced montage of some of the different worlds where Babydoll and some of the other girls of the brothel visit in order to get different items. Each of the girls has a dance number and there are four different worlds where they visit, all of which we saw brief glimpses of the footage including samurai battles. They also have a WWI sequence where they’re fighting in the trenches and one of the girls gets to ride a giant manga-inspired Mecha while shooting down biplanes. This really was some insane stuff that went by very fast with so many images that it probably be very hard for any of it to register.

One of the prison officers tells Babydoll, “I’m going to give you freedom, freedom from pain, guilt, regret” and then we see John Hamm, who plays a john at the brothel and he makes a sleezy comment: “Did you see the way she looked at me?”

As the fast footage continued, the title cards came up with the words, “You Will Be Unprepared.”

After the footage, they talked a bit about their characters and the story, which we’ll have to catch up in a bit, and they’re already onto questions from the audience.

Question from the audience about the fight choreography, and Zack is using the same fight choreographer as 300 and Watchmen, Dave Carlo.

As Zack has told us before, he thinks that Sucker Punch has a chance to be PG-13, but they have a lot of creatures being killed, and he hopes the MPAA will remember how creatures got decapitated in “The Lord of the Rings” movies and they got a PG-13.

He mentioned that the German soldiers in the WWI sequence are zombies.

Zack confirmed that they’re busy writing Xerxes while Frank Miller works on the graphic novel of the same name.

They’re going to show the footage again and all the girls are going to come off the stage to see the footage from the audience. We’ll see if we can catch some more of it. Honestly, having visited the set, we can probably figure out what everything is if the footage were slowed down a bit, but we don’t want to get in trouble with Warner Bros. (and Zack) by breaking the embargo.

On second viewing, we were able to focus on a few more of the images including the dragons the girls fight, as well as the futuristic world where they fight robots. One thing we noticed of interest was that each world has a different color scheme, and the way the footage was cut together, we can see how much they differ, some worlds being muted with very little color and others being lush and colorful.