SDCC EXCLUSIVE: Producer Neal Moritz… and Kids?


Producer Neal Moritz is no stranger to Comic-Con, having had a number of movies debut footage there, but considering how many upcoming comic book-based adaptations and genre fare he has on his upcoming slate, you’d probably think he had been there more times than he actually has. Of course, Moritz is best known for his high-speed action movies, epitomized by the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, which is currently filming its fifth installment.

This year, he had two movies at Comic-Con, starting on Thursday with the premiere of first footage from Jonathan Liebesman’s alien warfare flick Battle: Los Angeles, starring Aaron Eckhart and MIchelle Rodriguez. We mostly talked to him about that–and you can read a description of the footage we saw here–but later on today (Friday) at Comic-Con, he’ll be showing new footage from Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet, written by the Superbad team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with Rogen playing the title character. (The Sony panel takes place between 4pm and 6pm in Hall H.)

We talked to Moritz about the potential he saw in Battle: Los Angeles and director Jonathan Liebesman when he put the two of them together, talked about the franchise potential for the movie, as well as the unconventional March release date. We also briefly discussed the 3D conversion for The Green Hornet and how it will be different from the last few movies that didn’t succeed in their efforts to tap into the 3D explosion. (At a party for The Green Hornet, Mssr. Gondry told us that they would be showing roughly 6 minutes of 2D footage at the panel and about 2 minutes of 3D footage.)

Having spoken with another busy action producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, just last week, and realizing Moritz has nearly twice as many movies in development, including many based on comic book properties and genre flicks, we definitely wanted to get in a couple questions about some of those other movies as well. With that in mind, we briefly touched upon Garth Ennis’ Preacher (a big name director is interested) and The Boys. The new version of Phillip K. Dick’s Total Recall (they’re taking a different route with the remake) and a remake of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York.

Again, we didn’t have a ton of time, but that’s nothing compared to Moritz’s busy schedule, and he used the time to multitask and get some time in with his kids, as well as throwing us a scoop that his son (who joined us midway through the interview) will likely be producing Fast and Furious 12.