I'm not exactly sure how a scheduled block of round-table interviews turned into a half-organized two-headed press conference, but that's pretty much how it went down in this particular convention hall room. (Sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm just trying to give you a taste of the chaos that goes on here: Nothing's on time, nobody seems to have the right answers, and a lot of time is simply spent ... waiting. (It's fun AND frustrating!)
But to be fair, it's not every day you sit in a room populated by Mark Wahlberg, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, and Mila Kunis (among others) -- but there we were! (We, um, weren't allowed to take photos -- at a press conference. Don't ask me.) After much waiting and friendly nerd-banter among patient movie folks, the cast and director of Max Payne walked in to share their thoughts on their upcoming videogame adaptation.
Mr. Wahlberg was quick to note that, while he wasn't much of a game player, he was very excited about playing a kick-ass action hero. Interviewers wanted to know why the actor chose a popcorn movie after The Departed, and one even poked a little fun: "So you won't be running away from the wind in this one?" (A cute quip, but a little classless.) When the questioners focused on director John Moore, he was his typically enthusiastic self, promising fans a gritty good time that delivers the mayhem. And just as the adorable Mila Kunis was about to explain how her character is actually a kick-ass assassin-type... ...in walked Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly! (Yes, two press conferences going on in the same room and the same time. Seriously.) Now, nothing against the Max Payne gang -- I'm actually quite a bit more interested in the movie after hearing Wahlberg talk about how much ass it will kick -- but this is just slightly bigger than a cool action flick. The Day the Earth Stood Still is Fox's remake of one of the most revered sci-fi classics under the sun ... plus, wow, I was sitting less than five feet away from Jennifer Connelly. She was joined by producer Irwin Stoff, director Scott Derrickson, and lead actor Keanu Reeves (who is quite a bit wittier than one might expect).
The interviewers started out with some good "basic" questions about the project and how the actors were drawn to it -- and I also asked Ms. Connelly if the female lead had been expanded for the remake -- before Mr. Stoff spoke up for the first time and made a very good point. I'm paraphrasing, but the gentleman basically said "We're remaking this because it's a great story and now is a good time to re-tell it. A remake can be a fantastic thing -- provided you're not just in it for a fast buck."