“I’m back,” said the former California governor, who has leaped back to acting with a series of upcoming action roles including “The Expendables 2,” which Schwarzenegger came to promote at the fan convention. Schwarzenegger joined fellow stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture on a panel to preview footage for Comic-Con.
Quoting his famous line from the “Terminator” films, Schwarzenegger said that after eight years away from action films while governor, he took some ribbing from his co-stars, who also included Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Liam Hemsworth and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
“‘Well, we know you’ve been out of the business for eight years. Let me show you how to load a gun again and, Arnold, here’s how you throw a punch,’” Schwarzenegger recalled his co-stars joking. But after the verbal sparring of state government, Schwarzenegger found he was able to pick up where he left off as an action star fairly fast, doing fun things like taking out a knife and killing a guy and cutting his head off.
“You wish you could do some of those things when you’re in politics, but you know, you can’t,” Schwarzenegger said. The sequel to Stallone’s 2010 hit, “The Expendables 2” casts the band of tough guys into vengeance mode after they’re betrayed on a mission. The movie arrives in theaters in Aug. 17.
After the preview, Comic-Con organizers presented their Inkpot Award honoring pop-culture contributions to Schwarzenegger, who also has filmed the crime thriller “The Last Stand” since leaving the governor’s office. Stallone, who also co-stars with Schwarzenegger in the upcoming prison thriller “The Tomb,” recalled first meeting Schwarzenegger at the Golden Globes for 1977, when his boxing saga “Rocky” won for best picture and Schwarzenegger won as best new star for “Stay Hungry.”
“Who is this guy as big as the whole table?” Stallone recalls wondering of former body-building champion Schwarzenegger. After hearing the Austrian’s name called for his award, Stallone thought, “No one has a name like that. This guy is doomed, over, flash in the pan.” Schwarzenegger shot back that Stallone set the tone for his own accent-heavy acting career. “When I came to America 44 years ago, Sly was my English teacher,” Schwarzenegger said. “So blame him.” Stallone replied in classic Rocky monosyllables.
Burton resurrects dead dog tale ‘Frankenweenie’
Tim Burton knows what it’s like to be a boy with a dead dog. The filmmaker came to the Comic-Con fan convention Thursday to show footage of “Frankenweenie,” his expanded take on Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name. The film tells the story of a boy who brings his beloved dog back to life after the pet dies in an accident, using a kid’s variation of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory.
“It stemmed from having a dead dog when I was a child and that sort of special first relationship you have with a pet,” said Burton, who later mixed in his love of monster movies such as “Dracula” and “Frankenstein.” ‘‘I just wanted to mix all of those elements, the horror, the humor, the heart of the story.” Unlike the live-action original, the feature-length version is done in black and white through stop-motion animation using puppets meticulously shot one frame at a time. Burton, who began as an animator, says it was a new experience back then to work with live actors but that the stop-motion version is the more pure take on his story.
“It’s nice to be able to shoot it this way,” Burton said. “It’s like little sets, and you shoot it like a live-action film. The puppets are so tactile. They’re amazing to feel and to touch.”
“Frankenweenie” hits theaters Oct. 5. The voice cast includes Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Landau. The footage Burton showed off featured the filmmaker’s take on classic horror movie images and lines, including a dog with “Bride of Frankenstein” hair and one of the boy’s school chums uttering the mad scientist line “It’s alive.” Burton answered questions from fans during his preview panel, among them queries from a group dressed as characters from his films, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” ‘‘Beetlejuice” and this summer’s “Dark Shadows.”
Adam Sandler looks to rise again in ‘Transylvania’
The “Twilight” blood-suckers aren’t the only big-screen vampires at Comic-Con. Adam Sandler’s putting the bite on audiences, too. On opening day at the fan convention Thursday, Sony Pictures previewed footage of Sandler’s animated comedy “Hotel Transylvania,” in which he provides the voice of the grand-daddy of vampires, Dracula.
It’s the follow-up to a rare flop for Sandler, whose string of hits came to an end this summer with the dud “That’s My Boy,” co-starring Andy Samberg. Opening Sept. 28, “Hotel Transylvania” against co-stars Samberg, who provides the voice of a human falling for Dracula’s vampire daughter. ”Hotel Transylvania” director Genndy Tartakovsky says he’s not worried that Sandler and Samberg are coming off a flop. The filmmaker says his PG-rated family tale is wildly different from the R-rated “That’s My Boy.”
“Movies go up and down, and I don’t think there’s every been a history of one movie flopping and then a career ending for that person,” Tartakovsky said in an interview. “There are a lot of rebounds to this business. “And our film’s for a different audience, so we weren’t worried either way. Our movie stands alone, really well on its own, and it’s Dracula with Adam’s voice. It’s a family film.” The voice cast includes Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Jon Lovitz, David Spade, Cee Lo Green and Molly Shannon.
Showtime kills with ‘Dexter’ tease at Comic-Con
“Dexter” revealed a secret at Comic-Con. Showtime unleashed the first two minutes from the serial-killing drama’s upcoming seventh season at a Comic-Con presentation Thursday. The scene picked right up right where the sixth season ended, with Jennifer Carpenter’s Deb discovering Michael C. Hall’s Dexter standing over the body of the Doomsday Killer. In the scene -- spoiler alert! -- the forensic analyst attempts to explain the awkward circumstance to his apprehensive police officer sister. She doesn’t understand why the body is wrapped in plastic. The moment abruptly ends when Deb calls for backup and Dexter seemingly lunges toward her. Does the undercover killer think his sister buys his story? ”He hopes so in that moment,” said Hall, who was on hand at Thursday’s panel with Carpenter. ”She’s taking it one step at a time,” added a coy Carpenter. Yvonne Strahovski, who will be guest starring with Hall and Carpenter in the seventh season, was also present at the Comic-Con presentation, but she couldn’t divulge much about her role. Strahovski only offered up her character’s name, Hanna, and that she’s a “woman of mystery with a dark past.” ”She meets Dexter and helps him with an investigation into an old murder mystery,” the former “Chuck” star revealed. The seventh season of “Dexter” premieres Sept. 30. San Diego AP