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Comic-Con 2012 Movies: Looper

Slowly but surely, Looper is becoming the film everyone's got their eye on this fall. Sony presented the film at its showing at Comic-Con this year and from the way filmmaker Rian Johnson and the cast talked about it, this is not a film you'll want to miss.

Johnson was joined on stage by stars Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the latter receiving tremendous applause and cheers from the audience. And if you can believe it, he fielded zero questions about The Dark Knight Rises and actually had to point out the elephant in the room himself.

For those out of the loop, (yup) Looper stars JGL as Joe, a guy who works for the mob at a time when time travel exists but highly illegally. Loopers must kill the guys that the mob sends back in time, otherwise there could be consequences. The trouble comes when the guy Joe must kill is an older version of himself (Bruce Willis). Joe lets his older self go and so he must later rectify the situation. Blunt plays a character she couldn't comment much on, but who gets wrapped up in Joe's "situation."

Johnson said the idea came to him during a phase in which he read a lot of Philip K. Dick about 10 years ago (a bit of a shout back to the previous Total Recall panel). He then wrote the part of Joe specifically for Gordon-Levitt, having worked with him on his much-adored indie film Brick.

After a four-minute sizzle reel containing mostly footage from the trailers but a bit of an extended look at some other characters such as Jeff Daniels' role as Joe's handler, the panel fielded questions.

Gordon-Levitt said the role was particular challenging because he doesn't feel he's very good at doing impressions, and he essentially had to become Willis, even enduring three hours of makeup to do so convincingly. Johnson said that when he cast Willis, they hadn't thought about the fact that he looks nothing like Gordon-Levitt.

The panel answered many questions about what it's like working with Willis, who could not attend the Con due to filming on "Die Hard 5" in Eastern Europe. JGL called the action icon a "sweetheart," while Blunt told a story about how he went over to hand her a parasol for a scene one day because he was afraid she'd burn. He was covered in blood. JGL iterated that Willis is soft spoken, that he doesn't need to be loud to command the room.

Lastly, Johnson talked about the film's notion of "closing your loop" (which was given as a hashtag to the audience, #closeyourloop), basically another way of saying tying up loose ends. Personally, that way of talking about the film feels very reminiscent of Inception, a film that gives Looper a lot to live up to, but based on what we've seen, it's not outside the realm of possibility (though on a much smaller, low-budget scale).

Looper opens Sept. 28.


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