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Having expertly distributed sleeper hits like the horror flick Insidious and inspirational Soul Surfer, FilmDistrict came onto the scene this past year as a distributing force to be reckoned with.
As such, they’ve made their way to Comic-Con, and like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 earlier today, to its highly coveted Hall H. This year they come with not one but two highly anticipated features: Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror feature Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark with Katie Holmes and the Cannes Award-winning action flick Drive starring Ryan Gosling.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has been marketed for the past several months, but it was Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, which will screen at Comic-Con this evening, that really stole the panel with the debut of its trailer and another clip that involves an elevator. Both played to extremely positive response, which is impressive considering the crowd that was reportedly divided beforehand. Refn’s description of his “first date” with Gosling didn’t really hurt Drive’s acceleration (pun intended) either.
This panel kicked off with an opening clip that introduced Del Toro and Refn. They both took the stage alongside Drive stars Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark director Troy Nixey, and star of the latter feature, Guy Pearce.
During the panel, Refn proclaimed that genre is the new progressive cinema. Mulligan stated that she expressed interest in Drive after seeing Refn’s Bronson and Valhalla Rising. The interest was apparently mutual, as changes were made to the character she played so that she could be in the film.
Some concept art and character designs for the feature were revealed after the “Dark.” Meanwhile, Del Toro had no trouble using his usual expletives, as he employed them quite frequently when praising Refn and Pearce as well as several other instances.
That’s all we’ve got for the FilmDistrict panel. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will start scaring audiences on Aug. 26, while Drive pulls into theaters on Sept. 16. Stay tuned to Player Affinity for more Comic-Con updates including more cursing from GDT during the Entertainment Weekly Visionaries panel later this evening!