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Comic Con Movies: Paul Panel

You have to expect a good reaction from the Comic Con crowd when you show footage from a film that starts off with two guys at Comic Con. Such is the case with Paul, a film that comes out for Universal next March from Superbad and Adventureland director Greg Mottola. Some footage of the Comic Con part was even shown, naturally a strange (in a cool way) for this year's attendees, even though the filming was not actually done at a previous Comic Con, but at a pretty solid re-creation.

The panel consisted of Mottola, stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who've collaborated on two of Edgar Wright's film, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), Seth Rogen (the voice of the titular character, who is an alien), Sigourney Weaver, Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman.

The premise is that this duo of British geeks heads out on a road trip which includes a drive through New Mexico (near Area 51) where they pick up Paul, an alien who ascends from a car accident the two witness. The footage provided the much-anticipated first look at Paul. He's a pretty generic gray alien with a big eyes and a big head, but given the types of films Mottola makes, he pretty much acts like a foul-mouthed dude. Rogen's voice work is basically just him.

The clips also revealed Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio as CIA agents who Weaver (naturally who they report to because that's the kind of role Weaver takes these days) commands to get Paul back. Kristen Wiig shows up as a woman the two accidentally kidnap and there was even a glimpse of a Ms. Jane Lynch.

An interesting tidbit revealed in the discussion was that Lo Truglio acted as a stand-in for the alien on the set so as to make the dialogue with Paul a bit easier for Pegg and Frost. Some of Lo Truglio's ad-libs were so funny that Rogen used them when he recorded.

Pegg and Frost, who wrote the film together, said they actually came up with the idea to do a film involving aliens while on set for Shaun of the Dead filming the scene where they throw records around. They were dealing with some bad weather and their producer wondered why they couldn't be filming somewhere sunny, which eventually got them thinking about the desert, which led them to aliens, I guess. Mottola was brought on board because of their love of Superbad. Considering these two are such great friends and Mottola excels with relationships in his films and bringing them to funny and more dramatic places without seeming too cheesy, I can see the two styles working together.

This panel was also cut short due to the Hall H incident of one person stabbing another over a seating dispute.



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