My first panel at Comic-Con, Megamind, kicked things off right: with humor, mystery, and costumes! The animated film from Dreamworks caught the audience by surprise when star voice Will Ferrell showed up on stage — covered in blue face paint and dressed as the title character. He was joined by costars Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, and as the room waited with bated breath to see if Brad Pitt would show up . . . he did! A cardboard stand-up of him, anyway.
Still, Ferrell, Fey, and Hill had no problem warming up the morning crowd without him, cracking jokes about the convention and introducing a few minutes of the movie. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw — as director Tom McGrath said, it's Dreamworks's first superhero movie and the concept turns the genre on its head. While Brad Pitt voices Metro Man, Will Ferrell plays his nemesis, villain Megamind, who bests Metro Man early in the movie and then has to figure out what to do with his new power. Fey's character is the cute reporter on the case, and Hill is a dorky cameraman (with a twist!) who takes a shine to her.
Each actor had a chance to comment on their character and bust out one-liners, so to hear what they had to say about Megamind, plus see tons of photos, just
- Will Ferrell had the audience rolling pretending that he came up with the idea for Megamind and pitched it to Dreamworks head Jeffrey Katzenberg: "I've been hanging out in this costume for a year, so I basically came up with the initial concept of what this look would be," adding that he told Katzenberg that he "needed his break."
- Fey related her character, Roxanne Ritchi, to her love of the Superman TV show and Christopher Reeve films. Like Lois Lane, "the sassy reporter lady is an archetype," she said, saying Roxanne is "an interesting version of that." Director McGrath mentioned that Roxanne is probably "the strongest character in the movie."
- Jonah Hill's character seems like a nerdy afterthought, but he and McGrath assured everyone that his part is "kind of a secret," and that it's a "monster twist."
- Tina Fey had an awful lot of fun with the Brad Pitt cutout, placing it across her lap and saying, "I've always wanted to do this." When someone said that Brad Pitt wanted to talk, Fey piped up with, "I love Tina." She was on a roll; when a fan asked her who her nemesis in Hollywood is, she replied, "Betty White. One day I will fight her in a ball of fire, and I think she will win, but it will be a glorious battle."
- I loved that Will Ferrell took it upon himself to point out that Megamind is not the first time he's played a villain, invoking Mugatu from Zoolander. You know, the inventor of the piano key necktie.
- Hill took the time to make a joke announcement, saying, "I'm playing The Hulk in The Avengers movie," alluding to the recent casting hubbub.