Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau, Danny Pudi, Michael Gladis.
If you count yourself a part of the TV geek contingent at Comic-Con this week, then those five names are reason enough to check out this live-action role-play (LARP) comedy set to hit theatres in 2012. And if you're not then let's face it, you've already clicked through to this article so I'm guessing you're already sold on the movie just from the title.
Knights of Badassdom was probably the least known film on the Hall H panel schedule this year but I don't think you could dream up one more perfect for the fans. The Con-friendly story revolves around a group of LARPers (see above) who end up blurring the lines between fiction and reality when they accidentally summon a succubus from Hell. Forget Spider-man or Underworld, this little film that could got the biggest reaction of the day from the packed crowd when they laid eyes on the trailer that kicked of the Q&A. Check it out below then read on for the (other) five reasons you should be excited for this one:
1. Director Joe Lynch
While the cast is chalk-full of talented actors, the standout at yesterday's panel was the man behind the camera, director Joe Lynch. Hilarious, relatable, and certifiably geeky, Lynch endeared himself to the assembled throngs by demonstrating his utter commitment to the story and to the entity we call fans. He set out to be completely faithful to the LARP community and even went so far as to reach out to the leaders of the West Coast-based LARP Alliance to have them head to Spokane (where the film was shot) to train the actors. He also invited the LARPers to be a part of yesterday's presentation. To boil the flick down to its essence, Lynch called his vision for it "geek distilled on film."
2. Forget CG, this one's all about the real monster(s).
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with Lynch's resume but for those of us who were in the dark, hearing that the majority of the film relied on practical effects was a welcome surprise. The director worked with Guillermo del Toro's Spectral Motion for some of the impressive visual effects throughout the film. During the panel, Kwanten revealed that the creature they'd created for the hell beast was actually "a 14-foot succubus." That's definitely not something you're going to see every day.
3. Two words: Bear McCreary.
Again, not a household name for most movie fans but to anyone familiar with "Battlestar Galactica," he's somewhat of a music god. The film and TV composer is set to score Knights and Lynch hinted that we can pretty much expect a soundtrack filled with "a heavy metal orchestra" sound.
4. It appeals to more than just LARPers.
This goes without saying but you really don't have to be a Comic-Con type to appreciate the humour, adventure and drama in a film like this. It also helps that Lynch worked the story around a mainstream, non-LARP character in Ryan Kwanten's Joe so that no matter where you fall on the geek to non-geek spectrum, there's someone for you to relate to.
5. I've said it before and I'll say it again: THIS CAST.
Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, Community's Danny Pudi, Firefly's Summer Glau, Mad Men's Michael Gladis, and 24's Jimmi Simpson, plus Margarita Levieva and comedy MVP Steve Zahn. Though Zahn was unable to make the panel, the rest of the ensemble traded enough jokes, compliments and insults to make everyone yearn to hang out with the talented and funny collective. Okay, maybe that was just me...but at the very least, they were super entertaining and if even half of that translates onto the big screen, they've got something special.
Other highlights from the panel:
- Lynch revealed that the cast was put through the rigours of LARP bootcamp and once complete, Dinklage laid waste to his cast mates. "[He] smoked every single cast member in one fell swoop, [he] destroyed us all." Dinklage’s response: "It’s made of foam!" Lynch: "It still hurts!"
- Pudi, when asked what Abed, his Community character would think of the movie: “I think Abed would be in this movie.” He continued, "He'd also be really good at keeping track of who was dead."
- One fan asked the assembled cast to name what costume they would wear to Comic-Con as a fan. Their responses:
- Ryan Kwanten: Han Solo OR Astro Boy
- Jimmi Simpson: Master Chief
- Michael Gladis: The robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still
- Danny Pudi: The Flash...or possible Mowgli
- Margarita Levieva: Princess Leia
- Summer Glau: She-Ra, Princess of Power
- Peter Dinklage: She-Ra, Princess of Power (not a typo)