After Harrison Ford is led out on the Hall H stage in handcuffs, a Comic-Con audience is pretty much going to go berserk no matter what sort of footage you show. But it helps if that footage comes from nerd god Jon Favreau and features Ford and the current bearer of the James Bond mantle, Daniel Craig.
Universal on Saturday took the wraps off “Cowboys & Aliens,” its hybrid science-fiction western, prompting the second-loudest cheers of the day (the loudest came at the Marvel panel that followed — more on that shortly). Ford was apparently referencing the fact that he had to be dragged to the event — he’d never attended Comic-Con before, and Favreau persuaded him to make the trip — not the fact that just an hour before, security had put a man wearing a Harry Potter shirt in restraints and led him out of the hall.
But the actual meaning of the gag hardly mattered. Ford’s presence played to a primed audience, and the extended clip that followed only stoked said crowd further.
The footage started quietly as, in the Old West, Craig’s Jake Lonergan nurses a deep stomach wound, then picks up the pace considerably with a Western showdown and an explosive alien invasion. Outside of “Tron,” it was probably the warmest reception for any film footage that we’ve seen. It almost didn’t matter that there was very little Q&A or discussion.
It’s worth remembering that, outside of a hardcore superhero movie, Comic-Con hysteria hardly translates into a hit (see under: “Kick-Ass”), and the lack thereof doesn’t mean a movie will flop (see under: “Avatar”). On this day, at least, cowboys, aliens and a dose of Indiana Jones made for a potent combination.
Photo: The Cowboys & Aliens graphic novel. Credit: Platinum Studios
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