What We Learned About EDGE OF TOMORROW & INTO THE STORM at WonderCon

Last weekend, Nerdist attended the Warner Bros panel at WonderCon 2014 and got to see a sneak peak of some of the studio’s summer movies. Here’s what we found out:

Edge of Tomorrow

Based on the critically acclaimed novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow is one of those semi-rare original sci-fi movies coming out this year. The story takes place in the not so distant future, when mankind has been overrun with an unstoppable alien invasion. Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is a newbie officer who is sent on a suicide mission… or so he thinks. When Cage dies, he’s thrown into a time loop where he must endure the same brutal battle day after day, dying over and over again, until he can change the future.

That’s where Special Forces agent Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) comes in. Throughout the course of each day, Cage learns more and more from Rita about the seemingly endless time loop and the nature of the enemy. Clad in massive, decked-out exo-suits, Rita and Cage must be one step ahead of the aliens in order to end the war.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Luckily, it also looks pretty cool.

Edge of Tomorrow

The Footage

The new trailer shows Bill Cage (Cruise) in some sort of military plane, about to get dropped into a huge battle scene… except the plane is hit and explodes before he has a chance. Cage is killed over and over again, only to wake up and start the day anew — a murderous, alien-invasion Groundhog’s Day. In each scenario, he faces off against the tentacled aliens and encounters Rita Vrataski (Blunt), a soldier who must be famous, as her face is plastered all over “Victory” posters. Theoretically, Cage must train with Rita each day (“Every time you die you get smarter,” she explains) so he can take on the aliens, and, hopefully, win the war.

Everything is big and bold: helicopter crashes, epic explosions, the squad’s exo-suits, and the very fast, very scary-looking aliens that move like rapid fire through the water after Cage and Rita. If you’ve seen the trailer, imagine all of that, times a thousand. (If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?)

Edge of Tomorrow

The Panel

Panel moderator Drew McWeeny’s introduction said it all: “This is not just one of my favorite character actors working… this is Chet from Weird Science, this is Hudson from Aliens, this is the guy that got his heart ripped out by a naked Arnold in The Terminator. Ladies and gentlemen, a goddamn national treasure, Bill Paxton!”

Though Bill Paxton came out on stage to answer questions about his role in Edge of Tomorrow, he also demonstrated a very sweet appreciation for his fans. “[Warner Brothers] needed somebody to go, ‘Game over, man!’” he exclaimed, laughing as the crowd went wild.

Throughout the entire panel, Paxton was an excited ball of energy, describing his character as a “country boy platoon sergeant named Sgt. Bobby Farrell.” He described Cruise’s character, Lt. Col. Bill Cage, as a Hudson type, “shitting green bananas.” Paxton also gave insight into the alien horde that his squad is up against. They’re known as Mimics, because “not only are they deadly, fast as hell and hard to kill, they seem to be able to anticipate whatever we’re going to do… so they’re one step ahead of us.”

Paxton also teased Emily Blunt’s role. We’ve seen her in one of her own exoskeleton suits, and it sounds like she gets a big chunk of the action. “It’s not just a guy’s action movie, it’s a gal’s action movie, too.” he said. (And though I long for a time when someone says “action movie” and it’s assumed that guys and gals can both dig it, I’m glad there’ll be another ass-kicking lady to watch on the big screen this summer.)

Edge of Tomorrow also stars Jeremy Piven, Ciaran Hinds, Noah Taylor, Dragomi Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, Noah Taylor, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda, and Tony Way. It opens in 3D, 2D, and IMAX 3D on June 6, 2014.

Into the Storm

Into the Storm

Imagine if a movie like Twister were made today, and you’ve got a clue as to what Into the Storm is all about. Into the Storm is a found footage thriller about a group of storm chasers who get more than they bargained for when the “storm of the century” devastates a small town. The premise could really go either way, but if the footage screened at the panel is any indication, we’re in for a real treat.

The Footage

Again, imagine Twister amped up to the highest level. The footage begins in blackness, as the sounds of the storm — trees crashing, sirens wailing — grow ominously loud. Buildings are crushed and cars are demolished as a series of killer tornadoes sweep the small town. A barn is torn apart. The car dealership is swept away. High school students cower next to their lockers as their school is uprooted around them.

And then… the fire tornadoes start. As the tornadoes twist and surge through the town, they take on some of the explosions, ripping and burning through everything in its wake. One by one, planes begin to lift out of the air, lurching forward and decimating whatever is in their path. And at the center of it all, the storm chasers and townspeople struggle to survive.

tl;dr: Major tornado destruction, y’all.

Into the Storm

(photo courtesy of Collider)

The Panel

Into the Storm’s panel included director Steven Quale (Final Destination 5) as well as cast members Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy), Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan), Arlen Escarpeta (Friday the 13th), and Max Deacon (I, Anna). Quale, who has worked with James Cameron on films like The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar, and Titanic, spoke about working with practical and special effects for this wild tornado movie.

“We tried to make whatever is around the actor practical and then add the digital effects to it,” said Quale. Practical effects like torrential rain and heavy winds meant the actors had a lot to work with, as well. Armitage agreed that the tough scenes helped him find catharsis with his character, and that he and his fellow actors were actually enduring their own storm on set.

Unsurprisingly, most of the audience questions came from Richard Armitage fans (some were wearing t-shirts with his face on them), but Armitage and the other panelists were quite gracious about any The Hobbit questions that came their way.

Into the Storm comes out August 8, 2014.

Warner Bros also debuted some awesome Godzilla footage at the panel. Check out our rundown here.

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