Comic Con ’09 Coverage: Legion Panel

It’s like the “Terminator” crossed with something John Carpenter would have done in the late ’70s and ’80s ala movies like “The Thing” and “Prince of Darkness”. That’s the best way to describe Paul Bettany’s upcoming “Legion”, a horror/action movie that the actor admits he sought out because it allowed him to play an action hero for the first time in his career.

The “Legion” panel was part of Sony’s presence at Comic-Con ’09 (the other being the Peter Jackson-produced “District 9”), and the film brought out stars Paul Bettany, Doug Jones, Tyrese Gibson, and Adrianne Palicki, along with writer/director Scott Stewart to show off their wares.

Stewart brought along an extended trailer for the movie, the first ever footage of “Legion” anywhere. As Stewart mentions later, the trailer took more than a little inspiration from James Cameron’s first “Terminator” movie.

The clip introduces us to Michael, an Arcangel that has literally fallen from the Heavens in order to stop the coming apocalypse. Or actually, Michael is intent on saving the unborn child of waitress Charlie (Palicki). The child, says Michael, is the future savior of mankind. As soon as he arrives on Earth, Michael chops off his wings, frees himself from his “halo collars” (or God’s lowjack, as Stewart calls it), and loads up with machineguns before heading off to find Charlie, who is working at an isolated diner in the desert. He’s not alone. Soon, the angels are after him, surrounding the diner with possessed people in order to get at Charlie’s unborn child inside.

Stewart, a former special effects man, has loaded this thing with some insane demon/angel special effects. It’s easily everything I thought it would be when I first heard about the film, and I can’t say as if it disappointed me one bit. The actors mention that they have been signed on for three films, but truth be told, that’s standard fare in Hollywood nowadays.

Stewart had a great way to describe the movie: “Angels with machineguns.” Hey, sounds like a great tagline to me. They should put it on the poster.

Highlights from the panel includes Tyrese indulging in some man-crush for Paul Bettany’s glistening biceps, much to Bettany’s embarrassment. Later, the “Transformers 2” star thanked fans for the success of TF2 before pimping his comic book, “Mayhem!”, which just happens to be for sale at the convention.

At the end, Stewart showed a teaser poster of Paul Bettany from their upcoming second movie together, the live-action adaptation of the Tokyo Pop comic book “Priest”. I believe it’s a take-off of the cover below:

Also, here’s a look at the latest “Legion” teaser poster: