Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
PAUL is a road-trip comedy written by (and starring) Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, who are treated like absolute royalty by fans here. (Proof that what plays well at Comic-Con doesn’t always make it huge elsewhere; see also: “Filion, Nathan”). But PAUL is a perfect Comic-Con movie, because it actually begins at Comic-Con, as our lead duo take a road trip from San Diego to Area 51, where they pick up an escaping alien called Paul.
Paul looks like your standard little gray man with a big head, but he has Seth Rogen’s voice and sensibility. The clip shown features a lot of car crashes and explosions, HOT FUZZ style, but also humor, mostly courtesy of Paul’s foul mouth. When Kristen Wiig appears as a creationist, saying the world is 4000 years old and can only be explained by intelligent design, Paul walks into the room and goes: “That’s bullshit! How do you explain ME?” Later, when two bilker types prepare to beat up Pegg/Frost, Paul enters with the line, “Yo, fucknuts! It’s probin’ time!”
Panel is loaded with director Greg Mottola, Pegg/Frost, Rogen, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Jeffrey Tambor, and Joe Lo Truglio.
Idea for the script came when Pegg/Frost were doing SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and it was raining; they decided they had to write something set in a sunny climate. Pegg says there was no one moment that inspired him to go into the movies “apart from when the ghost of Shakespeare knocked on my bedroom door.”
They recreated Comic-Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico, because the San Diego Fire Marshall said no way to filming at the show (though they did say yes this year to Morgan Spurlock, who’s walking around filming a documentary).
Sigourney Weaver is mostly a voice in the movie, as Hader’s boss on the phone. She takes the time to thank all the Comic-Con fans in person for making AVATAR a success, and starting positive buzz when there were a lot of naysayers.
A fan asks what it’s like to be a celebrity at Comic-Con; is it harder to enjoy the event overall? Mottola says people think he’s Moby. Pegg says it’s no big deal to put on a mask and roam the floor. Frost says he disguises himself as Slave Leia. Hader says he went on the floor earlier, “and no-one gave a shit.”
Tambor: “I too went on the floor, and people thought I was Dr. Phil.”
Rogen: “Since I lost a little weight, I look like J.J. Abrams, is the only problem.”
Who would win in a gunfight between the HOT FUZZ cops and the SUPERBAD cops? Rogen says, “They’d whup our ass.” Hader: “We’d be too drunk to use our guns. Frost: “I think when policemen turn on each other, the world has gone crazy, so let’s hope that never happens.”
Rogen’s best Comic-Con memory is of smoking a joint with Ed Brubaker and Method Man.
End panel. Very funny cast, but the only big laughs in the footage come from Rogen. That said, I always thought the trailers for SUPERBAD looked terrible, and the movie proved me wrong.