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COMIC-CON 2007: Hear Beowulf Writers Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery Speak!

By B. Alan Orange — July 26th, 2007

Tonight in the Gaslamp district, Beowulf writers Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery premiered their new 3-D trailer for the film. They also showed us the second reel of the Robert Zemeckis directed motion capture project. What we saw was finished literally minutes before it ran through the projector. Here is the Q&A they did directly after everyone at the Con got to see their exclusive footage.

Hear the Q&A Part 1

Hear the Q&A Part 2

What we saw reminded me of a living View-Master. The 3-D was amazing. We came into the film as Beowulf cuts the left arm off of Grendel, played by Crispin Glover. Everyone in town believes Beowulf to be a hero, and praises him as such. There is some very clever angle play with the motion capture as swords and helmets cover up Beowulf's naked crotch. The characters all looked like living Stretch Armstrong dolls. And it's a little creepy.

After Grendel gets his arm cut off, he goes back to his mother in a cave. There is some amazing CGI water work done in this sequence. Grendel purposely looks like an aborted fetus. His demon mother soothes him with her voice, easing him into a comfortable death. Crispin is very believable as the dying embodiment of crotch rot. As Roger Avery told us before we watched the footage, it was a little like coming down off an acid trip.

After partying all night, Beowulf awakens to find a group of townspeople strung up from the roof of his townhouse. He goes to the king, played by Anthony Hopkins, and learns that it is Grendel's mother who has caused all of the damage.

Beowulf goes to the mother's cave with the intention of killing her. He brings her a shiny golden trumpet, the kind you might find at Thanksgiving dinner. But she is onto him. The demon mother rises from her watery grave to reveal herself as Angelina Jolie. A smoother, more rubbery, computer-generated Angelina Jolie. She is naked in 3-D. Her nipples and v-slice are covered with golden sludge, as to keep the film within its PG-13 guardrails. There is one suggestive scene shot from the back, where we see the brown-colored metallic liquid running down Angelina's ass. I won't tell you what it looks like. The thing that got the biggest reaction from the crowd was the fact that Angelina's bare-footed heels were spiked like a pair of stilettos.

Essentially, Grendel's mother seduces Beowulf. We see them kissing in a pool reflection. The clip ended by slam cutting to black. The title Beowulf came up, with the date of its release, November 16th, 2007.

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