Thursday is the first official day of Comic-Con and they day got started off with a bang with the panel for the highly-anticipated movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, which is set for release next summer on August 7, 2009. This was my first panel of the Con, well, if you don't count me checking out our own Paulington Christensen III at the Masters of the Web panel. The whole panel got kicked off with a bit of animation, though.

We were shown a small bit of footage from a new animation project called G.I. Joe: Resolute, which will be released the spring before G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra will be released in August. It seems that this animated project will set the stage for the movie, although we didn't see that much from this clip. It is quite clear that they are keeping parts of the original series, while at the same time modernizing it and bringing the franchise to the 21st Century. They set the stage for this in the very opening frame where they play the old-school G.I. Joe theme and then brain-wrap out of it. The footage ends with a nice play on the "Now you know. And knowing is half the battle" bit from the old series.

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After that footage we moved on to the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra film and, while we didn't see any footage from the film, they displayed a number of character stills from the likes of Ray Park's Snake Eyes, Byung-hun Lee's Storm Shadow and Christopher Eccleston's Destro amongst many others. Lorenzo di Bonaventura also noted that, "We wanted to make sure that Snake Eyes had one line. He (Ray Park) made sure we didn't." Rip-roaring applause ensued.

Once it opened up to questions, we got some interesting bits of information, such as a touch of romance... kind of. Channing Tatum's Duke and Sienna Miller's Baroness have been involved in the past and Duke actually left Baroness at the altar. Naturally, there will be some tension there, especially since they're on opposite sides of the fight. There's also an unrequited relationship between Marlon Wayans' Ripcord and the oblivious Rachel Nichols' Scarlett, although that odd relationship becomes complicated with Snake Eyes thrown in the mix. These relationships will be showcased in the film's promotion, it seems, as they showed us some paired one-sheets with those two pairings that we can look forward to.

Producer Joaquim de Santos also added that there will be four major action sequences, but they will each be in excess of 10 minutes apiece and will rival the breathtaking action sequences in Transformers.

De Santos also mentioned how nice it was having such skilled martial artists in Ray Park for Snake Eyes and Byung-hun Lee for Storm Shadow and that, because of their expertise and skill in martial arts, they were able to film most of the high-octane fight sequences without having to worry about stunt doubles, since they both insisted on doing their own stunts.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra opens on August 7, 2009.