Movies

Comic-Con attendees get peek at blood-soaked It Chapter 2

SAN DIEGO : San Diego Comic-Con kicked off with a chorus of shrieks - and gallons of blood - as New Line Cinema unveiled spine-chilling footage from It Chapter 2, the sequel to the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.

The Warner Bros-owned studio used Wednesday's preview night of the world's largest pop culture fan gathering to showcase its concluding film of Stephen King's 1986 novel about a terrifying clown who lurks in the sewers, preying on children's most nightmarish fears.

The adaptation was split into two by director Andy Muschietti - the first part, It, released in 2017, took a stunning US$700 million (S$952 million) at the global box office.

The sequel, out here on Sept 5, stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy as grown-up versions of the haunted children returning to their creepy hometown 27 years later to battle Pennywise the clown.

Asked by host Conan O'Brien about a clip showing her character covered in blood, Chastain said she had volunteered for the full immersion - but later regretted it.

"I just was like, let's make Carrie on steroids," she told a packed downtown theatre.

"And that's what he (Muschietti) did. And it literally tortured me through the whole movie."

Chastain claimed that a world-record 4,500 gallons of fake blood were used in the production - all of which had to be kept freezing cold to stop it fermenting in the heat.

One haunting clip showed McAvoy's character racing through a claustrophobic house-of-mirrors in a bid to stop the clown's murderous spree.

McAvoy said he pulled muscles and developed tendonitis during an arduous, physical shoot in which Muschietti demanded endless multiple takes.

Chastain also praised the genre's portrayal of strong women in the age of #MeToo.

"Right now a lot of people are talking about female characters and arcs... I find that in horror films, they really honour women, in that women beat the monster at the end and usually the men die."

The 50th anniversary edition of Comic-Con International will bring 135,000 hyped-up devotees to a sweaty San Diego convention centre over the next four days, packed with glimpses of the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, there was a screening for The CW's upcoming Batwoman series, featuring Ruby Rose as an openly lesbian, feminist superheroine.

Much-anticipated panels later in the week include a Terminator sequel reuniting Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, a Star Trek showcase welcoming back Patrick Stewart and a Game Of Thrones reunion.

Marvel Studios is also expected to lift the lid on the next set of films in its hyper-successful cinematic universe of superhero movies. - AFP

Movies