While the screaming, capacity crowd in Comic-Con's Hall H lapped up the chance to see Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and the rest of Team Twilight appear for the Breaking Dawn Part 2 panel, novelist Stephenie Meyer asked everyone to wait once the assembled vampires and werewolves left the stage. Because she’d brought a surprise: footage from The Host.
With director Andrew Niccol at the podium to kick off the look at the latest cine-baby birthed from a bestseller, we were treated to a batch of scenes from different parts of the movie.
The Host finds Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, a young woman living in a world where bodysnatching aliens have effectively taken over most of the human race by replacing their consciousness. Melanie and her brother have been on the run for two years, but she’s finally been captured, and implanted with her alien invader. After a brief flash of Ronan running and jumping out of a window, the footage proper starts with her opening her eyes on a space-age medical table. “Call me… Wanderer…” And we’re off.
With her superiors hoping Wanderer will ransack Melanie’s memories for the location of one of the rebel strongholds, the alien realises that might not be quite as easy as it first thought. Melanie’s a lot mentally stronger than most people…
We saw a mixture of flashbacks to Melanie’s life on the run and her time post-merging, when she’s brought back to the revel base buried deep in the desert that is run by William Hurt’s Jeb Stryder. There’s the hint of the tension between Ronan, Max Irons and Jake Abel and some action footage to finish, in which the resistance has to try to evade the aliens, featuring a scruffy truck facing off against shiny cars, motorbikes and a helicopter.
What we saw was still rough with a temp score, but looked visually polished even though Niccol only recently finished shooting.
We’ll all get to see The Host when it’s out on March 29, 2013. Expect, we suspect, a trailer soon.