Comic-Con First Look: Megamind with Ferrell, Fey and McGrath

With comedic stars Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill and their Megamind director Tom McGrath (Madagascar movies, Penguins of Madagascar) in attendance, Comic-Con got off to a very animated start in San Diego on Thursday. DreamWorks Animation screened exclusive footage from the studio’s upcoming feature and let the jokes guide the conversation as thousands of fans showed their appreciation for the superheroic silliness en masse.

Sporting a goofy super-villain out accentuated by a giant bald blue head, Ferrell said that he came up with the voice in a way that was villainous in a way and slightly pathetic at the same time. ‘I’ve only done one other animated movie before this, and that was Curious George: Hold for applause!’ he joked.

McGrath noted that Ferrell was the first choice for the role of the evil Megamind because they wanted the studio’s first superhero movie to turn the

genre’s conventions on its head. ‘We wanted to tell the story from the villain’s point of view and invert the characters so that the villain comes to the realization that maybe he’s playing on the wrong side. And the hero is more of a fa’ade of a hero. The damsel in danger is very strong and doesn’t need anyone to rescue her, in fact she is more of a heroine. ‘

Apparently, there’s a big twist involving the nature of the Titan character voiced by Hill as the actor was quite tight-lipped about his role. ‘Jeffrey Katzenberg is out there in the audience, and he’ll shoot an arrow through my head if I give it away,’ he joked.

When asked about their personal nemeses in life, Tina Fey noted that Betty White was hers. ‘One day I’l fight her in a ball of fire. She’ll win it, of course, and it will be on pay-per-view. We’ll wrestle on HBO this February.’ In turn, Ferrell said Charlize Theron was his. ‘I can’t get into it, but there’s a lot of bad blood there!’

After embracing a life-size cut-out of actor Brad Pitt (who voices the film’s vacuous hero Metro Man), Tina Fey said that working in animation was a new experience for her. ‘I love other actors, but I hate being in the same room as them’It’s a great way for me not to talk to other actors,’ she quipped. ‘It was really fun to see the character come to life. Animators can make you a better actor, they can make your face more expressive and better looking. It’s delightful that way!’

‘I mostly make R-rated movies and it was great to do this movie,’ said Hill, ‘because one day I can show them this movie without being put in prison.

On the subject of utilizing 3-D in their movie, McGrath noted that their approach is simply to use it to enhance the story. ’3-D has past the point of pointing a stick at the audience,’ he noted. ‘You can do a lot of storytelling and bring people straight into that world, especially in the flying and action scenes. It’s great to fall into the action with the characters’but even in the emotional scenes, 3-D really involves you and immerses you in this world.’

DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind will be released on November 5. You can see the trailer at www.megamindmovie.com