The Walt Disney Company held multiple movie panels yesterday at WonderCon 2010 in San Francisco, CA, one of which was for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The film is directed by John Turteltaub, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Monica Belucci, and Alfred Molina.
Many were pulling double-duty as Bruckheimer was there for both Persia and Apprentice (both of which also star Molina), and Cage, who was there for this and the big draw of the convention, Kick-Ass.
Much like Disney’s other panel, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, this panel showed off a couple of new scenes before jumping into a Q&A session with Baruchel, Cage, Bruckeheimer, and actress Teresa Palmer. See below for our description of the footage.
One thing I personally had absolutely zero clue about, was that this movie is actually based (very loosely) on the segment from the classic (and trippy) Disney animated film, Fantasia. With Fantasia being based on the 1797 poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, it all makes sense. The circle of cinematic life.
In regards to this, however, Turteltaub did assure fans that it wouldn’t bear much resemblance to the musical mickey mouse interpretation. “Obviously we’re not going to do a 2-hour movie about a dancing mop,” said the director.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will be released on July 16, 2010.
The first footage that they showed is what will likely kick the movie off: An introduction scene where a young boy named Dave Stutler (whose older self will be played by Baruchel), chasing a letter around. The elusive piece of paper leads him to an room filled with many interesting items, including a genie’s lamp. While rubbing the lamp, he accidentally knocks over an urn, which is quickly scooped up by Balthazar Blake (Cage). When Dave tells him about how he got there, Blake’s interest is clearly piqued, and he decides to do a little test, telling the boy he wants to see if the dragon trinket he has will choose him. The little dragon then begins moving, and slowly wraps itself around Dave’s finger.
This is all fun times at first, but then another artifact in the room is accidentally knocked over, releasing an army of insects that form into the evil Maxim Horvath (Molina). When Balthazar and Maxim see each other, a massive fight takes place (apparently they’re not fond of one another) until Dave helps to trap Horvath back where he belongs.
After that, another scene was shown featuring Dave year later (now played by Baruchel) in a public bathroom, when a guy named Drake Stone comes in. As it turns out, Stone is the new apprentice to Horvath, who has return from his captive state. Stone is ready to make an example of Dave when Balthazar shows up again and tosses him aside, which is when Horvath himself shows up and another battle takes place.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has a great vibe to it, with a lot of good action and humor. Much like Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, it has that strong “fun” feeling to it, despite what your feelings might be towards CGI and effects and all that modern filmmaking jazz.
Reporting by Tom Cheredar from WonderCon, San Francisco, CA.