WonderCon 2012: Our First Square-Jawed Look at Rian Johnson’s ‘Looper’

Fans in attendance who braved the Ballroom Line were treated to the first footage anyone anywhere has seen of Rian Johnson‘s (Brick) newest film, Looper. Up ’til now, all we’ve really heard about the project is that it’s a movie that somehow blends time-travel and assassins. How could it go wrong?

While I’m sure there are millions of ways for that idea to go wrong, what we witnessed seems to suggest that none of those things actually went wrong. I’ll break down the footage for you, and it could be considered kind of spoilery I guess, though the teaser trailer will be online in a few weeks.

We’ve also got pictures of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he appears in Looper!

Looper is set in the future two-fold. Joseph Gordon-Levitt lives one time period, one where time travel has yet to be invented. However, 30 years in the future, the mafia uses time travel to send people back in time to be assassinated. In the trailer we see JGL standing at the ready with a shotgun in front of a blanket laid down in an empty field. Suddenly, a bound and hooded figure appears, and is promptly blasted and killed. JGL collects his payment via gold attached to the body.

We see a little bit of both time periods – in JGL’s time, things have a kind of 50s swinger vibe, so maybe in the near future that style of dress comes back. In the future-proper, there are hover motorcycles, high rises, plenty of neon-lights, all very Blade Runner-esque.

JGL narrates the trailer, telling us that a Looper is a hitman in the past who kills and disposes of the bodies. There is only one rule – you never let the target get away. Even if the target is yourself.

And clearly, that’s what happens. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually both play Joe – one younger and one older. In the trailer we see Joe come face to face with his future self when the hood falls off, revealing Willis. Older Joe, knowing what’s coming, quickly spins around. Young Joe, after a moment’s hesitation, takes the shot, but Older Joe is saved by the gold bars (payment) strapped to his body. He escapes.

Now younger Joe is trapped in a tough spot – people are out to kill him unless he kills himself. MINDWARP.

That’s pretty much the extent of the footage, though we do also see a Jeff Daniels cameo where he tells us that “time travel fries your brain.” So there’s no knowing what state Older Joe is in, he could be all 12 Monkeys on us.

Everything is cut together rather quickly, so we don’t get a great look at anything, but luckily we have some images here so you can see the make-up effect on Joseph Gordon-Levitt to make him look more Bruce Willisy, take special note of the lip area. Definitely Bruce Willis!

All in all, Looper looks like a great project. There’s a great, cool, future noir style that toys around with Blade Runner and it obviously has a fantastic cast. JGL said that of all the movies he’s appearing in this year, this is on the one he is most looking forward to as it posed the greatest challenge as an actor. Stay tuned for more.

WonderCon Coverage Continues!

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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