COMIC-CON 2010: At Megamind panel, comic wit upstages technological wizardry

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Is Will Ferrell the new Brad Pitt?

Well, no. But when Pitt was a no-show at the DreamWorks panel for "Megamind" at Comic-Con on Thursday, Ferrell rescued the day by turning up in full costume and carting out a cardboard cutout of Pitt onto the stage. The audience that howled with laughter as he explained that Pitt had to babysit the kids while his wife, Angelina Jolie, attended the show later that afternoon to promote her own film, "Salt."

Although Pitt wasn't scheduled to be on the panel, rumors had proliferated on blogs about his possible appearance.

Ferrell, sporting a cape and bulbous blue helmet, squeezed out a few more yuks from the crowd with improvised self-mockery. As the voice behind the movie's title character, Ferrell plays a similar role as Megamind, nemesis of the cocksure Metro Man, a superhero with superficial tendencies.

Through a plot twist, Ferrell's pathetic character undergoes the obligatory redemption phase and saves the day.

The film, set to hit theaters in November, will be in 3-D -- the better to enhance the flying and action scenes shown off during a 10-minute clip. The clip was well received by thousands of Comic-Con attendees but did not garner as much applause as the banter between Ferrell and his co-stars on the panel, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill.

As 3-D becomes routine in animated action movies, however, the comic wit that its actors bring to the table could be what determines whether the film will succeed.

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