WonderCon: First look at sci-fi creeper Pandorum

SCI FI Wire was at the Pandorum panel at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday, where we saw the first-ever trailer from the film, created by Christian Alvart and Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil).

Pandorum takes place on what we are told is a spaceship the size of a small city. Two men (Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid) wake up on the ship with no memory of who they are or how they got there. And they are not alone: There is a mysterious threat that was hinted at during the trailer and the panel, but not revealed. Also starring are Antje Traue and martial-arts expert Kung Lee.

The trailer begins with flashes and flickering images of men and one woman running through the ship. One screams, "Where is the rest of the crew?" We are given the message "What if you awoke with no memory? What if the world you knew was gone? What if you discovered you were not alone?" Then we see shaky flashes of attacks, too fast to give much information. Someone's skin is peeling off, and we see what looks like a very pale, slimy child. It's implied from the bits of dialogue that "pandorum" is a syndrome affecting people who have been in space too long. Paranoia is mentioned: "The mind has turned against itself."

It looks like quite a bit of action, but that was all the information it revealed. The tag line at the end is, "Don't fear the end of the world. Fear what happens next." The cast then gave us a bit of information about their characters.

"You saw this hot chick, and that's the part I play," says Traue. She explained in slightly broken English that her character is a scientist and that she woke up a bit earlier than everyone else. "Nadia is the only one who survives. And she has to find a way to survive in a really pure way," she says. When asked about working with the director, she said, "He's really a genius. He's really special. It's special to work with him because he's well prepared. ... I was surprised at the end. ... It was such a technical shoot that I was surprised how everything fit together."

Foster described his character: "Sadly, I'm not the hot girl. ... I'm the guy who doesn't know anything. ... He finds Dennis Quaid on the ship and 'wakes his ass up.'" He didn't reveal much about Quaid's character, but joked that we should imagine waking up after a really long night, with no idea who we are, and suddenly running into Dennis Quaid. "It's surreal."

Lee told us that there would be plenty of fighting and explained why his character, Mung, is not seen in the trailer. "I've been awake for a while, and I know how to survive a little bit. You didn't see me in the trailer because I was hiding," he added with a laugh. He said the shooting was intense and that he now has a new respect for stuntmen, who saved them from more bruises. He wanted to do all his own stunts and definitely felt every bump and bruise.

Pandorum comes out in theaters Sept. 4.

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