Universal Panel at MCM Scotland Comic Con with Luke Evans and Dracula Untold footage

MCM stage host Stuart Claw on stage with Luke Evans

MCM stage host Stuart Claw on stage with Luke Evans

The Universal Panel was easily the most memorable from MCM Scotland Comic Con. The promised footage of Dracula Untold was introduced by the film’s leading actor, Luke Evans! Evans is known for his roles in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Fast & Furious 6.

Universal informed the con-goers that all filming equipment and mobile phones must be switched off during the panel, as the footage being displayed would not be shown again until the film’s release on 3rd October.

The panel opened with a representative from Universal Pictures showcasing a selection of trailers from their slate of films. The eclectic mixture of trailers included everything from Dumb and Dumber To, Fifty Shades of Grey and of course Dracula Untold.

Once the house lights came back on Luke Evans was invited out on stage to an overwhelming cheer from the audience. Panel host Stuart Claw interviewed him briefly on stage before introducing a clip from the film.

Here’s a selection of the panel highlights.

When asked about preparing for the role, Evans explained the physical demands, saying, “I had to transform my physique for it because Vlad Tepes was a very successful warrior, fighter, he was a leader, a king, he was constantly fighting to keep his thrones and stopping invasions from different forces. I used to go to work in the morning at 5am, train and work all day, finish at 6 or 7, then I would be picked up by my trainer and we would go to the gym for an hour and a half. I somehow managed to stay awake to eat before I went to bed and I did that for four and half months. Three months in I was like, ‘Oh my God, am I going to carry on?'”

Evans said that afterwards he had “a big kebab, and chips, and a pint of lager.”

The stage was decorated with Dracula Untold standees highlighting Evans in a suit of armour. When asked what it was like to work with those kind of props and if he got to keep anything, Evans sighed when glancing at the standee. “That brings back a lot of pain,” explained Evans. “Many uncomfortable weeks of my life having to fight with a very heavy sword in polyurethane armour, amazing, breathtaking armour. (Director) Gary Shore asked me to do things in that, that are virtually impossible so…everything was separate and it was constantly pinching, but it does look amazing and I think it will probably be one of the most beautiful pieces of costume I’ll ever wear in my career.”

“One thing I did keep was this,” said Evans, motioning towards the sword. “Very kindly it was engraved by the Universal family of producers, the director and it’s now on the wall in my house. God help any burglars breaking into my house!”

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Luke Evans was actually present for the film’s score being recorded by a live orchestra, explaining that he had received an email from the director Gary Shore inviting him to AIR Studios. Evans went into detail highlighting his musical background: “I’ve been fortunate enough in my singing career to have sung with big a orchestra and there is nothing quite like it. It’s almost overwhelming, you almost lose your voice when you hear this amazing body of talented people playing so well. I turn up and there was this huge room of what are probably the most talented musicians in the world.”

He explained the experience of standing in the recording booth with the orchestra behind glass with these big screens playing his film: “I’m standing there and there is this one scene and all I remember is where I did a sharp look to the left to the screen and as I did it, the whole orchestra was playing violins and then there was drums – it was amazing. It’s a very important part to this film, it’s incredibly dramatic, and it was written by Ramin Djawadi who did the score for Game of Thrones.”

When asked what his favourite moment from the film was, Evans answered saying that there were many! But he enjoyed the big fight sequences, though they were hard and challenging physically. The choreography had him fighting 60 stuntmen, surrounded by stunt supporting artists. “Once I had seen that on the screen, and you see me fighting my way through, that was really cool,” said Evans. “It was me, which is even better, not some stunt man. That was a really cool moment.”

Asked about filming on location in Ireland, Evans said it was amazing. Before visiting all he knew about Belfast was that they filmed Game of Thrones there. When they started shooting on location at Giants Causeway he found it incredible. When they reached the Royal Valley river he found out he was being plunged into the freezing cold river which he described as, “an interesting start to my journey. I was thinking I’m going to get a cold; I’m going to be doing this for five months with a snotty nose.”

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It was time to introduce the clip and Evans was asked what he could tell the audience about it. He laughed and explained that he saw it that very morning whilst flying from Stockholm to Scotland. It is a pivotal scene where Evans’ character Vlad has decided to find the power he needs to fight and protect his people. He meets a very dark and sinister character played by Charles Dance.

The scene opens in a damp dark cave, scattered with bones. Vlad is face-to-face with a pale skin scarred demon (portrayed by Charles Dance), draped in a black robe and questioning the nervous Vlad. “What kind of man crawls into his own grave in search of hope?” asks the demon.

“A desperate one,” Vlad answers.

The demon sees through Vlad’s character easily and scowls, “Lie to me again and I’ll open you from your belly to your brain and feed you your intestines.”

Vlad pleads, “Men do not fear swords, they fear monsters, they run from them…Sometimes the world no longer needs a hero, it needs a monster.”

Dracula Untold will be in cinemas from 3rd October 2014

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