At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the large ballrooms, typically reserved for panels discussing TV programs, have been outrageously overcrowded, with lines leading people almost a mile away from the convention center itself.  Meanwhile, the cavernous Hall H, used to draw in big crowds for large studio announcements, has been surprisingly accessible, and sometimes even sparsely attended.  I’m certainly not complaining, because while 25,000 people stand out in the sun hoping to make it into a 4,000 person room and catch a glimpse of the cast from Big Bang Theory, we got to hear indie auteur Robert Rodriguez make a handful of announcements about his future, in a shockingly intimate setting.  See what Rodriguez had to say, after the jump…

Robert Rodriguez is a very busy man.  When he makes movies, he is involved in every step of the process; he writes, directs, shoots, edits, and composes the music.  And as if that weren’t enough, he is continuing to expand his repertoire.  Rodriguez announced that in addition to his Troublemaker Studios, which is his own studio that he uses to produce his films, he will soon open Quickdraw Productions.  He said that Quickdraw will essentially be a production company that will allow him to invite other filmmakers to have access to his resources, and tell their own stories.  This is an interesting prospect, considering in January, we reported that Kevin Smith announced that he will be opening Smodcast Pictures, with a similar goal in mind.  It seems that the indie guys who’ve hit it big are looking forward to sharing their success.


He also announced, though it isn’t much of an announcement, since it’s advertised on posters that are already on theater walls, that Spy Kids 4 will be in 4-D.  That is to say it will be in “Aroma-vision,” which means that there will be little scented cards passed out to audiences and they will be prompted to smell them at certain points of the movie.  Now first of all, that isn’t 4-D–Time travel is 4-D…but whatever.  I’d like to deride this for being a dumb gimmick, but it’s a kids movie, so what are you gonna do?


Don’t worry, Rodriguez went on to make more substantial announcements.  He said that he’s been working closely with comic book legend Frank Miller on creating a new, original Sin City story, called “The Long, Bad Night.”  There was a lot of talk about fleshing out, so to speak, the rest of the Sin City series immediately after the success of the original in 2005, but there has been little news on it since.  Rodriguez acknowledged this, and said that, “if we’re going to actually get the chance to do it, we’ll be doing in the next year or two.”  Very exciting.


Speaking of exciting, Rodriguez went on to specifically thank Comic Con audiences, because he felt they were integral in the success of his campy vehicle for Danny Trejo, Machete.  ”Thanks to the success of that film, the next two have already been greenlit.  So we can all look forward to Machete Kills, and Machete Kills in Space.  Yeah, it’s going to be a space opera.”  That’s great news.  High concept action genre films are his wheelhouse, and it sounds like he wants to continue having fun with this ultra-violent character.


He also announced the first title for his newly founded Quickdraw Productions, which will be a live action adaptation of the graphic novel/animated film series Heavy Metal.  If you don’t know what that is, it looks a little something like this.  Between the fantastical visionary artwork and the heavy, hard rock, that should be a pretty badass project.


Finally, he announced that he will be curating and opening a museum in Austin, TX, dedicated to the work of the late, great fantasy painter Frank Frazetta.  Frazetta is most well known for his paintings of Conan the Barbarian, and the iconic sci fi character John Carter of Mars, which is an upcoming film to be directed by Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton.


So there you have it.  A state of the union address from the do it yourself filmmaker who helped pioneer independent movies in the 90s.  Rodriguez is practically an industry himself at this point, and it looks like he’s only going to get busier.