Things To Do At Comic-Con, Part 1
For film fans, the end of July signals the end of the Summer movie season (though this August is chock full of cinematic delights) – a time when we look back at the ups and downs of Hollywood’s most expensive products and, with greater enthusiasm, look toward the future. Anyone who’s ever been to the San Diego Comic-Con knows that there is no better place to get buzzed up on upcoming movies, television shows, comic books and all things pop culture than the nexus of fandom that is the SDCC.
In 2008, I was lucky enough to attend and became privy to the awesomeness of the Con. I took home loads of posters, tee shirts, free Blu-ray’s and other exclusives from the Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. booths, got a first look at what would be the third season of Heroes, screened the entire pilot of Fox’s Fringe and met Thomas Jane, Kiefer Sutherland, Geoff Johns, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Gibbons and other pillars of the nerd community, which combined made for one of the coolest weekends of my life.
Though I won’t be able to attend this year, I have combed through the program schedule (for the days that are currently available, at least) and decided to give you an idea of what I would be doing if I could make the 3,000 mile journey to the center of the geek world. Remember: This is just an overview of what’s going on this year. You may want to plot your very own course through the Con, so I encourage you to check out the full schedule here. My Friday picks will be coming soon! Enjoy!
Thursday, July 22nd:
DreamWorks Animations’ Megamind
: Though it began as a comic book convention over forty years ago, let’s face it: Comic-con has become widely known for it’s Hollywood presence. Getting the chance to see exclusive, never-before-seen footage of forthcoming films is one of the most exciting attractions that the fiesta has to offer and the Con starts off strong this year with DreamWorks’ convention debut. Director Tom McGrath will screen select scenes from his anticipated superhero comedy Megamind and answer your burning questions about keeping a straight face while working with Will Ferrell and how the hell he got Brad Pitt involved. (10-11 AM, Hall H)
My advice: For any Hall H event, get there early. The lines are insane and seating is by no means guaranteed.
Spotlight: Danny Elfman
: If you get shut out of the Megamind
panel, be sure to get to this special event that highlights the work of one of the greatest composers to ever score for the silver screen. Danny Elfman will discuss his 25-year collaboration with director Tim Burton and will be joined by WB Records executives to talk about how the studio will honor this quarter-century milestone. (10:30-11:30, Rm 6BCF)
My advice: As this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the legendary songster, bring a camera in the event you get a photo opportunity and bring a DVD for him to sign.
Walt Disney Pictures TRON: Legacy
– Every year at the Con, many presentations are set to highlight upcoming films, but generally one or two are deemed most-anticipated. This year, TRON: Legacy takes the taco. Director Joe Kosinski, producers Sean Bailey and Steven Lisberger, and cast members Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and Bruce Boxleitner will all be in the house, so you won’t want to miss this. (11:15-12:45 Hall H)
My advice: If you made it into the Megamind panel, keep your ass planted in your seat, because as soon as you get up, some brat will undoubtedly steal it.
Batman: The Widening Gyre
: This panel will be hosted by DC group editor Michael Marts, series artist Walt Flanagan, and inker Art Thibert, who will collectively discuss this stunning titles impact on Batman lore and reveal secrets about the highly anticipated conclusion. If you’re a Bat-fan and have been following this arc, you won’t want to miss this panel! (12:30-1:30, Room 4)
My advice: Don’t forget to bring Bat-related merchandise for signings!
Spotlight: Charlaine Harris
: This one’s strictly for Fangbangers. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to hear about the origins of some of televisions sexiest, most engaging and brutal characters. Harris will talk about her burst into superstardom following the massive success of HBO’s True Blood and what comes next for Sookie and the residents of Bon Temps. (1:00-2:00 PM, Rm 6BCF)
My advice: If you want to avoid possible spoilers regarding future episodes and/or novels, I’d stay clear of this event. If you are addicted to Harris’ southern bloodsuckers, though, get in line!
Sony Pictures Presentations: Battle Los Angeles and Salt
: This panel should be quite interesting, as the Angelina Jolie vehicle will hit theaters the very next day. That means that you can expect to see plenty of footage and a few surprise guests – hopefully meaning Jolie will show up. Additionally, the studio’s Battle: Los Angeles is shaping up to be a truly kick-ass action thriller and director Jonathan Liebesman, producer Neal Moritz and stars Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez will be in attendance, so don’t miss the chance to screen never-before-seen footage! It’ll give you plenty to brag about to your friends stuck at home! (1:00-2:00PM, Hall H)
My advice: I’ve already told you about Hall H. Nuff said.
Radical Publishing Panel
: DC and Marvel Comics largely monopolize the comic book film sub-genre, but very soon Radical Publishing will unleash a slew of adaptations that will put their company in the major leagues. The company has deals in place with likes of Johnny Depp and John Woo (Caliber), Sam Worthington (Damaged and The Last Days of The American Crime), Bryan Singer (Freedom Formula) and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (Legends: The Enchanted), making them a major Hollywood player. Be among the first to find out about these forthcoming adaptations! (2:00-3:00PM, Rm32AB)
My advice: Don’t go in there blind, get a copy of some of the books that Radical is putting out. Brush up on their material so you’ll know what they’re talking about. You won’t regret it!
Masters of the Web
: A panel tailor made for someone like me, a film journalist, and for you, the users who make our sites so great. Bob Orci (Star Trek, Transformers) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) will moderate the panel that will feature web personalities Jen Yamato (Cinematical, Hitfix), Edward Douglas (ComingSoon.net), El Guapo (Latino Review) and many more as they discuss the impact of new media on film marketing, the hardships of running a popular site and other hot topics. You’ll also have the chance to win a free AMC movie pass, good for one full year at any AMC location in the US. (3:00-4:00, Rm32AB)
My advice: Somebody demand that Korey be present at next years panel!
Entertainment Weekly presents: The Visionaries
: This is top priority for me. Chat with J.J. ABRAMS and JOSS WHEDON as they dicuss the future of pop culture, the reinvention of the superhero movie and many more pressing topics to the geek community. EW’s Doc Jensen will moderate. (3:30-4:30, Hall H)
My advice: Get as much info on The Avengers, Star Trek 2
and Super 8
as you can and get back to me as soon as possible!
DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary
: Celebrate the history of DC with former publisher Paul Levitz, Geoff Johns, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. Need I say more? (4:30-5:30, Rm 6DE)
My advice: Learn, my friends, learn. These guys will be responsible for most of the content that comes out of the newly re-formed DC Entertainment, so soak those details up like a sponge.
Lionsgate’s The Expendables
: Action junkies have been hotly anticipating this flick since it was first announced, yet we have barely seen anything from it. This is the first opportunity to see what kind of balls to the wall, bone crunching action will be seen in Stallone’s new film, so don’t miss out. Stallone, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin and Randy Couture will all be present. (4:45-5:45, Hall H)
My advice: Stay in your seats afterward, because next up is….
Universal Pictures’ Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
: One of the most anticipated comic book adaptations of the year hits Comic-Con hard with Edgar Wright, Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alison Pill, Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman and more all in attendance to dish on the film. You’ll get to see lots of footage and hear about the production first hand from the cast and crew. Not to be missed!
My advice: Tell me how good it is!