Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage. This year’s event runs July 12-15.
With Sunday’s schedule at Comic-Con pretty much a dead zone in terms of movie news — Hollywood people tend to start bailing as early as Saturday afternoon, which is why nearly all parties are scheduled Thursday with a few on Friday — the final, comprehensive schedule’s release highlights who isn’t coming. Specifically, on Sunday, World War Z novelist author Max Brooks has a whole panel to himself entitled “Zombie Survival 101,” which calls attention to the fact that Paramount is not coming and bringing anything World War Z-related (unless Brooks manages to sneak a clip, or drop some hints). The Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt movie’s absence likely has to do with reshoots and rewriting by Damon Lindelof which pushed the movie out of December this year to midsummer 2013. Also, no Star Trek — similar to Disney’s skipping last year and instead screening Avengers footage at its own convention, D-23. Likewise, maybe Paramount is saving Star Trek stuff for a Trek convention, the biggest being in Las Vegas, August 9-12. While it was at Comic-Con that Zachary Quinto’s casting was announced for the first J.J. Abrams Trek, the following year no footage was shown, so this sort of maintains that tradition. Abrams first showed scenes publicly at a touring press event, which was great for media outlets (including Deadline) but less good for the regular fans who were not invited.
It would seem Universal is sitting things out, possibly missing the chance to get fans fired up about The Bourne Legacy, 47 Ronin, Oblivion, Identity Thief, The Fast & The Furious 6, R.I.P.D. and Despicable Me 2. Some of those titles don’t need the push, but 47 Ronin, Oblivion, Identity Thief and R.I.P.D. are reasonably unknown quantities opening before the next Comic-Con that any little boost couldn’t hurt. (Incidentally, props to Universal that they have at least four big movies coming which aren’t sequels/reboots/remakes.)
It might not make massive ripples, but for genre movie fans, the presentation on the new documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster is one worth seeking out, as it focuses on artist Drew Struzan, known for so many classic Lucas and Spielberg posters. Struzan will be there, along with actor Thomas Jane who kinda-sorta played a version of Struzan in The Mist, along with director Erik P. Sharkey and other crew. For attendees interested in Hollywood’s past as well as its future, this will be a must-see.