EXCLUSIVE: Amazon made it very clear earlier this year with a big Super Bowl ad that Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is a big priority for them and the Jeff Bezos company are aiming to seal that deal at Comic-Con next month.
In fact, with a Jack Ryan participating panel and massive immersive experience just outside the San Diego Convention Center, Amazon is bringing its best and brightest to the confab, I’ve learned.
No word if Jack Ryan star John Krasinski or Good Omens’ Michael Sheen or former Doctor Who David Tennant will be in Ballroom 20 on July 20 but a Hell of a lot of the creatives of the two upcoming shows sure will be. Instead of individualized panels for this year’s SDCC, Amazon have set one mega-panel with a few planned surprises and some world premiering footage.
“So many panels are all the same, and we’re trying to make it just a better experience for the attendees who are there, keep it entertaining and reveal some news,” Amazon Studios Marketing chief Mike Benson told Deadline of the August 31 launching Jack Ryan and the 2019 debuting Good Omens panel intention. ‘We thought by putting different showrunners and different panelists on-stage and releasing some clips and some moments from each of the shows that it’s going to be a different type of experience than just a typical panel and something Comic-Con attendees will really love,” the exec added.
And there is something else Amazon are hoping SDCC attendees will love.
Set to start being built the week before Comic-Con starts, the Jack Ryan Experience, which sounds like a band, puts fans in the middle of a Middle East mission for the intelligence agent-based series. As well as getting VR operative training, the multi-media activation is planning to also have participants join in the Dark Opps effort to help Ryan himself get out of an escape room. The Experience will be open during the entire run of SDCC from 9 AM to 7 PM on July 19 – 21 and 9 AM to 5 PM on the final day of the convention.
In addition, The Man in the High Castle will return to Comic-Con for a 5:15 PM July 21 panel in Room 6A of the spaceship-like Convention Center. That shindig for Season 3 of the Phillip K. Dick alt-history tale will feature cast members Alexa Davalos, Rufus Sewell, Jason O’Mara, and Stephen Root along with EPs Isa Dick Hackett and Dan Percival.
Another Comic-Con vet and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan executive producer and showrunner Carlton Cuse will take the stage for the 3:30 PM commencing July 20 mega-panel along with SDCC royalty Neil Gaiman, who is showrunning the devilish series based on the 1990 novel he penned with Terry Pratchett.
The Lost alum and American Gods EP will be joined by The Tick creator Ben Edlund, Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail, who is helming the upcoming Homecoming, Lore EP Gale Anne Hurd and Naren Shankar showrunner of The Expanse. Beloved by Bezos, the latter was of course picked up by Amazon for a fourth season after Syfy cancelled it. As always, SDCC will be busy for Hurd, who will be taking the stage in Hall H for panels for The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead on July 20 too.
The gathering plus the multi-level activation for the Paramount Television and Skydance Television produced show based on the best selling author’s work are another sign of the shift the Lord of the Rings spinoffs streamer is taking towards bigger shows, says Amazon’s Benson.
“We want bigger shows on the platform, we want shows that are broadly accessible and will bring in big audiences with shows that they’ll absolutely love,” the exec asserts. “We really want to strike this balance of big, broad shows, but also shows that may not be as big and broad, but still can attract really great obsessed fan bases that are looking for different types of entertainment outside of what I would call more mainstream,” Benson notes of the attachment blend the company is seeking.
“That’s the reason we like shows like The Expanse, and Lore,” the Marketing chief said, “and finding these other programs that may not be as big and broad, but there’s an audience out there for these programs that are obsessed with them.”
Welcome to the obsession.
SDCC runs from July 19 – 22.