Comic-Con 2010 Preview: Saturday, July 24



Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:

10:00-11:00 AM: Mad about MAD! I used to love Mad Magazine, but in the years since it started accepting advertising, it has gone way downhill. Apparently there’ll be some sort of new TV venture announced, though not necessarily a spiritual successor to the late MADtv. Magazine vets Sergio Aragones, John Ficarra, and Sam Viviano will be onhand. Room 7AB

10:00-11:00 AM: Twilight Fanfiction Author Fangroup. Why is it that I have a sneaking suspicion most TWILIGHT fan fiction is actually better written than the prose of Stephenie Meyer? Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina

11:00-11:45 AM: Family Guy. Clips from the upcoming third STAR WARS parody? You know it. Beyond that, we all know this is a love it or hate it show. I used to hate it, but I’m warming up. Ballroom 20

11:45 AM-12:30 PM: The Cleveland Show. Ditto to everything I said above about FAMILY GUY, except for the STAR WARS part. Ballroom 20

11:45 AM-1:15 PM: Warner Bros.: Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Aside from the Marvel movie panel, this will be the big deal. Here’s why: GREEN LANTERN is an iconic DC character finally getting his own live-action movie. SUCKER PUNCH is the first original, non-adapted movie from visual stylist Zack Snyder (WATCHMEN/300), and no-one really knows what to expect yet. As for HARRY POTTER, well, people know almost exactly what to expect from that (if they’ve read the books), and can’t wait for the series to climax in grand style. No specific announcements about special guests on this one, but even one decent look at Ryan Reynolds in what is reportedly an all-CGI Green Lantern costume will be the talk of the Con. And I expect SUCKER PUNCH to do exactly as its title suggests. Hall H

12:45-1:30 PM: Futurama. Aren’t we all glad FUTURAMA is back on TV? I thought the recent “Robosexual Marriage” episode was a bit heavy-handed, but it’s still good to have that crew back. Nearly every major player is expected at the panel…but what about Al Gore, whose rival convention has the nearby Hilton hotel booked up? That would be a big score to rival Bender’s, but don’t count on it. Ballroom 20

1:30-2:30 PM: Top Cow: “We Create” Multimedia. What’s up with the sequel to WANTED? How about that WITCHBLADE movie people keep inferring might be maybe possibly happening one day (half-naked woman with a magic scab – what’s the hold-up)? You might or might not find out at this panel. Room 9

1:30-2:30 PM: Overture: Let Me In. Worldly horror fans and mainstream critics alike were wowed by the Swedish vampire movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and very skeptical that an American remake could work. Director Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) will make his best case, along with stars Chloe “Hit Girl” Moretz, Richard Jenkins, and Kodi Smit McPhee (THE ROAD). Remember, even if they screw it up, the original still exists. And this is a great cast. Hall H

2:00-3:00 PM: Spotlight on Milo Manara. The Italian author of erotic comics makes his first Comic-Con appearance. True fact – I was once considered as a writer for a Roger Corman-produced TV show based on the BUTTERSCOTCH comics. Probably the worst thing I ever wrote, but don’t hold that against Milo. Room 25ABC

2:45-3:45 PM: The Return of Trailer Park. A bunch of trailers already shown at other panels will be played again here. For the con-goer who doesn’t care much about actual talent appearances. Hall H

3:00-4:00 PM: Spotlight on Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury rules. Come meet him while he still walks among us. Or uses a wheelchair. Whichever. Dude is still a literary god. Room 6DE

3:00-4:00 PM: Avatar: The Last Airbender Fan Gathering. Suggested topic of discussion: “WTF, M. Night Shyamalan?” Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina

4:00-4:45 PM: Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Afterlife. You know audiences are getting savvier about the pitfalls of post-conversion 3-D (think CLASH OF THE TITANS, THE LAST AIRBENDER) when a RESIDENT EVIL sequel can prominently state in the trailer that it was filmed using the Cameron/Pace 3-D camera, i.e. the ones invented for AVATAR. Which means this movie will look great, and probably have the same narrative and budgetary weaknesses of the series’ other installments. Still, if tradition holds, it’s Milla Jovovich versus zombies, and possibly one bigger monster. Mr. Jovovich, a.k.a. Paul W.S. Anderson, returns to the director’s chair and Comic-Con, along with his wife, plus Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller. The movie could still suck, but should at minimum suck awesomely. Hall H

4:45-5:45 PM: Universal: Paul and Cowboys & Aliens. PAUL. That’s the title of a movie? PAUL? Unless it’s about the biblical author, I have to say the marketing department at Universal might wanna work on that. Seems it’s a sci-fi comedy by SUPERBAD director Greg Mottola, about two sci-fi geeks traveling to Comic-Con, who accidentally meet an alien. Well, it should play great here, but I wouldn’t necessarily trust that response elsewhere will be the same. Edgar Wright regulars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are in it and will be on hand, along with Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jeffrey Tambor, Seth Rogen, and Sigourney Weaver. Oh, here’s some hilarity: the Comic-Con program actually says: “Sigourney Weaver (Baby Mama).” Yeah. You have an actress who has been in iconic sci-fi movies, one of which is the highest grosser OF ALL TIME, and you credit her in the program with a comedy that was not well-liked? I will take it somebody thought that was a funny joke. I imagine Weaver’s handlers might disagree.

As for COWBOYS AND ALIENS, it’s directed by IRON MAN’s Jon Favreau, and features Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford as gunslingers against spacemen. Considering the degree to which ladies love those leads, I’d say we have a winner. Though only Favreau is expected to attend. Hall H

5:15-6:15 PM: Nikita Pilot Screening and Q&A. Didn’t this already happen on Wednesday? Yes, but this time, talent and creative will be in attendance, so be extra nice, or extra rude, if you wish. On the off-chance you want to actually see it twice just because, that’s an option too. And no, Luc Besson will NOT show up. He’s too busy counting his residuals. Room 6BCF

5:45-7:15 PM: Gays in Comics: Year 23! Oh, I bet it’s been longer than that. Room 6A

6:00-7:00 PM: Roddenberry Presents. Gene Roddenberry’s son Eugene tries to keep his dad’s legacy alive. Worked for Tori Spelling, right? Room 25ABC

6:00-7:00 PM: Marvel Studios: Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Disney can talk about “ComiTRON” till they’re neon blue in their CGI faces, but THIS is the panel that will fill out before anything else. First looks at Chris Evans as the iconic Cap, plus Chris Hemsworth as the dubiously King-James-English-spouting Norse god. Which of course is all build-up to THE AVENGERS, and of course now we all know that Joss Whedon is probably directing, and Edward Norton is OUT as Bruce Banner/Hulk (I say rehire Eric Bana. Even people who hated Ang Lee’s film thought he did okay). Producer Kevin Feige is the only announced guest, but it is expected that he’s gonna introduce a whole crapload of stars, and make some news. Get in there early, even it means sitting through the RESIDENT EVIL panel you’re expecting to hate. Hall H

7:15-8:15 PM: MythBusters. Kind of a cool show. Probably nothing too groundbreaking will be revealed here, but it’s always fun to learn what “common knowledge” these guys will dispel notions about. Room 6BCF

7:15-8:45 PM: Kevin Smith. He’s here, he’s fat, he ain’t going nowhere. Unless they kick him off the plane to San Diego for taking up two seats. Hall H

7:30-8:30 PM: 12-Gauge Comics: Boondock Saints: The Comic Series! Wow. Proving that there really is no such thing as bad publicity, Troy Duffy cashes in yet again. Room 9

8:00-9:00 PM: Troma Troma Troma. Lloyd Kaufman, purveyor of puke-tacular pulchritude, takes to the stage once more to promote his Z-grade “truly independent cinema.” We get the sense that Lloyd knows a lot of Troma’s output is crap, but every once in a while, there is a gem. Maybe you’ll find it. Room 8

8:30-11:30 PM: Simulcast of HBO’s True Blood Presents: The San Diego Comic-Con International Masquerade. Watch it on a big TV screen and get free nachos; then grimace as an annoying DJ plays loud music over the second half. Also, this is the only place and time during the whole Con that alcohol will be available for sale in the Convention Center. Sails Pavilion

8:30-9:30 PM: World Premiere of The House That Drips Blood on Alex: An Evening With Tommy Wiseau. Tommy Wiseau is the demented, vaguely foreign, borderline insane “auteur” behind THE ROOM, a movie hailed as “the CIZTIZEN KANE of bad movies,” which plays once a month in L.A. at the Sunset 5, selling out all 5 screens. To make a wrestling analogy, loving Tommy is like being a fan of The Ultimate Warrior: you know he has no skill whatsoever, but the charisma and commitment to character are enough to make you cheer. Probably acting as if he’s on some kind of drug, Tommy will be at Comic-Con to promote this new web series for It’s the first project he’s really gotten off the ground since THE ROOM, unless you count his dull, self-produced, half-hour documentary HOMELESS IN AMERICA. Fans generally ask him ridiculous questions, as his answers tend toward the infuriatingly/hilariously oblique. Room 7AB

10:00 PM-12:00 AM: Kevin Smith presents Cop Out in “Maximum Comedy Mode” Not entirely clear on what “Maximum Comedy Mode” entails, but probably some form of live commentary. I liked COP-OUT, as did my girlfriend; not sure why it gets grief, aside from people deservedly ragging on Smith for his self-righteous anti-critic outbursts on Twitter. Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront

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