31 March 2011 731 Views

WonderCon 2011 Preview

by Dan Koelsch

This year MovieViral will be covering WonderCon live for the first time, and despite the comic convention being considered the little brother to Comic-Con, there should definitely be some cool stuff to see. Check out our full preview of the event, which goes from April 1st to April 3rd, after the break.

WonderCon is a comics and popular arts convention held by Comic-Con International every spring in San Francisco. Although shorter and generally smaller than San Diego Comic-Con, we have seen some impressive viral events in the past, including the Encom Press Conference and Flynn Lives Protest last year for TRON: Legacy. Below are the panels and events we are interested in. As seen in our coverage of Comic-Con last year, we may not get to cover everything we plan to, as the experience is very fluid and dependent upon a lot of factors. However, if you are attending the event yourself, this list will give you some options if you happen to like the same things as us.


Friday, April 1st

1:30-2:30 Behind the Music with CW3PR: Composing for Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy Film— Award-winning composers Jim Dooley (Pushing Daisies), Nathan Barr (True Blood), Scott Starrett (The Event), Marco Beltrami (V, Scream 4), Michael Suby (The Vampire Diaries) and Sean Callery (24) have all composed WonderCon and Comic-Con fans’ favorite movies and TV series, and are here to share a behind-the-scenes perspective on creating exhilarating musical moments for television and film. Together with moderator Bryan Fuller (creator, Pushing Daisies; producer, Heroes), the panelists will discuss their respective projects, the pivotal director/composer relationship, and how they got their big break into the music composing industry. With a Q&A following the panel, plus exclusive announcements and giveaways for attendees. Room 104

2:30-3:30 Max Brooks— Max Brooks, screenwriter and author of the best selling books The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, is the world’s leading authority on the defense against a ghoulish uprising! Renowned for his campus and convention lectures nationwide, Brooks comes to WonderCon to share his insight into the rotting minds of the undead, reveal how the Zombie Survival Guide came into existence, and field questions from zombie-phobic fans! You dare not miss this lecture — your very life may depend on it! Room 104

3:15-4:00 Falling Skies— After an all-out invasion of the planet by an alien military force, ordinary people must do extraordinary things to survive in TNT’s powerful new drama series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg, starring Noah Wyle and premiering in June. Falling Skies opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. The series combines stunning visual effects and personal human stories about triumph and survival in the most devastating circumstances. The panel will include exclusive clips from the series and a discussion with co-executive producer and writer Mark Verheiden, writer Melinda Hsu, and star Drew Roy. Everyone attending the panel will receive a limited edition Falling Skies “prequel” comic book published by Dark Horse. Esplanade Ballroom

4:00-5:00 Exclusive Nikita Screening by Warner Bros. Television— For the second year, Warner Bros. Television will kick off WonderCon with an exclusive preview screening of an upcoming original series episode. For 2011, WBTV will be premiering the “Covenants” episode of Nikita, which will be broadcast Thursday, April 7, at 9/8c on The CW. At the conclusion of the last episode, fans were left breathless at the final image of Michael confronting Nikita in her lair after discovering Alex as the mole inside Division. WonderCon attendees will be the first to find out what happens next. From Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Nikita airs Thursdays 9/8c on The CW and stars Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III), Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass), Shane West (ER), Aaron Stanford (X2: X-Men United), Ashton Holmes (The Pacific), Tiffany Hines (Beyond the Break), with Melinda Clarke (The O.C.) and Xander Berkeley (24). Craig Silverstein (Bones), David Levinson (21 Jump Street), Danny Cannon (the CSI series), McG (Supernatural), and Peter Johnson (Human Target) are the executive producers. Esplanade Ballroom

5:00-6:00 Warner Bros.: Green Lantern— Green Lantern will shine bright at WonderCon, beginning with an opening day panel with the stars of the upcoming feature film, in theaters June 17. The highly anticipated Green Lantern movie will be the first live-action feature film to star the popular DC Comics character. The film relates the origin story of alter ego Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a test pilot and the first human chosen to wear the ring that provides him his superpowers. Join Ryan Reynolds and other special guests from the film for a look at Warner Bros.’ superhero actioner: Green Lantern! Esplanade Ballroom

5:00-6:00 Spotlight on Robert Kirkman— WonderCon special guest Robert Kirkman, one of the most successful writers in comics today, best known for his work on The Walking Dead, Invincible, Haunt, Image United, Astounding Wolf-Man, Marvel Zombies, the recent Super Dinosaur, and the upcoming The Infinite, will offer fans some insight into the genius behind their favorite hit comics. After becoming an Image Comics partner in 2009, introducing the internationally renowned hit TV show based on the comic The Walking Dead on AMC, and recently announcing an upcoming video game adaptation of the same series from TellTale Games, he has proven to be an unstoppable creative force. Room 103

6:00-8:00 WORLD PREMIERE! Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Animated Original Movie— Only at WonderCon! Warner Home Video proudly presents the World Premiere of Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, an all-new DC Universe Animated Original Movie that weaves six interlocking stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. As the battle approaches, Hal Jordan (voiced by Nathan Fillion, Castle) mentors new recruit Arisia (Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men) in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, telling tales of Avra (the first Green Lantern) and several of Hal’s comrades, including Abin Sur, Kilowog, Laira and Mogo. In the end, Arisia must rise to the occasion to help Hal, Sinestro, and the entire Green Lantern Corps save the universe from the destructive forces of Krona. Other voice cast members include actor/spoken word artist Henry Rollins, Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films), Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Wade Williams (Prison Break), Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries) and professional wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper! Animation guru Bruce Timm is executive producer, and the directors are Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva, and Christopher Berkeley. Scripting the film are comic book luminaries Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Peter J. Tomasi, Eddie Berganza, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey and Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim. Come for the movie and stay for the post-screening panel, which will feature filmmakers and members of the voice cast (highlighted in bold above)! Green Lantern: Emerald Knights will be distributed June 7 by Warner Home Video as part of the build-up to the release of the highly anticipated live action film, Green Lantern, in theaters June 17. Esplanade Ballroom

6:00-7:00 State of the Genre Report: It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst Of Times— America’s foremost geeksperts weigh in on the state of science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television. Will J.J. Abrams have a Khan-do attitude on the next Trek? 3D: fad or forever? What’s the next board game that will get remade as a $100 million flop? These questions and many more will be sliced, diced, and Ginsu-ed (hey, that could be a new film!). Starring Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, The Hills Run Red), Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class, Fringe), Daren Dochterman (Star Trek: The Motion Picture — Director’s Edition), Steve Melching (Transformers: The Animated Series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and special guest stars. Room 103

8:30-10:00 Star Wars: Last Fan Movie Standing— Choose the last Star Wars fan movie standing at this friendly competition hosted by Lucasfilm’s Mary Franklin. The Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge, now in its tenth year, honors promising moviemakers who do outstanding work, with the top prize each year chosen by Star Wars writer/director George Lucas. How do your movie tastes compare? Come and support your favorites, and you just might take home a Star Wars souvenir at the end of the evening. Bonus: An exclusive first look at one of the 2011 Fan Movie Challenge entries! Room 103


Saturday, April 2nd

11:30-1:00 WonderCon’s 25th Anniversary!— 25 shows ago, in 1987, a band of Bay Area retailers and comics fans gathered together and created “The Wonderful World of Comics Convention.” That event changed into WonderCon the following year and has grown to be one of the largest and most popular comics conventions in the country. Mark Evanier talks to longtime show managers Joe Field, Mike Friedrich, and Bryan Uhlenbrock, plus Comic-Con International’s David Glanzer, about the long, great history of the West Coast’s second largest comics convention. Room 220

12:30-1:30 Super— Rainn Wilson (The Office) and director James Gunn (Slither) come to San Francisco for a conversation about their highly anticipated new film Super. Learn about how a short-order cook can take justice into his own hands with little more than a wrench and a sign from above. Don’t steal, don’t deal drugs, and don’t miss your chance to get a unique first look at this singular dark comedy, opening this spring! Room 103

1:00-1:30 Cowboys & Aliens— Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man series) will present exclusive footage from one of Summer 2011’s most highly anticipated films, Cowboys & Aliens. Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, Cowboys & Aliens crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers — Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci — Favreau brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. Following the presentation, the director will answer questions from moderator Roberto Orci about the making of the film and what moviegoers may expect on July 29. Esplanade Ballroom

1:30-2:00 Summit Entertainment: The Three Musketeers— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of the upcoming action adventure The Three Musketeers. A surprise special guest shares footage from the film and discusses their experience bringing the story to the big screen. In The Three Musketeers — from the director of Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat — the hot-headed young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) joins forces with three rogue Musketeers (Matthew MacFadyen, Luke Evans, and Ray Stevenson) in this reimagination of Alexandre Dumas’ story. They must stop the evil Richlieu (Christoph Waltz) and face off with Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and the treacherous Milady (Milla Jovovich). In theatres 10/14/11. Esplanade Ballroom

2:00-3:00 Focus Features: HANNA— Reunited for the first time since he directed her to an Oscar nomination in Atonement, Joe Wright and Saoirse Ronan are ready to shake you up with HANNA. A boldly original adventure thriller with elements of dark fairy tales, HANNA will cue lots of questions from you for the talented team at this panel — even before you’ve seen the movie. Esplanade Ballroom

3:00-4:00 Screen Gems: Priest— A post-apocalyptic action thriller, set in an alternate world, one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities. When his niece (Lily Collins) is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on an obsessive quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece’s boyfriend (Cam Gigandet), a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess (Maggie Q) who possesses otherworldly fighting skills. Confirmed to appear are stars Paul Bettany and Lily Collins, and director Scott Stewart. Esplanade Ballroom

4:00-5:00 Relativity: Immortals— Global exclusive! Be among the first in the world to see footage of the highly anticipated Immortals. Meet visionary director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and an all-star cast including Henry Cavill, Kellan Lutz, Luke Evans, and Isabel Lucas. Tarsem and producers Gianni Nunnari (300), Mark Canton (300), and Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter) unleash an epic tale of treachery, vengeance, and destiny in Immortals, a stylish and spectacular adventure. As a power-mad king razes ancient Greece in search of a legendary weapon, a heroic young villager rises up against him in a thrilling quest as timeless as it is powerful. Immortals stars Henry Cavill (Superman: Man of Steel), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Luke Evans (Robin Hood), Kellan Lutz (Twilight series), with John Hurt (Hellboy), and Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2). Esplanade Ballroom

8:30-11:00 WonderCon MasqueradeClick here for complete details. Esplanade Ballroom


Sunday, April 3rd

11:30-12:15 Doctor Who— WonderCon presents the world’s first look at the new season of BBC AMERICA’s hit series Doctor Who, with guest writer Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Sandman), actor Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica) and director Toby Haynes (Doctor Who, Being Human), live on stage for a discussion and Q&A, lead by Chris Hardwick (Nerdist). Doctor Who is coming to America in a spectacular two-part season premiere on BBC AMERICA. Part one, “The Impossible Astronaut,” premieres Saturday, April 23 at 9/8c. The mysterious time traveler, the Doctor (Matt Smith), and his companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), find themselves on a secret summons that takes them on an adventure from the desert in Utah — right to the Oval Office in 1969. The two-parter is penned by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock, Jekyll), with Mark Sheppard as guest star. The new season features an episode written by Neil Gaiman and Alex Kingston (ER, Flash Forward) returns as the irrepressible River Song. Last year, Doctor Who delivered record ratings for BBC AMERICA and was the #3 top selling TV series on the iTunes Store in the U.S. Esplanade Ballroom

12:15-1:00 Stars of Terra Nova— Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars), Stephen Lang (Avatar), executive producer Brannon Braga (Star Trek), and executive producer/director Alex Graves (Fringe, The West Wing) bring fans a glimpse inside Terra Nova, the highly-anticipated epic adventure 85 million years in the making, which has a special 2-hour preview this May on FOX. Moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff “Doc” Jensen, the cast and executive producers will discuss the initial 27-day shoot in Australia, bringing prehistoric Earth and its inhabitants to the small screen, creating the year 2149 on a dying planet, and the massive undertaking of bringing Terra Nova to life. Join Jason, Stephen, Brannon, and Alex for the panel discussion followed by an exclusive fan Q&A! Esplanade Ballroom

1:45-2:30 Human Target Special Video Presentation and Cast/Producer Q&A— Human Target returns to WonderCon, with series stars Mark Valley (Fringe) and Janet Montgomery (Entourage) joining executive producer Matthew Miller (Chuck) for a look back at the recently concluded second season of this fan-favorite series. The Human Target team will deliver a special video presentation prepared exclusively for WonderCon, will talk about their vision for the future of Christopher Chance and his team, and will answer fan questions in a Q&A session moderated by Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times. Based on DC Comics characters, Human Target is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Television. Esplanade Ballroom

2:30-3:15 V Special Video Presentation and Cast/Producer Q&A— The Visitors take San Francisco! Fresh off the jaw-dropping second season finale of V, series star Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) and a V executive producer will dish on the year that was — and will tease what is to come in the epic battle for survival between the Visitors and the human race. V is produced by HDFilms in association with Warner Bros. Television. Esplanade Ballroom

3:30-4:30 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog— This year, WonderCon’s going out on a high note! Fandom Charities Inc. and Whedonopolis.com, the folks who’ve been bringing you the fantastically popular WonderCon/Comic-Con sing-alongs of “Once More With Feeling,” present a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! This should be an event to remember, so come to the show and revel in the musical genius of The Whedons! But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! Cheer for Dr. Horrible! Cheer for Penny! Cheer for Moist! Cheer for the Freeze Ray! Cheer — or whatever — for “Captain Hammer, Corporate Tool”! Just have fun and be sure to make Bad Horse gleeful. Esplanade Ballroom

Of course, there’s plenty of other panels and events at WonderCon, and we can’t cover them all. To see the full schedule, click here, and let us know if we missed something you want us to cover! We also have some press exclusives lined up, so we’ll bring you those. If you see me (Dan), say hello! If you recognize me, get a photo, and post it on our Facebook wall, we’ll send you a free MovieViral t-shirt! Speaking of free stuff, we’ll be on the lookout for swag, so stay tuned for a giveaway soon after the convention ends.



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