The most wonderful time of year is upon us again. No, it’s not Christmas, it’s San Diego Comic-Con International, the biggest nerd convention of the year, and MovieViral will be covering the events live on location for the third year in a row. Get the details on the convention and our coverage after the break.
While most of our readers already know about Comic-Con, if you really want to learn all about it and its history, then check out the official CCI website or Wikipedia. It’s basically an annual convention for geekdom in all forms of media, including comic books, movies, novels, and more. This year’s convention is from July 12th to July 15th, with Preview Night on July 11th. The show floor is a crazy mess of exhibitor booths, autograph signings, and lots of cosplay. There are also panels for all kinds of topics. While the convention itself is held at the San Diego Convention Center, almost the entire Downtown San Diego turns into a Comic-Con Hub. Restaurants and other businesses get taken over by companies looking to extend the Con experience as far into the city as they can.
So, where does MovieViral come in? There’s a few elements to our coverage. First of all, I am the only reporter on the ground, so the writing staff will be backing me up with stories from the Con for which I am not a participant. My personal coverage will consist of:
- Panels, Panels, and More Panels. This is where the meat of the convention is if you’re a movie buff, the presentations by the movie studios. I’ll be at most of the big panels, which will be listed below, and if I’m not live blogging them, I’ll be tweeting and doing a summary later in the day. I’ll try to squeeze in some of the more oddball panels as well, as they are a lot of fun and provide a good idea of variety you can find at Comic-Con.
- Interviews and Press Conferences. While a relatively small time publication like ourselves doesn’t get too many of these, we do get access to a few press conferences and talent for interviews. While some have already been confirmed, I don’t like to say what they are until they are actually completed, since things can easily change at the Con. Whatever we do get, I’ll either provide audio, transcribe it, or both.
- Pictures and Videos. I’ll be taking and uploading cool pictures and video of cosplay, booths, panels, promotional structures, and God knows what else. You’ll be able to check out the images and video on our Flickr and/or YouTube.
- Gaslamp District. This iconic part of downtown San Diego is right across the street (and railway) from the convention center, and tons of cool stuff happens here, including screenings, giveaways, and much more. It’s also just a great place to hang out, so who knows what we’ll find.
- The Exhibition Floor. Between Preview Night and other times I have to wait around, I’ll definitely be scoping out the exhibition floor of the convention. If there are any cool booths, I’ll write them up in a round up article. This is also a good place to find some viral marketing.
- Viral! Speaking of viral marketing, there is no way MovieVIRAL can go to Comic-Con and not cover our signature topic. We’re always on the lookout, since this is THE event for studios to launch or solidify their viral campaigns. Usually we have a good idea what movies might make a splash, but this year it’s a bit tough to tell. However, I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for Man of Steel and Robocop, since I have a hunch they will want to use Comic-Con to create some early buzz.
Thursday through Saturday, Hall H is home of major motion picture panels. However, this year television shows are also creeping in, probably because Ballroom 20 isn’t big enough. Unfortunately, my lockdown in Hall H means I won’t be able to attend the amazing Firefly 10-Year Anniversary Reunion, but I definitely recommend it if you’re a browncoat like me. Below are the panels that I’m fairly certain I will both be attending and writing about.
12:45-1:45 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated conclusion of The Twilight Saga films. This is a must-see for fans interested in the story’s final chapter. You will be shown exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 and be treated to a cast and filmmaker Q&A session providing details on the epic finale. Hall H
2:05-3:05 Walt Disney Studios: Frankenweenie, Oz The Great and Powerful, and Wreck-it Ralph— Walt Disney Studios hosts a Q&A panel featuring the imaginative director of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland); a special look at the world of Oz The Great and Powerful with director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy); and the illustrious voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph, including John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) and Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), and director Rich Moore (Futurama). Hall H
4:45-5:45 The Expendables 2-Real American Heroes— Sylvester Stallone and the legendary cast of the sequel to 2010’s smash hit film preview the real-deal muscles, weapons, skills, and explosions that went into making a film even bigger and badder than the original. Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Arnold Schwarzenegger will join the panel discussion. Hall H
6:15-8:15 The Virtual Drive-In— Come with us again to those thrilling days of yesteryear where one of the few places you could see offbeat genre films was at your local drive-in, huddled safely in your car as the summer sky darkened around you. At least that was the germ of an idea that gave birth to this panel last year, and the reception by those fans who attended was so positive they’re doing it again. So, welcome to the second edition of the Virtual Drive-In, where you will preview three twisted tales by some talented filmmakers who will all be appearing on the panel to discuss their work and take your questions. Moderated by Robert Meyer Burnett. The featured films are:
Branded — A dark and mind-bending journey into a surreal, dystopian society where mega-corporations have unleashed a monstrous global conspiracy to get inside our minds and keep the population deluded, dependent and passive. One man’s quest to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with the hidden forces that really control our world. Appearing on stage is director Jamie Bradshaw.
Crave — Aiden (Josh Lawson) fantasizes about a better life away from his gruesome job as a crime scene photographer working alongside his detective friend Pete (Ron Perlman)-a heroic life where he falls in love with the perfect woman and dispenses justice on the hard streets of Detroit. When he meets the alluring young Virginia (Emma Lung) and steals a gun from a crime scene, the line between his darkest fantasies and reality begins to blur, with deadly consequences. This visually arresting psychological noir begins its festival run with its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival and continues on to other festivals around the world. Appearing on stage: Josh Lawson (House of Lies) and director Charles de Lauzirika, with other guests to be announced.
Coldwater — “Make sure the past isn’t watching you.” Andre agrees to help out his friend Robert by taking over a housesitting job at an unusual house nestled in the heart of Coldwater Canyon. As the day turns into night, Andre experiences strange things that lead him to believe he is not alone and that someone or something is watching him. Appearing in person are writer/director Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red) and star Ivan Djurovic (24).
10:45-11:45 ParaNorman: Behind the Scenes— Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Travis Knight, Chris Butler, and Sam Fell discuss making their new stop-motion-animated comedy thriller, ParaNorman, made in 3D. Never-before-seen footage will be shown from the Laika movie that Focus Features is opening nationwide on August 17. Panel will be moderated by Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly). Hall H
1:25-2:25 AMC’s The Walking Dead— Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, and introducing Danai Gurira as Michonne and David Morrissey as The Governor join executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer Dave Alpert and special effects makeup supervisor and co-executive producer Greg Nicotero in a panel moderated by Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, Talking Dead). The panelists will discuss the wildly successful second season of The Walking Dead and what to look forward to in season 3, debuting this fall on AMC. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season 3. Hall H
4:35-6:35 Sony: Total Recall, Looper, and Elysium—
Total Recall-Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick’s classic story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” this brand new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman, who will join stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston on stage.
Looper-In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented-but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper”-a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)-is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good…until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. Writer/director Rian Johnson will join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt to discuss the film.
Elysium-Ever since writer-director Neill Blomkamp broke through with his first feature film, District 9, people have been wondering what he has in store for an encore. Be a part of the first audience anywhere to get a first look at his new movie, Elysium, as stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster join Neill and producer Simon Kinberg on stage.
11:30-12:30 Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained— The Weinstein Company presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated new film from acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. Fans will get to see exclusive footage from Django Unchained and take part in a special discussion with Tarantino and the cast. You won’t want to miss this! Hall H
2:30-5:00 Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Preview Their Upcoming Lineups—
Legendary Pictures: Pacific Rim-From acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic sci-fi action adventure Pacific Rim. When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes — a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) — who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse. Pacific Rim also stars Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, and Charlie Day.
Warner Bros. Pictures: Man Of Steel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey-From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Jackson returns to Middle-earth in an adventure that begins 60 years before the events depicted in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The first of two films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduringly popular masterpiece, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows titular Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who-along with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a band of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage)-is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. The film’s ensemble cast includes Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
6:00-7:00 Marvel Studios: Iron Man 3— Producer Kevin Feige and special guests provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hall H
So, that should give you a pretty good idea of our upcoming coverage of Comic-Con. As I always try to stress, things can change, but I’m getting a lot better at being realistic about my time. Between my unannounced interviews and other potential events, there are sure to be some surprises, so stay tuned. I’m looking forward most to Man of Steel, since Superman is my favorite hero, but let us know what you want see in the comments.
For a complete schedule of panels at Comic-Con, click here. The CCI homepage has a ton of other information as well, including a map of the exhibition floor and list of exhibitors. For the most up-to-date coverage of the convention and breaking news, be sure to follow us on Facebook and especially Twitter. You can follow our entire Comic-Con coverage here.
If you are going to Comic-Con, send me a tweet and maybe we can meet up!