Comic-Con this year is going to be huge. I mean huge. More TV shows and movies are premiering than ever before. After Twilight‘s huge success last year, marketers are starting to take notice. Comic-Con equals an intense fan base and everyone knows how help die-hard fans are.
The people over at San Diego Comic-Con headquarters just released Thursday’s schedule. There’s a lot going on down there this year, so if you want to see the whole list, head to the official site. Below are our picks for the must haves:
Check out the other schedules: Friday Saturday Sunday
10:15-11:15 Summit Entertainment: Astro Boy— A superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film based on the classic manga about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Director David Bowers, producer Maryanne Grager, and stars Freddie Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) debut footage exclusive to Comic-Con 2009 and answer your questions about bringing this beloved hero to the big screen. Room 6BCF
Reason: Kristen Bell. Obviously.
10:30-11:30 TheOneRing.net: The Hobbit— With Middle-earth returning to the big screen in December 2011, TheOneRing.net will take you behind the scenes of the latest news, announcements, and rumors pertaining to the Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro production of The Hobbit. Chris Pirrotta, Larry Curtis, Cliff Broadway, and others from TheOneRing.net crew offer this early look at making The Hobbit happen! Room 7AB
Reason: Okay so it’s not actually Peter Jackson and crew but these are some crazy obsessed fans who will have crazy awesome footage. So if you’re not as into Kristen Bell as we are, this is your best option.
11:15-12:15 The Middleman Cast Reunion and Lost Episode Table Read– Creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) and the complete cast–including Matt Keeslar, Natalie Morales, Brit Morgan, Mary Pat Gleason, Jake Smollett, Mark Sheppard, Brendan Hines, Sarah Watson, Jordan Rosenberg, Margaret Dunlap, and Andy Reaser–reunite to celebrate the DVD release of The Middleman: The Complete Series from Shout! Factory, with an exclusive table read of the lost 13th episode, The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, which was never produced for television but is now available as a graphic novel from Viper Comics. Room 6A
Reason: Seriously underrated series. You need to get in on this. I’m not kidding.
12:30-1:30 Richard Hatch: Battlestar Retrospective— Moderated by actor/author Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, Capt Apollo, author: So Say We All), with Bear McCreary (Battlestar, Eureka, Caprica composer), Michael Tayler (Battlestar, Caprica, Star Trek writer/producer), Kevin Grazier (Battlestar, Eureka, science consultant) and special guests, this panel provides a review, discussion and Q&A of Battlestar’s past four seasons and dramatic ending. Includes the new BG 30th trailer. Room 6A
Reason: Battlestar Galactica is one of the best shows ever made. Plus, I’d go just to see the trailer.
1:15-2:15 USA Network’s Psych— James Roday (Shawn Spencer), DulÃ© Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster), Maggie Lawson (Juliet O’Hara), Tim Omundson (Carlton Lassiter), Corbin Bernsen (Henry Spencer), Steve Franks (creator and executive producer), and the entire creative team give you an all-access behind-the-scenes pass to the USA Network hit original series Psych. Stars and producers will share personal stories and answer questions about the show’s genesis, episodic development, and production process. Video presentations created exclusively for Comic-Con will feature never-before-seen outtakes, a Season 4 exclusive preview, and a special video-diary segment that will take panel attendees inside the daily production process via the perspective of a staff writer, the Vancouver production team, and series star James Roday as he prepares to shoot a scene for the upcoming season. Plus, two lucky fans will find fame and fortune when they win the honor of having a guest character in a future episode named after them! You can also expect giveaways, exclusive merchandise, and a first-run preview copy of the upcoming Psych graphic novel from Oni Press! Ballroom 20
Reason: Great show and great alternative if you’re not a Battlestar fan.
2:00-3:00 Sony Pictures Animation: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs— In 2009, Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be the most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the classic children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food begins to fall from the sky like rain. Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) is the voice of Flint Lockwood, a young inventor who dreams of creating something that will improve everyone’s life. Anna Faris (The House Bunny) takes on the role of Sam Sparks, a weathergirl covering the phenomenon who hides her intelligence behind a perky exterior. James Caan plays Tim Lockwood, Flint’s technophobic father. SNL‘s Andy Samberg plays Brent, the town bully who has plagued Flint since childhood. Bruce Campbell plays Mayor Shelbourne, who figures out that Flint’s invention can put the town, and more importantly himself, on the map, and Mr. T plays the by-the-rules town cop, Earl Devereaux. Bobb’e J. Thompson (Role Models) is Carl Devereaux, Earl’s son. Appearing in person: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Bobb’e J. Thompson, and directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Room 6BCF
Reason: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, and Andy Samberg are a recipe for hilarious. I don’t know how great the film will be but I’m guessing this panel will be epic.
2:15-3:15 Summit Entertainment— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of exclusive footage of some of its upcoming major film releases!
Astro boy–A classic superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Join Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell as they premiere the final trailer for Astro Boy before it’s in theaters.
Sorority Row–When five sorority girls inadvertently cause the murder of one of their sisters in a prank gone wrong, they agree to keep the matter to themselves and never speak of it again, so they can get on with their lives. This proves easier said than done, when after graduation a mysterious killer goes after the five of them and anyone who knows their secret. Join the cast of Sorority Row as they debut footage from the film exclusive to Comic-Con 2009.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon–Summit Entertainment is proud to present the panel for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s box office smash Twilight. Surprise members of the cast will answer your questions about the second film in the series and debut never-before-seen footage from the new film.
Reason: Let’s be honest, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs probably won’t get a big crowd because of this Summit expose. There are no specific details but I’m guessing this will just be preview clips. Most people are waiting to hear when Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and the rest of the New Moon cast will be appearing.
2:30-3:30 USA Network’s Burn Notice— Bruce Campbell (Sam Axe), Matt Nix (creator and executive producer) and Alfredo Barrios, Jr. (co-executive producer) host a panel discussion and answer questions about the creative process of evolving an embryonic idea into a finished episode of cable’s #1 hit show. Fans will gain an intimate look inside the world of Burn Notice, complete with war stories from the writer’s room and filming on location in Miami. Exclusive video content will include tips on how to survive Comic-Con from your favorite burned spy, Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan), highlights from the previous two seasons, and an exclusive sneak peek at future season 3 episodes, including the half-season finale and beyond. Ballroom 20
Reason: If you’re looking for quality television, look no further.
3:45-4:45 Entertainment Weekly: Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture— EW will moderate a conversation with Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), and other stars about the actresses who have redefined the rules and the female characters that have shattered the glass ceiling for all women. Basically: a discussion with women who kick ass. Ballroom 20
Reason: Seriously? This is awesome. There are no words for how great this panel idea is… maybe two words: Kristen Bell.
4:30-5:30 The Halo Franchise: What’s Next— Frank O’Connor (franchise development director for Halo) will be joined by a number of special guests to discuss how Halo is evolving into a robust entertainment franchise and what’s coming in the future. Room 6BCF
Reason: I nerd out at the idea of this.
4:45-5:45 Legend of the Seeker— A sneak peek at the highly anticipated second season of the action-adventure series Legend of the Seeker from executive producers Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), Rob Tapert (Xena), Ned Nalle (Hercules), and Josh Donen (Drag Me to Hell) and starring Craig Horner, Bridget Regan and Bruce Spence. Inspired by Terry Goodkind’s bestselling epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth, Richard, Kahlan and Zedd will soon discover that after defeating Darken Rahl, they inadvertently opened a rift into the underworld. Premiering in November, join a few of the executive producers, cast members, and Terry Goodkind for this moderated interview and audience Q&A session! Room 6DE
Reason: Have you seen Legend of the Seeker? it’s awesome. If you haven’t seen it, this is the perfect opportunity to check out this throwback to the Hercules and Xena days.
5:00-6:00 Showtime: Dexter— Calling all Dexter fans! If you’re a Dexter fanatic and can’t wait for the new season, you don’t want to miss this killer panel! Moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment Reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Plus, get an exclusive first look at clips from the new season! Featured panelists include series star/executive producer Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Julie Benz (Rita), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), and executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips, and Melissa Rosenberg. The new season premieres September 27 at 9:00 PM EST/PST only on Showtime! Ballroom 20
Reason: Dexter’s gone bad and this season is sure to be a bloody one.
5:45-6:45 Kick-Ass— World premiere footage from Kick-Ass, based on Mark Millar’s bestselling comic, is presented by director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layercake). Joining him on the panel are Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), and comic co-creator John Romita Jr., among others, including a surprise guest. You don’t want to miss the chance to be the first to experience this gritty, brash, and funny actioner. Hall H
Reason: You know you want to see this. Don’t deny it.
:00-10:00 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog— The California Browncoats host a screening of the original three acts, followed immediately by Commentary! The Musical. See why Joss Whedon’s (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) first foray into webisodic “television” was the talk of the town with critics and fans alike in 2008. Be prepared for a night of singing and surprises hosted by the fans who know what you like best. Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), and Felicia Day (The Guild) and is written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon (Dollhouse), Zack Whedon (Fringe), and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse). Room 6A
Reason: Hoping that Joss Whedon and the cast show up.
I know it might seem like we didn’t narrow down the list much and that’s because we didn’t really. There are so many awesome panels this year, it’s impossible to pick just one per time slot. I wish I could attend every single one on this list but that’s impossible.
Check back for more Comic-Con updates.
– Kim Wetter, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of WB)