So, I have been looking over the schedule for Comic-Con (with Sunday’s due to be announced tomorrow). Naturally, I was paying close attention to just when a certain studio’s time block was set for Saturday. And here’s what I found on the official Comic-Con International website:
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.
What I love here is the fact that after Martin as titular hero and Sir Ian as Gandalf, there he is, Richard Armitage as Thorin, leading that band of dwarves. In the newspaper biz, we’d say he got topfold billing. Yeah, I am grinning to myself. Our man has hit the big time, I do believe.
It’s not mentioned here, but for those who don’t know, TH panelists for Comic-Con are slated to be Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage *squee*, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis (Gollum and, as we know from the videoblogs, a second unit director on TH) and co-screenwriter Phillipa Boyens. No 13 dwarfs, thank goodness. Not that I don’t love James and Aidan and all the rest, but Richard IS Top Dwarf, after all. He should be there representin’ for all the rest.
Now, Comic-Con seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. And they do not empty out the halls and rooms after each presentation/panel. And while there is a space reserved for media, I am not sure if that includes ALL media or just the big publications and networks. And how many of them will be camping out and claming spots they choose not to relinquish?
So it is very possible I will have to make a concerted effort to get into Hall H in the morning and hang out there until 2:30 p.m. Yeah, it holds 6,500 people–only about a thousand less people than the population of our little hometown–but we are looking at an event that is expected to draw 165,000 people. And in case you haven’t noticed, this whole Hobbit thing is a great big deal with a lot of fans of Tolkien eager to learn more.
But my gosh, there is so much to see and do at Comic-Con beyond our beloved Richard. There are panels for attendees to give practical advice on screenwriting for television and film and writing and illustrating graphic novels and comics, panels that focus on popular television shows of the past and those which preview upcoming productions. Hugely popular productions such as True Blood, Dexter (my favorite serial killer with a code!) and Game of Thrones will be represented. You can try out the Zombie Obstacle Course, attend a virtual drive-in theatre and discover “the naked truth about Tarzan and Jane.”
And what would such an event be without the likes of my all-time favorite ham actor, Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner and the king of low-budget sci-fi/horror movies, Roger Corman, the man who kick-started the careers of such stars as Jack Nicholson? There are seminars on staging combat, making resin casts and silicone molds, the popularity of steampunk, “trailer parks” for upcoming films and so on, and so on . . . not to mention all those colorful, creative, and sometimes scanty costumes many attendees wear. I am certain I will be completely worn out by the time I fly home Monday, but I doubt I will be bored. Even standing in line could be entertaining. I do enjoy people watching.
Right now, it looks like I may be hanging out with Quentin Tarantino and the cast of his upcoming film Django Unchained. Their panel is scheduled for 11:3o in Hall H, where The Hobbit presentation will take place that afternoon. Hey, I like Tarantino, and I am thanking my lucky stars it isn’t Twilight (sorry, all you Twi-hards).
It is going to be an experience, that’s for sure.