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TV, Comic Books
As the clock ticks down to Comic-Con International, organizers have rolled out the programming schedule Thursday, July 22, the first full day of the annual pop-culture extravaganza.
The convention kicks off with a bang, with star-studded panels for such films as Disney’s Tron: Legacy, Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Summit Entertainment’s RED and Lionsgate’s The Expendables, showcases for USA and Showtime series like Dexter, Burn Notice, Psych and White Collar and, oh, yeah, that “Visionaries” spotlight on J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon.
You can check out the full Thursday schedule at the Comic-Con website. But here are the television and movie highlights:
10 to 11 a.m. DreamWorks Animation: Megamind — DreamWorks Animation makes its Comic-Con debut with Megamind. The characters Megamind and Metro Man are jettisoned to Earth as babies when their home planets are destroyed. Megamind crash-lands inside a maximum-security prison, where he evolves into the wicked and diabolical genius he is today, while the dashingly handsome superhero Metro Man grows into the universally adored savior of Metro City, beloved by every man, woman and child — and especially the city’s ace reporter Roxanne Ritchi. These life-long archenemies will rewrite superhero movie lore when they challenge each other to the ultimate showdown of Good vs. Evil! Megamind stars Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill and director Tom McGrath join forces to unveil footage from DreamWorks Animation’s Nov. 5 release. Hall H
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Danny Elfman — From Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure to Alice in Wonderland, composer Danny Elfman discusses his 25-year collaboration with director Tim Burton. Their legendary partnership includes such films as Beetle Juice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Joining Mr. Elfman will be Warner Brothers Records executives to announce their plans to celebrate this quarter-century milestone. Room 6BCF
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies — Chris Pirrotta, Cliff Broadway and Larry D. Curtis, staff members from TORn, talk about the latest on the two coming Hobbit films, including mainstream news, spy reports, and rumors. Special guests are a possibility; audio and visuals are a given with a Q&A and all sorts of fun. Room 7AB
11 a.m. to noon The Clockwork Girl — The Clockwork Girl is in production as a stereoscopic 3D computer generated feature film based on the comic book series published by Arcana. Producer Sean O’Reilly will talk about how CJ Entertainment financed DreamWorks Animation in 1995 and is now behind The Clockwork Girl through Luximation Animation. Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) and Sean Covel and Doc Wyatt (Napoleon Dynamite) talk about the feature film and show an exclusive featurette for The Clockwork Girl. Room 9
11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Walt Disney Pictures: TRON: Legacy — Returning for an unprecedented third year to the fans and convention that started it all, Walt Disney Pictures is pleased to present a special insider look at the upcoming TRON: Legacy. Panelists include filmmakers and talent from the film: director Joe Kosinski, producers Sean Bailey and Steven Lisberger, and cast members Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen and Bruce Boxleitner. The discussion, moderated by Patton Oswalt, is set to include exclusive glimpses of the film, as well as a Q&A involving all panel participants, along with special surprise guests. Hall H
noon to 1 p.m. Caprica, Battlestar, and Beyond — Hosted by actor/author Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, Capt. Apollo, So Say We All), this panel features composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar, Eureka, Caprica), producer/writer Michael Tayler (Battlestar, Caprica, Star Trek), science consultant Kevin Grazier (Battlestar, Eureka) and special guests. Richard and the panelists will provide reviews, discussion and Q&A of Caprica, Battlestar Galactica and the upcoming BSG movie, including trailers. Room 6A
1 to 2 p.m. USA Network’s Burn Notice — Bruce Campbell (Sam Axe), Matt Nix (creator and executive producer) and Alfredo Barrios, Jr. (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 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 all four seasons and an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming episodes. Ballroom 20
1 to 2 p.m. Hasbro GI Joe — The Hasbro design and marketing teams and representatives from Hasbro Studios — including Derryl DePriest (Hasbro Marketing), John Warden (Hasbro Design), Aaron Archer (Hasbro Brand IP Development), Jeff Kline (executive producer, G.I. Joe Renegades) and Michael Vogel (Hasbro Studios) — discuss new initiatives for Hasbro’s G.I. Joe brand. Fans won’t want to miss details from the showrunner and members of the creative team for the new G.I. Joe Renegades animated television series coming to The Hub network this fall! Also includes Q&A time. Room 25ABC
1 to 2 p.m. Sony Pictures Entertainment: Battle: Los Angeles and Salt — Two great new films from Sony Pictures Entertainment are showcased in this Hall H presentation!
• Battle: Los Angeles — When unknown forces suddenly and mercilessly attack the City of Angels out of nowhere, it’s up to a local Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and a new platoon of unseasoned soldiers to meet the threat. As the invasion hits the streets of LA, these Marines become our first and last line of defense in an intense battle against an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before. Appearing in person are Michelle Rodriguez, Aaron Eckhart, Neal Moritz and director Jonathan Liebesman.
• Salt — Opening in theaters everywhere tomorrow, Columbia Pictures brings an exclusive and surprising look at Salt to Comic-Con today, featuring some very special guests. As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture, but her efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: “Who is Salt?” Hall H
2:15 to 3:15 p.m. USA Network’s White Collar — Moderated by White Collar‘s very own conspiracy theorist, Willie Garson (Mozzie), the audience will have a chance to interact with creator Jeff Eastin, stars Matt Bomer (Neal Caffrey), Tim DeKay (FBI Agent Peter Burke), Marsha Thomason (Agent Diana Barrigan), Sharif Atkins (Agent Clinton Jones) and co-EP Jeff King. Fans will get an insider’s look into the challenges of writing in Los Angeles while shooting on the streets of New York. In addition to having questions answered about the exciting upcoming season, fans will also view exclusive video content featuring a sneak peek at new episodes in season 2, as well as a video of Neal explaining the ins and outs of how to pull off the perfect con. Ballroom 20
2:15 to 3:15 p.m. Summit Entertainment: RED — Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of exclusive footage from RED. They used to be the CIA’s top agents — but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren star in RED, an explosive action-comedy based on the cult DC Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis. Join him, director Robert Schwentke, and the film’s stars as they share footage from the film and debut the final trailer before it’s ever in theaters. Hall H
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. State of the Geek Report: From Avatar to Zardoz — A panel of experts examine the state of science fiction, fantasy and horror in film and TV, from the living-ever-longer-and-prospering Star Trek franchise to the future of Star Wars to what the success of Avatar means for the future of movies. Some of geekdom’s biggest luminaries, including Steve Melching (The Clone Wars), Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), Steve Kriozere (Elvis Van Helsing), Jeff Bond (former Geek Monthly editor), and Bill Hunt and Todd Doogan (Digital Bits), talk about the lackluster state of sci-fi film and television, the rise, fall and rise of Star Trek, and the hits and misses of 2010 that made their midicholorian (and cholesterol) counts rise to dangerous levels this summer. Room 4
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. A Decade of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies and More: The Animated Insanity of Radical Axis Studios — The team from Radical Axis — animators, artists, and amateur magicians — celebrate the studio’s 10th Anniversary with a look back at its body of work that includes Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies and other cartoon insanity. Scott Fry (CEO), Craig Hartin (VP of production), and Todd Redner (animation director) are joined by friend/collaborator Matt Maiellaro (co-creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) for a no-holds-barred Q&A with USA Today’s Whitney Matheson. Room 6A
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. USA Network’s Psych — They’re back! Always an unpredictable and hilarious event with the creative team behind the most-watched comedy series on cable TV! Enjoy some face-time with series stars James Roday (Shawn Spencer), Dulé Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster), Maggie Lawson (Juliet O’Hara), Tim Omundson (Carlton Lassiter), Kirsten Nelson (Chief Karen Vick) and Corbin Bernsen (Henry Spencer). Joining the cast will be Steve Franks (creator and executive producer), Kelly Kulchak (executive producer), and Chris Henze (executive producer), moderated by Psych‘s resident funnyman Andy Berman (co-executive producer, ex-actor and longtime writer). The team will provide an all-access pass to USA’s hit series, which launches its 5th season this summer. The stars and producers will share Season 5 secrets and stories from the set and answer questions about the show’s development and production process. Expect special video presentations created exclusively for Comic-Con, never-before-seen outtakes, and a Season 5 exclusive preview. Two lucky audience members will find fame and fortune again this year when they win the honor of having a guest character named after them in a Season 5 episode! There will be exclusive surprise giveaways, including limited-run Comic-Con T-shirts designed by the creative team behind Psych! Ballroom 20
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries — A discussion with geek gods J. J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) on the future of pop culture. EW presents an in-depth conversation with these two creative geniuses about how technology, gaming and global culture are reshaping how we tell and consume stories on television, film and the web. Plus: Is the superhero movie waning, or is it on the cusp of reinvention? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff “Doc” Jensen. Hall H
4:30 to 5:30 Transformers Prime — The talent behind Transformers Prime — executive producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Jeff Kline — the new animated series from Hasbro Studios, showcase exclusive footage and character reveals followed by a Q&A session. This original series will premiere in 2010 on the new television network The Hub. Room 7AB
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Behind the Music: Composing for Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Film & TV — Award-winning composers Michael Giacchino (Lost), Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Heroes), Nathan Barr (True Blood), Jim Dooley (Pushing Daisies), John Ottman (Superman Returns) and Jeremy Zuckerman (Avatar: The Last Airbender) have all composed for Comic-Con’s fan-favorite series and are here to share a behind-the-scenes perspective on creating music for television and film. Together they will discuss their respective projects and how they got their big break into the music composing industry. Q&A following the panel plus exclusive giveaways for attendees. Moderated by BMI executive Anne Cecere, director of film/television relations. Room 24ABC
4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Our Heroes Have More Fun: the Anti-Heroes of Showtime — The 21st century anti-hero has become one of the driving forces in recent pop culture. When it comes to the television anti-hero, Showtime has the winning formula. Hear firsthand from the showrunners, creators, and actors who have helped define this phenomenon. Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall and showrunner Chip Johannessen (24) delve into the phenomenon of Dexter Morgan, the serial killer you can’t help rooting for; David Duchovny and Tom Kapinos of Californication discuss why Hank Moody is the “bad boy” we love despite his obvious shortcomings; and Mary-Louise Parker and Jenji Kohan of Weeds interpret pot-dealing soccer mom Nancy Botwin’s moral decisions, as the line between right and wrong is not always as simple as black or white. Plus: Nurse Jackie — despite a little pill-popping along the way — is a smart no-nonsense nurse, who if you’re ever taken to the hospital, you had better hope she’s the first person you see. With heroes like these, who needs villains? Breaking the occasional promise, law, or commandment is all in a day’s work, and one thing’s for sure — Showtime heroes never let doing the right thing get in the way of having a good time. Ballroom 20
4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Lionsgate: The Expendables — Prepare to have your ass kicked by The Expendables, the biggest action movie this summer! Lionsgate presents exclusive scenes and the inside scoop on every punch, kick, and bloodied lip from the most iconic cast of heroes and villains ever assembled, including the director, writer, and star Sylvester Stallone (Rambo), along with Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier), Steve Austin (The Condemned), Randy Couture (Scorpion King: Rise of the Warrior) and Terry Crews (Gamer). Hall H
5 to 6 p.m. SFX presents The British Invasion — Five top UK writers from the worlds of TV, comics, books, and movies discuss what makes modern British SF unique. Dan Abnett (Ultramarines), China Miéville (Perdido Street Station), Paul Cornell (Doctor Who), Kieron Gillen (Thor), Pat Mills (2000 AD) and Toby Whithouse (BBC’s Being Human creator) talk to SFX magazine’s Dave Bradley in this panel and Q&A session. Room 5AB
5 to 6 p.m. Look Around You — As their BAFTA-nominated show comes to BBC DVD, creators/stars Robert Popper (Peep Show, Hot Fuzz) and Peter Serafinowicz (Couples Retreat, Shaun of the Dead) are on stage to take questions from the fans on the nonsensical wonders of science and the series of gloriously deadpan experiments as presented by Jack Morgan (Popper) and Peter Packard (Serafinowicz). Matt Groening calls it “one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.” Room 6A
5 to 6 p.m. Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital — Check out the Childrens Hospital panel and hear from the show’s creative team led by Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Jon Stern (producer of The Ten and Scotland, PA). They will be joined by members of their ensemble cast of comedic heavyweights, including Lake Bell (How to Make It in America, It’s Complicated), Erinn Hayes (Parenthood, Worst Week) and Rob Huebel (I Love You Man, Human Giant). Childrens Hospital explores the emotional struggles and sexual politics of a group of doctors charged with healthy libidos. Their dedication to their personal lives is relentless, interrupted only by the occasional need to treat sick children. Room 25ABC
6 to 7 p.m. Abusing the Sci of Sci-Fi — Ever watched a science fiction movie and groaned when the science is spun, folded, and mutilated? Sure, outrageous science is fun, but so is making fun of it. Astronomer and Discovermagazine.com blogger Phil Plait moderates this panel of sci-fi movers and shakers as they pick their favorite moments in good and bad TV and movie science. Panelists include Jaime Paglia (Eureka), Zack Stentz (Fringe, Thor), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Kevin Grazier (NASA scientist and Eureka advisor) and Sean Carroll (physicist and Discovermagazine.com blogger). Room 5AB
6 to 7 p.m. Showtime’s Dexter — What’s next for America’s Favorite Serial Killer? If the dramatic season finale left you in an, OMG-what-just-happened frenzy, you don’t want to miss this killer panel! You’ll see the exclusive world premiere of the new season’s trailer, then moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ entertainment reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Featured panelists include Michael C. Hall (series star/executive producer), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), Desmond Harrington (Quinn) and executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Chip Johannessen (24) and Manny Coto (Star Trek: Enterprise). The new season premieres Sept. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT only on Showtime. Ballroom 20
6 to 7 p.m. Universal: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World — Genre-bending filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), graphic novel author Bryan Lee O’Malley, and the cast of Universal Pictures’ Scott Pilgrim vs. the World provide a sneak peek of summer 2010’s epic of epic epicness. Joining Wright will be our hero, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera of Superbad); Scott’s two current girlfriends, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead of The Thing) and Knives Chau (Ellen Wong of Unnatural History); his band, SEX BOB-OMB: Kim Pine (Alison Pill of Milk) and Stephen Stills (Mark Webber of Broken Flowers); SEX BOB-OMB super-fan Young Neil (Johnny Simmons of Jennifer’s Body); Scott’s awesome roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin of Igby Goes Down); and four of Ramona’s seven evil exes: Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha of Fair Game), Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh of Superman Returns), Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman of Funny People) and Roxy Richter (Mae Whitman of Parenthood); plus Scott’s younger sister, Stacey Pilgrim (Anna Kendrick of Up in the Air), and the obnoxious Julie Powers (Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation). Q&A to follow. Hall H
6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Robotech: The First Quarter Century — Robotech creative director Tommy Yune and Robotech screenwriter Steve Yun cover the history of the television series that introduced a generation to anime. They also pay tribute to the late Carl Macek, the original producer of Robotech, who started this whole phenomenon. Room 6DE
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — Sing along with your fellow fans at this screening of the original three acts of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, hosted by the California Browncoats, complete with lyrics books and call backs! Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) and Felicia Day (The Guild) and was written by Joss Whedon (Serenity), Jed Whedon (Dollhouse), Zack Whedon (Fringe) and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse). Room 6A
8 to 11 p.m. BBC America: U.S. Premiere Screenings of Doctor Who and Being Human — Catch the all-new season opener of Being Human, written by Toby Whithouse and starring Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, Aidan Turner and Sinead Keenan and the two-part finale of Doctor Who, written by Steven Moffat and starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Room 6DE
10 p.m. to midnight World Premiere of Lost Boys: The Thirst — The Frog Brothers return to Comic-Con with holy water balloons ablazin’ for the world premiere of Lost Boys: The Thirst, the latest high-energy, action-packed adventure in the ongoing franchise. Original cast members Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander present the first-ever screening of the cult classic’s third film, in which the lost boys and girls of San Cazador prepare to party under the Blood Moon — while an alpha vampire conspires to turn these unsuspecting ravers into an army of undead. The only thing that stands between him and the annihilation of the entire human race are the infamous vampire-fighting Frog Brothers. Expect some serious bloodsucker butt kicking. And Warner Bros. is providing the free popcorn! Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront