2007 Comic-Con Program Highlights

It’s that time of year again in a little over two weeks, and here’s a breakdown of the panels to look out for if you’re in San Diego. I myself will be participating in one on Sunday afternoon, hope to see you there.

Amongst the celebrities to appear are the likes of actors Edward Norton, Robert Downey Jr., Clive Owen, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Milla Jovovich, Jessica Alba, Thomas Jane, Edward Burns, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Dane Cook, Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Shannyn Sossamon, David Wenham, Matt Dallas, Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Milo Ventimiglia, Ali Larter, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Alyssa Milano, Skeet Ulrich.

Also appearing are writers, producers and directors like Ridley Scott, J.J. Abrams, Zack Snyder, Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, Joel Silver, Jon Favreau, Mike Dougherty, Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary.

Thursday: 11:00-12:00 DVD Sneak Peak 2007

Bill Hunt and Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits.com, along with DVD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Blade Runner: The Final Cut; Twin Peaks: The Complete Series), Robert Meyer Burnett (Shoot ‘Em Up, Valkyrie), and Javier Soto (Hellboy 2), offer exclusive sneak peeks of great upcoming DVD and high-def special editions in the works for release later this year. Exclusive footage from Blade Runner and Twin Peaks will be shown. Q&A will follow if time permits. Room 5AB

1:30-3:30 Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, and Nickelodeon Movies present a bold new vision for the future of adventure. Be here for a one-of-a-kind presentation put together just for the fans at Comic-Con as you get a look at such highly anticipated films as Beowulf, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Stardust, Hot Rod, Iron Man, and the next installments of Indiana Jones and Star Trek, plus a few surprises. Appearing in person: J.J. Abrams, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary, and SNL’s Andy Samberg. Hall H

2:15-3:15 BBC America: Torchwood

Writer Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who) has created a spectacular spin-off TV series from Doctor Who with Torchwood, about a rogue team of investigators who use scavenged alien technology to solve present-day crime–both alien and human. Catch an extended clip of the new series and a panel discussion with actors John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness,; Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), series writer Chris Chibnall, and executive producer Julie Gardner. TV Guide’s West Coast Bureau Chief Craig Tomashoff moderates. Room 6A

3:45-5:15 Lionsgate

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Lionsgate’s biggest upcoming releases. First up, Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four), Dane Cook (Employee of the Month), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), and director Mark Helfrich take you behind the scenes of Good Luck Chuck. Then Jessica is joined by directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud (Them) for a haunting glimpse into The Eye. Horror master Clive Barker and the cast of Midnight Meat Train take you on a terror trip through hell. Finally, director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Saw III), Tobin Bell (Saw I, II and III) and the filmmakers of Saw IV invite you to play a game in the cruel and deadly world of Jigsaw. Hall H

5:00-6:30 Lost Season 4

If the Lost finale was any indication of things to come, you will not want to miss this panel! Co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse will discuss the exciting new season of ABC’s Lost, all leading up to the ultimate series finale. They’ll spotlight bonus features from the 3rd season DVD box set, preview the new Lost video game, take questions from the audience, and perhaps serve up more surprises. Ballroom 20

6:00-7:00 Fanboys

Fanboys is an uproarious comedy that follows a group of young friends on a cross-country quest to break into Skywalker Ranch and see Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace before it is released. Fanboys is a Weinstein Company presentation being released in theaters by MGM on January 18, 2008. Stars Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Sam Huntington (Superman Returns), Chris Marquette (Joan of Arcadia), and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) join writer/director Kyle Newman and producers Matt Perniciaro and Dana Brunetti for a Q&A session. Room 6CDEF

Friday: 10:30-12:00 Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. presents a sneak peek at some of its upcoming major film releases! The Invasion is a nightmarish journey into a world where the only way to stay alive is to stay awake. The mysterious crash of the space shuttle leads to the terrifying discovery that there is something alien within the wreckage. Those who come in contact with it are changing in ominous and inexplicable ways. Producer Joel Silver appears in person.

In the supernatural thriller One Missed Call, people receive terrifying cell phone messages of their own final fatal moments. Stars Edward Burns and Shannyn Sossamon will be on stage to introduce film footage and answer questions.

In Whiteout, Kate Beckinsale stars as Carrie Stetko, the lone U.S. Marshal assigned to Antarctica, whose investigation of the continent’s first murder draws her into a shocking mystery. Now, with only three days until winter, Carrie must solve the crime before Antarctica is plunged into darkness and she is stranded with the killer. Star Kate Beckinsale appears in-person.

From writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski, the creators of the groundbreaking The Matrix trilogy, and producer Joel Silver comes the live-action, high-octane family adventure Speed Racer. Based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida, the live-action Speed Racer will showcase the kind of revolutionary visual effects and cutting-edge storytelling that have become the benchmarks of the Wachowski Brothers’ films.

In the all-new action comedy Get Smart, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is on a mission to thwart the latest plot for world domination by the evil crime syndicate known as KAOS.

In Trick ‘R Treat, the tricks and treats of Halloween turn deadly as strange creatures of every variety–human and otherwise–try to survive the scariest night of the year. Mike Dougherty appears in-person to discuss his directorial debut produced by Bryan Singer.

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was originally published by DC comics as a 12-issue comic book series between 1986 and 1987, before subsequently being collected into a trade paperback. It is the only graphic novel to win the prestigious Hugo Award or to be named among Time magazine’s “100 Best English Language Novels from 1923 to the Present.” Director

Zack Snyder will appear in-person to discuss the upcoming film and answer questions. Hall H

12:15-2:00 Twentieth Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox “jumps” into Comic-Con with exclusive looks at some of the most-anticipated movie events of 2007 and 2008. In the epic action-adventure Jumper, a genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. The film, opening February 15, 2008, starring Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Jamie Bell, and Samuel L. Jackson, is directed by Doug Liman. The cast and filmmakers will screen footage.

In Aliens vs. Predator, opening December 25, the iconic creatures from two of the scariest film franchises ever are back.

Agent 47 hits the big screen, as Fox present footage from the long-awaited movie adaptation of the legendary videogame franchise Hitman, opening October 12.

Vin Diesel stars in Babylon, A.D., the story of a mercenary hired to deliver a package from the ravages of post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe to a destination in the teeming megalopolis of New York City. Opening February 29, 2008.

From Fox-Walden comes The Dark Is Rising (opening October 5), based on the classic science fiction novel about Will Stanton, a young man who learns he is the last of a group of warriors who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of the Dark. Filmmakers and cast will present exclusive footage from the film.

City of Ember (opening October 10, 2008) is a mystical city of lights. But now the city is growing dark and two of its teenagers will need to unlock an ancient mystery and help the citizens escape before the lights go out forever. Director Gil Kenan (Monster House) has put together an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film. Hall H

1:30-2:30 24

For the first time ever, the producers of the worldwide Fox phenomenon 24 come to Comic-Con for a discussion and Q&A about the hit series that rewrote the rules of television storytelling. Will Jack Bauer survive another harrowing day? Only executive producers Evan Katz, Manny Coto, and David Fury know for sure, and with any luck they’ll divulge that and a lot more about how they intend to reinvent the Emmy Award-winning drama in its upcoming seventh season. Room 6B

2:15-3:00 New Line Cinema: Shoot ‘Em Up

A gritty, fast-paced action thriller, Shoot ‘Em Up kicks into high gear with a memorable opening scene and never relents. New Line Cinema will show exclusive footage from Shoot ‘Em Up, and star Clive Owen, along with director Michael Davis, will be there to discuss the film! Also included in the presentation will be a special preview of New Line Cinema’s upcoming films, including The Golden Compass. Hall H

2:30-4:00 Dimension Films: Halloween and The Mist

Join acclaimed musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses) and several cast members in a special preview of Zombie’s entirely new take on the highly successful and terrifying Halloween legacy that began in 1978. While revealing a new chapter in the established Michael Myers saga, the film will surprise both classic and modern horror fans with a departure from prior films in the Halloween franchise. Brace yourself for unprecedented fear as Zombie turns back time to uncover the making of a pathologically disturbed, even cursed child named Michael Myers. Halloween comes early this year–opening everywhere on August 31, 2007.

Writer/director and three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont, along with actor Thomas Jane (The Punisher) and special guests, presents a sneak preview of The Mist. Based on the Stephen King novella, this highly anticipated film will hit theatres on November 21, 2007. After a violent storm attacks a town in Maine, an approaching cloud of mist appears the next morning. As the mist quickly envelops the area, a group of people get trapped in a local grocery store. The people soon discover that within the mist lives numerous species of horrific, unworldly creatures that entered through an interdimensional rift, which may or may not have been caused by a nearby military base. Ballroom 20

3:15-4:45 Warner Bros. Home Video: 300 and Blade Runner Final Cut

First up, 300 creator Frank Miller, director Zack Snyder, stars including Lena Headey and David Wenham, producers Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari, and other special guests are on hand to discuss the groundbreaking film and its highly anticipated July 31 DVD release. Be the first to see a clip not included in the theatrical release! Then it’s the 25th Anniversary Blade Runner “Final Cut.” Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Hannibal) has created a new, definitive version of this landmark film, with scenes and special effects that have never been shown before. Catch this first preview of the new version by the legendary director of the final, authoritative. and best presentation of one of the most acclaimed science fiction films of the 20th century. This presentation will feature unseen clips from the new cut as well as a look behind the scenes that will be featured on the upcoming DVD box set. The panel includes Ridley Scott, Sean Young, Joanna Cassidy, Joe Turkel, James Hong, Syd Mead (designer/futurist), Mark Stetson (FX), and DVD producer Charlie De Lauzirika. Hall H

6:15-7:45 Kevin Smith

He’s back, and this time not even traffic can stop him! Comic-Con favorite Kevin Smith holds court in another of his no-holds-barred Q&A sessions, talking about just anything he damn well pleases. Hall H


12:15-2:00 Rogue/Focus Studios

Rogue Pictures invites you to preview a few of their upcoming releases, including Balls of Fury (with appearances by Robert Ben Garant, Tom Lennon and Dan Fogler), The Strangers (with appearances by Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman and writer/director Bryan Bertino), and Doomsday (with appearances by Rhona Mitra and Neil Marshall), plus other surprise appearances and announcements! Hall H

12:45-2:00 Heroes

Exclusive Volume II Clip and Q&A–Heroes chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities. Be the first to see an exclusive clip from Volume II and learn more about the DVD Heroes 360 and more. Participate in a Q&A session moderated by co-executive producer/comic book writer Jeph Loeb, with creator Tim Kring, comic book artist Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween), and the entire cast–Jack Coleman (H.R.G.), Noah Gray-Cabey (Micah Sanders), Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman), Ali Larter (Niki Sanders), James Kyson Lee (Ando), Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura), Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet), Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli), Zachary Quinto (Sylar), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh), Dania Ramirez (Maya), Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli), and more. Ballroom 20

1:30-2:30 Family Guy

Back by popular demand, join creator/star Seth MacFarlane, showrunner/executive producer David A. Goodman and the creative team behind Fox’s number-one comedy Family Guy for an uproarious and uncensored hour of laughs and Q&A. Rumor has it they’ll even preview what is destined to become a Family Guy classic–this year’s season premiere episode, which retells the Star Wars story with the Griffins and their fellow residents of Quahog, Rhode Island, cast in the iconic roles of the legendary film. Stewie as Darth Vader? Victory shall be his! Room 6CDEF

2:15-3:15 Battlestar Galactica

Michelle Tauber of People Magazine calls it “an instantly addictive, girl-powered show that packs emotional punch, rip-roaring adventure and surprisingly sexy heat.” Come see what all the buzz is about as SCI FI celebrates the ladies of Battlestar Galactica. Panelists include Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Kara “Starbuck” Thrace), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Ronald D. Moore (executive producer), David Eick (executive producer), and Erik Storey (VP, original programming, SCI FI). Moderated by Mark Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly magazine. Ballroom 20

2:15-4:00 Disney

Disney and Disney·Pixar showcase two upcoming films with this exclusive Comic-Con presentation!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian–Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media present never-before-seen footage and a Q&A panel with the filmmakers of the second installment of the epic fantasy adventure series! Be sure to collect the exclusive Prince Caspian Comic-Con poster, designed by fans on Narnia.com, and selected by director Andrew Adamson!

WALL·E–From Academy Award-winning director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), WALL·E is the story of one robot’s comic adventures as he chases his dream across the galaxy. Meet director Andrew Stanton and sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars) as they present a first look at Disney·Pixar’s next animated adventure! Hall H

2:45-3:45 Supernatural Screening and Q&A

Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki (House of Wax) and Jensen Ackles (Smallville)–along with executive producer Eric Kripke (Boogeyman), co-executive producer Ben Edlund (Angel), and co-executive producer Peter Johnson (DC Comics’ Supernatural: Origins comic book series)–answer questions from the audience, present a reel of highlights from Supernatural, and discuss the upcoming third season of this thrill-ride series with moderator Craig Tomashoff, West Coast Bureau Chief of TV Guide. Produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Supernatural airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT on The CW. Room 6CDEF

4:15-5:00 Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures’ presentation features a cast and filmmaker panel from one of its most exciting titles for 2008: Marvel’s new take on cherished superhero icon The Incredible Hulk. In person: stars Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt; director Louis Leterrier; and producers Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd, and Kevin Feige. Hall H

5:15-6:45 Sony/Screen Gems

This panel showcases three great new films from Screen Gems and Sony! First up, it’s zombie action at it’s finest with Resident Evil: Extinction. See the world premiere of the new trailer and meet the stars of this third and final installment of the Resident Evil saga, based on the wildly popular video game series. Alice (Milla Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, once again joins forces with Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and L. J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors, including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). On stage in person to take your questions will be Milla Jovovich, in her first ever Comic-con appearance, along with co-stars Oded Fehr and Ali Larter. Resident Evil: Extinction is in theaters everywhere September 21.

30 Days of Night–Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s vampire noir epic horror/thriller reaches the big screen under the banner of Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures. On hand to show clips and answer questions will be director David Slade, producer Rob Tapert, creators Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, and stars Josh Hartnett (Sin City) and Danny Huston (Children of Men).

Superbad–Producer Judd Apatow follows his hit comedy Knocked Up with this highly anticipated look at the lives of several misfit guys on the eternal quest to find the right girl and prove that they’re not just bad, they’re Superbad. Apatow discusses the outrageous comedy audiences have come to expect from him. Joining Apatow will be his Superbad entourage, including Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, director Greg Mottola, screenwriter and star Seth Rogen, screenwriter Evan Goldberg, producer Shauna Robertson, and possibly even Bill Hader, if he will only listen to reason. Hall H

Sunday: 11:00-11:30 Trailer Park

It’s a Comic-Con tradition! The very best in movie trailers, currently in–and some soon to be arriving at–your friendly neighborhood cinema. Ballroom 20

12:45-1:45 Pathology

From the creators of Crank, join Pathology writer/producers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor as they moderate a killer panel that includes film director Marc Schoelermann and participating cast members Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Michael Weston, Alyssa Milano, and Lauren Lee Smith (scheduled to attend). Neveldine and Taylor will introduce first-look footage from the film exclusively for Comic-Con participants. Panel attendees have a chance to win a meet-n-greet with the Pathology panelists and an iPhone immediately following. Pathology is in theaters in November. Ballroom 20

1:00-2:30 Masters of the Web

Hosted by Tom DeSanto (Transformers, X-Men), reps from the biggest genre and movie websites come together to talk about how new media have affected moviemaking today, what it takes to run a popular site, and much more. Panelists include Robert Sanchez (IESB.net), Garth Franklin (Darkhorizons.com), Berge Garabedian (Joblo.com), Patrick Lee (Scifi.com), Ed Douglas (Comingsoon.net/Superherohype.com), Brad Miska (Bloody-Disgusting.com), Steven Weintraub (Collider.com), Devin Faraci (CHUD.com), Drew McWeeney (Aintitcool.com), Paul Christensen (Movieweb.com), Kellvin Chavez (Latinoreview.com), and Eric Moro (IGN.com). Room 6A

1:15-2:15 Jericho

The CBS drama about how residents of a small, peaceful, Kansas town band together to survive in the wake of a nuclear explosion, will return to the network. Be the first to see never before seen footage from the second season, exclusive clips and outtakes from Season 1 and extras from the DVD out in October, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Skeet Ulrich (Scream), Lennie James (Sahara), Ashley Scott (Dark Angel), executive producer Carol Barbee (Judging Amy), co-executive producers Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz, and producer Jon Steinberg. Room 6CDEF