2009 Comic Con Program: Thursday

It’s that time of year again. In two weeks kicks off San Diego Comic Con, the biggest annual geek celebration on the planet with over 120,000 people cramming the South Californian city and convention center for the four-day event.

The entire convention sold out ages ago, hotel rooms across the city have been booked out as per usual, and everyone’s rushing to organize themselves for the craziness. I’ve been every year since 2001 and will be back again as usual, mostly in Hall H covering the various panels, and then likely drunk at the various parties afterwards.

The official site has begun rolling out the schedule and funnily enough it seems that Thursday looks to have most of the major premieres this year with “Avatar,” “Twilight” and the “Tron” sequel all doing big panels. Here’s a shortlist of all the big film-related panels on offer

DAY ONE: Thursday, July 23

10:00-11:00am: Masters of the Web
Web-heads Robert Sanchez, Ryan Rotten, Mike Sampson, Jeremy Smith, Brad Miska, Drew McWeeny, Devin Faraci, Paul Christensen, Wilson Morales, Vic Holtreman, and George Roush give a fiery debate on the film news world. Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington will show off “Dead of Night”. Room 32AB.

10:15-11:15am: “Astro Boy”
Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell Q&A, along with exclusive debut footage. Room 6BCF

10:30-11:30am: TheOneRing.net presents “The Hobbit”
The site’s staff talk early stuff, potential behind-the-scenes footage and/or guest. Room 7AB

11:00am-12:30pm: Disney Pictures 3D Panel
3D Footage from Disney’s “A Christmas Carol,” “Alice In Wonderland” and “TR2N”. Guests include Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Sean Bailey and Steve Lisberger. Hall H

12:00-1:00pm: “Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey”
Several cast members and crew will show off clips and discuss the 3D, CGI Large Format film featuring animated sequences with actual space imagery.

12:45pm-1:45pm: 3D Showcase
An extended 3D clip from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” Joe Dante discusses his new project “The Hole”, and Craig Perry introduces a clip from “The Final Destination”. Hall H

1:45-2:45pm: Summit Entertainment
Footage from “Astro Boy”, “Sorority Row” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”. Various cast members (to be confirmed) will appear. Hall H.

2:00-3:00pm: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
Footage from the animated family comedy. Q&A with Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg. Room 6BCF.

3:00-4:15pm: “Avatar”
The first public screening of footage in 3D. James Cameron, Jon Landau, Sigourney Weaver and Zoe Saldana will appear for a Q&A. Hall H.

4:30-5:15pm: “The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus”
Footage from and Q&A session with Terry Gilliam about the fantasy film starring the late Heath Ledger. Hall H.

5:15-5:45pm: “Pandorum”
Ben Foster, Cung Le and Antje Traue appear to hype the sci-fi horror thriller. Hall H.

5:45-6:30pm: “Kick-Ass”
Director Matthew Vaughn, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and a surprise guest will give a Q&A and present world premiere footage. Hall H

6:30-7:00pm: “Thirst”
Rare U.S. appearance by acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook to promote the vampire melodrama. Hall H

8:00-9:30pm: “Green Lantern: First Flight”

World Premiere screening of the DC animated title. Ballroom 20

9:30pm-12:00am: “Trick ‘r Treat”
Michael Dougherty’s darkly comic Halloween-set horror flick screens. Dougherty, Anna Paquin, Tahmoh Penikett and Brian Cox on a panel moderated by Harry Knowles. Ballroom 20.