Its that time of year again. Every year San Diego plays host to 'Comic Con', officially the biggest comics convention in the world. Unofficially however it has become one of the biggest conventions in the world for premiere movie presentations with stars galore turning up to promote their upcoming films and projects with interviews, panels and never before seen footage. In recent years the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Sam Raimi & James Cameron have all been on hand to talk about their projects.
This year the line-up remains stelar with the likes of Charlize Theron, The Rock, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Eva Mendez, Kate Beckinsale, Jack Black and Karl Urban alongside filmmaking luminaries Tony Scott, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky, Bryan Singer, Richard Kelly, Joss Whedon, David Cronenberg, Jon Favreau and Joel Silver putting in appearances. Its going to be bigger than ever literally - months ahead of time practically every hotel/motel/flophouse across the city has been booked out, and with both another convention and baseball playoffs on that weekend - Friday & Saturday night are going to be one hell of a party.
Naturally I'm going to be there in person myself (this will be my fifth) to achieve two goals - to get utterly and repeatedly sloshed as usual, and to cover all the action. For those going feel free to come up and chat, you'll spot me either wandering the halls, at one of these presentations below or passed out in some bar around the Gaslamp or Horton Plaza area.
Anyway, here's a breakdown of all the key film and television related events taking place, hope to see you there. For the complete list which includes all comic presentations and minor discussion panels, click here. The San Diego Comic Con runs from July 14th-17th:
12:00-1:00 CFQ Summer Movie Preview The editors of Cinefantastique/CFQ magazine present a preview of the summer's biggest films with insider anecdotes and trailers from the hottest upcoming genre films, along with coming attractions from CFQ Films's new movies; Room 6 with Jerry O'Connell and Christine Taylor and The Darkroom with Lucy Lawless and Greg Grunberg (Alias). No publicists here, just the straight skinny from fans for fans. Room 6B
12:30-1:30 Wilmer Valderrama stars as El Muerto Get an exclusive sneak peak at El Muerto, the feature film adaptation of the independent comic book by Javier Hernandez. Starring Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show), the film chronicles the origin of El Muerto and his subsequent battle with the Aztec gods that created him. Appearing on the panel are creator/associate producer Javier Hernandez, stars Wilmer Valderrama and Joel David Moore (Art School Confidential), screenwriter/director Brian Cox (Scorpion Springs), producer Larry Rattner (Dahmer), and executive producer Daniel Leone. Room 6A
1:30-2:30 Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly: The Movie Like a graphic novel come to life, A Scanner Darkly, based on the science fiction novel by author Philip K. Dick, will use live action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process (interpolated rotoscoping) to create a haunting, highly stylized vision of the future. The technology, first employed in Richard Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life, has evolved to produce even more emotional impact and detail. Appearing in person to present a look and discuss the creative process of this ground breaking film will be producer Tommy Pallotta and lead animators Sterling Allen, Evan Cagle, Nick Derington and Christopher Jennings. Also on the panel, in order to answer the question: "Do Androids Dream of Being Phil Dick?" will be Philip K. Dick in android form! Come and see for yourself ... he'll even answer your questions! Written for the screen and directed by Richard Linklater, the film stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane, and will be released by Warner Independent pictures in 2006. Room 6CDEF
4:30-5:30 A Conversation with David Cronenberg Director David Cronenberg will appear to discuss his upcoming thriller A History of Violence, along with writer Josh Olson. Plus, a special sneak peak at A History of Violence footage. An autograph session with Cronenberg will follow in the Autograph Area in the Sails Pavilion. Room 6CDEF
5:30-7:00 Constantine: From Comic to Film Warner Home Video hosts key Constantine film and comics luminaries for a special presentation and discussion. The panel features actress Rachel Weisz (Mummy series), film director Francis Lawrence, VERTIGO editor Karen Berger, comics writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), and artist Tim Bradstreet (Punisher). Moderator Jeff Conner interrogates the participants and raffles off signed movie memorabilia and prerelease DVDs. Room 6B
11:00-1:00 Warner Bros. Presents
V For Vendetta -- Based on the groundbreaking graphic novel, V for Vendetta stars Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman, is directed by John McTeigue, and produced by Joel Silver with Larry and Andy Wachowski from their screenplay. Appearing in person at this event will be Natalie Portman, Joel Silver, and original graphic novel co-creator David Lloyd.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- In the fourth film adaptation of J. K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter novel series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) must contend with being mysteriously selected to compete in the prestigious Triwizard Tournament, a thrilling international competition that pits him against older and more experienced students from Hogwarts and two rival European wizarding schools. Get an exclusive look at this pivotal adventure in Harry Potter's life.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride -- Carrying on in the dark, romantic tradition of Tim Burton's classic films Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is set in a 19th-century European village. This stop-motion animated feature follows the story of Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride (voiced by Helena Bonham-Carter) while his real bride, Victoria (voiced by Emily Watson), waits bereft in the land of the living. It's a tale of optimism, romance, and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Tim Burton style. Appearing in person to show a never-before-seen look at this remarkable film will be producer Allison Abbate and co-director Mike Johnson.
The Fountain--Info TBA. All of these programs will held in Hall H
1:00-2:00 Advance Pilot Screening: The WB's Supernatural! Be among the first to see one of this fall's most anticipated new dramas! Producer Peter Johnson (The O.C., 24, House) will be on hand to introduce the episode. In the tradition of interweaving character drama and the supernatural in such hit series as Smallville, this thrill ride takes a dark journey into the terrifying world of the unexplained. Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki, House of Wax, Gilmore Girls) has done his best to escape his family's eerie history but, along with his older brother, Dean (Jensen Ackles, Smallville, Dark Angel), Sam is bound by tragedy and blood to a dangerous, otherworldly mission. Crisscrossing the mysterious back roads of America in their '67 Chevy Impala, the Winchester brothers search for their missing father--and hunt down evil paranormal forces along the way. McG (The O.C., Charlie's Angels movies), Eric Kripke (Boogeyman, Tarzan), and Robert Singer (Smallville, Monk) executive produce. Supernatural is produced by Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision and will air Tuesdays this fall on The WB Network. Room 6B
1:30-3:00 Masters of Horror Meet the masters . . . the Masters of Horror! Join the greatest icons of motion picture horror together in a discussion of the highly anticipated new horror anthology series of 13 one-hour films, Masters of Horror, premiering on Showtime in October. This is your chance to enter the minds of the genre's greatest directors, including Mick Garris, John Landis, Don Coscarelli, Roger Corman and Stuart Gordon. Masters of Horror is produced by IDT Entertainment, Industry Entertainment, and Nice Guys Productions, and will be released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment. Room 20
1:15-1:45 New Line Cinema Presents Tony Scott: Domino First look! New Line Cinema will premiere the trailer for Tony Scott's upcoming wild action thriller, Domino, starring Keira Knightley. Director Tony Scott (True Romance, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide, and Man on Fire) will appear in person to preview his new film and take your questions. Hall H
2:00-2:45 Sony Pictures Presents Zathura -- In Columbia Pictures' heart-racing sci-fi adventure Zathura, two squabbling brothers are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game they discovered in the basement of their old house. The film is based on the best-selling book by the acclaimed children's writer Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express, Jumanji), with a screenplay by David Koepp and John Kamps. The film stars Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristin Stewart, and Oscar-winner Tim Robbins, directed by Jon Favreau (Elf), and produced by William Teitler and Michael DeLuca. Director Jon Favreau will be on hand to give you an early exclusive preview and field your questions. Think of it as "Dinner for Five Thousand" without the food!
The Legend of Zorro -- Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are reunited with director Martin Campbell in Columbia Pictures's epic adventure. The year is 1850. After fighting to help California become the 31st state of the Union, Zorro (Antonio Banderas) must live up to the promise he made his wife Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to give up his secret identity and live a normal life as Alejandro de la Vega. When he hesitates, it threatens to tear them apart. Join us for an action-filled exclusive sequence from The Legend of Zorro.
These films will be presented in Hall H
2:00-3:00 Veronica Mars Executive producers Joel Silver (V for Vendetta) and Rob Thomas (Cupid), along with cast members Enrico Colantoni (Galaxy Quest), Percy Daggs III (NYPD Blue), Jason Dohring (Deep Impact), Teddy Dunn (The Manchurian Candidate), and Francis Capra (CSI), will discuss the critically acclaimed first season of this UPN show, what's coming up for the second season, and the first season DVD. Room 6B
3:00-4:00 SCI-FI: Battlestar Galactica Their only goal is survival. Their only hope is each other. The entire cast returns for the second season of Battlestar Galactica, which airs Fridays at 10/9C on SCI FI. Time magazine called Battlestar Galactica one of the best dramas on TV, and the new season is sure to continue the show's tremendous success. Panelists include actors Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Katee Sackhoff (LT. Kara Thrace--Starbuck), Jamie Bamber (Capt. Lee Adama--Apollo), and Grace Park (LT. Sharon Valerii-- Boomer) and executive producer David Eick. Moderated by Michael Davis, senior editor, TV Guide. Be sure to pick up a raffle ticket at the door for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with the cast following the panel in the SCI FI booth conference room. The winner will be announced at the end of the panel. Room 20
3:00-4:30 Disney Coming Attractions: Chicken Little, Sky High, Cars Moderated by animation expert and author Jerry Beck, Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios celebrate the 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking release of Toy Story with a special panel featuring Pixar veterans Pete Docter, Joe Ranft, and Academy Award- winner Gary Rydstrom. The presentation showcases discussion of the film along with a preview of clips from the upcoming special-edition DVD release. Added bonus: a Comic-Con exclusive peek at the Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, Cars, directed by Academy Award-winner John Lasseter (Toy Story, A Bug's Life), releasing June 9, 2006. Disney Feature Animation presents an exclusive look at its first in-house computer-animated feature, Chicken Little, with director Mark Dindal (The Emperor's New Groove) and producer Randy Fullmer on hand to discuss it. Also, from Disney's live-action adventure comedy Sky High, meet star Bruce Campbell, director Mike Mitchell, and screenwriter Paul Hernandez. Hall H
4:00-5:15 Bones A new procedural drama that centers on forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel, Spider-Man 2, Cold Mountain). She and her team of scientists put their skills to use to help FBI special agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz, Angel) crack extremely difficult cases by examining human remains to help determine a victim's identity and cause of death. Join the stars of Bones and executive producers Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson for a sneak peak at the pilot episode and a Q&A session. Room 20
4:30-5:30 Lions Gate Films: The Past, Present, and Future of Horror Lions Gate Films has solidified itself in the pantheon of horror with recent classics such as The Blair Witch Project, Open Water, and Saw. Join Lions Gate and the producers of Saw for a special look at upcoming classics, including exclusive footage from the first WWE horror movie starring Kane and an exclusive premiere of the theatrical teaser trailer for Saw 2! Room 6A
4:45-6:15 Lucasfilm Presents: Star Wars Spectacular It just wouldn't be Comic-Con International without hearing the latest on Lucasfilm and Star Wars from Steve Sansweet, the company's head of Fan Relations. Sansweet will cap Star Wars Day with peeks and previews into what's on the horizon. There's a lot more Star Wars on the way, and the record-breaking release of Revenge of the Sith is just the start of a new chapter for the world's favorite space saga. Sansweet will show that Lucasfilm means it when it says, "Star Wars is Forever." Hall H
5:30-6:30 Fox Presents: The Inside The Inside explores the dark intricacies of FBI investigative work, as well as the personal sacrifices required of Rebecca Locke (Rachel Nichols, The Amityville Horror, Dumb and Dumberer) and her Violent Crimes Unit teammates as they move from one gruesome serial crime to the next. Rounding out the team are Danny Love (Adam Baldwin, Serenity, Firefly), Paul Ryan (Jay Harrington, Summerland), Melody Sim (Katie Finneran, Wonderfalls), Carter Howard (Nelsan Ellis), and Virgil "Web" Webster (Peter Coyote, The 4400, E.T.) as head of this rogue FBI division. The cast is joined by creator/writer/director Tim Minear (Wonderfalls, Firefly, X-Files), Howard Gordon (24), Jane Espenson (Tru Calling, Buffy), David Fury (Lost, Angel, Buffy), and Craig Silverstein (The Dead Zone) for a Q&A session. Room 6A
10:30-11:30 Warner Bros. Presents: Superman Returns Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Directed by Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United, X-Men, The Usual Suspects), Superman Returns stars newcomer Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth (Beyond the Sea, Blue Crush), James Marsden (X2: X-Men United, The Notebook), and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey (Beyond the Sea, American Beauty, The Usual Suspects). Longtime comics fan and Comic-Con favorite Bryan Singer will be coming directly from the Superman Returns set in Australia to show something prepared especially for Comic-Con and answer your questions. Hall H
11:45-12:45 Paramount Pictures Presents: Aeon Flux Charlize Theron, who breathes life into the title character of MTV's cutting edge animated series Aeon Flux in Paramount Pictures' live-action sci-fi thriller, comes to Comic-Con for the first time to greet fans and participate in a Q&A, along with co-stars and filmmakers. The panel will also feature Peter Chung, creator of the original animated series. Also during the hour, Pablo Helman, visual effects supervisor of War of the Worlds, will discuss working with Dennis Muren and Steven Spielberg to make H. G. Wells's Tripods come to life. And take some Aeon Flux home at the Paramount booth #4329 on the Exhibit Hall floor. Hall H
12:00-1:30 SCI FI: Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis Beau Bridges and fan favorite Ben Browder join Stargate SG-1, the longest-running sci-fi show of all time, when it kicks off its ninth season this July. Also welcoming Claudia Black and Lou Gossett, Jr. to the cast in recurring roles, SG-1 returns to SCI FI Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This season, the SG-1 team races to defeat a powerful and malevolent new adversary. Panelists include Amanda Tapping (Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter), Ben Browder (Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell), and Beau Bridges (General Hank Landry).
In season one, the Stargate Atlantis team opened the door to one of Earth's greatest mysteries. Now, in the second season, the team is caught in the middle of a galactic firestorm. Returning to Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Atlantis welcomes Jason Momoa as a mysterious new team member and Mitch Pileggi in a recurring role as the team's gruff new ally. With enemies on all sides, this will be the team's greatest challenge yet. Panelists for this part of the program include Joe Flanigan (Maj. John Sheppard), Torri Higginson (Dr. Elizabeth Weir), Rachel Luttrell (Teyla Emmagan), David Hewlett (Dr. Rodney McKay), Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett), and Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex.
1:00-2:00 Kevin Smith He's baaaaaack! After a year off from Comic-Con, Kevin Smith makes his triumphant return, for the first time ever in the massive 6,500 seat Hall H arena! Plus, Richard Kelly (writer/director of Donnie Darko) will appear and will speak with Kevin. Richard will give a special presentation that will include his forthcoming movie and multi-media project. Hall H
1:30-2:30 Family Guy Feature Length DVD Premiere The rumors are true! Family Guy is back like you've never seen before . . . in an all-new, feature-length production available only on DVD September 27 from Fox Home Entertainment! In Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story!, the maniacal baby genius is distracted from his plans for world domination by a near-death experience and a time-traveling quest...to find his real father! See an exclusive sneak peek of never-before-seen footage, with a special guest appearances by executive producer David Goodman and writer Steve Callaghan (also author of Family Guy: Stewie's Guide to World Domination)! Room 20
2:15-3:15 Universal Presents Serenity and Slither Fan-favorite creator Joss Whedon and cast members of Serenity return to Comic-Con a year later to show us how it all worked out! Join Joss, along with actors Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Gina Torres, Sean Maher, Ron Glass, and Jewel Staite and executive producer Chris Buchanan. Ask questions, see scenes from the upcoming movie (to be released Sept. 30), and enjoy the company! Plus, get a sneak peek at Slither! A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters. Featuring, in person writer/director James Gunn and cast members Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, and Nathan Fillion. Hall H
2:30-3:30 Rob Zombie: The Devil's Rejects Lions Gate Films presents a special look at one of most highly anticipated genre films of the year. Stars Rob Zombie, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, and William Forsythe will be on hand to debut an exclusive clip from the film and recount what it was like to film the continuing misadventures of the Firefly Family from House of 1000 Corpses! Room 6CDEF
3:30-5:00 Sony Presents
Underworld: Evolution - Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman reprise their roles as Selene, the beautiful vampire heroine, and Michael, the lycan (werewolf) hybrid, in this fast-paced, modern-day tale of deadly action, ruthless intrigue, and forbidden love. The film traces the beginnings of the ancient feud between the aristocratic Death Dealers and the barbaric Lycans and takes them into the battle to end all wars as the immortals must finally face their retribution. Join Kate and Scott, director Len Wiseman, and production designer and acclaimed special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos for a special sneak peek at this eagerly awaited second chapter in the Underworld saga! Underworld: Evolution opens January 20, 2006.
Ghost Rider - In Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider, makes a deal with the devil in order to save his father's life, only to become possessed by his demonic alter ego, Ghost Rider. As he struggles against his new persona, he must save his girlfriend and engage in a mortal battle with Mephistopheles. Ghost Rider stars Nicolas Cage, Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, and Peter Fonda. Join us for a first look at Ghost Rider with director Mark Steven Johnson, star Eva Mendes, and Marvel's own Avi Arad in person.
The Fog - In Revolution Studio's horror/thriller The Fog there really is something out there in the dark. 100 years ago, in a thick, eerie fog off the rocky coast of Northern California, a horrible shipwreck occurred under mysterious circumstances. Now, shrouded in darkness, the ghosts of the long-dead sailors have returned from their watery graves to exact their bloody, merciless revenge. Based on John Carpenter's classic 1980 film, director Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata, Wolf Lake) has been handed the reins by the master himself. The Fog stars Tom Welling (Smallville), Maggie Grace (Lost), and Selma Blair. Appearing in person will be Rupert Wainwright and Maggie Grace. Hall H
4:30-5:30 The Simpsons Now in production for its 17th season, The Simpsons has gone from an animation curiosity to a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. This Emmy Award-winning series is currently the longest-running comedy on television and the longest-running animated show in television history. Creator Matt Groening offers an exclusive peek behind the scenes of this historic show, accompanied by producers Al Jean, Matt Selman, Don Payne, Matt Warburton, Bonnie Pietila, and supervising director David Silverman. Moderated by Bill Morrison. Room 20
5:15-6:15 Universal Presents: King Kong INFO TBA. Hall H
6:30-7:00 New Line Cinema Presents: Tenacious D It's true! They're really here! An absolutely LIVE set by Tenacious D, comedians / musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass. It's the Greatest Band on Earth, soon to drop the Greatest Rock Movie on Earth, Tenacious D in "The Pick of Destiny". Hall H
10:30-11:00 Trailer Park It's a Comic-Con tradition! The newest and best of all the trailers for movies coming soon to a theatre near you. It's the perfect way to start off the big movie events in Hall H on Sunday. Don't miss it! Hall H
11:00-11:30 Rogue Pictures Presents Cry Wolf Nobody believes a liar, even when they're telling the truth. Meet the stars and filmmakers of the new thriller Cry Wolf: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Sandra McCoy, Kristy Wu, Jeff Wadlow and Beau Bauman. Catch exciting footage from the new film and look for the tell-tale signs of The Wolf all convention long. Log on to www.thewolfiswatching.com for clues. In theatres everywhere September 23. Hall H
11:30-12:30 Universal: Doom Based on the top-selling legendary Id Software videogame that changed everything, this eagerly awaited film has it all: hardcore science fiction, intense action, amazing weaponry, and lots of terrifying creatures. Featuring in person actors The Rock and Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings), producers Lorenzo DiBoneventura and John Wells, special effects supervisor Jon Farhat, and Id Software's Todd Hollenshead. Hall H
12:30-1:30 Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media present The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Journey through the wardrobe and into the extraordinary world of Narnia for a revealing look at Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media's spectacular new film based on the C. S. Lewis classic. Enter the magical land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has been cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. And meet the noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, who holds the key to helping four siblings free Narnia from Jadis? icy spell forever. Perry Moore moderates. Director Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2) will be joined by some of the key filmmaking talents for a behind-the-scenes excursion into one of the most highly anticipated fantasy-adventures of all-time, including Oscar® winning producer Mark Johnson, 4-time Academy Award®-winning effects wizard Richard Taylor, special make-up effects man Howard Berger, and CGI animation visual effects supervisor Dean Wright (The Lord of the Rings trilogy). Hall H
1:00-2:30 The 4400 See a new episode of Paramount Network Television's hit sci-fi series for USA Network, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Joel Gretsch (Tom Baldwin), Jacqueline McKenzie (Diana Skouris), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (Richard Tyler), and Chad Faust (Kyle Baldwin), along with executive producers Ira Steven Behr (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Scott Peters (The Outer Limits), and Maira Suro (Platinum). This season of The 4400 continues exploring the travails of the 4400 people who all at once returned in a ball of light to Earth. Though the returnees have not aged physically, many reappeared with dramatic abilities ranging from enhanced reflexes to precognition. NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) is the government agency responsible for keeping track of the returnees and investigating all things related to the 4400. (The cast will be signing autographs from 2:30 to 4:00 in the Sails Pavilion.) Room 20