[Special Comic Con Coverage provided by Mike Templeton, for those of you who aren't able to make it out this year, or have never been able to take part. This is a breakdown of the first day of the San Diego Comic Con 2010.]
The day began by camping out in line for Hall H, which is the 2000+ occupancy hall where movie companies like to make their announcements, screenings, etc., for their big movies. I arrived at 6:30 in the morning… 3 hours before San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) actually opened its doors. This ritual of arriving early is becoming increasingly important as time goes on, because every year, SDCC gets bigger and it gets increasingly harder to get into the major panels. A large part of this is due to certain attendees actually staying in the same panel or room throughout the day, instead of participating in the expo or other panels. This obviously then limits those people who do want to move about from getting into multiple panels.
First Panel: Mega Mind
Once we were finally let in around 10am, we took our seats and watched the first panel for DreamWorks’ MegaMind. This is another CG DreamWorks offering, and playing off the continuing trend, it will be shown in 3D. This panel was pretty interesting, since it pulled in some great comedic actors from both TV and the big screen. Will Ferrell came out in costume (which was pretty hilarious as it’s a CGI film) and offered everyone breakfast… an offer that he quickly took back after counting the number of people in the hall. Tina Fey came out next and ran into the same problem with the breakfast she’d bought. Jonah Hill came out as well and the three talked about their characters, and they showed a trailer for the film. I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how goodl it looks and I will definitely be catching it in 3D.
Second Panel: Tron Legacy
The next panel in Hall H was the one almost everyone was there to see today – Tron: Legacy. This is a big year for Tron, being their third at SDCC since it was originally announced, but this is the first time they had actual footage, along with a whole lot of hoopla.
The panel was moderated by Patton Oswalt, as it was last year, and he brought a lot of charm to an already awesome panel. The cast was brought out and they revealed a few interesting things, as well as premiered a new trailer that gives a broader context for the storyline.
You may have missed it yesterday, but check out the newest Tron Legacy trailer.
Jeff Bridges is playing Old Kevin Flynn as well as Young Kevin Flynn from the first movie, a difference of 27 years. Clu (Young Flynn) is in control and captures the son of Kevin (Sam Flynn, played by Garret Hedland) who’s been looking for his dad for years. Awesome.
The director went on to mention that the 3D cameras and process for making the movie are improved upon the techniques used to create Avatar. Very interesting indeed.
They showed some new footage and what caught my eye is that we have Light Planes now, similar to the Light Cycle and the recently revealed Light Car. Light Tanks hopefully are coming next.
The next bit was fun; the director told us all that he had strategically placed sound technicians around the hall and would be recording our cheers and what-not for the arena scenes in the movie! On the screens above were the different pieces of dialog for us to chant/scream and they ran it kind of like a sing-a-long. A lot of fun was had and here’s hoping it makes the final cut.
They explained one of the themes of the movie was the “dark side of evolving technology,” in that as technology evolves humans haven’t figured out the ethics of “just because we create something now, we don’t fully understand the long-term effects of it.”
Surprisingly, there was also mention of something that should raise some eyebrows for those who are fans of the original movie – they are thinking of actually remaking the original Tron in 3D animated style, similar to the treatment of Toy Story.
The Return Of Jack Sparrow
The lights dimmed and we were greeted by Captain Jack Sparrow, who invited us to join him and his crew for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on May 20, 2011.
Then Oswalt invited us to stay for one more announcement. He asked us what franchise had we most wanted to see rebooted. Fair question – I personally would love to see The Rocketeer given a second chance, but the overall response was The Haunted Mansion.
We all kind of laughed until he told us it was being rebooted and Guillermo Del Toro was doing it… and then Del Toro came in. Everyone in the hall took a collective gasp and there was a loud slamming noise as many jaws hit the floor (“Holy Skywalking Crap!” was my particular response). He confirmed that it was going to be scarier than the original and not a comedy. He also mentioned that it would be returning to the original story of the ride and deal with a character Del Toro personally loved: the Hatbox Ghost. (He then teased that he hasn’t returned Eddie Murphy’s calls to come back and he probably wasn’t going to.)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
At this point I had to go stretch my legs so I sauntered over to the Scott Pilgrim Experience being held right next to the entrance of the Gaslamp District. This whole thing was dedicated to Scott Pilgrim vs The World (a movie I’m personally looking forward to).
Once inside, there was an old school screen pressing station where they were making free shirts for everyone. After I got my shirt I headed over to the station where I could play the SP game coming out for PlayStation Network and XBox Live next month (an amazing game set to release for $10. Words can’t describe the charm contained in this game.
After playing (and scoring the highest), I collected my things to leave when some of the cast came out for signings: Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, and Satya Bhabha. (It’s really awesome how much they’re going all out for this movie, I mean, look.)
Around that time, it was time to head back to Hall H to see the actual SP panel. Once I got inside (and after my friend introduced me to the “line family” she met), we were treated to a panel I didn’t know about: The Expendables!
This movie is made of pure Bad Ass – so many action stars in one film that it blows your mind. Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Steve Austin were there to talk about their experiences with the film. Even Bruce Willis popped in to say hi (his panel for the movie Red was immediately before).
Stallone revealed that the big, hyped scene between himself, Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually Willis’ idea because Stallone had originally written their cameos separately but had trouble adding both scenes to the film. Willis merely suggested just writing one scene with the three of them in the same room. Brilliant.
They showed two (awesome) scenes from the movie and they literally and figuratively blow your mind in a testosterone fueled explosion.
After that panel was my final one of the day, Scott Pilgrim. Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced) was brought out to moderate this panel because of the large amount of the cast present (13). Towards the end he announced two extra surprise guests, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, both of whom ran out on stage in excitement. Then Edgar corrected himself, saying the two were not in the film and he flubbed the script because of its tiny font-size. The way they walked off… you could play the Cheer Up Charlie song, and it would have been that.
So the cast is brought out and a lot of laughter and fun was had by all. Not much was revealed during this panel but it was so much fun that we didn’t care.
At the beginning of the SP panel they handed out a bag of buttons with characters on them with the explicit instructions “DON’T TRADE.”
Whatever. Well, the people who had picked the correct button out of the bag were taken, by the cast, down the street to a local movie theater to attend a screening of the film for free!
A collective denouncement echoed through the room and Wright announced that two more screenings would be had tomorrow and Saturday at the same theater for free! (Guess what I’m doing Friday.)
After that fun news, we were treated to a music video of a pivotal scene from the movie, which had a few new scenes from the movie not shown in the trailers.
And that just about wraps up Day 1 of Comic Con. I didn’t get much floor action because of all the Hall H panels but I did manage to run inside and pick up a book to read in line (Scott Pilgrim vol. 6, natch). Tomorrow is Star Wars day and I’ll be out there covering all that funness.
‘Til next time, true believers!