Once a year, a magical event takes place at the San Diego Convention Center where thousands of comic book, film and TV fans from all over the world come together. I’ve never been myself but from what I’ve see and read, it has to be one of the best – if not the ultimate – conventions to go to.
As always, there are a myriad reasons why I wish I’d gone this year, but here are just a few of them:
- The True Blood panel
- The Game of Thrones panel
- The Marvel panel
- and, of course, The Hobbit panel
Handstands, goodbyes and stripper jokes
From the reports that I’ve read, the True Blood panel sounds like it was the most fun, with everything from Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse) doing a walking handstand across the stage to laughs regarding Joe Manganiello’s (Alcide) role in Magic Mike.
In addition to Kwanten and Manganiello, other cast in attendance included Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman). The panel began with a preview of what is to come in the latter half of season 5. The LA Times reported: “Alcide will step up to become pack master and Russell Edgington will create all kinds of trouble (not much of a surprise there). The footage also appeared to suggest that Sookie might be turning in some of her fairy powers (given that Bill sure seems to be glamoring her). And was that a glimpse of a ghostly Godric we saw?”
The show’s creator, Alan Ball, also received a warm and emotional send-off as he stepped down as show runner. He will continue on as executive producer in a more advisory role and leave the day-to-day production of the series to other members of the crew.
New faces, new places
Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) were among the cast who attended the Games of Thrones panel, which was moderated by the novels’ author – and the show’s executive producer – George R R Martin.
The panel kicked off with an introduction to a bevy of new cast members via an introductory reel tacked onto the end of the official season 2 clip reel. These include Mackenzie Crook as Orell, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed and Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell.
Not that much was hinted at about the next season but, seeing as I haven’t seen season 2 yet and have only just finished the second book, I’m quite glad nothing in particular was revealed. The cast did talk about what it was like filming in all the different locations. Apparently there was the Wolf Unit in Belfast, the Dragon Unit in Morocco and the Freeze Your Ass Unit in Iceland!
A Marvel-lous panel
The powerhouse studio simultaneously straightened a few things out while also throwing up a whole lot more questions. Iron Man 3, which is well into filming, was the main focus of the panel. However, these tidbits of information were also thrown out:
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the title for the The sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Evans will reprise his role though and it is slated for an April 2014 release.
- The sequel to Thor has just started filming in London. It will be called Thor 2: The Dark World. Alan Taylor (Games of Thrones) will take over from Kenneth Branagh as director. It is slated for a November 2014 release.
- Henry Pym aka Ant-Man will have his own film, the first of the ‘Phase 2’ films from Marvel. It will be directed by Edgar Wright though no cast members or release date have been announced yet.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy will also hit the big screen, though no cast members have been announced. The Guardians are an inter-stellar superheroes made up of Star-Lord, Draxx the Destroyer, Groot, Gamorra and Rocket Raccoon. It is slated for an August 2014 release.
News from Down Under…
The best source of information about The Hobbit at Comic-Con is undoubtedly TheOneRing.net – take a look at the website to see both a transcript from the panel in Hall H plus a Q and A video.
Among the cast and crew assembled were Peter Jackson (director), Philippa Boyens (co-producer and co-writer) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins). “Some 6,500 fans waited in Hall H all day to see The Hobbit panel and a twelve-and-a-half-minute showreel from the film, with many more unable to get in,” TheOneRing.net explains.
During the Q and A Jackson talked about the filming process and what it was like for some of the actors – Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood – to be back on set.
When asked whether The Silmarillion will make it onto the big screen, Jackson’s answer was a resounding ‘no’: “No, the Silmarillion is totally owned by the Tolkien estate. It’s not owned by Warners or MGM like The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are.”
Jackson also revealed that Howard Shore is due to start recording the score with the London Philharmonic in five or six weeks.