Roundup: SDCC Day 1

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San Diego Comic-Con has arrived, and while some may think it’s gotten bigger, the event remains one of the more prominent genre events in the world. And despite the growing pains, San Diego will keep the event at least through 2018.

Day One was full of announcements and trailers, and we’ve compiled a (nowhere near complete) list of the notable headlines from Thursday.

CON MAN

The crowd-funded project took the stage at Hall H with a full roster: Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, writer PJ Haarsma, Mindy Sterling, Tricia Helfer, Felicia Day, Casper Van Dien, Nolan North, Alision Haislip, Michael Trucco, Sky Haarsma, Seth Green, and Wil Wheaton. With Chris Hardwick moderating, it was — as North put it — “now the first and last webseries in Hall H.”

Con Man stars Tudyk and Fillion as former co-stars Wray Nerely and Jack Moore, who were in the cast of a science fiction television show that got canceled by the network before its time, and with fan excitement and support the show has been kept alive. Only Nerely can’t get any more work because he’s been typecast as the “spaceship pilot” and is stuck doing the convention circuit while his former castmates move on in their careers.

The original plan was to produce one 30-minute show, but support from fans totaled $3.2 million, so they ended up with four episodes. The show will be available through Vimeo On Demand. “It’s better that no one got their grubby corporate mitts on it,” says Hardwick.

Tudyk says the crowdfunding route gave them the creative freedom they needed, something they’d never have gotten from a network or studio. They’re able to both honor and mock the convention scene this way. And he was taken aback at the excitement in the room: 7,000 people in Hall H all wanting to see this.

Felicia “My middle name is webseries” Day and Wil Wheaton both talked about the fact that web shows can be more authentic and genuine compared to studio productions, mainly because of the passion that drives the creative teams.

The Nerdist has a full rundown of the panel.

 

Con Man – Trailer from Con Man Web Series on Vimeo.

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THE HUNGER GAMES

It started with a question-and-answer from a drum line.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth put in an appearance for Lionsgate’s Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 panel, the last one at SDCC for the film series based on the novels by Suzanne Collins. Moderated by talk show host Conan O’Brien, it was a mix of candid answers and emotional farewells.

“You guys camp out, you guys wait, you’ve been fantastic,” said director Francis Lawrence. “This is for you guys.”

Producer Nina Jacobson: “The end is emotional for all of us. We want to deliver the emotion and the politics of it, all the things that Suzanne wanted to say. But we don’t want to say good bye to each other. We all wish there were seven or eight books, not just three. It’s a very emotional conclusion. It’s emotional for us, but it will be emotional for the fans.”

Lawrence was clearly the highlight of the panel, giving candid responses and being just overall disarming and funny. At one point, after one of her answers had digressed quite spectacularly (as some of our podcasts seem to do…), she said, “I don’t remember what your question was but remember thinking that this may possibly answer it.”

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DOCTOR WHO

Peter Capaldi made his SDCC debut with the panel on “Series 9” of the hit BBC show. “It’s cosmic. I’ve never been in front of 7000 people before in my life.”

The 12th Doctor joined co-stars Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez, along with show producer Steven Moffat, to talk about the upcoming season nine. And yes, Gomez’ presence means the Master Missy is back. And adjusting to the new gender means adjusting tactics as well. “She has to come from a different angle, which is kind of surprising and exciting to play as well,” said Gomez. “It’s a slightly different dynamic to her.”

Moffat says the dynamic between the two characters is richer than just hero vs. villain. “They are friends. That’s the terrifying thing,” said Moffat. “It’s a relationship between a vegetarian and a hunter.”

Fortunately for the Doctor, his friend Clara will still be along for the ride, although she’ll have her hands full trying to teach him some people skills. Coleman describes Clara’s traveling as “an addiction” that’s been informed by the tragic loss she suffered at the end of last season. That word — addiction — could mean something, or it might not.

No details on Maisie Williams’ character, although the BBC trailer includes another woman who appears to be an older version of the same character.

The Doctor is also making his way to WB’s LEGO Dimensions video game, and it sounds like Capaldi voicing the character there, as well.

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DC COMICS

12 new Vertigo titles were announced, including work from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke and titles from Gail Simone and Mike Allred.

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The pilot for Supergirl screened, and Entertainment Weekly has a collection of reaction from genre sites

 

While not every reaction was enthusiastically positive, on balance it seems Melissa Benoist’s performance has won out over skeptics. The challenge will be to avoid love triangle clichés and villain-of-the-week tropes.

We discuss Supergirl in this episode of Rogues Gallery

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The Dark Knight Returns III: The Master Race has additional talent on board the creative team. DC Comics announced that joining co-writers Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello would be Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson, who inked The Dark Knight Returns in 1986. In addition, DC confirmed that Miller will do some interiors and cover art.

Kubert, son of famed artist Joe Kubert, has illustrated many of the more notable work recently released by DC, including Damian: Son of the Batman (which he also wrote), Flashpoint, Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? and Batman and Son.

The miniseries will include a Dark Knight Universe mini-comic in the center. This will be written and illustrated by creative teams telling stories from the broader Batman universe.

Co-publisher Dan DiDio said, “So many of the character that Frank has introduced during the course of The Dark Knight Returns and Dark Knight Strikes Again will be brought back to the storytelling, and they’ll be integral to the main story, and go off on separate adventures.”

Meanwhile, the Batman on screen finally has a screenwriting team: director/star Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns.

Johns, Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics, has had a long run revitalizing characters like Green Lantern and Aquaman, in addition to being involved in the television shows currently running — most notably The Flash. Johns also wrote episodes of Smallville, introducing fans of that show to the Justice Society and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Affleck, who directed the Best Picture Argo, will next be at work on the adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Live By Night, which he delayed to shoot Batman v. Superman. A report in Deadline Hollywood says Affleck and Johns are “in synch” and should have a script done by the end of summer, and the plot would follow events from BvS and Justice League.

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One of the most popular versions of the Batman mythology, Batman: The Animated Series is considered by some to have the definitive Batman: Kevin Conroy, who’s been voicing the character off and on since 1992.

A new promo has been released, showcasing a new wave of action figures based on the show. Featuring Batman, Catwoman, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze, the clip includes a set piece designed after the artwork of the series. Batman fan Kevin Smith and show producer Paul Dini even make appearances for added comedic effect.

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DC Collectibles also released a video full of product reveals for several lines.  The Icons line will see the addition of Firestorm, the Joker, and John Stewart. Popular artist Darwyn Cooke gets a line in the Designer Series — Adam Strange, Harley Quinn, Batman (looking very much like this one), and Supergirl with Krypto and Streaky in tow. Lee Bermejo also gets a set that includes Hal Jordan, Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor. Rounding out the Designer series, Greg Capullo has designs for Wonder Woman and the Joker.

Coming on the heels of the set for Batman: The Animated Series, the new wave includes Etrigan, Klarion, Commissioner Gordon, Zatanna, and Ra’s Al Ghul.

The TV collectible figures: Arrow, Black Canary, Malcolm Merlyn, Reverse Flash, and Heat Wave.

Batman: Arkham Knight and Batman v. Superman also have new figures coming soon. It should be noted that the movie figures include two Batman figures and no Wonder Woman.

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Plenty of photos of props and costumes from various movie and TV projects, including Batman v. Superman. Some are also speculating on the Flash’s costume, but it looks like the “future Flash” costume on display. Whether that shows up full-time this season has yet to be confirmed or denied.

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MARVEL COMICS

On the filmed media side, Wesley Snipes made headlines with the news that he’s had meetings with Marvel about the possible resurrection of Blade. Nothing solid at this point, and he allowed it may not happen, but in that case he still wants to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some capacity.

Marvel’s Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada dropped in on IGN, and he says the new Spider-Man costume “looks awesome”, but wouldn’t give any more details. He also hinted that one of their television characters is getting a new outfit, and his choice of words would lead one to surmise it could be either Daredevil, Quake, or Deathlok, since no one else really has “an outfit” per se.

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HELLBOY

Ron Perlman put in panel time to promote Hand of God, coming out soon on Amazon, and of course the subject of Hellboy 3 came up.

During the panel, Perlman vehemently declared, “If there’s a real honesty to fan culture relationships, we owe the world the finale of Hellboy.” Expanding on that in an interview with Comic Book Resources, Perlman also shared that he had to call the studio to apologize for a Twitter post June 3rd, in which he decried the lack of a third film. Co-stars Doug Jones and Selma Blair also chimed in, and Jeffrey Tambor re-tweeted a fan’s affirmative reaction, which /Film took as a show of support.

“We set up the whole film. It’s a deal we made [with fans]. I don’t want to do Hellboy IV or V. I want to finish the f—–g trilogy!”

The actor says he’s spoken with director Guillermo del Toro, but there’s been no movement on developing the sequel. However, according to Perlman, del Toro “definitely knows almost scene for scene what would happen in the third installment.” Saying the saga was designed as a trilogy, he notes that the lack of a third film leaves the audience hanging after the reveal that Liz is pregnant with twins.

“That’s why I’m on my soapbox. Its because the notion of all those things being finally resolved are rather epic and very theatrical, and would make for a great movie. But it would particularly make for a great movie to the people. We didn’t have the biggest audience of any comic book movie, but the people who came came, and they loved it and invested in it. And my point is we owe them the result, we owe them the conclusion.”

 

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BACK TO THE FUTURE

Even though Robert Zemeckis says a Back to the Future reboot would happen “over my dead body”, IDW Publishing is at least working to fill in the gaps. The movie’s co-writer Bob Gale will be consulting on the project, which is being written by John Barber and Erik Burnham.

The first issue will tell the story of how Marty McFly first met Dr. Emmett Brown in 1982. Gale says he and Zemeckis frequently get asked about that event, as well as the burning of the Brown mansion, so this comic may offer opportunities to explore the “in-between” moments. The original pitch was mostly wrapped up in the time travel, but Gale didn’t want to see an attempt at Back to the Future Part IV.

He tells Comic Book Resources:

The answer was based in the movies, particularly “Part II,” in which we see two sequences that happen “in between” the existing 1955 scenes from “Part 1”: The bit in which Biff gets his cleaned-up car back and then harasses Lorraine as she picks up her dress for the dance; and the conceit that there were two Martys doing different things during the dance.

BackToTheFutureNo1

 

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EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

December marks the 25th anniversary of Edward Scissorhands, and Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing a restored “Special Edition” Blu-Ray out in October. Pre-orders are available now at Comic-Con, along with a limited edition lithograph by artist Mark Englert.

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STAR WARS

Star Wars won’t have a new trailer at SDCC, but as we’ll detail in a later report, director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy did something just as good. Many are speculating that Disney and Lucasfilm might have something to show at D23. In the meantime, Topps has announced that they’ll release trading cards with material from the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront video game.

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STAR TREK

“What do you know? Am I in the next movie? Tell me!”

That was William Shatner’s answer to a Star Trek Beyond question from the audience during his time on stage reading from The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David Goodman, out September 8th.

Shatner told the story of his early discussions with J.J. Abrams about a possible appearance in the 2009 reboot, but Abrams was unhappy when a reporter claimed to have knowledge of the scene, thinking Shatner had been the source of the leak. “This reporter knew more about it than I did,” Shatner told the audience.

Having played Kirk from his 30s to his death in Star Trek: Generations, Shatner says it became autobiographical in that both he and Kirk had to deal with aging.

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk is an account of Kirk’s life from his birth on the U.S.S. Kelvin through his career in Starfleet, with descriptions of first meetings, romantic encounters, and his time as the commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But don’t think there are any racy salacious scenes of sexual escapades. It’s a family-friendly Star Trek book.

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WARCRAFT

During preview night, director Duncan Jones was on hand to reveal two of the “full size” characters from the upcoming Warcraft movie: the orc Orgrim and a life-sized King Llane.

Warcraft_OrcOrgrimWarcraft_KingLlane

“It’s so important that we get it right,” says Jones. “[T]here’s a huge fan base. ‘Warcraft’ is a game that’s been around for about 20 years now, 10  years as an online game. I’ve been playing it from the very start, being involved in realizing this world and bringing it to film is a unique privilege.”

He says one of the reasons it’s taken so long to do a Warcraft adaptation is the challenge of finding the right story to tell.

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SCORPION

KISS member (and outspoken entrepreneur) Gene Simmons will have a guest appearance on CBS’ Scorpion this season. He’ll cameo in the show’s season opener, according to executive producer Nicholas Wootton. The show will also air a 90-minute episode following the Supergirl premiere on Monday, October 26th.

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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

Three new teaser clips for Fear The Walking Dead went online:

 

 

 

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ROCHE LIMIT

Heavy Metal has optioned the movie rights to Roche Limit, the Image Comics title created by Michael Moreci.

The media company has already moved to hire a screenwriter: Seth Sherwood, who’s upcoming Leatherface tells the origin of the iconic character from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Developing and producing for HM are Jeff Krelitz, David Boxenbaum, and new president Brian Witten.

Roche Limit tells the story of a space colony taken over by criminal factions. The central mystery focuses on a missing girl, with aspects of horror blended in for good measure.

Originally published in 2014, it was a five-issue story that’s now getting a sequel with Moreci’s Roche Limit: Clandestiny. Moreci is planning a third story for a complete trilogy.

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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