We’re starting to feel a little deja vu. The Friday SDCC event schedule has been announced, and after going through it we immediately realized we were double and/or triple booked almost the entire day.
Welcome to the SDCC weekend, people. Get used to it.
You’re going to have to make some tough choices, as mentioned in Part 1 of our Newbie guide, because it’s physically impossible to be in two places at once. So, as the good friends that we are, we’re going to go through the events of the day and let you know which ones are worth attending, which are worth skipping, and how to score a seat at your favorite panel.
Okay. Let us drop some names on you. Steven Spielberg. Peter Jackson. Daniel Craig. Simon Pegg. Edgar Wright. Joe Cornish. Holy moley. We’re talking The Adventures of Tintin at 11AM in Hall H. Now, the big question is who will be there. It’s rumored that Spielberg will make his first Comic-Con appearance along side Jackson, and we think this is a safe bet given the necessary promotion to get folks who don’t know what Tintin is (read: us in the U.S.). If indeed the cast and crew show, it will be the panel of the con. Heck, if half of them show up, it’ll be one helluva star-studded panel. This is an absolute can’t miss.
We’d hate to be Relativity Films, trying to follow up such an act with Raven and Haywire at 12PM. But any other day, a panel with guests John Cusack and first-timer Stephen Soderbergh would make headlines on its own. Two Steves, both directors, both Oscar winners for Best Director. I think that would officially debunk the rumors that Hollywood is sitting this con out. If anything, it’s becoming more like Cannes…
Is your mind blown yet? Well, if anyone said a panel with Underworld 4 at 1:30PM would be a little, well, underwhelming, in comparison, you’d probably agree. Well, what if we said the UK import Attack The Block, a genre-bending urban alien bug-hunt in South London (think Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels meets War of the Worlds), would also be sharing the stage? Sold. The aforementioned Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish will both be on hand for this one, along with Kate Beckinsale and Len Weisman to represent Underworld. Based on Wright’s secret showings of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last year, we would hope he’d have the same appetite at this year’s con, given Attack The Block’s limited release in the U.S. thus far. Could he also bring with him Basement Jaxx, who provided the film’s original and awesome score? We hope so.
After these, we could all use a breather, and we get one – sort of. Dreamworks will be bringing the Fright Night remake to the con at 2:45PM, and with it the awesome cast of Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).The original Fright Night has lasted the test of time and is one of our favorite films of the ’80s, so we have a sweet spot and high hopes for this one.
Okay, hope you caught your breath, because Sony is bringing four films at 4PM – Ghost Rider-Spirit of Vengeance (’nuff said), 30 Minutes or Less (from the director of Zombieland and starring Jessie Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari), Total Recall (with Kate Beckinsale, Colin Farrell and director Len Weisman – sound familiar?), and the one everyone’s been waiting for, The Amazing Spider-Man. Let’s be honest here, we all want to see what the Spider-Man reboot is all about. The fact that there are three other movies included in this panel which also peak our interest is just gravy.
Closing out the schedule in Hall H at 6:45PM is At The Drive-In, showcasing two “offbeat genre films” – Grave Encounters, a mock-reality TV movie about ghost hunters in a lockdown-gone-bad, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a comedy starring everyone’s favorite actor, Alan Tudyk (Serenity), with a plot that sounds like Texas Chainsaw Massacre in reverse. This panel sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to end such a stellar day of events in the big hall.
Our advice? Seriously, are you kidding? There’s no doubt about it, get your assess to Mars, erm, Hall H, and stay put.
We feel sorry for the folks who love the TV schedule on Friday, because it’s also really great. It’s just that they’ll have to miss such a stellar movie lineup in Hall H at the same time. Let alone the other great TV going on in the smaller rooms, which we’ll get to later.
The first is Torchwood: MIracle Day at 10AM. The show premiered on STARZ already – July 8 – and has already established a dedicated fanbase from its three seasons on BBC. Having STARZ pick up a big-budget version on U.S. soil with American actors Bill Pullman and Mekhi Phifer join an already great cast, along with Jane Espenson’s (Buffy, BSG, Warehouse 13) writing chops, it’s sure to be great TV and a fun panel.
Next is AMC’s The Walking Dead at 11:15AM, sure to be one of the biggest panels of the ballroom, let alone the entire show. We all loved the first season, and we’re dying, no pun intended, to find out more about season two. Will it fall victim to network budget cuts as previously reported? And how will it stand up to a full 13-episode run this season? Show runner Frank Darabont and the rest of the cast will be on hand to ease everyone’s nerves and give us a sneak peak of the upcoming season.
At 12:30PM, the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory will be back with hopefully more surprises and undoubtedly more laughs for those in attendance. We don’t know if they can top the live performance of the theme song by Barenaked Ladies like last year, but they will be screening some season two footage. This is sure to be another highly-attended panel, so you’ll have to get there mighty early to get a seat.
For fans of the long-running ratings hit Bones at 1:45PM, you’re in for a treat. Not only will David Boreanez and Emily Deschanel be on hand, but so will the new cast of The Finder, the Bones spin-off which will be premiering in the fall. It was widely publicized that the original lead for The Finder, Saffron Burrows, would be leaving the cast even though she appeared in an episode during Bones‘ season six.
If there is a breather during the day’s schedule, it might be Syfy’s Eureka at 3PM. Not that it isn’t a good show, which it is, or it doesn’t have a loyal following, which it does, or it won’t be a fun panel, because it always is. So what’s our point? We just lost it. Next is another Syfy favorite, the network’s highest rated series ever, and one of our favorite shows on television, Warehouse 13 at 4:15PM. We don’t know what we love best about this show – the stellar writing, the likeable characters or the chemistry among the actors. All three will be present at the panel.
Closing out the day is the other vampire sensation, HBO’s True Blood at 5:30PM. As season four just debuted to stellar ratings, expect folks to be camped out for this one early.
Our advise? Honestly, there are just too many great panels during the day. Since cloning isn’t an option, try getting there at Torchwood or Eureka to catch your favs.
Best of the Rest
At 10:30AM, be sure to catch the Locke & Key pilot screening in room 8. If you miss it there’s an encore presentation of the pilot at 9:15PM in room 6DE. This might be the only time you’ll be able to see the acclaimed pilot based on the comic, because FOX did not pick up the show for a season run. Following the pilot screening at 11:30AM, join the cast of the pilot for a Q&A panel. If you’re a video game fan, check out the Halo Universe panel, also at 11:30AM, in room 6BCF.
At 12:45PM, also in room 6BCF, Legendary Pictures will be holding a panel for their upcoming films Pacific Rim, Seventh Son, Paradise Lost, and Mass Effect. Yes, we said Mass Effect. Participants include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, and Guillermo del Toro.
At the Hilton Bayfront, be sure to check out Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital at 1:30PM, undoubtedly the funniest show on television. The stellar cast will be on hand to split your sides and hopefully stitch them back up again.
At 2:15PM, catch an exclusive screening of the pilot for ABC’s upcoming supernatural series The River with Q&A in room 6A.
At 3PM in room 7AB, join a technical discussion with director Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Animation on what it takes to bring Star Wars: The Clone Wars to the small screen on a weekly basis. At 3:15PM, check out Falling Skies in room 6BCF for panel as they return to Comic-Con for the second year to celebrate their great season one ratings, and hopefully give attendees a taste of what’s to come for the recently announced season two. At 3:30PM in room 6A, check out an exclusive screening of the ThunderCats reboot on Cartoon Network a week early from it’s network premiere.
At 8PM and again at 10:15PM in Ballroom 20, catch the premiere of Batman: Year One, an animated adaptation of the popular comic run.
Okay, we’re exhausted just writing this – we can’t imagine being there! Check out our take on the Saturday schedule after it’s announced later today.
What are you most excited about? What are your undiscovered gems on the schedule? What big decisions are you going to have to make? Let us know in the comments!