Okay, we’re officially exhausted. This is good training, though; it gets our mind ready for the insanity that is San Diego Comic-Con. We’ve been officially blown away by the quality and quantity of the panels announced thus far, and we’re only half way through the weekend.
But today, Comic-Con announced their Saturday schedule, which officially pushes us over the mid-point. One more day to go of panel announcements – we think we can pace ourselves.
Although there are some great panels on Saturday, to us it is the weakest of the days thus far. Click through the jump to find out why.
Where Thursday’s schedule had several can’t-miss panels, and on Friday there wasn’t a weak spot on the schedule, Saturday’s is a bit disappointing in comparison. We get Francis Ford Coppola’s TWIXT at 11:45AM, but it’s not the kind of movie that gets the Comic-Con crowd excited with anticipation. Judging from the description, there’s a bit of audience participation involved, but unless we’re getting a credit for crowd chants in TRON 3, we say it’s okay to skip this one.
At 1PM we get Tarsem Singh’s (The Cell) Immortals with the future Superman, Henry Cavill, but the director himself isn’t even showing up for this one. 2:15PM is The Knights of Badassdom starring Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage and Summer Glau. This movie seems to take the LARPing scenes from Role Models and make them into their own movie. Clever, but Hall H material? We think not.
At 3:30PM, Thor will be in Hall H! Well, the actor who played Thor, Chris Hemsworth, as well as Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, promoting Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsmen, the action-adventure reimagining of the classic fairy tale. This genre is all the rage, and if done right it could be a pretty entertaining fantasy film. But honestly, this seems better suited for the Syfy movie of the week. Skip.
At 4:30PM, the fairy tale reimagining continues with the first of many films based on The Wizard of Oz. But unfortunately, this isn’t the one we wanted to see. While Sam Raimi and James Franco prep for their Oz prequel, We get an exclusive look at an animated musical version, Dorthy of Oz. Oh joy. That’s sarcasm, by the way.
Closing out the day at 5:45PM is Kevin Smith’s annual Evening With Kevin Smith panel, where he reuses the same schtick from his countless podcasts and stories from years prior. Don’t get us wrong, we like Kevin Smith (Zack and Miri is one funny, funny movie), but we’re a little tired of him. Give us Red State, for crying out loud?
And that’s it. Our advice? We’d just assume skip the entire day, unless you really wanted to see what Hall H looks like. There’s better stuff elsewhere in the smaller rooms on this day.
Ballroom 20 is where it’s at on Saturday, even if it too doesn’t match the awesomeness from previous days. At 10AM is the swan song for Chuck, which NBC said was its last season. Zach Levi is our kind of guy, but it seems he might be saving himself for his Nerd HQ counter-conference being held in the Gaslamp District over Comic-Con weekend. Skip unless you are a die-hard Chuck fan.
11AM we finally have our first pseudo-can’t-miss panel of the day, the premiere of FOX and Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova. This series was supposed to have its first panel at Comic-Con last year, and has seen several delays. We thought we’d get to see the pilot episode, but the description indicates we might only get a few scenes of the Jurassic Park-meets-Avatar action series. Kind of a bummer, and bumps this down a bit from one of the most anticipated panels of the year.
Starting at 12:15PM and stretching all the way until 3:15, FOX will be showing off their animation series – Futurama and The Simpsons, followed by Family Guy and American Dad. We really can’t say anything bad about any of these – Futurama and The Simpsons are beloved by geeks galore, and Family Guy and American Dad have raked in the ratings for Seth MacFarlane and FOX, but this just isn’t something we’d want to park our butts at for hours on end.
Girls, get ready. At 3:30PM meet the sexiest vampires on television with Kevin Williamson’s The Vampire Diaries. We love this show and would recommend going to the panel for Ian Somerhalder alone, but if you’re expecting any insight be forewarned – the good-looking cast spends the majority of the time feeding the frenzied females with their good looks.
At 4:30PM, Fringe is back, and after attending last year’s panel we’d say for pure entertainment there’s little that can come close. With such a deep mythology surrounding the premise of the show, the cast and crew spend a lot of time talking about the motivations of their characters and the direction of the story. They also get along great together, and John Noble is fantastic. Unfortunately, Joshua Jackson isn’t listed as a guest – but this just might be a ruse considering how season three ended. If he really doesn’t show up to the panel, it might suffer as a result. FOX will try to capitalize on the loyal fanbase of Fringe by debuting the pilot of the mid-season series Alcatraz, also from J. J. Abrams. We say this would be interesting enough to catch if you aren’t caught up in any of the smaller rooms.
Our advice? Terra Nova might be intriguing if they show enough exclusive footage. Otherwise, stop by for Vampire Diaries and stay through Fringe/Alcatraz.
Best Of The Rest
If you ask us, the rest of the con is the best part. It’s the panels you wouldn’t normally attend but just happen to be there for a magic moment. We feel that Saturday is the day for this. Lots of great panels fill the day in the smaller rooms, and you’d be cheating yourself of the best experience of Comic-Con if you didn’t check them out.
Comic books and video games are like chocolate and peanut butter, and if you’re looking to satisfy your appetite look no further than two Marvel video game panels. First at 10AM, join Activision in room 5AB as they discuss the upcoming titles X-Men Destiny and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. Later at 12:30 PM in room 6A, “learn all about Spider-Man: Edge of Time, X-Men Destiny, Captain America: Super Soldier, Super Hero Squad Online, Super Hero Squad 3DS and uDraw, Marvel Pinball, and the Marvel Universe MMO“, as well as “some exciting new details about the future of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and other Marvel games via exclusive trailers, surprise reveals, and Q&A with the game creators from some of the industry’s top publishers.”
At 10:30AM, Jeph Loeb of Marvel Television will be talking about popular Disney XD series The Avengers: World’s Mightiest Heroes, the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, and a few “surprises” – could this be the Hulk series from Guillermo del Toro we’ve been waiting for?
At 12PM in room 25ABC, if you can sit through the Kick Buttowski presentation you’ll be treated to some Tron: Uprising sneak peeks. Then you can skip over to room 9 at 2PM to get a look at the upcoming Marvel toys from Hasbro.
At 3PM, surprise, surprise! Joss Whedon is in the house! Technically, he’ll be in the Hilton Bayfront talking about the Angel & Faith and Buffy Season 9 comics from Dark Horse. But still, at least we don’t have to go a whole year without Joss at the con! Expect a packed house for this one.
At 4:15PM, hustle back to room 6A for the world premiere of the upcoming TV series Grimm, produced by Buffy and Angel vet David Greenwalt. Here’s another example a fairy tale reboot, but unlike Snow White earlier, the small screen is probably a good home for this sort of thing. Watching a pilot before anyone else gives you bragging rights among your friends and around the water cooler when these premiere on the networks in the fall. Another one you can claim is The Secret Circle at 5:15PM in room 6BCF. Another supernatural series from Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Scream), gives subs good-looking vampires with good-looking witches. Williamson is a superb writer and could turn the phone book into a fine read, so we have high hopes for this one.
And at 7PM in room 6DE, treat yourself to a proper comic book discussion and attend the annual Fables panel, where Bill Willingham will discuss the upcoming graphic novel Fables: Wherewolves of the Heartland. And who knows, maybe he’ll talk about the chances the Fables TV will ever see the light of day.
What did you think about the Saturday schedule? Any other panels stand out that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!