The biggest convention needs the biggest panels and this year San Diego Comic-Con was in full force again with stellar content throughout from the smallest comic book panels to larger publishers (DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Skybound) comic panels, panels for Hasbro and Hallmark products, cosplay panels, gaming panels, retrospectives of 50 years of comic con, and all the way through TV shows and movies there are hundreds of hours of content for almost every fandom at this convention.
Back to form this year I chose one day to spend in Hall H and this year that was Friday which included a stellar line-up of a Russo Brothers Retrospective; AMC’s The Walking Dead and Preacher; Netflix’s The Witcher and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance; and HBO’s Game of Thrones as well as a look at Westworld and Star Trek Picard.
Star Trek: Picard
Panelists: Sir Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, Harry Treadaway, Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, and Heather Kadin
I got into this panel a bit late while trying to get into Westworld on Saturday so as an added bonus here is some info from the upcoming Picard show. The cast members come together for the series’ first Comic-Con. It very much has almost an Old Man Logan feel and brings together some cast members from the classic Next Generation Series including Data, Captain Riker, Counselor Deanna Troi, and the Borg. Not really being a Star Trek nerd this looks good.
Writing Avengers: Endgame
Panelists:Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely; Moderator: Jeff Goldsmith
Screenwriters/producers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Avengers: Endgame) chat with Backstory magazine’s (www.backstory.net) publisher/editor-in-chief Jeff Goldsmith (The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith Podcast) about what it took to plot, write, rewrite, and film both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as back-to-back productions for this historic wrap-up of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s amazing 22-film journey. Some interesting tidbits were shared throughout the panel including a scene with a decapitated Captain America as well as a storyboard scene plotting where Infinity Stones were at various times.
A Conversation with the Russo Brothers
Panelists: Joe andAnthony Russo; Moderator: Steven Weintraub
For the Russo Brothers, Avengers: Endgame was the culmination of an unprecedented four-film, seven-year journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has included some of the most iconic experiences in modern cinema. Come hear directors Joe and Anthony Russo reflect on Endgame and their epic road to it as they segue into life beyond Marvel with their new company, AGBO, which happens to include an exciting array of new and old creative friends. This new independent studio develops and finances filmed projects in any medium, while keeping creative control within the hands of artists.
AMC’s The Walking Dead
Panelists: Scott M. Gimple,Angela Kang,Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert,andGreg Nicotero,along with cast membersNorman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Avi Nash, Cooper Andrews, Ryan Hurst, Nadia Hilker, Eleanor Matsuura,andCailey Fleming; Moderator: Chris Hardwick
Cast members and producers discuss filming the series’ milestone 10th season and share a first-look trailer ahead of the show’s October return. Just cause Robert Kirkman has ended the comics do not expect the series to end, though season 10 will be Danai Gurira’s last season. Expect the Whisperer’s War to heat up with Alpha terrorizing our group it looks like the group is going to have to rely on an old enemy, Negan, to get through the storm. Also announced were the Walking Dead movies featuring Rick Grimes which will hit theaters.
Panelists: Seth Rogan, Ruth Negga, Dominic Cooper, Mark Harelik, andJulie Ann Emery; Moderator: Terri Schwartz.
The beginning of The End for AMC’s Preacher inches closer. God’s endgame for the universe begins to click into place. Trapped between heavenly prophecies, hellish prisons, and all-out nuclear war, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy make their bloody way to the Most High. Whether they can reach God in time—or whether all this carnage is part of His divine plan—will soon be revealed as Preacher barrels toward the end of the world. This panel was at the end of the day in Hall H right after the Game of Thrones Panel and where that panel dared not go Seth Rogan went. Nothing was out of bounds for this panel, even Game of Thrones questions, which Seth was more than happy to answer. He went into moments that pushed the boundaries of what was allowed including blowing Tom Cruise up (which as it happens was them just leaving the cut in and no one saying anything) to dildo fighting scenes. Offering a sneak peek at the final season, Preacher promises to go out with a bang!
Netflix’s The Witcher
Panelists: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Henry Cavill; Moderator Yvette Nicole Brown
Based on the bestselling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. The highly anticipated Netflix original series centers on famed monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. Be introduced to the world of The Continent, where humans, elves, witchers, gnomes, and monsters battle to survive and thrive, and where good and evil are not easily identified. Without a Game of Thrones fix and while we wait for the upcoming Lord of the Rings show this is going to hold a lot of people over and I for one am already hooked.
Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Panelists: Lisa Henson, Louis Leterrier, Taron Egerton, Mark Hamill; Moderator: Damian Holbrook
Netflix offered an exclusive sneak peek (including the full first episode) of the highly anticipated fantasy series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, based on Jim Henson’s groundbreaking 1982 feature film. In this stunning new prequel, three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power and set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world. Realized using classic puppetry with cutting-edge visual effects, the cast and creators discuss all your burning questions about bringing Thra to life.
Some interesting tidbits. This was Lisa Henson’s third time trying to get this project running but we are all glad the project is finally moving forward; Mark Hamill has fond memories of taking his children to see the movie in the theaters and loved it for what Jim Henson did as well as it’s darker themes. Mark Hamill’s character The Scientist’s eye contains a Tie Fighter.
The panel was interrupted though when David Glanzer came out and presented Mark Hamill with the Icon Award an award presented to individuals or organizations who have been instrumental in bringing comics and/or the popular arts to a wider audience.
Look for this when it drops on August 30.
HBO Game of Thrones
Panelists: Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Conleth Hill, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright; Moderator: James Hibbard
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO’s Emmy- and Golden Globe Award–winning series Game of Thrones concluded its eight-season run on May 19, with the finale setting records for HBO for both a single telecast and premiere night viewing. Not much to say many fans were happy to send the cast members off in a positive manner though we were warned right before the panel started to be nice! All in all it was a great send-off to the series
HBO Westworld III
Panelists: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Thandie Newton, Aaron Paul, Tessa Thompson, Evan Rachel Wood,and Jeffrey Wright; Moderator: Amy Webb
Where Game of Thrones was wrapping up Westworld was heating up. After two watchings of each season I am still catching details and have no clue if I am on the right track or not. While we wait for its third season return in 2020 the cast (minus my favorite Ed Harris) showed off an early look at the upcoming season and the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. The season from an outward glance appears to be set in the future, have the machines taken over, are they living in harmony with humans. We’re introduced to a new character, Caleb, working in construction alongside a robot who runs into a wounded Dolores. In no way shape or form did it have a Bladerunner feel which Jonathan Nolan grew up watching as a kid. Nolan did confirm the theme for this season is “The New World.” 2020 can’t get here soon enough.