Don’t believe anyone who tells you they have a complete list of all the movie panels at Comic-Con. If you include anything that even tangentially touches on movies, you will be writing an article too long for your hands to withstand, and likely too tedious for anybody to read.
At the same time, don’t trust anyone whose list only includes the panels for the major and minor movie studios. There is a lot more going on than that, including some things you might actually stand a chance of getting into. While not 100% comprehensive, what we have for you below is a pretty solid guide to most of what matters…though of course, that is all relative. Just know that if you disagree with me, you are WRONG.
1. One Way or Another, you’re Curious About the DC Movies.
Warner Bros. (Saturday July 11, 2015 10:30am – 12:00pm?Hall H) – A crowd of sleep-deprived geeks who’ve camped out all night will finally swarm into the big hall, hold their breaths as the lights dim, and the big screens fill with images of…PAN! And The Man From UNCLE! Oh yeah, and after those, Batman v Superman. Every major cast member save Jason Momoa will be in attendance for that one, and WB gets a twofer out of Henry Cavill, since he also stars in UNCLE alongside former would-be Batman Armie Hammer, famous for battling new Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg in the boardroom in The Social Network. Plus Hugh Jackman is there for Pan, so you know somebody backstage will try to get a pic of Wolverine hanging with the DC crew. It has been strongly rumored that a casting announcement will be made regarding Green Lantern, and of course something shown for Suicide Squad, but the latter is more of a sure thing than the former.
2. Star Wars Is Its Own Deal.
Lucasfilm (Friday July 10, 2015 5:30pm – 6:30pm Hall H) – This would have been number one on the list, right up until Entertainment Weekly pissed in everyone’s anticipatory cornflakes by revealing that no new footage will be shown. Instead, they say, “there will be several actors who haven’t yet spoken publicly about their roles venturing onstage in Hall H.” By my count, that could include Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie (already in attendance for Game of Thrones, one assumes), and maybe, maaaaaaybe Max von Sydow, which would rule so it’s unlikely.
It is interesting that they’re calling it a “Lucasfilm” panel and not just a Star Wars panel – could there be more? Who’s up for a Strange Magic sequel? Radioland Murders 2?
The announcement of a Han Solo prequel movie and a Darth Vader appearance in Rogue One might have spoiled some thunder – but rumor has it there may still be more to announce. Ewoks cartoon reboot?
3. X-Men Mark the Spot.
20th Century Fox (Saturday July 11, 2015 5:45pm – 7:30pm?Hall H) – A.k.a. Deadpool, Deadpool, Deadpool…and maybe some other X-Men spinoffs too. If Channing Tatum’s here for Hateful Eight, he might as well talk Gambit; Jennifer Lawrence is around for Hunger Games, and Hugh Jackman is promoting Pan. A little taste of Apocalypse seems likely, but will we hear more about New Mutants? Maybe. More likely they’ll take up time promoting Maze Runner 2, The Martian and maybe The Peanuts Movie first. Wah-wah.
4. The Potential Usurpers.
Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (Saturday July 11, 2015 1:30pm – 2:15pm?Hall H) – I wonder if QT insisted they rip out the digital projectors from the room so he could only show his clips in 70mm? Regardless, hope he has something to show from his western about various bounty hunters holing up in a cave to escape from a blizzard. Cast members are promised but not specified, so you could see Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir or Kurt Russell. In France, they refer to this panel as “Le Panel.”
Legendary Pictures (Saturday July 11, 2015 2:30pm – 3:30pm?Hall H) – Like last year, Legendary has the potential to have the sleeper hit panel of the Con, not just because of World of Warcraft and Crimson Peak, but also upcoming projects in the more distant future like Kong: Skull Island, Krampus, Trick ‘r Treat 2, Godzilla 2, the Pacific Rim animated series, and Zhang Yimou’s Great Wall, a movie about the building of the Great Wall of China that may or may not involve zombies. I’m not saying all of those will feature in the presentation – but at least a couple will. Now, if they were to somehow announce Hellboy III, that’d be a flawless victory.
Tales of Halloween (Friday July 10, 2015 1:30pm – 2:30pm Horton Grand Theatre) – A new horror anthology movie presumably capitalizing on the cult success of Trick ‘r Treat will debut its trailer, with contributing directors Neil Marshall, Dave Parker and Paul Solet in attendance along with actors Barry Bostwick, Lin Shaye, Pat Healy, BooBoo Stewart, Grace Phipps, Keir Gilchrist, Kristine Klebe and John Savage. If you don’t show up, they’ll TP your house.
Pixies, Lovecraft, Poe, and Steampunk: An Unlikely Animation Slate (Friday July 10, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm Room 23ABC) – A look at the upcoming animated movies based on Arcana comics, including one called Pixies that they claim already opened in June, though I swear I didn’t notice if so. Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom and The Steam Engines of Oz are up next, and free plush Cthulhu toys are promised to audience members who ask questions. It’s an ambitious slate and I’ll be amazed if it all gets done without a huge assist from the Dark Gods, but good luck to them for trying.
Kung Fury: The Best Movie of All Time (Friday July 10, 2015 7:00pm – 8:00pm?Room 6BCF) – Bold claim for a short film about an ’80s kung fu cop who faces down Nazis, dinosaurs, Vikings and a David Hasselhoff theme tune. Can director David Sandberg back it up? With the Hoff and Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone by his side, he’ll try…as he promises a looming full-length feature that has to somehow be even better than the best.
5. The Polarizers: Nerd Icons Both Exalted and Fallen.
Yoga Hosers (Friday July 10, 2015 7:15pm – 9:00pm?Hall H) – Inevitably, Kevin Smith’s panel for his Tusk sequel will be better than the actual movie that ensues; the man is better at public speaking than anything else. But as a bonus, if you actually want to see the trailer for a movie starring his and Johnny Depp’s teenage daughters as yoga-obsessed convenience store clerks who fight monsters – all with the aid of Depp’s ultra-annoying faux-Clouseau character Guy LaPointe, of course – it’ll be debuting. Much like Tusk, it seems like an epically bad idea, but given that Smith presumably wants a movie starring his daughter to do well, he might just be trying harder than usual on this one.
Bill Plympton (Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm Room 23ABC) – Plympton’s next independent animated film, Revengeance, is a bit different for him: a collaboration with LA animator Jim Lujan for a crazy tale set in the Latino underworld of the City of Angels. Will you ever get to actually see it? He will discuss that. Also, everyone who attends gets a free drawing from him, and in a time when the big studios no longer give out hall H swag bags, that’s something you can’t sneer at.
The Visit (Friday July 10, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm Horton Grand Theatre) – M. Night Shyamalan walks into the lion’s den, along with producer Jason Blum, who still faces skepticism over the Jem movie, to discuss Night’s new horror movie that he filmed at his house. If they win over even one person in the audience, call it a mission accomplished.
Dark Horse: An Afternoon With Joss Whedon (Saturday July 11, 2015 4:45pm – 5:30pm?Hall H) – Aha, so this is why Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios aren’t attending Comic-Con 2015! Whedon, who was pretty vocal about what a pain in the ass it was to direct Age of Ultron, may have mellowed in the months since, or he might just have clarified and focused his rage like a true Sith, all in preparation for a 45-minute verbal smackdown. What, if anything, will he have to announce? I’m guessing more Buffy and Firefly comics.
Con Man: the Fan Revolt 13 Years in the Making (Thursday July 9, 2015 3:45pm – 5:15pm?Hall H) – Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s fully crowdfunded film about the cast of a prematurely canceled sci-fi series and its stars who do the convention circuit. Full of nerd faves like Seth Green, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, all of whom will be in attendance, it’s as much a prototypical Comic-Con movie as the Morgan Spurlock one from a few years back. And the closest you’re ever getting to more live-action Firefly, realistically.
The Keys to Successful, Career-Changing Acting and Filmmaking in Today’s New Entertainment Industry (Saturday July 11, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm?Room 30CDE) – Impressive title, isn’t it? What expert in great success could possibly be hosting that one?
Richard Hatch. Upstairs in the autograph pavilion, Herb Jefferson Jr. weeps.
Robotech: The Next 30 Years (Thursday July 9, 2015 7:30pm – 8:30pm Room 24ABC) – I’ll believe a Robotech movie is happening when I see it playing in theaters, and not before. Like all these big Stephen King franchises that never happen, it’s just been talked about for so long. It’s telling that the description of this panel, featuring Kevin McKeever (VP of marketing at Harmony Gold), mentions merchandise first, movie second, given all the company’s missteps along the way. But you might get a chance to ask him about those, at least.
6. The Other Mainstream Hollywood Stuff.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:15pm Hall H) – You could wait in line to see brand new footage from the final film, or you could read the book and learn every single plot point and spoiler. Except don’t – everyone bitches about that last book, while the film’s cast are charming and entertaining. Expect most of them – aside from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s ghost and Donald Sutherland, probably – to make the case, and Jennifer Lawrence to be lovably inappropriate as usual. It’s time to take a stand – are you Team Peeta or Team Whatshisface That Liam Hemsworth Plays?
Studio Production Chiefs Speak (Thursday July 9, 2015 10:15am – 11:15am Room 6DE) – This should be interesting. I say “should” presupposing that the panelists involved might be in some way candid, however; should they choose to stonewall the fans in attendance with platitudes, it’ll get ugly fast. 20th Century Fox senior vice president Daria Cercek (X-Men, Spy), Warner Bros. senior vice president Drew Crevello (Dungeons & Dragons, Akira), and Lionsgate executive vice president Jim Miller (The Hunger Games, Power Rangers) will tell you what they were thinking when they did what they did, and if they’re really good at their jobs, they’ll manage to completely deflect the blame onto somebody else and the credit in their own direction. If Crevello can explain why we need another Akira in a way that satisfies anybody, the day will be good.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies/Patient Zero – (Saturday July 11, 2015 12:15pm – 1:15pm?Hall H) – Two zombie-ish movies starring Matt Smith, neither of which would sound particularly interesting if they did not star Matt Smith. So it’s a good thing Matt Smith’s here to promote them. Good for those of us who know who he is, anyway. Outside of Comic-Con world, is there a casual fanbase who wants to see more of “that guy who was in Terminator Genisys for ten minutes, Doctor something”?
Open Road (Thursday July 9, 2015 10:30am – 11:30am Hall H) – One of several mystifying programming choices for the largest space in the convention center, Open Road is a film company that doesn’t really make Comic-Con kinds of movies. Presumably they’ll be trying to drive buzz for Dope, their film about black nerds which is out now; their next movies after that are Rock the Kasbah, with Bill Murray as a music manager who takes his latest young prot?g?e to Afghanistan to be on their version of American Idol; and an Edward Snowden biopic with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Literally everyone in the audience will be either a hardcore Hunger Games fanatic looking to catch a glimpse of J-Law at the next panel; or a Doctor Who fan who lined up overnight to see Peter Capaldi later on in the same room. Open Road’s challenge will be keeping them all awake. On the other hand, if they’ve done the impossible and brought Bill Murray, all bets are off.
“Sanjay’s Super Team” (Thursday July 9, 2015 11:00am – 12:00pm Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront) – I’ve never known a Pixar short to get a panel all to itself before, but the fact that this one features an Indian protagonist not named “Mowgli” is a huge deal, and earns Comic-Con diversity brownie points. Also it apparently features superheroes, so it just might have a post-credits scene where Frozone recruits Sanjay to join the Incredible initiative (highly unlikely). Director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle will be there; the makers of Sanjay and Craig will be somewhere else in the building going, “There are other Indian names, you know.”
From Novel to Comic to Film: Turning Books into Other Forms of Pop Culture (Friday July 10, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm Room 29AB) –Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One‘s Gary Whitta and Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Nicole Perlman are among the writers on this panel about adapting comics to film, books to comics, and other things of that nature. Ask them if Star Lord can outfly Han Solo.
Comics Arts Conference #5: The Comic Book Film Adaptation: Exploring Modern Hollywood’s Leading Genre (Friday July 10, 2015 10:30am – 11:30am Room 26AB) – Mark Waid, Tom Brevoort, Michael Uslan and Joe Kelly will discuss why there are so many comic-book movies now. SPOILER: one person will say “They make money,” then another will say “Special effects can do anything now.” Then everyone will sit awkwardly in silence for 50 minutes.
How Comic Books Took Over Hollywood (Friday July 10, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm Room 25ABC) – Rumor has it that panelists Axel Alonso, Paul Dini, Ashley Eckstein and Kyle Newman will literally drag the corpse of a horse out onstage, and take turns hitting it with sticks. And by literally I mean figuratively, as the dictionary now insists I must do.
DC Entertainment: From Page to Screen (Friday July 10, 2015 4:15pm – 5:15pm Room 6DE) – No names have been announced for this one, but we must assume it involves screenwriters for DC stuff, and that most will be from TV or cartoons, because it’s highly unlikely somebody like David Goyer is showing up unannounced. Especially after the dumb shit he said about Martian Manhunter and She-Hulk at a previous panel.
Book to Screen (Saturday July 11, 2015 11:00am – 12:00pm?Room 7AB) – The writers of Ready Player One, Witches of East End, The Martian and more discuss how the adaptations of their books are coming along, and if they’re smart and want to keep the paychecks, the answer will of course be, “Fine, thank you!” (This is why Stan Lee is rich.)
7. History and Mystery.
Science Channel: Raiders, Raptors, and Rebels: Behind the Magic of ILM (Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm Room 25ABC) – Science Channel celebrates the 40th anniversary of Industrial Light & Magic, with as-yet-unannounced exclusive clips and special guests. Not enough of a lure? There’s also an unspecified giveaway! Seriously, though, so many people come to Comic-Con for the newest thing that we sometimes forget the creators of so many great older things are there too. Nothing wrong with looking back at the coolest visuals on the planet, and beyond.
Roddenberry Entertainment Presents (Thursday July 9, 2015 12:30pm – 1:30pm Room 24ABC) – Roddenberry Entertainment has been working for a while on a short film called “White Room 02B3” that involves full 360-degree interactivity, allowing you to control the camera POV and decide what to look at. They’ll have a demo at their booth on the convention floor, but at the panel you can talk to Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry about it. Also, former Nerdist Channel host Alex Albrecht has a new short called “Instant” that he’ll be talking about – presumably he’ll have more than four points to make. #NerdistChannelInJoke
Nerdist: The Hive (Saturday July 11, 2015 3:30pm – 4:30pm?Horton Grand Theatre) – Nerdist’s second foray into film distribution, following the RPG comedy Zero Charisma, sounds more commercially promising: a young man wakes up in a cabin with amnesia and a dead body next to him. Outside, there be monsters; inside his head, he must figure out how to tap into a hive mind and access memories that are not his own to figure out what’s going on. A pickup from Fantastic Fest, where it scored the endorsement of James Gunn. Chris Hardwick has endorsed it since, but he kinda seems to like most things.
Class of 1985: The Greatest Geek Movies of: Don’t Forget About Us (Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm Room 5AB) For those of you who aren’t content to debate the movies of your childhood on message boards, here’s the live-action version, featuring Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett in one of his eleventy-one panels of the week, as well as Scott Mantz, Steve Melching, Ashley E. Miller, Steve Kriozere Charles de Lauzirkia and David E. Williams as they discuss Back to the Future, Lifeforce, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Clue, Legend, Rocky IV, Brazil, Commando, Weird Science, Silverado, Fletch, A View to a Kill, Cocoon, Witness, Return to Oz, Re-Animator, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Fright Night, Real Genius, Subway, After Hours, Ladyhawke, Enemy Mine and more. I know what you’re thinking: “OMG! Charles de Lauzirkia??? HERE???” And yes, like me, you are thinking it ironically.
No offense, Charles – I just don’t know who you are. My bad, probably.
The Might and Magic of Legacy Effects (Thursday July 9, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm Room 32AB) – Reread what I wrote about the Industrial Light & Magic panel, except imagine it’s about a newer company – the one that worked on Pacific Rim, Jurassic World and Avengers 2. Similar deal.
Fright Night: 30 Years of Screams (Thursday July 9, 2015 5:30pm – 6:30pm Room 6A) – For some reason, the screenwriter of Blackstar Canyon – who is also notably billed on imdb as an uncredited extra in Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises – is the star of this panel about the 1985 horror-comedy he had nothing to do with. Was Chris Sarandon seriously too busy?
Son of Name That Movie (Thursday July 9, 2015 8:00pm – 9:00pm Room 9) – 50 clips from 50 movies are shown, and attendees compete to see how many they can name in a given time limit. If you’ve ever chimed in to correct me on a Blu-ray error or something like that, this is the panel where you can actually win stuff.
Floyd Norman Documentary (Thursday July 9, 2015 9:00pm – 10:30pm Room 9) – The 80 year-old animator for Disney and Hanna-Barbera will screen clips from the new movie about him, at a panel featuring guests like Paul Dini and Beauty and the Beast‘s Gary Trousdale. It’s at 9 p.m. – what else you gonna be doing? If, like me, you hadn’t heard of Mr. Norman before, it’s probably time we got edjimacated.
Disney Animators: the Power of 2D (Friday July 10, 2015 1:30pm – 2:30pm Room 24ABC) – Veteran artists for the mouse house metaphorically shake their fists at you kids today with your 3D and your CG-eye. Meanwhile, all the film writers and bloggers who customarily echo this sentiment will be ignoring the panel completely as they sit in Hall H watching a preview of the new Walking Dead show.
ILM 40th Anniversary (Friday July 10, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm Room 7AB) – In case you missed the previous one, here’s another Industrial Light and Magic anniversary panel, this time without those Science Channel folks butting in.
More Greatest Movies Never Made: The Sequel (Friday July 10, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Room 7AB) – You may have heard about Jodorowsky’s Dune, but what would the original ’70s Star Trek reboot have looked like? How about Rick Berman’s prequel pitch? David Lynch’s Ronnie Rocket? A look at some of the potentially great genre projects that just never made it to the final stage. If you like Bryce’s screenplay articles for TR, this is the panel for you – and let us celebrate the fact that Deadpool finally fell of the list and will be having a big-deal presentation about how it’s really happening.
Going Back in Time: A Discussion and Q&A with the Filmmakers Behind the Back to the Future Feature Documentary (Friday July 10, 2015 6:30pm – 7:30pm?Room 24ABC ) – I’m not entirely sure we need a full-length independent documentary on the influence of Back to the Future, but I’m willing to let the filmmakers make a case for one anyway. By the way, did you know today is totally the day Marty travels to in Back to the Future Part II? It’s true! An image I saw and then shared on Facebook proves it!
The Future of Mexican Animation in the U.S. (Friday July 10, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm Room 29AB) – Edward James Olmos hosts a panel primarily focusing on the upcoming independent feature El Americano 3D, about which I know nothing so far. But if Adama says it’s good…so say we all.
8. Creatives Who Aren’t Writers, Directors or Actors (Mostly).
3rd Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero (Thursday July 9, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront) – This is a chance to learn how to score from the dudes who do it best. It’s like, they score, and then they’re in a movie, and then they’re famous and stuff. So come talk to composers Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road, Batman v. Superman), Christophe Beck (Ant-Man), Marco Beltrami (Fantastic Four), Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Lorne Balfe (Terminator: Genisys), and Blake Neely (DC TV shows).
Animated Effects in Live-Action (Thursday July 9, 2015 3:30pm – 4:30pm Room 26AB) – How do you blend animated effects with live-action seamlessly, especially now that everything’s 3D? Where’s the Roger Rabbit sequel we’ve been hearing about for years? Why is my underwear sweaty? I hope at least one, and maybe two of those questions will be answered in this panel with visual-effects specialists in blending cartoons with real two-dimensional actors.
Hollywood Location Scouts (Thursday July 9, 2015 4:15pm – 5:15pm Grand Ballroom D, Manchester Grand Hyatt) – I’m sure being a location scout is a tough job, and movies couldn’t be made without them, etc. But…really? A whole panel? Are we also going to have panels of Best Boys and Gaffers? Or P.A.s? Actually, candid P.A.s would be fascinating, provided those on said hypothetical panel never cared about working again. Anyway, find out how fun it is to travel for movies and stuff.
How to Make a Movie With a Camera Phone (Thursday July 9, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm Room 5AB) – Notice it’s not called “How to Make a GOOD Movie With a Camera Phone.” I mean, if merit’s no issue, I could show you my film of He-Man and Lion-O action figures having sex for 30 minutes. If you want it to be watchable, whole other deal.
Tatooine Law: Legal Lessons From Star Wars (Thursday July 9, 2015 7:30pm – 8:30pm Room 26AB) – A magistrate, a political consultant and two legal-bloggers discuss how situations on the famous desert planet would play out in the courts, from Han shooting first to whether or not droids can be property and/or excluded from cantinas. Not that Tatooine need follow your human law, but maybe there’ll also be talk about how Imperial jurisdiction might apply on an Outer Rim world where there isn’t much inclination to enforce. And you figured you thought way too much about this shit.
Masters of the Web: The World of Movie Talk Online (Friday July 10, 2015 11:30am – 12:30pm Room 5AB) – In which movie bloggers who ought to be covering the convention take an hour to become the subject of it instead. Don’t mind me – I’m just jealous I’m not on it.
You Do What!? Women Working in Film Production (Friday July 10, 2015 3:30pm – 4:30pm Room 26AB) – Wimminz? In da moobeez? You can haz dat happin? Cat Paschen (SFX makeup artist), Alicia Minette (metalsmith), Tamiko Brownlee (stunt performer), Lauren Haroutunian (cinematographer), Katrina Sainz (art director), and Lauren Hadaway (sound editor) should provide a fun look at the technical aspects of a film production, and of course whether or not being penis-less hinders their ability to get hired.
Stunt People of Your Favorite Movies a.k.a. Getting Beat Up For A Living (Friday July 10, 2015 4:15pm – 5:15pm Grand Ballroom D, Manchester Grand Hyatt) – I presume the title “stunt people” means men and women will be represented here to tell you what it’s like taking falls, risking injury, living with pain and setting themselves on fire for your enjoyment. Are you not entertained?
Today’s Costume Designers (Saturday July 11, 2015 11:00am – 12:00pm?Room 23ABC) – As much as I’m interested in hearing from all creative types involved in making a movie, it’s worth noting that two of the costume designers on this panel are responsible for Agents of SHIELD and the Jem movie, two properties in which the costumes onscreen are markedly inferior to those of the source material (I like SHIELD – but its costumes, not so much). To be fair, they likely have no choice in the matter, and might explain how they salvaged some terrible ideas.
The Bold Voice of Contemporary Horror Film: Fantastic Fest, Beyond Fest, and SpectreFest (Saturday July 11, 2015 6:45pm – 7:45pm?Room 6A) – I would have added Screamfest in there, but okay. I’m a big fan of indie horror, having spent some time immersed in the cheapest parts of the low end of it, but these folks are actually making stuff people LIKE. Panelists include Elijah Wood(Spectrevision /Cooties), director?Sarah Adina Smith?(The Midnight Swim), director/producer Roxanne Benjamin?(V/H/S, V/H/S/2),?Mette Marie Katz?(XYZ Films –The Raid, The Raid 2),Christian Parkes?(Founder/Director Beyond Fest),?Ryan Turek?(Programmer – Beyond Fest), and?Justin Benson?and?Aaron Moorhead?(directors of?Spring) .
The Character of Music: Classic Horror Special Edition (Saturday July 11, 2015 8:30pm – 9:30pm?Room 8) – Bear in mind we’re talking about our generation’s classics, not, say, Psycho or the Universal Monsters. Charles Bernstein (Nightmare on Elm Street),?Harry Manfredini?(Friday the 13th),?Laura Karpman?(Carrie),Richard Band?(Re-Animator),?Tyler Bates?(Dawn of the Dead) and?Maurizio Guarini?of Goblin (Suspiria)? will all talk about composing to make people lose their composure, and presumably not how Vanilla Ice manages to keep his when it’s time to get loose.
Illustrators: the Hidden Gems of Film and Television (Sunday July 12, 2015 12:30pm – 1:30pm?Room 23ABC) – CGI has mostly replaced matte paintings in movie backdrops, but the concepts still begin with illustrations, paintings, storyboards and such. Come meet the artists who have designed movies as disparate as Jurassic World and Straight Outta Compton. Skipping the celebrity panels for these hard workers is truly gangsta. Or as truly gangsta as nerd panel selection can possibly be.
The Art Heroines (Sunday July 12, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm?Room 29AB) – Begging the reader’s pardon, I’m just gonna quote the program’s description here, as I’ve nothing to add: “The Art Heroines are a group of veteran female artists working in film/live action, TV, animation, commercials, and toy industries. They offer an exclusive look into their work, including displayed props, puppets, and works in progress, and discuss how to maintain a successful career while staying creatively fulfilled.?Danelle Vierkant?(designer/builder, Slither, Disney’s Lab Rats, Comedy Bang Bang),?Ivonne Escoto?(designer/builder,Tron Legacy, Alien vs Predator, The Creature Shop Challenge),?Denise “Dee” Chavez?(background designer,Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig, El Tigre, and creator of?HamCat),?Melissa Doss Diwa(designer/builder, KISS live show, The Creature Shop Challenge), and?Lex Rudd(designer/builder,?The Creature Shop Challenge, Folkmanis Puppets/Primal Visions). Moderated by?Christine Papalexis?(World Police?and?Alien Resurrection).”
9. Full-Length Cartoon Movies to Watch With Semi-Famous People.
Spirited Away Screening (Thursday July 9, 2015 9:00pm – 11:30pm Horton Grand Theatre) – Ashley Eckstein and Hot Topic present a screening of arguably the best Miyazaki movie, and I presume this means she’s about to launch a new clothing line based on it.
Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery (Thursday July 9, 2015 6:00pm – 8:00pm Hall H) – Poor, poor Hall H; what have they done to you? KISS and Matthew Lillard will be part of a post-screening panel for the movie, but you have to sit through the entire thing first, including a new KISS song written just for Scooby-Doo! I think if I had a time machine, I would record this panel, go back in time, and show ’70s KISS Army fanatics that their idols will one day be writing a song for a cartoon dog who’s afraid of ghosts. Killing Hitler can wait.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters (Friday July 10, 2015 7:00pm – 9:00pm?Ballroom 20) – The animated feature about an alternate-reality Justice League with questionable morals (as opposed to Zack Snyder’s version…how?) makes its world premiere here, with a post-panel featuring Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Michael C. Hall, Paget Brewster and more.
World Premiere of LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom (Sunday July 12, 2015 11:15am – 12:45pm?Room 6BCF) – It’s a lot easier to build your own Legion of Doom when you have an infinite supply of plastic bricks within your grasp, as Lex Luthor finds out in this new direct-to-Blu movie which premieres at Comic-Con first. It’s unlikely that everything ends up awesome for the bad guys, but I’m sure they’ll offer a token piece of resistance.
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (Sunday July 12, 2015 1:00pm – 2:30pm?Room 6BCF) – Why yes, this is that one animated feature where Batman has a transforming robot wolf sidekick, and rides a mecha-dinosaur. I guess you get to watch it for free, if you really want.
10. Dubya. Tee. Eff.
Nick Carter Goes West: From Boy Band to Zombie Western (Thursday July 9, 2015 7:00pm – 8:00pm Room 5AB) – Yes, it’s true. The Backstreet Boys are coming to Comic-Con. Three of them, anyway. Nick, Howie and AJ will join folks from the Asylum to discuss a Syfy movie they’re all making together. You might not want to ask them how they feel about Justin Timberlake being in The Social Network, but the fact that they are doing this now…does that make you feel larger than life?
Starship Smackdown: The Geekspert’s Court 007: Bond vs. Bond (Friday July 10, 2015 7:00pm – 8:00pm?Room 7AB) – Used to be that Starship Smackdown was one of the last panels on Sunday, and a great way to end the week – high-profile nerds goofy from sleep deprivation holding a tournament to decide what the ultimate starship in all the fictional galaxies would be. Now it’s on Friday night in what feels like a death slot, and it’s a tournament of James Bond movies. Like Bond himself, I’d rather sleep on it then be overly rash. Or get a rash, which can result from sleeping on it anyway.
Sharknado 3 (Friday July 10, 2015 7:15pm – 8:15pm?Room 6A) – Unfortunately for all those of you who were hoping to come bearing cream pies to throw, “costars” Ann Coulter and Anthony Weiner will not be making their Comic-Con debuts this year. But Ian Ziering and Tara Reid will be in the house, along with David Hasselhoff and Cassie Scherbo, to showcase clips of the threequel where shark storms take out the entire east coast, conveniently hitting the cheapest-to-film-in locations hardest.
From Bollywood to Hollywood: Going Global (Saturday July 11, 2015 12:00pm – 1:00pm?Room 25ABC) – International celebrity Pooja Batra is one of the biggest movie stars in the world…from a certain point of view. And now he’s coming to Comic-Con, to show those of us who complain that movies are too long nowadays what a real Indian-style fantasy epic looks like, with three-hour run times, musical numbers and shameless cribs from American movies, often juxtaposed in strange ways. I’m very curious what size of crowd he’ll draw.
How to Be a Nerd For a Living: Career Paths Within Nerd Culture (Saturday July 11, 2015 5:30pm – 6:30pm?Room 26AB) No. NOOOOOO. Just no. This is a tough enough gig to hold on to as it is, without all you bastards turning into my competition. Go get a real job so I can continue to make superhero dick jokes in peace.
All right. Enough writing. Time to start driving down.
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist