Jul 20, 2010

The Spy's Guide To Comic-Con 2010

Well, it's that time of year again!  If you're a spy fan headed out to San Diego tomorrow for Comic-Con International, here are some panel highlights that caught my eye that might be of particular interest to you, too.  (Please post a comment if I've missed anything crucial.)  The copy is mostly taken directly from the Comic-Con website, which allows you to create your own schedule this year.  (Not that you'll actually get into all the things you plan to do.  Remember to allow plenty of time for waiting in lines!)  I'll be checking out as many as I can, and hopefully blogging about them, depending on my internet access...

Thursday, July 22

Right from the start, there are tough choices to make (as usual).  Spy fans must choose between Burn Notice and Salt on the first day!

1:00-2:00 Salt -- Opening in theaters everywhere tomorrow, Columbia Pictures brings an exclusive and surprising look at Salt to Comic-Con today, featuring some very special guests. [Yes, Angelina Jolie is scheduled to attend!] As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture, but her efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who is Salt?" Hall H

1:00-2:00 Bruce Campbell (Sam Axe), Matt Nix (creator and executive producer), and Alfredo Barrios, Jr. (executive producer) host a panel discussion and answer questions about the creative process of evolving an embryonic idea into a finished episode of cable's #1 show. Fans will gain an intimate look inside the world of Burn Notice, complete with war stories from the writer's room and filming on location in Miami. Exclusive video content will include tips on how to survive Comic-Con from your favorite burned spy, Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan), highlights from all four seasons and an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming episodes. Ballroom 20

2:15-3:15 Summit Entertainment: RED— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of exclusive footage from RED. They used to be the CIA's top agents -- but the secrets they know just made them the Agency's top targets. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren star in RED, an explosive action-comedy based on the cult DC Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis. Join him, director Robert Schwentke, and the film's stars as they share footage from the film and debut the final trailer before it's ever in theaters. Hall H

3:30-4:30 Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries— A discussion with geek gods J. J. Abrams (Alias, Mission: Impossible III) and Joss Whedon (Dollhouse) on the future of pop culture. EW presents an in-depth conversation with these two creative geniuses about how technology, gaming, and global culture are reshaping how we tell and consume stories on television, film and the web. Plus: Is the superhero movie waning, or is it on the cusp of reinvention? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff "Doc" Jensen. Hall H

Friday, July 23

6:00-7:00 Archer— Creator and executive producer Adam Reed (Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo) screens selected scenes from the FX animated series Archer, which recently won a NowNewNext Award for "Best Television Show You're Not Watching" from cable's Logo network. He will take questions from the audience along with Aisha Tyler, who provides the voice of Agent Lana Kane, the strong, voluptuous, and often exasperated secret agent. Adam and Aisha will discuss the evolution of the series as well as the voice-over process. Room 7AB

Saturday, July 24
10:00-10:45 Chuck Screening and Q&A— Chuck executive producers and co-creators Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl) and Chris Fedak appear along with series stars Zachary Levi (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Yvonne Strahovski (upcoming The Killer Elite), Joshua Gomez (Without a Trace), Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence (The Pursuit of Happyness), Vik Sahay (Good Will Hunting), Scott Krinsky (The O.C.), Sarah Lancaster (upcoming The Good Doctor) and Adam Baldwin (Serenity) for their usual hijinks -- a Q&A to discuss the upcoming season four (made possible by the devoted fanbase) and a special video presentation. Produced by Fake Empire, Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Chuck airs Mondays at 8pm ET/PT on NBC, and Chuck: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7. Ballroom 20
11:00-12:00 Hollywood and Ghost Recon Join Forces— Little Minx, a company of Ridley Scott and Associates (RSA), presents Oscar-winning director François Alaux (Logorama), associate producer and technical advisor to all RSA films Harry Humphries, and a feature actor from the short film, who will be joined by Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Solider video game studio associate producer Adrian Lacey in a panel discussing the upcoming short film, as well as connections between the film and the game. Attendees will be treated to the world premiere debut of the film trailer, as well as a live demo of the upcoming video game. Room 25ABC

11:00-12:00 Leverage— Join the stars of the TNT hit series Leverage -- Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane, and Beth Riesgraf -- along with the show's executive producers, John Rogers (Transformers, Cosby) and Chris Downey (King of Queens), for a panel and Q&A session. Don't miss a special sneak peek of an upcoming episode too! Moderated by Anthony Ferrante. Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront
12:00-1:00 The Venture Bros.— Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer host a laissez-faire chat about -- what else? -- The Venture Bros. They'll be joined by Patrick Warburton (voice of Brock Samson) and James Urbaniak (voice of Dr. Venture) as they screen sneak preview clips from the upcoming season, shamelessly plug their new DVD and line of action figures, and take questions from the audience. Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront

4:45-5:45 Universal: Cowboys & Aliens -- Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man series) discusses what's happening behind the scenes of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks' action-thriller Cowboys & Aliens, based on Platinum Studios' graphic novel. Currently shooting in New Mexico, Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford and takes audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. Q&A session to follow. [Will Daniel Craig actually be there?  I'm guessing not, but you never know, so Bond fans might not want to miss this one...] Hall H
5:15-6:15 Nikita Pilot Screening and Q&A— Comic-Con has gone rogue! International action star Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) stars in this sexy and suspenseful series as an agent who has escaped from the ultrasecretive and corrupt government agency that trained her to be an assassin...and then betrayed her. Catch a sneak peek screening of this action-packed thriller, and join Maggie, series stars Shane West (ER) and Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass), and executive producer Craig Silverstein (Bones) for an inside look at one of the most anticipated new shows of the fall season. From Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Nikita will air Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. Room 6BCF

6:00-7:00 Marvel Studios: Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger— Producer Kevin Feige and special guests give you an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hall H

6:15-7:00 Human Target Screening and Q&A— Based on the DC Comics title, Human Target is an action-packed thrill ride about a mysterious private contractor who will stop at nothing to keep his clients alive -- even if it means literally becoming a "human target." The series moves to a new night this fall -- Fridays at 8pm ET/PT on FOX -- and executive producer Matthew Miller (Chuck) joins series stars Mark Valley (Fringe), Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies), and Jackie Earle Haley (A Nightmare on Elm Street) for a Q&A with fans and to screen a special video presentation. Human Target is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Television. Human Target: The Complete First Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD September 21. Room 6BCF

Besides all that, of course, there will be plenty of other spy personalities both in non spy-related panels (like Michael Giacchino) and on the floor, signing autographs.  And speaking of the floor... well, I'm already salivating at the thought of all that movie memorabilia and old comic books waiting to deplete my wallet!  Have a great time at the Con.

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