San Diego Comic-Con Wrap Up 2013

Written By: Abel Pinedo "Honest Abe"

July 25th, 2013

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And that’s a wrap! Comic Con 2013 has come to close and what an amazing year it was. This was the most intense Con I think I’ve ever done. I am exhausted, exhilarated and shocked at some of the things I got to see. Let’s dive right into it and see if you get some of those reactions too!

Comic Con began with Preview Night on Wednesday. With no panels taking place and only a few screenings of upcoming TV pilots, the exhibit hall was still PACKED with attendees. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought it was Saturday afternoon. My usual agenda is to hustle my way over to the Hallmark booth to pick up my exclusive Star Wars ornament. After meeting up with friends and discussing a plan for the next day, we decided to grab some dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Tilted Kilt, and turn in early. We knew this would be our last chance for some rest before the remainder of the Con began. Boy was I right!

Thursday was going to be a relatively easy day for me so I got in line at 4:30am for the exhibit hall. (Yes, you read that time correct!) There was one panel that I absolutely had to see and that was “We Still Love the ‘80s: 1983” sponsored by GEEK Magazine. At WonderCon earlier this year, I sat through their salute to 1982 and thoroughly enjoyed viewing movie trailers and discussing films from that year. I was hoping for more of the same and I was not disappointed. How can you go wrong with a panel that talks about such classic films as Blue Thunder, Sudden Impact, Spacehunter, Jaws 3D, Risky Business, and the list goes on. The only negative was that the panel was only one hour long. I could listen to the editors of GEEK talk about 80s films all day. Knowing that the next few days were going to be intense, I did a bit more shopping and then called it an early night. I was going to need my rest.

Friday I found myself out on the street at 2am. That’s right. To guarantee my spot in Hall H on this day it was necessary to camp out. At least it wasn’t raining! Moments like this, when I wasn’t zoning out to catch a few moments of sleep, I made friends with all those around me. We all agreed that we were crazy for being out here so early in the morning.

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Once the doors opened several hours later, it was time to get my Con on! The day started with the panel for The World’s End, which is the third collaboration of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with Edgar Wright. While the footage shown was still somewhat vague, I can tell you that it involves old friends reuniting for an epic pub crawl that culminates in…the apocalypse? There was much love in the room for Pegg after this summer’s second Star Trek film and Wright joked about how it was nice to work with such a big name actor. Frost, on the other hand, said this was probably his last time working with his mates as “they can’t afford me!” Pegg and Wright play off each other so well that it is obvious they are long time friends. They claim they don’t improvise much, rather sticking to the script but I can imagine the camaraderie continues long after Wright calls for ‘cut’.

Next up was the panel for Kick Ass 2. Aaron Taylor Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lindy Booth and director Jeff Wadlow were on hand for the world premiere of the newest trailer. Wadlow talked about how they were trying to remain as faithful to the comic book as possible but some of the truly graphic moments of the book won’t translate to film.

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After a long absence, Vin Diesel returned to Comic Con with the next film in the Riddick franchise. Accompanied by Katee Sackhoff and David Twohy, Diesel thanked the fans for the support over the years. One thing many people don’t know about Diesel is that he’s a geek at heart who grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons. He still reads the books and role playing guides to this day but is just too busy to continue playing. Anyways, he talked about Riddick’s humble beginnings at his first Comic Con all those years ago and how even after the failure of the second film, the fans never stopped in their support for the character. Twohy never thought they’d get the chance to tell another Riddick tale. Based on the exclusive trailer, I can say that it definitely feels more in the vein of Pitch Black.

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AMC’s The Walking Dead made its’ return to Hall H with a first look four minute trailer for the upcoming season. Pretty much the entire cast was on hand. Of note is when David Morrissey (The Governor) walked out on stage, he was met with a very loud chorus of boos! The official announcement was made for the season premiere, October 13th. Just as last season, this upcoming season will be split into two 8-episode segments. It was also teased that the character of The Governor will return at some point but he will definitely be a different character than when we last saw him. The new season will open up about four months after last season’s finale. Seeing the cast on stage again was a big thrill. This panel was a great way to wrap up my Friday.

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Saturday began with a two and a half hour panel from Warner Brothers and Lionsgate Pictures. First up was a sneak at Seventh Son which comes out next January. The film is a sword and sorcery flick starring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, and Djimon Hounsou. Bridges had the crowd and moderator Chris Hardwick eating out of his hand. The Dude owns!

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Now for the moment I had been waiting for. The return of the Big Guy…Godzilla! Before the panel started, the teaser trailer which was only shown once last year at Con was shown again. Essentially, it’s a concept piece that was used to sell Legendary Pictures on the idea. And then we saw the first ever trailer. It was nothing short of glorious! Lots of shots of people running amidst chaos. Then you see helicopters firing at some…winged…thing. The action was very fast paced and since it’s a tease, you really couldn’t get a good look at it but my mind immediately raced to Mothra or Rodan. Suddenly Godzilla’s leg stomps into frame and HOLY CRAP HE’S HUGE!!! We don’t get a good look at him just yet though. Director Gareth Edwards brought some of the principal cast including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson and Bryan Cranston. He mentioned that they had literally just finished filming two days ago before boarding the plane for San Diego. Edwards stressed they were making a “real world” Godzilla film that will pay respect and homage to Toho Studios. (Home of the original Godzilla films). Just thinking about that trailer makes me smile. I have high hopes for the film when it comes out next May.

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Other films featured during the panel were 300: Rise of an Empire and The LEGO Movie. One interesting fact about the LEGO Movie is that this film will feature the first big screen iteration of Wonder Woman. Granted, she’s animated but still, that counts for something. Wonder Woman will be voiced by Cobie Smulders, also known as Agent Maria Hill from the Avengers.

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Sandra Bullock made her Comic Con debut as she was on hand with director Alfonso Cuaron for the sci fi thriller Gravity. The film which is about two astronauts who become essentially stranded in space looks visually amazing. Cuaron talked about keeping the film grounded in reality, so when explosions occur in space, there is literally no sound. I will not be surprised if this film racks up a few special effects awards next year.

It just wouldn’t be Comic Con without a few surprises. First up was an unannounced concept trailer for Warcraft. The clip featured a knight pulling out a sword and preparing to do battle with a fast approaching giant beast with one monstrous battle axe Director Duncan Jones then strode out to announce that filming will begin early next year.

Next up was a first look at the newest Tom Cruise sci-fi action film, “Edge of Tomorrow”. Cruise also was making his Comic Con debut with costars Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton and director Doug Liman. The film is a sci fi war film with a touch of Groundhog Day! Blunt and Liman praised Cruise’s work ethic while Cruise kept praising Paxton’s acting. He even got Paxton to say a few lines from Aliens and Weird Science, much to the delight of the crowd.

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The single biggest news of the day began when Hardwick introduced Zack Snyder. Snyder thanked the crowd for their support of Man of Steel and officially announced that a sequel is in the works. To add to this, he brought out actor Harry Lennix to read a few lines from something that “it’s not the thing that we are adapting but it is the thing that will help tell the story” of the next film. With that, Lennix read a few lines from the climactic battle between Superman and Batman from The Dark Knight Returns. Then the Superman logo appeared on the screens with the bat symbol superimposed over it. The crowd went bonkers! Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps.

With excitement running high, the Lionsgate panel began soon after. Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski and director Stuart Beattie were on hand for a first look at the big screen adaptation of I, Frankenstein. I’m not familiar with the source material but the look of it was very ‘Underworld meets demons’. I’ve been a fan of Eckhart for years so I am mildly curious about it. Jennifer Lawrence made her Hall H debut with a first look to the sequel for the Hunger Games. Having recently watched The Hunger Games for the first time, I am interested to see where Catching Fire will take the storyline. I haven’t read the books though so I’m going into the sequel completely unaware of what happens.

I don’t know how much further excitement I can take. I’m completely exhausted and I still have one more day to go. I had one major event going on Sunday. I had secured my ticket for the Godzilla Encounter! (read more about that HERE.) Once I had paid my respects to the big guy, I made my way back to the exhibit hall. I did some quickie Christmas shopping then it was time to pack up and head for home.

My feet are sore, I’m delirious and I’m exhausted. I can’t wait for next year! I have just over eleven and a half months to catch up on sleep before I do it all over again!