This week, celebrities and studio marketing execs head south to the biggest stage of the year to woo the hardcore fans who can make or break their most anticipated blockbuster offerings, in the most important room in Hollywood: Hall H at Comic-Con.
The 2017 edition of San Diego's annual nerd circus arrives tomorrow, 10 years into an explosively evolving decade on this hallowed stage. It's here where "Twilight" ushered in a new era of femme-fueled mainstream fandom, the Marvel-DC franchise "war" continues to play out year after year, and television has risen to challenge the movies for the Comic-Con crown, filling its 6,500 capacity coliseum with screaming fans of shows like "Game of Thrones."
It was in 2007, after all, when an unassuming Jon Favreau popped up on Paramount's 10-film panel to blast fanboys and girls out of their seats with surprise footage from "Iron Man." The buzz flew through the roof and sparked Marvel movie mania as we know it. Now here we are, 16 MCU superhero flicks and $12 billion box office dollars later, preparing for the landmark "Black Panther" to reign over Hall H.
At Comic-Con Steven Spielberg unveiled eye-popping footage from his upcoming “Ready Player One," offering a first glimpse at the tale of a young gamer searching for the ultimate Easter egg in a virtual reality game packed with a brain-boggling array of pop cultural references.
Not that the Oscar-winning director needs to prove his gaming-nerd bona fides. During a visit to the L.A. Times studio “Ready Player One” author Ernest Cline revealed how the filmmaking legend earned his stripes decades ago.
“[Spielberg] used to have a little arcade at Amblin back in the ‘80s and he was obsessed with breaking a million points on 'Missile Command,'” said Cline. The only problem? He had a movie to make. So what was a director hell bent on notching his high score to do?
Haul "Missile Command" out into the woods, hook it up to production generators on the set of “E.T. – the Extraterrestrial,” and keep playing, naturally.
The cast from Star Trek: Discovery chats with Sarah Rodman in the Los Angeles Times Video studio at Comic-Con.
"I was frozen," said Anthony Rapp, when asked about the cast reaction to seeing the "Star Trek: Discovery" trailer for the first time at Comic-Con this past weekend. "It was overwhelming. It's extraordinary."
Rapp pretty much summed up the feelings of the entire crew from the USS Discovery, who stopped by the L.A. Times photo studio to chat about joining the proud "Star Trek" TV family, Sept. 24 on CBS All Access.
"I don't know how to process it," said Shazad Latif, about becoming a character in the beloved franchise as Lt. Ash Tyler in the series, which is set about 10 years before the original voyage of Capt. Kirk, Spock, Scotty and the gang.
The fun was infectious when the new “DuckTales” stars David Tennant (Scrooge McDuck), Ben Schwartz (Dewey), Danny Pudi (Huey), Beck Bennett (Launchpad McQuack), Kate Micucci (Webby Vanderquack) and Toks Olagundoye (Mrs. Beakley) stopped by the L.A. Times studio during Comic-Con.
While a number of cast members have their own fond memories of the original show, it’s clear Schwartz was the biggest fan of the group. His fellow Duck-mates pointed to him immediately and unanimously as the one able to sing the infamous “Moon Theme” from the “DuckTales” Nintendo game.
But it’s not just fond memories and nostalgia that the new show is up against. There is also the likelihood of people who grew up watching the original “DuckTales” now having a different understanding (and opinion) about income inequality than they did when they were kids.
Radiant human and all-around delight Lupita Nyong'o shocked Twitter users Wednesday morning when she posted a video to her Twitter account asking, "Did you see me at Comic Con?"
In the video, a dancing, prancing individual dressed as a pink Power Ranger boogied through the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter and halls of the San Diego Convention Center.
Dancing to Kendrick Lamar's "i," the disguised Power Ranger exalts at the back of the crowded Marvel booth (Nyong'o attended SDCC in promotion of the 2018 Marvel release "Black Panther") and points, well, pointedly at a figurine of Maz Kanata, the character voiced by Nyong'o in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Director Denis Villeneuve talks about "Blade Runner 2049" at Comic Con.
Androids may or may not dream of electric sheep, but movies are living creatures, “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve said during his visit to the L.A. Times studio at Comic-Con.
“The movie’s alive. It has its own soul, its own personality,” said Villeneuve, who’s still in post wrangling the ambitious sci-fi sequel, which arrives three decades after Ridley Scott’s grimy-neon classic introduced Harrison Ford’s futuristic, replicant-hunting gumshoe Rick Deckard.
Along with Villeneuve, “Blade Runner 2049” is stacked with cinema icons. Ford reprises his famed role as Deckard, now long in hiding. And new blade runner played by Ryan Gosling, Officer K, is on his trail.
"Will 'Riverdale' go supernatural?" That's the question fans can't seem to stop asking — especially since the hit CW show seems perfectly set up to introduce zombies, a certain teenage witch and other otherworldly elements into its deliciously twisted take on the classic Archie comics.
When they stopped by the L.A. Times studio at Comic-Con, the cast members swore they weren't just putting on their poker faces to avoid giving anything away.
“We don’t need to practice a poker face,” laughed Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge. What about zombies? “That’s not happening!”
The stars of AMC's supernatural drama "Preacher" stopped by the L.A. Times photo studio to chat about the new season currently in progress.
Some of the shooting took place in New Orleans, and Dominic Cooper (Jesse Custer), Graham McTavish (the Saint of Killers) and Joseph Gilgun (Cassidy) discussed what the distinctive atmosphere of the Crescent City added to the proceedings. (For Gilgun at least, a first timer to NOLA, it included cannabis and voodoo.)
Dedicated fans who dress up as their favorite Jedis, Wonder Women, Spider-Men, and anime characters (shout out to Ezra Miller!) help make the annual San Diego Comic-Con International a special place where fandoms from all universes come alive.
For third-grade teacher Amber Malinski (a.k.a. AmberSkies), the lure of cosplay was impossible to resist.
"Instead of just going to the Comic-Cons, I started to look around me and get jealous and go, ‘How come they get to dress up and I don’t?’ I could do that!’” she told The Times.
“There’s this really idiotic belief that women don’t have the desire to do these kind of films,” said Gina Prince-Bythewood to a captivated audience at Comic-Con. “These kinds of films” being superhero franchises.
Prince-Blythewood had assembled along with directors Tina Mabry (“Dear White People”), Rosemary Rodriguez (“Jessica Jones”), Victoria Mahoney (“Gypsy”), Aurora Guerrero (“Queen Sugar”) and Angela Robinson (“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”) as well as Women in Film L.A. executive director Kirsten Schaffer for the “Women Rocking Hollywood: Female Directors Changing the Faces of Film and Television” panel on Saturday.
But before you pack away your cape for the next convention, let’s take a minute and reflect on the great moments that can happen only at this gigantic festival of pop culture. Did you catch Wonder Woman using her powers for love? Or Jason Momoa telling everyone Superman is dead? Or how about the resurrection of what is arguably the greatest science-fiction series in the universe, “Stargate?”
Here are the can’t-miss moments from Comic-Con 2017: