As you may know by now, the 40th Annual San Diego Comic-Con International has come and gone. Over this past weekend, Hollywood descended upon it’s southern neighbor to take over the Convention that was once all about comics. In fact, if you ask any Con veteran, the Hollywood commercialization coup is one that seems to supercede the original intent of the Con — you know, to show off the work of the best in the comic book and pop art business. But that’s a discussion for another day. Today’s discussion is all about those Hollywood promos, the big-budget films that were brought to San Diego to delight fans large and medium-large.
You may also note that our coverage of the event was different this year, as our entire crew didn’t exactly make it all the way to San Diego. Instead, we had Scott the Intern here updating our Comic-Con ’09 Homepage with aggregated news from around the web. The benefit to this kind of coverage is that you, our faithful readers, got a birds-eye view of what was happening at the Con, instead of just one person’s perspective. As well, it also aided in landing our finger on the pulse of what was hot at this year’s event. That leaves us in a perfect position to recap for you the films that made the biggest splash this year. We’re going to do that below, with our list of the 7 Most Buzzed About Movies of Comic-Con 2009.
7. Mystery Team
On Sunday afternoon, the kids from the Derrick Comedy group took the stage in Ballroom 20 to promote their little-known Sundance sensation Mystery Team with a series of sketches and a new short film. From what we’ve been told, it absolutely killed. And we couldn’t be happier for director Dan Eckman and crew, who were kind enough to sit down with our Kevin Kelly for a post-panel interview. We’ve been beating the drum to their tune ever since Mystery Team dropped at Sundance, and it makes us (me in particular) very happy to see new audiences getting excited about it. It’s an awesomely twisted comedy that will have you in stitches, just as it did the Comic-Con audience.
6. Tron Legacy
Even though they didn’t show any new footage from their upcoming Tron sequel, Disney and director Joseph Kosinski still rocked Hall H with the footage they recycled from last year. Only this year, they did it in 3D. As well, their viral marketing effort with Flynn’s Arcade — which can be seen in detail over at First Showing — was particularly captivating for the Con crowds. Also, did you see the concept art they showed — those light cycles look really badass. Who isn’t looking forward to Tron Legacy?
Every year, Comic-Con has at least one surprise. And if you’ve already taken a gander at the rest of this list below, you’ll note that none of the films below this one were a surprise at all. Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass however, was a big surprise at the Con. One of the few actual comic book adaptations on our list, Kick-Ass was one of those known but not widely known properties that made a major splash this year. According to Edward Douglas over at Superhero Hype, the footage shown proved that Vaughn’s film will be very faithful to the original Mark Millar comic — and to say the least, there will be action.
No one is going to be surprised about the waves that James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi epic Avatar made when it splashed down at the Con on Thursday. What is surprising though, is the tempered expectations that were urged by the men and women of the blogosphere who covered the event. As we highlighted in our recap of coverage from around the web, the experience was an impressive one — one that immersed fans in a 3D world that was incredibly impressive. And for a moment, at least until that evening with another film on this list was screened, it was the hot topic of the Con. However, it didn’t exactly change the way people look at the silver screen, nor did it leave anyone crippled with an awesome-overload. So temper those expectations kids, but hold on tight to that excitement.
3. Where the Wild Things Are
Few people go to Comic-Con for an emotional experience, but then again, few people knew that Spike Jonze would show up with touching, beautiful footage from his adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic Childrens’ book, Where the Wild Things Are. Even the blackened, almost non-existent soul of CHUD front man Devin Faraci was warmed by what was shown that day in Hall H. Needless to say, while Avatar and Iron Man 2 left no dry seats in Hall H, Spike Jonze and crew left no dry eyes with their several minutes of footage.
2. District 9
Of all the movies that brought footage to the Con, only a few actually gave attendees the chance to see the entire film. Producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp did just that with their highly-anticipated sci-fi actioner, screening it on Thursday night for a select group of lucky attendees. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and as our own Robert Fure told us, it wasn’t just because people got to see the film early — it was because District 9 could very well be the must-see sci-fi film of the year. Take that, James Cameron.
1. Iron Man 2
Once again, director Jon Favreau stepped onto the stage in Hall H and lit it on fire, blowing the roof off of the convention and caused a collective geekgasm of epic proportions. Alright, so maybe it wasn’t as big as I just described, but just like in 2006 Jon Favreau surprised audiences with a rockin’ series of clips. In his recap, FSR’s man on the scene Robert Fure said simply that the Iron Man 2 footage was “awesome.” The awesome carried over into several of our online brethren saying that Iron Man 2 won the Con, stole the show and dominated the buzz. Could it be because Iron Man 2 was one of the last major panels of the weekend? Not likely. It probably has more to do with the first look at War Machine shooting up the place. If I had to take a guess, that is.
For more of our coverage from San Diego, go check out our Comic-Con 2009 Homepage.