As you may already know, Comic-Con 2007 in San Diego is only a few days away. It is an event that not only serves as the pinnacle of the convention circuit for comic book aficionados, it has also become a premier launching pad for major motion pictures — flicks like 300 and Spider-Man 3 made a huge splash in 2006, propelling them to great box office success in 2007. This year studios like Paramount and Warner Brothers will bring titles like Iron Man and Watchmen to the infamous Hall H to show off clips and get fans all juiced up.
But this is a huge event, hundreds of exhibitors and movie publicists will be bringing the heat — too many to visit them all. So where should you spend your time? I have dug through the entire schedule and pulled out 10 exhibits and events that, as a movie fan, you absolutely must see.
10. The Pixar Story: To Infinity and Beyond — Thursday July 26 @ 7:15pm (Room 6CDEF)
In the world of animation there is Pixar and then there is everyone else. Oscar nominated documentary director Leslie Iwerks (Recycled Life) presents a look at the amazing studio that revolutionized animation with flicks like Toy Story, A Bugs Life and most recently Ratatouille.
9. Lionsgate Special Preview Panel — Saturday July 26 @ 3:45pm (Hall H)
It is becoming increasingly clear that Lionsgate is going to finish strong in 2007. One particular reason is that they were able to get Jessica Alba into her underoos for Good Luck Chuck. 3:10 to Yuma, Midnight Meat Train and Saw IV should help as well. Lionsgate will bring Ms. Alba, her co-star Dane Cook, Clive Barker, Tobin Bell, Peter Fonda and Ben Foster to the Con to get us all interested. If you didn’t make it past that first name on the list, then it is already starting to work.
8. The Film Crew — Saturday July 28 @ 5:45pm (Room 6B)
The brilliant minds that brought us Mystery Science Theater 3000 are back. This time they are ready to attack movies from back in the day as The Film Crew. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett will be on hand to preview exclusive clips and hold a Q&A session.
7. Rogue/Focus Studios Panel — Saturday July 28 @ 12:15pm (Hall H)
Rogue/Focus Pictures is bringing the stars of Balls of Fury, The Strangers and Doomsday to sunny San Diego to talk shop with fans from around the world. Robert Ben Garant, Tom Lennon, Dan Fogler, Liv Tyler, Rhona Mitra and Neil Marshall will all be on hand. There are sure to be some laughs…
6. Kevin Smith — Friday July 27 @ 6:15pm (Hall H)
That President guy may be known as the “leader of the free world,” but that is nothing compared to Kevin Smith — the leader of the geek world. One of Comic-Con’s most favored sons holds one of his famous Q&A sessions. And as the Comic-Con schedule explains, he will be talking about anything he damn well pleases. I think we can all handle that.
5. Paramount Pictures Panel — Thursday July 26 @ 1:30pm (Hall H)
Paramount kicks off the week by showing off J.J. Abrams crazy project known as “Cloverfield” (at least for now). At that point we will get a real name for the project, see more clips and get a look at more of the marketing genius. Paramount will also bring Neil Gaiman (Beowulf) and Andy Samberg (Hot Rod) along for more fun.
4. Fanboys — Thursday July 26 @ 6pm (Room 6CDEF)
Fanboys is the highly anticipated film that tells the story of a group of friends who travel across country to break into Skywalker Ranch and see Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace before it is released. The film doesn’t hit theaters until January 18, 2008 but stars Dan Fogler, Chris Marquette and Kristen Bell will be on hand for Q&A. If you are a die hard fanboy, you won’t want to miss it.
3. Masters of the Web — Sunday July 29 @ 1pm (Room 6A)
Tom Desanto (Transformers, X-Men) hosts a panel of the biggest names in online movie websites to discuss how the internet has impacted Hollywood, what it takes to run a successful site and what the future holds for the online film community. Guests will include Berge Garabedian (Joblo.com), Ed Douglas (Comingsoon.net), Devin Faraci (CHUD.com), Drew McWeeney (Aintitcool.com) and many others. I can assure you that for this panel I will be taking notes.
2. Marvel Studios Panel — Saturday July 28 @ 4:15pm (Hall H)
One of the most anticipated features of the entire Con was Iron Man. A few days ago it was announced that Iron Man, its director Jon Favreau and its star Robert Downey Jr. would be moving from Thursday’s Paramount panel to Marvel Studios’ panel on Saturday. Combine that with Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt and Louis Leterrier stopping by to talk about The Incredible Hulk and you’ve got a panel that is not to be missed. Period.
1. The Warner Brothers Panel — Friday July 27 @ 10:30am (Hall H)
Three words: The Dark Knight. And that is just what’s not confirmed during the Warner Brothers panel; that is what we are speculating will be the crown jewel of Comic-Con ’07 surprises. But alas, if Warner doesn’t show off Heath Ledger as the Joker, we will still get some of Zach Snyder’s Watchmen news to chew on and a look at Kate Beckinsale as she talks about Whiteout. It is every geek’s dream: one of the most anticipated graphic novel adaptations ever combined with one of the most prolific hotties in the world. And did I mention that Dark Knight teaser rumor?
So there you have it, ten things that you should not miss if you will be in San Diego this week. If you unfortunately will not be in attendance, then you can keep it locked to our Official Comic-Con Homepage — and let us do all the work for you.