WonderCon 2010 hits San Francisco this weekend, and once again I’ll be there soaking in the movie previews, hot cosplay ladies, and eclectic merchant booths. And unlike last year I’m determined to enjoy it all goddammit.
As you may or may not remember, WonderCon 2009 didn’t quite agree with me. The two years prior were both fantastic, but 2009’s convention just felt off enough to warrant me writing up a rant about the whole experience. I caught quite a bit of flack from the post, and while I stand behind my actual criticisms, complaints, and jokes I do acknowledge that I was harsher than I should have been. Hell, I can say it… I was a complete dick. That won’t be happening again this year. I fully expect there to still be areas of the con in need of improvement, but I’ll be covering it with a bit less attitude. And name-calling. And insults.
The convention runs Friday through Sunday (April 2nd-4th), and while movie and TV-related events happen all weekend the major studio panels are once again focused on Saturday. We plan on covering all the big panels as well as some of the smaller ones, time permitting. And by we I mean me of course… I also have tentative plans for some interviews and press conferences on Saturday including chats with Kick-Ass stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz. I’ll be asking if either of them even know the definition of the word ‘cunt.’ So that should be interesting. (And if that confused or offended you I direct your attention to the red-band trailer for Kick-Ass.)
Be sure to check out WonderCon’s official site for the full schedule, but here’s a few of the bigger and/or cooler events for movie fans:
Friday, April 2nd
The Book of Eli: From Script to Screen
Since its release in January, the controversial, violent, and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic thriller The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman has sparked intense debate and earned more than $100 million at the box office. It’s far from a perfect film, but it’s still a fantastic piece of entertainment. Screenwriter Gary Whitta (PC Gamer Magazine) will be on-hand for an in-depth and candid look back at how his original spec script became a Hollywood blockbuster. Gary will discuss Eli’s journey from script to screen, the screenwriting process, and his own personal journey breaking into Hollywood, with tips on how you can do it, too. Includes audience Q&A. Room 220 1:30–2:30p
Barring flight troubles, he’s back at WonderCon as a special guest for the first time in almost five years! Smith is famous for his no-holds-barred Q&A sessions and impromptu Twitter bitch sessions. This extended edition promises to be another great one as Kevin takes the big room’s stage to answer your questions in his inimitable style. Esplanade Ballroom 6:00–8:00p
Saturday, April 3rd
Walt Disney Pictures and Disney•Pixar
Walt Disney Pictures and Disney•Pixar bring exclusive footage from their exciting 2010 lineup in the Esplanade Ballroom 12:00–1:45p:
Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time – Join Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Newell, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jordan Mechner, as they take the WonderCon stage to show an exclusive sneak peak from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time before its May 28 release. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is an epic action-adventure about a rogue prince (played by well known Arabian actor, Jake Gyllenhaal) and a mysterious princess (Gemma Arterton) who race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time – a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Join Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Turteltaub, Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, and Teresa Palmer live on stage to present an exclusive look at The Sorcerer’s Aprentice. Dave (Baruchel) is just an average college student, or so it appears, until the sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Cage) recruits him as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in hair care as well as in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners pit their powers against those of the fiercest – and most ruthless – practitioners of all time. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city, and get the girl as he becomes the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Toy Story 3 – From the studio that has taken you into the worlds of space, sea and superheroes, comes a comical new 3D adventure in which Buzz, Woody and the gang face an uncertain future as Andy gears up for college. When the toys unexpectedly land in a room full of untamed tots who can’t wait to get their sticky little fingers on them, it’s pandemonium as they try to stay together. Directed by Lee Unkrich, the film features all the familiar favorites, plus a host of new toys including Barbie’s friend Ken, a pink teddy bear named Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear and a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants. Join director Lee Unkrich live on the WonderCon stage to present an exclusive sneak-peek at Toy Story 3.
Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Afterlife
Writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson along with stars Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter will be on hand to show the exclusive trailer and answer your questions. In a world ravaged by a virus infection turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Jovovich) continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead – and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap. The fourth installment of the hugely successful Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife is again based on the wildly popular video game series, and will this time be presented in 3-D. Esplanade Ballroom 1:45p-2:15p
Warner Bros. Presentation
WB brings exclusive footage from their exciting 2010 lineup in the Esplanade Ballroom
The Losers – Director Sylvain White and cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoë Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Óscar Jaenada will all be on hand trying to convince the audience why their film is better than The Expendables and The A-Team.
Nightmare on Elm Street – Director Sam Bayer will be joined by stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, and Thomas Dekker. Footage will be shown, questions will be answered, and some wacko will ask about a sequel to Watchmen.
Splice – Director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) will be on hand to discuss his latest film and show exciting scenes. This sci-fi flick explores the world of genetic manipulation and ethical boundaries and stars Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody as scientists who cross the line in the creation of a new life-form. Reviews from early festival screenings have been mostly positive, and it’s one of my more anticipated summer releases this year.
The Kick-Ass Cast Can’t See Through Walls But They Can Kick Your Ass!
Join the cast and creators of the new superhero action flick Kick-Ass to learn what it takes to be a superhero! You don’t need special powers to seriously kick ass! This highly anticipated film’s panel will talk about the making of the film, which opens on April 15. Learn how to pick a superhero name and what your costume should look like with screenwriter Jane Goldman, comic book creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. and the stars! Esplanade Ballroom 4:30–5:30p
BBC America Presents the U.S. Premiere Screening of the new Doctor Who only at WonderCon!
On April 17 a new era of the BAFTA-winning series, Doctor Who, premieres on BBC AMERICA. Here’s your chance to see the very first episode weeks before it premieres! Personally I have very little interest in this, but Neil Miller told me it had to make the list. Room 103 6:30–7:40p
Will you be attending WonderCon this year?