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San Diego Comic-Con 2010 – Thursday Programming Preview

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July 22 through 25 marks 41st year of the San Diego Comic-Con International, the world’s most famous popular culture convention. It’ll be my seventh year as an attendee.

My first year at Comic-Con coincided with the first year that programming was held in Hall H, the frigid, 6500-seat theatre at the end of the San Diego Convention Center where most of the panels about upcoming movies are held. Because of the size of the venue, deciding to join the masses in Hall H is basically a day-long sentence: in order to get a decent seat on the hall, you really do need to show up hours early and sit in line. Leaving pretty much guarantees your being in the back, watching the proceedings on a screen and, if there is a popular panel, likely means you can’t get back in at all.

Provided I can pull together the hardware I need, I’m hoping to post my instant impressions of each panel I attend as they happen.

The panels for this year were released last week. Here’s my list of panels that look neat. Sometime between now and next Wednesday, I’ll sit down and figure out exactly what I’ll be attending.

Thursday, July 22

10:00-11:00 DreamWorks Animation: Megamind – Hall H – This is a really early start on Thursday for Hall H. The first panel on Saturday won’t start until 11:45, presumably to let the dignitaries in town sleep in after a Friday night debauch.

10:30-11:30 Danny Elfman— Room 6BCF

10:30-11:30 TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies— Room 7AB – Since Guillermo del Toro left the project, I’d be interested to hear what scoops these guys have on a start date. If anybody will have one, it’s likely the TORN folks.

11:00-12:00 That Chris Gore Show— Room 5AB

11:15-12:45 Walt Disney Pictures: TRON: Legacy— Hall H – After an impressive viral campaign which kicked off at last year’s Comic-Con, I’m really excited to finally see the goods in this panel.

12:00-1:00 X-Play LIVE: A Show on Television— Room 5AB

12:30-1:30 Batman: The Widening Gyre— Room 4 – Kevin Smith, who’s been writing the scripts for this series, is expected to attend this one, which will be interesting since the room they’ve set it up in is tiny. He’s appearing a few other times during the weekend.

1:00-2:00 Digital Bits: Blu-ray Producers 2010— Room 32AB – I’ve attending this panel almost every year. Bill Hunt and his crew always have a great lineup for DVD producers. At the top of the bill is always Charlie de Lauzirika who, if you like film enough to have favorite DVDs, was likely the mastermind behind most of them.

1:00-2:00 Sony Pictures Entertainment: Battle: Los Angeles and Salt— Hall H

2:15-3:15 Summit Entertainment: RED— Hall H – One of the best pieces of news in this year’s programming? No Twilight panels or the scary women that accompany them. Summit makes another appearance later in the convention in Hall H.

3:00-4:00 Masters of the Web— Room 32AB – I’m tempted by this panel not only to see why they’ve pressed Roberto Orci into service as the moderator, but also because they’re giving away a year’s worth of movies at AMC theatres.

3:30-4:30 Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries— Hall H – Hey, look at that: one of my least favorite directors that I’m supposed to really love, and Joss Whedon, who is rather hit and miss for me as well, but is a pretty impressive raconteur. Were it not for The Expendables panel afterward, I might duck out.

4:45-5:45 Lionsgate: The Expendables— Hall H – We’ll see if Lionsgate can pull off a second coup after last year’s buzz-drenched Kick-Ass panel.

5:00-6:00 Adult Swim: Childrens’ Hospital— Room 25ABC

6:00-7:00 Showtime’s Dexter— Ballroom 20

6:00-7:00 Universal: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World— Hall H – This is one of my two or three most anticipated panels of the convention. I love the trailer, and also have an unnatural affinity for Edgar Wright’s work. I was first introduced to he and Simon Pegg my first year at Comic-Con, where I got to attend a screening of Shaun of the Dead, congratulate them both on the way out the door, and then enjoy a panel the next day where they screened 15 minutes of Spaced highlights.

7:30-8:30 Penn + Teller: 35 Years of Magic & BS!— San Diego Hilton Bayfront

8:15-9:15 The Sushi Typhoon: The Best in Japanese Genre Movies— Room 5AB

8:15-11:15 Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza— Room 6BCF – Ric Meyers is always entertaining and insightful in his yearly showcase of mostly unseen martials arts films.

9:30-11:45 Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated Screening and Panel Discussion— Room 5AB

Comic-Con International

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