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Things to come out of San Diego Comic Con 2009

by Lindsay Craven

First look at Iron Man 2

Iron Man was the second largest grossing film of 2008 and breathed new life into the comicbook movie genre. It should be no surprise that the panel dedicated to Iron Man 2 was a packed house on July 25. While those lucky enough to attend got to see a clip from the film, the rest of us got the latest images from the set. These depicted new additions to the film like Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes the “War Machine,” Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, AKA “Whiplash,” Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff the “Black Widow” and Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. Robert Downey Jr. and John Favreau led the panel with Johannson and Cheadle joining in.

Kevin Smith’s latest movie

Kevin Smith is a staple at the San Diego Comic Con and hosts a panel every year. This year was an exciting one as he let us all in on his latest project. He took the stage on July 25 for his typical question-and-answer session and in the process he shared that he had just finished up editing on his latest film, A Couple of Dicks. The buddy cop film will star Bruce Willis, Sean William Scott and Tracy Morgan. He says the title will probably not stay the same since most of the major networks say they won’t air advertisements for it before 9 p.m. He says that the film was mainly influenced by Abbott and Costello and has “60 percent less action than Lethal Weapon.”

300 sequel

While Zack Snyder didn’t attend Comic Con to promote the 300 sequel it was a popular question in his interviews. He says that Frank Miller will be writing a new graphic novel that will act as the storyline for the sequel. Snyder said that he is willing to direct the film and he hopes to duplicate the success of the original. He refuses to make any movement on the sequel until Miller is finished with the graphic novel however. Several interviewers asked if the novel would pick up where the original left off to which Snyder responded, “He’s crazier than that. You know that won’t be [what he does].”

Buzz! Quiz World

While Comic Con tends to focus on comics, movies and television, another big part of the weekend are video games. While several unreleased games were out for trial runs during the convention, I’m most excited about the latest release in the Buzz! lineup. The latest release from the game-show video game line will feature many of the same options from the last version but will have upgrades like shorter and longer game time options, the option to create a profile, a simplified menu and quick round and serious round games where you can choose between fun games like “Pie Fight” or just get trivia questions without the extras.

Extract

The latest film from Mike Judge, Extract, hosted a panel last weekend as well. Judge, along with Jason Bateman and Mila Kunis, took to the stage on July 25 to answer questions about the film as well as show some clips. The film follows Joel, the owner of an extract plant who is dealing with professional and personal problems. The film looks to have a comedy style similar to Office Space and has a strong cast. The panel didn’t focus solely on the film, however, with questions for Bateman about an “Arrested Development” film and Judge received questions about the possibility of a Beavis and Butthead movie sequel, which he says is possible if people want to see it.

Surprise guest

Disney 3D hosted a panel on July 23 which featured the films A Christmas Carol, Tron and Alice in Wonderland. All went smoothly until Tim Burton took over to discuss Alice in Wonderland, his latest venture, which will star Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. Burton told the crowd that he would really like to “bring his invisible friend out on stage” and out walks Johnny Depp. The unscheduled visit sent the room into an uproar. While Depp didn’t say much to the crowd it marked one of the biggest moments of the weekend.

A Nightmare on Elm Street remake

As an avid horror movie fan, I had to put this particular film on the list. The Warner Brothers panel on July 24 featured the latest news and trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film will star Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Freddy Krueger. The trailer as described by different sources seems to stay true to the original film with a little more background on the creation of Freddy the monster. During the Q&A session, director Samuel Bayer assured the crowd that there would be no Robert Englund cameos in the film but that he was very supportive of Haley as Freddy.

Superman shows up

You know it’s a good Comic Con when Superman himself makes an appearance. This year Tom Welling, the star of “Smallville” made his first appearance at Comic Con. The panel for the show took place on July 26 and the panel presented a first look at the show’s ninth season. The panel discussed the new characters to be introduced this season and whether or not Lois and Clark’s relationship was going to start heating up.

Green Hornet latest

A Green Hornet film has been in the works for a while now but things are finally starting to come together as we saw in Comic Con footage this weekend. Seth Rogen will star as the Green Hornet himself. The star unveiled the superhero’s signature car, the “Black Beauty,” during the panel and assured the crowd that the film was sure to satisfy longtime fans of the comic as well as those who’ve never read it. The rest of the cast is still in the works but there is talk that Cameron Diaz will play Rogen’s love interest in the film and Nicholas Cage will star as the villain.

Peter Jackson makes appearance

Another big appearance came with Peter Jackson’s panel for District 9 this year. Jackson has never been to a Comic Con before and the crowds were eager to ask him questions about District 9 as well as about the future of The Hobbit. Jackson and District 9 director Neil Blomkamp said that the film cost $30 million. They intentionally gave it a “grungy” look to set it apart from the other summer blockbusters like Transformers 2 and GI Joe. As for The Hobbit, the script is about a month from finished and no other progress has been made so far. He said he has hopes to release the first film in the series by December 2011.

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