Movies.ie introduces the big attractions at this year’s Comic Con.
It’s the big calendar event for the nerd community this week; the 2009 Comic-Con hits San Diego from 23rd – 26th of July. As well as some no doubt illuminating panel discussion including “The Anthropology of Star Trek” and “The Geek Roundtable”, they will also be previewing some of the most highly anticipated sci-fi and comic shows and films that will be appearing over the next year. Movies.ie gives you the lowdown on some of the things that are catching our interest at this year’s convention.
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (Movie)
Terry Gilliam receives the hero treatment this year at comic-con as he introduces his new film to a no doubt packed audience. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus was the centre of a lot of speculation last year following the tragic death of its lead, Heath Ledger. Any new Terry Gilliam film is something to be excited about but of course due to its production problems this panel discussion will be one of the main events of the convention.
While remakes tend to be hugely unpopular with fans (or at least viewed with suspicion), this remake of the classic sci-fi miniseries if handled correctly promises to be required viewing for any sci-fi fan. The original 1980’s series followed the introduction of an alien race to planet earth and was a major television event at the time. If they can rejuvenate this series in the same way they did with Battlestar Galactica, it is sure to be one to watch.
The Vampire Diaries (TV)
It would seem that the unstoppable force of vampire fiction rolls on for the next year at least. Following the trend set by the Twilight series and the HBO success True Blood, The Vampire Diaries is the latest resurrection of the undead. Like Twilight, the series is based on novels and tells the story of two vampire brothers, one good and one evil. The show premiered on the CW Network in the space that had been held by Smallville; whereas True Blood plays like Dracula goes to Deadwood, The Vampire Diaries promises to be more like The OC with fangs.
Astro Boy (Movie)
One of the most highly anticipated new animations is Astro Boy, one of the original and best anime series from Japan; this makes the film version highly anticipated definitely but also highly risky. Even if you’re not a fan of the manga creation I’m sure he’s instantly recognisable – he’s the little guy in the underpants and red boots. Fans will be eager to see how their much loved character has been animated and crucially whether or not the film plans to stay true to the anime aesthetic of the original. Starring Freddie Highmore as Astro and Kristen Bell as Cora, this may be one that divides the audience.
Disney have been somewhat revitalised by the new 3-D revolution and they will be previewing their slate of new releases at the convention in a panel discussion (including appearances from Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis) about the medium. This will include sneak previews of Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Alice In Wonderland and Tron. Meanwhile their upcoming animated features include Toy Story & Toy Story 2 – Double Feature, Beauty And The Beast, Toy Story 3, Prep & Landing, The Princess and the Frog and Ponyo.
Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs (Movie)
This animation (a joint effort between Sony Pictures’ Animation and Columbia Pictures) has played it extremely smart with it’s voice cast. Rather than the usual round-up of A-listers, the film employs some of the most popular young comedic actors of the moment including Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and Anna Faris (plus Comic Con veteran and all round nerd deity Bruce Campbell). The story is suitably weird, describing a strange meteorological event in which foodstuffs fall from the sky.
The convention is lucky enough to have secured a rare U.S. appearance from the highly acclaimed Korean director Park Chan-wook, director of the Vengeance trilogy (as well as the less successful foray into surreal comedy I’m A Cyborg). Chan-wook will be discussing his latest film Thirst, winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes this year. It is the story of a priest who becomes a vampire (is anyone detecting a pattern here??) after a botched medical experiment. Definitely one to look forward to, it will be interesting to see what this director brings to the vampire myth.
District 9 (Movie)
You would think that Peter Jackson would have been a regular feature at Comic Con but this year actually marks his first appearance but in his capacity as producer rather than director. He will be on hand, alongside Neil Blomkamp, to show unseen footage from District 9 and to field questions about the eagerly awaited sci-fi drama. The trailer has recently appeared on Irish cinema screens and already looks to be a cut above the shoot ‘em up’s that have been masquerading as sci-fi over the last few years.