Sunday, July 26, 2009

News - 07/26/09...

Comic-Con: Marvel Anime Trailers for "Wolverine" and "Iron Man"

Marvel Entertainment has made the images and trailers available for their anime collaborations with the famed Japanese animation studio Madhouse, which were debuted at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International (trailers require QuickTime to play):

Marvel Anime Wolverine (122.6 MB)
Marvel Anime Iron Man (128.8 MB)

Comic-Con: "Green Lantern: First Flight" Encore on Jul 26; DC Shorts Confirmed

Green Lantern: First Flight filmmakers were present at Comic-Con International to promote the film's July 28, 2009 release. From left, screenwriter Alan Burnett, director Lauren Montgomery, executive producer Bruce Timm and casting/voice director Andrea Romano.

Due to heavy demand, Warner Home Entertainment has added an encore screening of Green Lantern: First Flight for San Diego Comic-Con International attendees, slated for Sunday, July 26, at 2:15 PM. One highlight of the Thursday premiere was producer Bruce Timm leading the 4,200 attendees in a recital of the Green Lantern Oath, which will be a world record pending official certification from Guinness World Records.

During the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies panel, DC Comics Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck confirmed that a program of animated shorts is underway, in conjunction with the successful program of DTV animated movies. While Noveck did not announce any titles, release dates, or distribution methods, he did admit that a Jonah Hex short written by Joe Lansdale would be in the initial series of shorts.

In addition, Warners has also issued information about the warm reception for voice actors Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown, along a signing on Saturday from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, and that the cast of the live-action cast of the Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins movie will be appearing on Sunday.

The full press release follows. Click on any image to enlarge to full-size:


The overwhelming success of Thursday night’s World Premiere of “Green Lantern: First Flight” at Comic-Con International – which drew a SRO Crowd of 4,200+ fans, yet turned away 1,500 more – has led Warner Home Entertainment Group to add an encore presentation of the film at CCI on Sunday, July 26 at 2:15 p.m.

Green Lantern: First Flight executive producer Bruce Timm shows off his Green Lantern illuminating ring, one of the popular giveaway items at the Warner Bros. booth at Comic-Con International.

Those lucky enough to gain entrance to Thursday’s screening were treated to an introduction from the film’s executive producer, Bruce Timm. The animation legend then prompted an unofficial world record event. Timm encouraged all 4200+ to stand a recite the Green Lantern oath along with him – and nobody stayed seated. Official certification by Guinness World Records is pending.

Warner Home Video will distribute the all-new film – as a special edition 2-disc DVD, a Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, as well as single disc DVD – on July 28, 2009. The action-packed movie will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, July 28, 2009.

Sunday’s encore presentation will be held in Room 6BCF. CCI credentials/passes are required to gain admittance to the Convention Center and, thus, the screening.

In other news from Warner Home Video …


The definitive voices of Batman and Lex Luthor, Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown, respectively, made their long-awaited appearances at CCI during a Superman/Batman: Public Enemies panel on Friday, July 24. The pair was greeted with an extended round of cheers and applause from a crowd of 2,100 fans during the early evening panel.

Kevin Conroy, the definitive voice of Batman for the past two decades, returned to Comic-Con International for the first time in six years for a Superman/Batman: Public Enemies panel on Friday, July 24.

Conroy has not attended CCI in six years, while Brown has never made an appearance at the San Diego convention. Both fan favorites will be signing autographs at the Warner Bros. booth (4239 on the Comic-Con main floor) on Saturday, July 25 from 11:00 a.m. until Noon.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the sixth entry in the popular DVD series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies, will be distributed by Warner Home Video on September 29, 2009 as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, as well as single disc DVD and On Demand.

Clancy Brown, the voice of Lex Luthor, makes his first appearance at Comic-Con International for a Superman/Batman: Public Enemies panel on Friday, July 24.


During Friday evening’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies panel, DC Comics Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck confirmed the internet rumors that the co-producers of the DC Universe animated original movies – Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Video and DC Comics – are indeed now producing a series of animation shorts.

While Noveck said the group was not yet prepared to issue any details of titles, distribution or release dates, he did admit that a Jonah Hex short – written by Joe Lansdale – would be among the initial series of animation shorts.


Everyone’s favorite crime-solving Great Dane joins the Comic-Con International schedule as as Warner Premiere & Cartoon Network present the first public screening of Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins on Sunday, July 26 at 12:30 p.m. in Room 6DE of the San Diego Convention Center.

Comic-Con International credentials are required for admittance to the screening.

The highly-anticipated movie reveals the never-before-told tale of how the Mystery Inc. crew originally came together along with the world’s most famous Great Dane. A co-production of Warner Premiere and Cartoon Network, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins is directed by Brian Levant (Beethoven, Snow Dogs) and produced by Brian Gilbert (Wrong Turn, Skinwalkers). The film uses adventurous storytelling and stylized visuals of both live-action and CGI technology to entertain fans of all ages. Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins follows the Mystery Inc. gang, a mismatched quartet of unlikely teenage pals, uniting for the first time to solve the haunting of their high school. Along the way, fans will discover the back story of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.

Following the screening, fans are invited to stay for a fun-filled panel featuring Levant and Gilbert, and introducing the all-new live-action cast: Robbie Amell (Life With Derek, True Jackson VP) as Fred, Kate Melton as Daphne, Hayley Kiyoko as Velma and Nick Palatas as Shaggy.

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins will premiere on Cartoon Network this September and be distributed by Warner Home Video on September 22.

An autograph session with the filmmakers and cast will precede the screening. The autograph session is slated from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the Warner Bros. Booth, located at position 4329 on the Comic-Con main floor.

Comic-Con: Lucasfilm Releases "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Season 2 Trailer

Lucasfilm has released the trailer to Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 2, which was previewed for attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con International 2009 last night. The new season will begin this fall. Click the image below to play (requires QuickTime to play):

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 Trailer (125.1 MB)

Comic-Con - Hal, Kal & Bruce Headline DC ANIMATION Panel

It’s not often Green Lantern gets to push Batman and Superman off the main stage, but it happened Friday night at the DC Universe Animated panel at Comic-Con.

That’s because the buzz surrounding the division’s latest release, "Green Lantern: First Flight,” continues to build.

Debuting in stores on DVD/Blu-ray next Tuesday, it’s a 77-minute galaxy-spanning road trip that shows how Hal Jordan became a member of the GL Corps and how he wound up as Sinestro’s sworn enemy. The film was screened Thursday night at SDCC, and demand was so great, two thousand fans had to be turned away.

Director Lauren Montgomery, casting director Andrea Romano, Juliet Landau (who voices ‘Labella’) as well as producers Alan Burnett and Bruce Timm made up the panel. Several clips from First Flight were shown during the presentation.

Burnett said he fashioned the film’s storyline after one of his favorite cop dramas, Training Day.

“This movie is as much about Sinestro as it is about Hal Jordan,” Burnett said.

Timm pointed out that the best villains are the ones who don’t see themselves as villains. In First Flight, Sinestro is frustrated by the Guardians’ approach and takes matters into his own hands.

Montgomery praised Garber for nailing Sinestro’s sense of entitlement and superiority. Romano praised the work of the two lead voices.

“You would have thought Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan) and Victor Garber had been working together for years,” Romano said. “They were so good together.”

Garber, BTW, was not the first choice to voice Sinestro. Deadwood star Ian McShane was, according to Timm.

If you’ve seen any scenes from First Flight, you know Sinestro is a bit more ... buff than he appears in the comics or in the old Challenge of the Super Friends show. Montgomery says it was by design, because she wanted Sinestro to be able to stand toe-to-toe with Hal Jordan.

After a brief video preview of the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game, it was time to talk about the next DCU title, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Based on Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness’ comic series, it debuts on Blu-ray/DVD September 29th.

Director Sam Liu, writer Stan Berkowitz, supervising producer Michael Goguen, Romano and Timm were onstage, along with the voice of Lex Luthor, Clancy Brown and the Dark Knight himself, Kevin Conroy.

Considering the film drops in two months, the panel was surprisingly light on footage. But at least what they showed had an impact. The audience cheered loudly during a 60-second trailer of the movie, which had about two dozen familiar DCU characters, as well as two separate scenes from the film.

The first showed Superman and Batman, battered and bruised in the sewers. They’re struggling to get back to the Batcave so they can lick their wounds and regroup.

The second showed Bats & Supes back-to-back against a swarm of villains. And if you never thought you’d see the day when Superman would hit a woman, well...

Goguen and Timm talked about the unique challenge of animating McGuinness’ distinctive artwork, especially in regards to musculature.

The large number of characters in the film forced the producers to scour the Internet to make sure they got everyone’s costumes and powers right. “You don’t want non-superpowered people show up in the film flying,” Goguen said.

With Public Enemies Berkowitz faced the same problem he had when adapting New Frontier, another multi-layered storyline with hordes of heroes. But he said this story was actually easier to translate.

Conroy says part of the reason the DC ‘toons are so good is that Romano insists the voice actors lay their tracks down together. He says interaction between the actors ultimately translates to the animated final work.

One last bit of DC animation news: The DC Shorts program is officially a “Go.”

Confirming what’s been rumored for some time, it was confirmed that a series of shorts will be created to be included with DCU’s Direct-to-DVD films. The first DC Short will be based on Jonah Hex.

No release date for the Hex short has been set.

Comic-Con: Batman: The Brave and the Bold Panel

The newest season of Cartoon Network’s hit show Batman: The Brave and the Bold was on display Friday morning at Comic-Con International: San Diego, and it was the perfect way to start the second full day of the Con.

The show’s creative teams as well as voice stars Diedrich Bader (Batman), John DiMaggio (Aquaman) and James Arnold Taylor (Green Arrow) were on hand to face the crowd, which had a refreshing mix of big and little Fanboys.

After the screening of a clip from “The Legend of the Bat-Mite” episode that poked fun at the more...ahem... passionate Conventioneers, all the show’s crew members in attendance were asked to stand up and get some love from the enthusiastic crowd.

Producer James Tucker said Season Two will have even more familiar faces, including Enemy Ace, GI Robot, Vixen, Firestorm, Metal Men, Doom Patrol, Starro, as well as Captain Marvel and the entire Marvel family.

As for the other two members of DC’s Holy Trinity, executive producer Seth Register said they want to have Superman and Wonder Woman on the show. It just depends on working out logistics with DC and Warner Bros.

One special guest star behind the scenes was also revealed.

Julie Newmar, the original Catwoman from the 60s Batman TV show, will voice Martha Wayne in a flashback episode titled “Chill of the Night.”

The highlight of the panel, though, was the premiere screening of the episode featuring Neil Patrick Harris as The Music Meister. It’s a musical episode that has to be seen – and heard – to be believed.

Whether you like musicals or not, you’ll appreciate the effort that went into crafting this ingenious, and downright catchy, story. Harris is his typically brilliant self as the Evil Orchestrator, and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd two-step, with Black Mantis pirouetting stage left. It certainly struck the right chord with the SDCC audience, which gave the panelists a standing ovation when the final note was hit.

Register said he usually likes to read every script and screen dailies for every episode. But when Tucker and writer Michael Jelenic pitched the idea of a musical episode, he decided to just wait and see how it turned out. He also jokingly answered a fan’s question by saying the only way the show will ever adapt the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ storyline was if they could do a musical version.

Before the panel wrapped up, Bader introduced his young kids, who were in the audience dressed up as Moon Knight and Shining Star.

Season 1, Vol. 1 of Batman: The Brave and the Bold is out on DVD Aug. 25th, with Vol. 2 dropping November 10th.

Comic-Con: James Cameron, Peter Jackson talk future of film

In this undated photo provided by 20th Century Fox, 'Avatar' director James Cameron is shown on the set …

"Titanic." "Lord of the Rings." "Aliens." "King Kong." "The Terminator."

The men behind those movies, James Cameron and Peter Jackson, are among modern film's special-effects kings, advancing technology in computer-generated imagery, motion-capture photography and 3-D.

They met up at Comic Con Friday for an hourlong discussion moderated by Entertainment Weekly about the future of film, sharing details on their latest projects, their high-tech hopes and the undiminished allure of original, character-driven stories.

The two filmmakers say they inspired each other. Cameron said it was the artistic use of "humanoid CG" in Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films that got him rolling on "Avatar," set for release Dec. 18.

Jackson has said that the technology he used was borne out of Cameron's CGI work on "The Abyss" and "Terminator 2."

Both are thrilled by the possibilities of 3-D and plan to convert their biggest hits, "Titanic" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, into the format. Then they lamented the shortage of 3-D screens.

"There will be a lot more 3-D screens when they know the 'Lord of the Rings' films are going to be available," Cameron said.

The movie industry needs 3-D, he said, to inspire originality and boost its bottom line. A "3-D ecosystem" could be built on big films converting to the format.

"If 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Titanic' are available in 3-D, that sends a signal all the way back to the consumer electronics manufacturers: Make the screens, make the modified Blue Ray DVD players so you can have it in your home," Cameron said.

That would reinvigorate sagging DVD sales, which would give studios the financial flexibility to take more risks on original and boundary-pushing material.

"The film industry is in this weird state of falling box office, or so the studios feel; DVDs are down, internet piracy, and it's in a fragile state," Jackson said. "It feels like the entire industry is playing a defensive game at the moment."

Both men continue with high-tech pursuits outside of feature films. Jackson is developing a "King Kong" attraction for Universal theme parks that surrounds visitors with 3-D images and effects. Eight projectors will beam images onto giant screens surrounding the park tram, which will be stationed on a surface that shimmies and shakes with action as Kong battles a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The ride is set to open next summer, he said.

Cameron, meanwhile, is developing a company to expand the use of performance-capture technology, 3-D photography and digital projection for sports and music events.

"It could change the way we absorb music," he said.

But their first love is film, even without all the technical trappings.

The medium is "infinitely superior to any other" because of its emotional core, not its fancy dressing, Jackson said.

"The whole thing about the future of movies and technology is, to me, it's just a huge red herring, because movies are all about story and character," Jackson said. "They always have been and that's all that they're ever going to be about."

Comic-Con: Fans call District 9 the next Blade Runner

Peter Jackson's first-ever Comic-Con appearance guaranteed that Hall H would be packed Friday night when he came to discuss District 9, the upcoming sci-fi action drama he produced for fledgling director Neill Blomkamp. But just as important as what happened inside the auditorium when the two presented a preview clip was what happened outside afterward—the buzz from thousands of fans anxious to talk about what they'd just seen.

The consensus: They were pleased that the duo had delivered an intelligent sci-fi flick that had a message mixed in with the action.

"It looked like it actually had a story and it wasn't just totally focused on the effects, which is good," said Tom. "Of the previews I've seen here, that looked not only the most intense but the most well-written and well-acted."

According to Joey, "It's got a sci-fi appeal to it, but it's also got very dramatic aspects that I can relate to as far as an underlay of being stereotyped, and prejudice, so I think the story as much as the whole sci-fi aspect is going to make for a really good movie that anybody can enjoy."

"I liked the focus on the social context," added Monique. "And they used that as the foundation for the science fiction to be placed on, rather than just 'What can we blow up today? And then let's make a story to round it out.'"

But don't get the impression that the movie's message overwhelms the excitement.

"I thought it was going to be about the alien as the new minority, showing how we treat minorities," said Karla. "So I was surprised it's going to be more action-packed. I'm looking forward to seeing it."

Mary said that she was pleased to see "real science fiction for a change. Isaac Asimov would be proud. ... It's not a space opera. It's not bosomy babes bouncing off of situations. It's real people, it's real acting. ... We've got real bug-eyed monsters for a change, instead of imaginary bug-eyed monsters. They're insectoid, they're not humanoid, so it's a totally alien concept. One of my favorite books was Murray Leinster's The Spiders, in which humans contact arachnoids."

"It looked a lot like Cloverfield," said Mark, a point echoed by a number of audience members. Others thought that an unfair comparison.

"I compare it more to a movie like Children of Men," said Marni. "It was more of that style to me."

"So you feel like it's a documentary," added Michelle. "But you don't feel like it's a bunch of kids running around New York with cameras."

As for how District 9 ranked with the other film previews people had seen, according to Robert, "I saw Avatar yesterday. I think I'm anticipating this more than Avatar."

"I'd say it ranks number two for me, at least from the ones I saw today,"
said Jamiellin. "Legion blew me away. That was my favorite of the trailers I've seen, and District 9 was number two. I liked the documentary style of it. It looks like it's going to be really intense, and I liked that it's got a bigger message as well as the sci-fi and the action. I was X-Files fan, and the conspiracy thing is always an interesting aspect."

One audience member had actually gotten a chance to see the entire film the night before.

"I saw the whole thing," Jeremy Canceko. "I thought it was really amazing. My jaw was literally dropped the whole time. I wasn't alive during Star Wars or Blade Runner, but I would imagine that's the kind of feeling it was like. I really felt it brought a whole new generation of filmmaking. ... [Blomkamp] used all these inspirations from previous directors. You see Cameron, Cronenberg, George Lucas. You see all these great directors in it, and you can see all his inspiration, and maybe a few homages, but he's really making it his own. I feel that if it doesn't get a critical and box-office reception that it rightly deserves, it's going to be the worst upset ever. I think it's a film that deserves a lot of credit and a lot of acclamation, because I really felt it's that strong. ... It's an awesome collaboration between Peter Jackson and Neil. It's going to bring the whole sci-fi genre to a whole new level."

Of the dozens of people interviewed for this piece, only one had a negative comment:

"It was too violent for me," said Cathy. "There's a lot of blood and guts all over the place. I'm not a big blood and guts person."

Comic-Con: Cameron reveals plans for Battle Angel Alita

On Friday night at Entertainment Weekly's Visionaries panel featuring James Cameron and Peter Jackson, Cameron revealed that Battle Angel Alita might be next for him after the release of Avatar in December. "It's a good idea to get a gig lined up in case Avatar tanks," he said jokingly to a packed house. "Battle Angel's definitely something that I still love, and that's something we're looking at very seriously."

Cameron also said he's considering several other options, but admitted he's not altogether keen to look forward until after he's completed Avatar. "I have other projects as well, so it's [a question of] how much appetite am I going to have for another big effects movie when I finish this one," he explained. "But you know, it's not a good time to ask a woman if she wants to have other kids when she's crowning."

Here's the Wikipedia description of the manga series, which is also the basis of a popular anime series:

Battle Angel Alita tells the story of Alita ("Gally" in the original Japanese version), an amnesiac female cyborg. This cyborg's intact head and upper torso are found in a state of suspended animation by the cybermedic expert Daisuke Ido while he is out searching for useful scrap. Amazed by his discovery, Ido quickly returns home and works to revive her. Upon finding that the girl has lost her memory, Ido names her Alita, the name of his recently deceased cat.

The rebuilt Alita soon discovers that she possesses instinctive knowledge of the legendary martial art Panzer Kunst, although she has no other memories of her previous life. Alita must learn to navigate, exist and fight in the Scrapyard, whose inhabitants themselves live in the shadow of the tantalizingly close floating city, Tiphares. Her journeys take Alita across the Scrapyard and surrounding areas, as she tries to recall more of her past.

Comic-Con: 'Uhura' says Trek 2 script halfway done

Zoe Saldana at Comic-Con with her Avatar co-star Stephen Lang

Zoe Saldana, who played the new Uhura in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie, said at Comic-Con on Friday that she believes the script for the sequel is already halfway done. Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, along with director Abrams, have been cagey about progress, but Saldana translated the Hollywood-speak.

"I do know that they are germinating a script," Saldana said in a group interview in San Diego, where she was promoting Avatar. "That's what they told us a month and a half ago, which actually means—in that kind of talk it means that they're probably halfway done with a script. They just can't present it to anybody. But they're very excited, and there is a lot of pressure, because now it's like, 'Oh, do you do The Wrath of Khan or do you do this or whatever?'"

When Star Trek reset canon with a time-travel story device, eradicating Vulcan among other twists, the possibility arose to revisit classic Trek missions from a new perspective. Saldana has encouraged the filmmakers to avoid succumbing to any outside influence.

"I honestly told Robert, Alex and J.J. to just do what they did first, which is just to trust themselves," Saldana said. "By not listening to anyone, not putting any pressures on themselves, they were able to create something very beautiful and free that we still grew attached to. If that formula worked for Star Trek, then it can certainly work for this next one."

Another key development in the new Trek was the beginning of a romantic relationship between Uhura and Spock (Zachary Quinto). That, Saldana is sure, will continue. "I am excited to see what they're going to do with their relationship in relation to what happened to Vulcan and what kind of responsibilities Spock is going to have in this next journey," she said. "Not only in his personal side but in terms of he's a race in extinction now."

Saldana said she expects to begin work on Star Trek 2 next year.

Comic-Con: Wesley Snipes and Tom "Tiny" Lister visit Artists Alley

If you wanted to see Blade star Wesley Snipes at Comic-Con this afternoon, the place to go wasn't the Mardi Gras-like center of the exhibition hall, but rather the quiet corner of the room known as Artists Alley.

Artists Alley is where comic-book creators—ranging from those who've just broken into the business to living legends such as Jerry Robinson, creator of the Joker—sit behind tables to meet their fans, sign autographs and sell their original artwork.

Two of those fans today were Wesley Snipes and Tom "Tiny" Lister.

Snipes and Lister who've each appeared in comic-book movies—Snipes as the half-vampire/half-human Blade and Lister as the tattooed prisoner who throws the detonator off the ferry in The Dark Knight—slowly wandered Artists Alley, chatting with the creators and admiring their work.

Snipes was obviously enjoying himself. He took his time at each table, smiling as he picked up original sketches and flipped through published work.

When I run into Hollywood stars, it's usually in the middle of the glitz of the central exhibition floor where the film and gaming companies are (not that there's anything wrong with that!), so I was happy to see two of them paying careful attention to the creators without whom there'd have been no Comic-Con for them to visit in the first place.

Comic-Con: Lost finale teased amid live theatrics

After six seasons, ABC's acclaimed television series Lost is finally coming to an end, although from the turnout in Hall H at Comic-Con on Saturday morning it could certainly sustain a few more if only for the sake of its rabid viewership. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse appeared in person to thank their fans and answer a few questions—albeit in predictably evasive fashion—while offering a few glimpses about what's yet to come in the sixth and final season in a panel that featured a heavy dose of live-action theatrics.

Conducted almost as an informercial rather than a proper presentation, the Lost panel opened with an advertisement for "Lost University" before screening a preview of a "1980s television program that may be of particular interest to Lost fans," at least according to a title card. (One presumes this is at least vaguely a reference to the recent lawsuit brought against the series' creators by a television producer who says he created core characters and story in the late 1970s.) The clip was brilliantly executed in '80s detail, down to its horrible VHS quality, and boasted secrets about "The Dharma Initiative," which was also the name of the pseudo-documentary. Lindelof later indicated that this documentary would be part of the bonus materials for a future DVD release, although he didn't specify whether it would be released in conjunction with season five or six.

Most of the panel was fan-fueled, starting when Lindelof and Cuse said that they are often asked if everything that has happened on the show is according to plan. Accordingly, they decided to answer the question once and for all by locking two pages from the script from the final episode in a box, which they would open on Jimmy Kimmel Live on the day of its broadcast to confirm they conceived it before they even started shooting the new season. "There's no way to prove it," Lindelof said. "When the show's over we can just say, No, we weren't making it up as we go along."

"We have talked about the fact that the final scene of the show is written, and for the first time we have actually committed that to paper," he revealed.

Opening the floor to questions, the duo said that season six will have some similartities to season one. "The biggest moment in the show's life was when we were able to announce the show's death," Lindelof acknowledged. "As soon as we were able to start working towards an endpoint, we wanted to make sure that the show felt like it was closing a loop, in a way, so that the final season would feel like the first season. There's a good chance that you'll be seeing characters you haven't seen since the first season."

"I think there was a feeling that they were running around in the jungle, and things felt intense and surprising," Cuse added. "For us, the kind of emotional discovery that went on as we learned about these characters in the first season, we feel like we have a way that we're going to be doing that in the final season of the show that we like and hopefully you will too."

While they didn't commit to what sort of storytelling structure the inventive program would use in its final season, Lindelof did clarify that they were done with some of the tricks of previous seasons, specifically time travel and flash-forwards. But after they announced the winners of a contest for fans to write a real theme for the show, they screened two more brief clips, the second of which was a scene from an episode of America's Most Wanted in which Kate Austen is the featured perpetrator. What's most interesting about this is the revelation that Kate's stepfather was not the victim of the gas leak she created, but another man.

Afterward, none other than Jorge Garcia (Hurley/Hugo) appeared in the question queue to ask Lindelof and Cuse a few of his own burning queries, including what happened to Shannon's inhalers in season one. But before he could find out the answer, Michael Emerson, who plays Ben, approached Garcia and chided him for wasting the fans' time. Garcia responded by suggesting Emerson was bitter that he didn't get the part of Hurley, and Lindelof and Cuse backed up Garcia's claim by running his audition footage.

Fans peppered the panelists with questions about the future of characters and storylines, and among other revelations, they told the audience that Richard Alpert's (Nestor Carbonell) backstory would most likely be explored in season six. "You will be seeing a lot of Richard, and I think we will be incredibly remiss if we didn't give you Richard's back story before the show ended," Cuse said. After another fan admitted that he cried "like a sissy" when Juliet fell down the well at the end of season five, Lindelof confirmed that actress Elizabeth Mitchell would appear in the final season, although he didn't say if that meant she was still alive in the current timeline. (Mitchell is also a regular on another new ABC series, V, which debuts in midseason right along with Lost.)

Otherwise, they said that the source of the food dropped on the island in earlier seasons "might be something [they] were going to try to deal with in the final season," and that the Dharma Initiative would not play as big a role in season six as in past seasons. But as the panel came to a close, Josh Holloway joined the stage, tasered Lindelof, and took his and Cuse's keys to open the box containing that final scene. When Holloway had trouble reading it, Emerson took the pages, only to discover that they were actually from a script for Heroes. But as the presentation ended with an "In Memoriam" segment that recapped all of the cast members, big and small, who died during the show, Charlie himself, Dominic Monaghan, strode out on stage, proving if nothing else, that Lost will live on in the hearts and minds of its fans, even if it comes to an end on television.

Comic-Con 2009 Iron Man 2 Panel

Will we see War Machine for the first time? ...continue reading

Despite the Avatar hype, most people I've talked to think Iron Man 2 is going to steal the show. Favreau really knows what the crowd wants when it comes to doing conventions and just like the last time, I think we're going to be pleasantly surprised with the footage they show us.

How surprised? Since Iron Man made his debut here with the footage of him flying alongside the jets, I don't think Favs will focus to much on Stark. What I think will happen is we'll see quick shots of characters like The Black Widow, but the main focus will be Whiplash and War Machine. If he shows War Machine, this crowd is going to go ape s***.

Kevin Feige is now out on stage. Jon is now here to thunderous applause. We saw some quick shots of Iron Man 2, Robert Downey came out.


The first scene is of Tony in his Iron Man armor sitting in the middle of Randy's Donut's giant donut when Sam Jackson shows up as Fury and tells him they need to talk. Tony appears to be hungover or stressed and they have an awkward conversation that starts with Tony telling Nick he didn't want to join his boy band. Nick comments about Downey always flying solo. starks asks if he should be looking at his eye or the patch. Pretty funny.

We see a clip of Tony at a senate hearing where they tell Stark to hand over the Iron Man armor. Tony said he would not, and Rhodes walks in. There's more to the scene with a funny exchange between RDJ and Garry Shandling as the senator.

We then see Rourke assembling the Whiplash aror and the next shot is Tony Stark lying on a race track hurt as Whiplash approaches him whipping the ground with his electrified whips. Looked awesome.

We also saw shots of Scarlett as The Black Widow throw a guy down, a shot of Iron Man avoiding explosives being fired at him as he flies through the air.

We also saw Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) showing Rhodes weaponry for a new suit. Rhodes tells him he'll take them all, and we then see War Machine standing and firing almost every gun attached to his armor. It looked incredible and I can't wait to see it again. War Machine looks badass! Believe me.

Favreau said that he wants to be involved in the Avengers movie in some capacity, whether he gets to direct it or not, we won't know for a while since he has another year on this film.

We learn the Whiplash suit is the character's first attempt at building his technology, so it's safe to assume we'll be seeing a more advanced Whiplash later on in the film.

They showed the footage again and it was just as crazy again. Whiplash looks as mean as can be as a villain.

Comic Con News: Scarlet Johansson 'Geeked Out' on Playing Black Widow in 'Iron Man 2'

The gorgeous actress wants to prove to fans and herself she can bring legitimacy to the character

LOCATION: San Diego Comic Con

THE SKINNY: When you think of tough, strong and nimble women in Hollywood. Scarlet Johansson isn’t the first that comes to mind.

Yet, that’s what she is asked to do playing Natasha Romanoff (aka the Black Widow) in Iron Man 2. But as she says during the roundtable for Iron Man 2 for the press at San Diego Comic Con, Johansson is going to push herself as much as possible in order to make the best of the character.

“Obviously people have characters they love and they became huge with the fans,” Johansson says. “I totally get it. I have to prove to myself and the fans I was the right person for this job. I trained six weeks before the movie started and the entire six months of shooting the movie. The goal was Lycra catsuit – I’m going to beat it.”

And beat it she did. Johansson says she had the most fun on set when she was doing the action sequences. “I was kicking a lot of ass, I practically lived with the stunt team,” she says.

Going into the filming of Iron Man 2, Johansson says she “geeked out” over the part. “I’m a huge fan of the first [Iron Man]. It is always what I wanted to do working on a set like this,” she says. “It has the feeling of the Wizard of Oz. It is its own magical universe. This is something big.”

Luckily for fans as well, Johansson didn’t go into the part without knowing what she was dealing with. He became familiar with the various incarnations of the Black Widow and her history. She came to realize the character is very mysterious, very covert, yet extremely sure of herself. Something she says she brought to the film.

She doesn’t know if the Black Widow will be in another Iron Man movie (assuming there will be one) and she hasn’t signed on for it in any event.

Comic-Con: Fans say Iron Man 2 so awesome it's orgasmic

To give you an accurate picture of the reaction I heard from the thousands of fans who streamed out of Hall H at the San Diego Comic-Con just a few hours ago after having seen preview footage from Iron Man 2, I could probably just type the word AWESOME!!! over and over several hundreds of times in all caps with at least three exclamation points and leave it at that.

Because unlike the audience members from this weekend's Avatar and District 9 presentations, these fans were as giddy and speechless as if they'd just come off the world's wildest roller coaster, and many could do nothing more than repeat that word again and again.

Even those who were able to turn words into complete sentences still found themselves needing to stretch for superlatives.

"A few words spring to mind," said Neil. "Orgasm is probably there. That's one. If you watched Iron Man and you loved it, it's like having children. The trailer itself looks better than the first film, and the first film was one of the top five comic-book action movies of all time."

"The preview blew my mind,"
said Ed. "It blows the first one out of the water. It was just that awesome. I'm definitely going to be there. I'll be there a lot of times."

According to Tom, "It looks totally amazing. I think it's going to top the first film. It's going to have even more action, even more special effects, a great, great cast."

Going out on a limb, Tom added, "It's going to be fantastic. It's going to be the biggest movie of the year in 2010, I predict."

Fred was happy that the Marvel universe seemed to be coming together in Iron Man 2: "I liked the plots from the comic books that they brought in, and they didn't let the special effects overwhelm the characters parts. But the special effects were pretty nifty. They're tying the the Marvel universe together, which was always one of the hallmarks of Marvel as opposed to DC."

For the audience members who got into specifics, the two words most mentioned were—War Machine, the character portrayed by Don Cheadle.

"War Machine is going to kick ass," said Nikki.

"Iron Man 2 looked tremendous," said Rhett. "I very much enjoyed the first movie. I was very much looking forward to War Machine, and the few glances we got, he looked really, really cool. I'm so very fired up."

"War Machine, the little teaser at the end, he was pretty great,"
said Ted.

"I'm excited to see War Machine," said Brian. "He was awesome."

There's that word again. I should probably stop with the quotes right now and just repeat "AWESOME!!!" for several screens to give you the full effect of the reaction I was getting, but instead I'll end with one of the reasons Brian's wife Ashley enjoyed the screened preview scenes so much:

"Robert Downey, Jr. is pretty delicious ... next to my husband, of course."

Comic-Con 2009: The Batpod makes a field trip

The San-Diego Comic Con is now in full swing, and amidst all the panels and personal appearances, there's no shortage of static displays to check out either. Our man Drew Phillips strolled through the halls to see what's what and sent back some photos of the wheeled attractions dotting the floor. First up? The Batpod, natch. As you can see, The Dark Knight's ride is roped off to keep it protected from the rabble, but at the show's conclusion, we think its minder should put those cannons to good use by blasting a hole through the San Diego Convention Center's wall and riding out in style. And he ought to wear these, too.

(Thanks autoblog)

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