Comic-Con International revealed the much buzzed about Thursday schedule for this year’s convention and it’s packed full of some panels featuring some of the most anticipated films of the year.
Right off the bat, the day will start with Walt Disney’s 3D panel featuring first time Comic-Con attendees Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton discussing “A Christmas Carol” and “Alice in Wonderland” respectively. The panel will also feature producers Sean Bailey and Steve Lisberger discussing the new “Tron.” Most intriguingly, this is the first time 3D footage will be presented in the 6,500 seat Hall H.
Not to be outdone 20th Century Fox will follow at 12:45 with James Cameron, producer Jon Landeau and cast members including Sigourney Weaver providing a sneak peek at “Avatar,” Cameron’s first narrative feature since the Oscar-winning “Titanic.” This will obviously be a hot ticket considering the 3D footage Cameron will be debuting.
And stunningly, on the same day, Summit Entertainment returns with the entire cast of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” at 2:15. Considering the fans reaction to stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart last year, this is one event that will have members of the Team Edward camp waiting in line for hours to make sure they get in. Smartly, ummit will also feature the cast and a preview of their new horror-comedy “Sorority Row” which most likely means — wait for it — a Comic-Con appearance by tabloid queens Rumor Willis and Audrina Patridge (“The Hills”).
That panel will also feature “Astro Boy” with vocal stars Kristen Bell (a con favorite) and Freddie Highmore in attendance.
It will be a hard act to follow, but 3:30 will find Joe Dante (“Gremlins”) with whomever is left in Hall H previewing his brand new thriller “The Hole.” This is one of three major films without domestic distribution that will be presenting at the Con. A rare and newsworthy occurrence. Will distribution and studio heads be looking for crowd reaction to determine whether they should pick up a movie or not? We’ll see.
Another debut in Hall H will occur at 4:45 as Terry Gilliam presents his Cannes Film Festival entry “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.” The last onscreen appearance of Heath Ledger, the picture also features Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell who all stepped in to finish Ledger’s role after his passing. It’s unclear if any of the trio will make it to San Diego.
At 5:15 Overture Pictures will present a short panel of the new Sci-Fi thriller “Pandorum” featuring “3:10 to Yuma’s” Ben Foster.
That will segue in to another highly anticipated panel, the debut of Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass.” The indie comic movie also is currently without domestic distribution, but cast members Nic Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and comic book co-creator John Romita, Jr. will be on hand to talk about the genre-bending property. The reaction of this event by the fans may be key in determining who acquires the hard-R rated feature.
The television side may not be as packed as their cinematic brothers and sisters on Thursday, but there are some noteworthy shows making appearances in Ballroom 20 (aka “TV central”).
Beginning at 1:15, USA Network will bring “Psych” back to Comic-Con with stars James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Tim Omundson, Corbin Bernsen and series creator Steve Franks. “Burn Notice” will follow with stars Bruce Campbell and executive producers Matt Nix and Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
At 5:00 PM, Showtime will bring the critically acclaimed cast and crew of “Dexter” to the Con with stars Michael C. Hall, Julia Benz and Jennifer Carpenter in attendance.
Other intriguing panels on Thursday include an Entertainment Weekly “Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture” featuring Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”) and Kristen Bell as well as a prime time screening of the long delayed and now DVD release “Trick ‘r Treat.” That event will include a Q&A before hand with stars Anna Paquin, Tahmoh Penikett and Brian Cox.
Look for more Comic-Con 2009 updates on HitFix. Comic-Con International begins Wed, July 22 with a preview night and ends Sunday, July 26.