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Friday Program Highlights for Comic-Con International 2013

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Written by Steve Geise

Friday is traditionally Star Wars day at the Con, but with the Disney buyout and their looming D23 convention, that now appears to be a relic of a long time ago, unless you have a hankering for an odd Star Wars origami panel (no joke). There’s plenty more programming that didn’t make my cut, such as the cast of the Veronica Mars movie discussing their Kickstarter-funded production and Metallica promoting their new film, but here’s what bubbled to the top of my programming list, in chronological order.

The World’s End: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Reunited
The director and stars of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz have joined forces for a third movie-and it’s “Barmageddon,” their biggest yet. As ever, they’re as happy to be here as you are. So expect candid chatter and spirited surprises as they take the wraps off their new comedy, which Focus Features is opening nationwide in the U.S. on August 23.
10:00am – 11:00am – Hall H

These guys could just appear to talk about the weather and I’d be there. The fact that they have a new movie to promote makes this a must see.

Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra Returns!
Executive producer and creator team Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender) and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos (Avatar: The Last Airbender) discuss what’s in store for the highly anticipated Book 2: Spirits. The mind-bending panel will be full of never-before-seen artwork and the ultimate of sneak peeks. You’ll also get to hear from your favorite characters, as talented voice actors Janet Varney (voice of Korra), David Faustino (voice of Mako), and P. J. Byrne (voice of Bolin) share their experiences working on the series. Moderated by Bryan Konietzko.
11:15am – 12:15pm – Ballroom 20

The best animated series currently on the air finally gears up for its long-awaited second season, and I can’t wait to see the sneak peeks. Does “ultimate” mean we get an advance screening of episode 1? Fingers crossed!

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Series stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Scott Wilson, and Chad Coleman join executive producer and showrunner Scott Gimple, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer Dave Alpert, and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero in a panel moderated by Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, Talking Dead). The panelists will discuss the record-breaking third season of The Walking Dead and what to look forward to in season 4, debuting this fall on AMC. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season 4.
1:35pm – 2:30pm – Hall H

The crowd-favorite series has earned its berth in the cavernous Hall H, and I’m looking forward to whatever tidbits they’ll share about season 4.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC
Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s head of television), Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers), and surprise guests reveal top-secret new information about the first live-action television series from the House of Ideas. No Comic-Con attendee can afford to miss this historic panel!
1:45pm – 3:00pm – Ballroom 20

The trailer hasn’t exactly convinced me, but I’m more than willing to give Jeph and Joss the opportunity to sell me on this series.

Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A Session
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO’s Game of Thrones concluded its 10-episode third season in June and will begin filming its fourth season this summer. The series, executive produced and written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, is an epic story of treachery and nobility, set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years. Featured cast include: (in alphabetical order): John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Rose Leslie as Ygritte, and Richard Madden as Robb Stark. The panel will be moderated by Elvis Mitchell.
2:50pm – 3:45pm – Hall H

Another welcome move to Hall H, maybe I’ll finally get in this year. Why is Robb Stark tagging along?

Almost Human Pilot Screening and Q&A
In the near future, technology and crime will increase so quickly that law enforcement will not be able to keep up. To maintain order and keep the public safe, all police officers must partner with highly evolved human-like-androids known as synthetics. From creator J. H. Wyman (Fringe) and J. J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions, Almost Human tells the story of Detective John Kennex and his synthetic partner Dorian, who must learn to work together in order to survive. Attendees will see a screening of the complete pilot episode, followed by a Q&A with series stars and producers. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Almost Human premieres this fall on FOX.
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Ballroom 20

I look forward to checking out at least one pilot screening during the Con, and this year this one gets my vote.

Sony & Screen Gems

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 — You remember Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — Flint Lockwood invented a machine that turned water into food, and it worked, but it also unleashed a dangerously delicious tsunami of food weather and Flint was forced to destroy it. Or so he thought…In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, the adventure and fun continue when Flint discovers that his old invention is still working and is now creating new food-animal hybrids — foodimals! Come join stars Anna Faris and Terry Crews along with directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, to get a taste of this new animated movie from Sony Pictures Animation.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones — Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. Based on the worldwide best-selling book series. Please join best- selling author, Cassandra Clare, along with the film’s director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and Kevin Zegers for a first look at exciting new footage and discussion of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

RoboCop — In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years — and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) –  a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit — is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice. Join stars Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, and Samuel L. Jackson along with director José Padilha for insight into this eagerly awaited movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — Last year, Andrew Garfield, along with director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, launched a new chapter in the Peter Parker story with The Amazing Spider-Man. With a new installment in the franchise due in 2014, join us in Hall H for one of Comic-Con’s most highly anticipated panels to hear a bit about what awaits Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

4:05pm – 6:15pm – Hall H

Frankly, I’m not all that interested in any of these films, but a two-hour parade of stars and sneak peaks is hard to pass up. My only burning question for this panel: how is the scrawny cop from The Killing going to pull off being Robocop?

Archer: Screening and Q&A
Archer is an animated comedy that revolves around the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and its employees, who use every covert operation and global crisis as another excuse to undermine, sabotage, and betray each other for personal gain. The voice cast of H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), Aisha Tyler (The Talk), Chris Parnell (30 Rock), Judy Greer (Arrested Development), Amber Nash (Frisky Dingo), and Lucky Yates (Good Eats), along with executive producers Adam Reed (Sealab 2021) and Matt Thompson (Sealab 2021), discuss bringing this animated series to life.
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

From what I’ve heard, this is always a great panel and usually involves a screening of next season’s premiere episode. Hoping to fit this into my schedule this year.

Syfy Presents the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
The 25th annual Eisner Awards (the “Oscars” of the comics industry) honor comics creators and works in 30 categories. Presenters will include British talk show host/comics writer Jonathan Ross, bestselling author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neverwhere), actor John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), TV host Chris Hardwick (The Talking Dead, The Nerdist), nominee artist Becky Cloonan (Conan the Barbarian), Hall of Fame cartoonist Sergio Aragonés (Groo,MAD), writer/artist Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics), and voice actors Maurice LaMarche (Pinky and the Brain, Futurama), Lauren Tom (Futurama, King of the Hil), and David Herman (Office Space, Futurama), plus some special surprises! Other prestigious awards to be given out include the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing, and the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award.

8:00pm – 10:00pm – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Hey, remember how this is COMIC-Con? The industry’s biggest and most prestigious awards show happens right here, and while it tends to drag on a bit, it’s still well worth attending to see the year’s best talent recognized for their efforts. I still miss the late Will Eisner presiding over the festivities on a throne (and the free appetizers), but he’s still there in Spirit.

Worst Cartoons Ever!
Presented by ASIFA-Hollywood, animation historian Jerry Beck (CartoonResearch.com) returns with an all new program of some of the worst cartoons ever made, including more episodes of Phys Ed super-hero Mighty Mr. Titan, space cadet Johnny Cypher, and some of those 1960s Marvel Super Heroes cartoons. Have a ball with the best/bad animation ever!
8:15pm – 9:15pm – Room 6BCF

These cartoons are truly horrendous, actually so bad that they’re sometimes not even “so bad they’re good”, but you’re always guaranteed a few howlers that make it worth your time. A fun annual tradition.

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