Comic-Con in San Diego has long surpassed its original design as a meeting of ravenous comic-book fans. It's become a giant display case for Hollywood and beyond. And we're fine with that, especially when it draws the likes of directors Quentin Tarantino and Peter Jackson.
Over the next few days, we're expecting a continuous stream of previews and other advanced clips from some of the movies we can't wait to see this summer, this winter, next summer, and beyond...
'Django Unchained' Panel
Of course, Quentin Tarantino's tribute to the Spaghetti Western is at the top of the list. The director will be on hand with several cast members to talk about the movie, which comes out on Christmas Day.
Also, for the past few weeks, aspiring filmmakers and artists around the country have been sending in their short films for our "Django Unchained" Emerging Artist Contest. On Saturday, during the "Django Unchained" panel, Tarantino will pick the contest winner, who could very well go on to a career full of fame and riches (or at least ask what was inside the "Pulp Fiction" briefcase).
The Hobbit Preview
Last week, Peter Jackson revealed the poster for "The Hobbit" on his Facebook page. A few days later, The Hobibt Blog announced that Weta Workshop would be displaying its range of collectibles from the two Hobbit movies, which were shot simultaneously and recently wrapped. The first installment, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," premieres December 14. "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" comes out a year later.
On Saturday, Jackson will bring Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman, who plays the Hobbit, with him to the madness of Comic-Con. Jackson has been posting occasional videos from the production, so we expect he'll bring some sort of advance clip to San Diego, as well.
Iron Man 3 Leads Comic-Book Spinoffs
The third installment of the Tony Stark trilogy (so far) is the first not directed by Jon Favreau, but Shane Black is more than a worthy successor. Black was the scribe behind the modern action movie archetype ("Lethal Weapon" and "Long Kiss Goodnight"), and his directorial debut, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," starring Robert Downey Jr., was a little-publicized noir gem.
Even though "Iron Man 3" has only been shooting for one week, Black heads to San Diego with stars Downey Jr. and Gweneth Paltrow and some early footage.
Rise of Geek TV
What about TV? There will be panels and stars everywhere. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is hosting 14 panel discussions on its own, for shows like "The Vampire Diaries," "Fringe" and "Supernatural."
You're starting to see TV take a different position at Comic-Con, one we didn’t see five to seven years ago," says Lisa Gregorian, the chief marketing officer for Warner Bros. TV.
Elsewhere, there will be panels for "Game of Thrones," "True Blood" and "The Walking Dead," among many many others.
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