To quote the Thing from the Fantastic Four – “It’s clobberin time!” Just two days after Jack Kirby was honored at Comic-Con, lawyers for the heirs of the comic legend have replied to Marvel and Disney with a pummeling brief filed at the Supreme Court. “Respondents, although called to respond, do not address the legal issues. Instead, they focus on the wrong questions and the wrong court,” say lawyer Marc Toberoff and Tom Goldstein, a new attorney on the case, today. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing. The heirs want SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue dozens of termination notices to Marvel and others on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act.
“For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.
In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.
The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There …
Comic-Con: Last ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Panel Talks Prequel, Previews Final Season, Amid Emotions For Kurt Sutter, Cast
SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses possible plot directions and future of Sons of Anarchy.
Sons Of Anarchy may be starting its final season this fall, but tales about the world shown in the FX drama are not over. “We are having serious conversations about our prequel,” said SOA creator Kurt Sutter to loud applause today at Comic-Con. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a mini-series.” While this is far from the first time the showrunner has talked about going back to the show’s roots, it had special significance Sunday in the massive Hall H for what is expected to be SOA’s last of many SDCC appearances.
“There’ll be no spinoffs,” added Sutter. “I think spinoffs work well on procedural dramas, which this clearly is not.” The SOA story will also continue in Bratva, the show’s first novelization. The upcoming book, whose cover art Sutter showed the audience, picks up after Season 4.
The often acerbic Sutter teared up when other show principals thanked him for creating the series and for the experience of working on it. “Sit the f*** down,” Sutter told the cast and the thousands in the hall when they gave him a standing ovation. “I got an image.”
Comic-Con: New ‘Arrow’ Villain & Hero Confirmed At WBTV ‘Gotham’ Premiere, ‘Flash’ & ‘Constantine’ Screening (Video)
After lurking as a presence in Arrow throughout the second season, villain Ra’s al Ghul finally will appear in Season 3, as will the hero Wildcat, fans at Comic-Con’s mega-screening for Warner Bros TV and DC Comics properties learned tonight. While his face was not identified, the criminal mastermind was seen in full costume and with a sword in a new preview clip. Following up on a Facebook hint by Arrow lead Stephen Amell that Ted “Wildcat” Grant would join the show, producer Marc Guggenheim tonight confirmed both additions to the hit CW drama. A longtime DC villain, Liam Neeson played the character on the big screen in 2005’s Batman Begins and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
The Arrow revelations came at the end of the first nighttime presentation for SDCC, screening a smorgasbord of upcoming WBTV shows in massive Hall H.
“You saved the best for last,” said WBTV Marketing chief Lisa Gregorian to the thousands in the hall in kicking off the 3-hour event. The extravaganza not only was a testament to the rise of superheroes but also WB and DC properties. “I remember being at Comic-Con when we were the only DC property on television,” said Amell, the night’s emcee, as he named off The Flash pilot, the world premiere of Batman prequel Gotham, plus a preview of NBC’s new supernatural thriller Constantine and …
UPDATES WITH VIDEO: True Blood may be into its final season, but the HBO show wasn’t treating its likely last Comic-Con appearance with anything but a ravenous appetite and a bit of bite. Specifically it was former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin who got chomped. “She’ll weigh in on anything,” castmember Kristin Bauer van Straten said disdainfully of Palin revealing that she turned down the attempt HBO made to get the ex-Alaska governor on the show for its most recent broadcast. Besides a bloodbath at a fictional fundraiser for real-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the July 20 episode had several digs at the GOP including one character referring to herself as “a Republic**t.”
Needless to say, Palin wasn’t impressed.
“The brilliant minds of True Blood were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general,” Palin revealed to Breitbart earlier this week. “Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway.” HBO confirmed that the offer in a statement that “casting directors for the show reached out to Ms. Palin’s representative but did not receive a response.”
The Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the man who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.
Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”
Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.”
The Marvel Animation universe just got a lot bigger today. With perfect timing to the upcoming live action pic, the superhero giant revealed a new Guardians Of The Galaxy animation series this morning at Comic-Con. No news on when the series will debut but it will be on Disney XD . A literally explosive 1-minute preview of the series was shown today with the Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord characters appearing. The GOTG movie, of course, debuts next week on the big screen.
Of course, Marvel being secretive Marvel they didn’t say much more about the GOTG series but the applauding fans seemed cool with that. “Enjoy the cartoons, that’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb joked with the crowd earlier as he introduced the event.
The panel in the San Diego Convention Center’s near full huge Room 6BCF was hosted by Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacker, SVP Eric Radomski and VP Cort Lane. Fred “the voice of Hulk” Tatasciore in the green giant’s animated series joined them too.
Besides the announcement of the new series, most of the panel was full of screening some of Marvel Animation’s already established jewels in the crown projects. There was a full first-ever showing of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors which premieres on Disney XD in September. There were also clips from the upcoming now officially confirmed upcoming …
Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy Lawless
Looks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one.
Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.
The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.
HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones made its annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con‘s massive Hall H today, unveiling among other things a whooping 9 new cast members for the upcoming Season 5 including a geekfest double-shot: Keisha Castle-Hughes, who co-starred in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, for the Force’s sake.
The Whale Rider Oscar nominee will play Obara Sand, a fearsome warrior and the eldest bastard daughter of the late Prince Oberyn Martell. Her mother was a Dornish peasant girl who caught the eye of the late Prince. Jonathan Pryce also has come aboard the fantasy drama playing the High Sparrow, a pious man whose fellow believers have swarmed King’s Landing, ministering to the lowest and decrying the corruption of the highest. Fellow new castmembers include Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell, Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon, DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah, Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan, Jessica Henwick as Nymeria (“Nym”) Sand, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand. Pryce’s appearance on the big screen got a huge roar from the thousands in Hall H as he said he was really excited to join the show.
The Walking Dead is heading to Washington D.C. for Season 5 to find a cure for the zombie apocalypse. That was made very clear by an intense 5-minute sneak peek that Comic-Con fans saw today in the massive Hall H (see it below). “This is a season that is going to be pretty close to the comics,” said Robert Kirkman. The comic co-creator and series executive producer’s point was emphasized by fellow EP Gale Anne Hurd, who hinted before the video was shown at some suburban locations, and “you’ll see us take some big leaps with the characters and the set pieces.” AMC announced the new season debuts October 12 at 9 PM.
Before the Season 5 video was shown the panel started off with a fake sitcom-like clip from Episode 15 of the upcoming season that showed an aged Rick Grimes and the other characters with long long beards playing cards in the train car they were trapped in at the end of Season 4. “Sort of like Cheers at Terminus,” joked showrunner Scott Gimple.
Comic-Con UPDATE: Bryan Fuller Reveals ‘Hannibal’ Season 3 Details, Eddie Izzard Among Returning Characters & Emmy Disappointment
UPDATE: 5:49 PM: There were a few surprises at the Hannibal panel today after all. Both leads Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy appeared to Ballroom 20 via short individual video greetings with the former in Denmark and the latter from Australia.
Also, it turns out Season 3 will pick up a year after the brutal events of the Season 2 finale. Episode 4 of Season 3 will fill in what happened between the two cycles, Bryan Fuller disclosed. He also revealed after a half-joking question by moderator Jonathan Ross that Eddie Izzard in fact will return to the series. “We’re writing for Eddie Izzard to return in a flashback scene,” said Fuller to applause from the packed ballroom about the reappearance of the losing limbs Dr. Abel Gideon. Izzard appeared in 5 episodes in Season 2. BTW – Raul Esparza did show up, and he’s coming back to the show.
PREVIOUS, 4:05 PM: Bryan Fuller doesn’t spare Hannibal viewers the raw deal on the show and he has no intention of doing otherwise today at Comic-Con. “We’re pretty generous with the spoilers,” the showrunner refreshingly told me just before this afternoon’s panel. “We will be talking fairly openly about events in Season 3 and hopefully getting people excited.” If last year’s SDCC appearance by the NBC series is any indication, the fans in Ballroom 20 will be very exited indeed. Despite a sometime …
San Diego is about to get a Gothic horror visit from Victorian England today and John Logan is about to let Penny Dreadful get truly uninhibited. “A lot of Season 1, for me, was actually putting the playing pieces on the board,” says the Oscar nominated scribe of the Showtime series of 19th century iconic supernatural misfits he created. “Now I feel we’ve had 8 hours to do that, to establish the landscape and so now I really get to play,” the first time showrunner adds with a laugh. “I can create more and more complex patterns of the relationships of the characters and of the supernatural element as well,” the Gladiator and Skyfall writer says. “In terms of the second season, I’ve written all but two of the episodes. So, the last two are yet to be written. So I’m well ahead of the game there, and the actors will all be getting it the end of this month.
In just over a month since Dreadful’s rather spectacularly blood soaked Season 1 finale, Logan will be taking the stage in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center this evening with cast members Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Josh Hartnett. If he returns next year, he may be bringing a few more people with him and not just absent leads Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. “I’m teasing out from the characters I really love …
With a giant banner looming over Comic-Con from the nearby Marriott and marketing all over the San Diego International Airport, Legends made a splash in its geekfest debut before a word was spoken or a clip was played on today’s panel. Not that the upcoming TNT spy thriller didn’t seal the deal with the 1,000 plus fans in Room 6A of the Convention Center – especially when the star Sean Bean showed up, kind of.
Before the short panel got under way, the audience was treated to a full preview of the first episode of the TNT show introduced by Bean himself. Via video, the actor apologized for not being at Comic-Con but joked that “maybe that’s a good thing” for the crowd’s safety as the former Game Of Thrones and Lord Of The Rings star is of course one of the most killed off actors around. “If you were me, one does not simply avoid death on a daily basis,” Bean deadpanned to howls from the fans in the room.
From the clips they showed today at Comic-Con, the second season of Under The Dome is about to get a lot harsher. Big Jim is on the warpath, Barbie is on the move and what’s underneath Chester’s Mill might turn out to be as deadly as the dome that’s over top of it. ”No one is safe under the dome,” said executive produce Neal Baer today about whether more characters would die on the CBS summer drama.
“We kept the body count down for the beginning of the season so we can rev it up towards the end,” Baer added during today’s panel discussion. “There are no set rules,” the EP also remarked about whether killed-off characters could come back.
A five-minute clip of Episode 7 was shown during the panel, hinting with Mike Vogel’s character Dale “Barbie” Barbara falling into a deep cavern that the dome may prove not to so impregnable. “One of our characters might get out of the dome this season, literally,” said Baer. “We just finished shooting last week and we know the ending but we won’t tell you.” The episode airs August 11.
Comic-Con: ‘24’s Kiefer Sutherland Praises Evolution Of TV; “Still Talking” About Movie, Producer Says
When we last saw Kiefer Sutherland’s super-agent Jack Bauer on the July 14th finale of Fox’s 24: Live Another Day he was about to fly off into a very uncertain Moscow-based future. Today at Comic-Con, the actor said that “we went thorough so many ideas for that ending” and “on some level we copped out because on some level it is hard to end it.” Sutherland added that “we talked about that maybe for the DVD, we’ll have Jack take out a hand grenade and blow the Russian helicopter up — we’d never had that kind of freedom before. “ Sutherland was joined today by 24 executive producer/director Jon Cassar, who moderated the panel.
Intended as a launch for the September 30th Blu-ray and DVD release of the limited event series, the panel today started with a five-minute video retrospective of all eight seasons of 24 and 24: LAD – needless to say, Bauer kicked a lot of ass, a lot of stuff blew up and the packed Ballroom 20 loved it, erupting in a roar when it was over. The response was similar for Cassar’s later answer to an audience member’s question about a 24 movie: “We’re still talking about it.”
Comic-Con 2014 officially opens today and tens of thousands are descending on San Diego to pick up their passes and prepare for four days of special screenings, studio and network panels, and previews. Having already hit the ground running, Deadline is here with Mike Fleming Jr leading our film coverage along with Jen, while Dominic and Anthony D’Alessandro handle the TV side. (Dominic will also be moderating FX’s Archer panel this year.)
Of course, veteran heavyweights like HBO’s Game Of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead will be packing the mammoth Hall H on the TV side. HBO’s True Blood, a longtime fave in its final season, is set to make its Comic-Con bow Saturday in Ballroom 20, as is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which just wrapped its first season and has its panel this evening. Repping the big screen side, studios are putting their tentpole wares out there with presentations by Marvel and Warner Bros with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and Mad Max: Fury Road among others.
Once again it’s the networks that have poured big money into blanketing downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter in promo materials, with a few exceptions. Besides Showtime’s Penny Dreadful being on all the lanyards for the more than 130,000 attendees, here’s what’s greeting Comic-Congoers on the ground as Wednesday’s Preview Night kicks into gear ahead of the Thursday-to-Sunday rush (check back for more glimpses from geek ground zero throughout the week):
NBC’s Constantine (above) has a blazing standee of star Matt Ryan on display to get audiences used to seeing the Welsh thesp as DC Comics antihero John Constantine. Show debuts October 24. Elsewhere around Comic-Con’s downtown HQ, a massive banner for TNT’s August-premiering series Legends, starring Sean Bean and Ali Larter, has taken another chunk of prime eyeball real estate.
Last year at Comic-Con, Legendary confirmed Duncan Jones as director of its videogame adaptation. During Preview Night at this year’s confab, it unveiled the title card for Warcraft, which Universal has slated for March 2016. The Warcraft reveal was part of an invite-only event tonight where Crimson Peak director Guillermo del Toro walked participants through a Gothic Gallery based on one of the sets from the upcoming pic. Needless to say, it was a bit of time and space bender that made a very small space seem very long and dark. Also there was an Oculus VR Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot virtual reality experience that del Toro worked on with Industrial Light and Magic that simulated what it would be like to be one of the pilots of a 250-story monster fighting robot. The Legendary booth opens for the general public tomorrow.
UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”
UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”
Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.