So which films and TV shows got the biggest bump to their social-media accounts during Comic-Con? The Deadline Team already has delivered its verdict on Comic-Con’s big winners (and yawners) overall. And it’s a challenge to be definitive with social media given the dozens of participating properties and connected stars, behind-the-camera notables, superfans and the like.
That said, social-media consulting firm RelishMIX spotted five entertainment properties that hit social-media home runs over the long weekend, led by massively popular Comic-Con videos for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mad Max: Fury Road. The Simpsons and Family Guy jointly scored well too, according to RelishMIX’s compilation of who added the most followers/likes/views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to their official and related accounts (see chart below).
HBO’s Thrones, already a social-media monster, commanded a truly royal 8.3 million views of its Comic-Con YouTube videos, led by a Season 4 blooper reel that RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen called a “super video,” with nearly 7.4 million views since it posted just four days ago.
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The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:
WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
The best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.
Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con
MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Marvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.
Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O
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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.
Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Showrunners On “Terrifying” Finale, Next Season’s Direction & Why ‘The Sopranos’ Rules
While Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey weren’t there for the Craig Ferguson-hosted panel, GoT was certainly out in force today for its Comic-Con fans. In one of the largest … Read More »
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones
Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »
Scottish-born late night host Craig Ferguson is set to moderate HBO’s Game of Thrones panel Friday at Comic-Con as the cabler brings the fantasy-drama to San Diego along with its vampire series True Blood. Game Of Thrones, which led the Emmy field last week with 19 nominations, will take over Hall H on Friday at 1:40PM with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, author and co-EP George R.R. Martin, and stars John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) in attendance. Read More »
Wednesday, July 23 — Preview Night
6-10 PM, Ballroom 20
Warner Bros. TV Pilot Screening: Constantine, The Flash, iZombie, Teen Titans Go!
Thursday, July 24
10-11 AM, Ballroom 20
Fox’s 24: Kiefer Sutherland, EP Jon Cassar returns to Comic-Con to show off highlights from 24: Live Another Day.
10:30-11:30 AM, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront
Legends Of TV Land: Betty White (The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and other TV celebs will answer questions about their work and making history on television. Sneak peek of animated episode of Hot in Cleveland, airing July 30th.
Related: ‘Star Wars – Episode VII’ Not Presenting at Comic-Con 2014
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Game of Thrones led the Emmy nominations race, but not by much, ahead of Fargo, American Horror Story‘s latest, Breaking Bad and The Normal Heart. Below we have charts with all the shows, organized by most nominations and by name. We also have a show-by-show index of what each show was nominated for. Read More »
Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will travel back much further in time for its latest period drama — a Game Of Thrones-esque epic. The NBC-owned company is teaming with BBC America to co-produce ninth century-set eight-part historical series The Last Kingdom for BBC Two. Based on Bernard Cornwell’s book series The Saxon Stories, The Last Kingdom will combine real historical figures and events with fictional characters during the reign of Alfred the Great, who as King of Wessex fought off a Viking invasion. Replete with heroic deeds and epic battles, the series will also embrace politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and the universal search for identity. Stephen Butchard (Good Cop, Five Daughters, House Of Saddam) is scripting. Production starts in the fall and casting has yet to be confirmed. Carnival’s Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant will exec produce with Butchard. Nick Murphy (Prey, Occupation) is co-executive producing and directing multiple episodes. Chrissy Skinns (Mr Selfridge) will produce.
The series slots into BBC Two’s strong drama portfolio. On deck, it’s also got the ambitious Wolf Hall, the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
Set in the year 872, when many of the separate kingdoms of what is now known as England have fallen to the invading Vikings, the great kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred the Great. Against this turbulent backdrop lives Uhtred, the hero of the stories. When his noble Saxon parents are killed by the Vikings, the marauders kidnap him and raise him as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are continually tested. On a quest to claim his birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, seek to recapture his ancestral lands. Read More »
AND THE WINNER IS….
Well, we gave you over 24 hours but we have crowned a winner in our latest caption contest. No denying there were slew of poignant and pointed entries to accompanying the pic of Queen Elizabeth II looking at the Iron Throne on a visit to the set of HBO’s Game Of Thrones yesterday. However our winner is:
“You know… the one in my dungeon has leather straps, dearie…” from MikeyP.
“Mine’s better” from Bob
PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY AM:
Well, we know at least one Queen in this photo hasn’t had her husband killed because Prince Phillip was accompanying the real life monarch today. Beyond that, here’s the deal, Queen Elizabeth II stopped by the Belfast set of HBO‘s Game Of Thrones Tuesday as part of a three-day Royal trip to Northern Ireland. Actors Lena Headey, who plays Queen Regent Cersei Lannister on the blockbuster series, and Kit Harington were there among others as the second longest-reigning British royal checked out the Iron Throne among other Games props. We don’t know whose look is better: the Queen’s somewhat perplexed gaze or Headey’s. So why don’t you give a caption your best shot? We’ll pick a winner later.
How do you push HBO’s Late Week Tonight segment in which Jon Oliver goes after the FDA? Don’t mention the FDA — boast the segment “features surprise cameos by Game of Thrones novelist George R. R. Martin and actor Steve Buscemi.”
So much for all those Starks and Targaryens muddling up the blue (and red) blood on the sets of Game Of Thrones. Now, the hit HBO show is getting a real queen, England’s Elizabeth II, who will sail onto the set in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter next week as part of a three-day visit to Northern Ireleand, her official Twitter feed announced this morning. The show shoots on a number of Northern Ireland sets for at least some of its key scenes, such as those at The Wall and the Eyrie. No official word whether the Queen is a fan of the show, or whether she’ll bring her favorite dragon.
Like the Tiber River after Caligula’s been on a weekend bender, television today is flooded with blood. What was once the sole sphere of slasher flicks now has become a common spattering on the small screen, and not just with cable shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones and the recently launched Showtime drama Penny Dreadful. Now the networks are in the gore game with Fox’s The Following and Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s Hannibal and Grimm. The proliferation of blood and guts on TV in this era of the explicit proves that the appetite for death and destruction hasn’t jumped the shark so much as stabbed the beast, torn into its flesh, cooked it up and swam among the remains. Read More »
Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is traveling from the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros to Italy for 1950s-set psychological thriller Voice From The Stone. She’ll topline the adaptation of Silvio Raffo’s award-winning Italian novel La Voce Della Pietra, about a nurse who helps a boy through the traumatic sudden death of his mother only to become ensnared by a malevolent force inside the family’s castle. Eric D. Howell is making his feature debut directing from a script by Andrew Shaw. An Italy shoot is scheduled for November. Dean Zanuck and Stefano Gallini-Durante are producing the Zanuck Independent and Code 39 Films production. Mark Wheaton is exec producing. Clarke, who was nominated for an Emmy for her turn as dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen, is also set to star in the upcoming Terminator: Genesis. She’s repped by CAA and Emptage Hallett in the UK.
Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Set For ‘Terminator’ In Sarah Connor Role
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s Game Of Thrones Season 4 finale.
The Father’s Day timing of tonight’s Game Of Thrones Season 4 finale could not have been more perfect. In a packed episode of family relations revelations, the carcasses and other remnants of battle, dragon realpolitik, lovers’ betrayals and destinies revealed, a long festering father and son confrontation finally came to a fatal end on the David Benioff and D.B. Weiss created blockbuster HBO series. “This season, almost every storyline ended up peaking in the finale, which has never been the case for us before,” the duo said via email of tonight’s 66-minute finale. “It was great, knowing we’d be going out on so many climactic events. It was also terrifying,” the EPs say of the finale. Among other ends, the episode’s final minutes saw Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) kill both his lover Shae and patriarch Tywin (played by Charles Dance), who it turns out was having an affair with the elder Lannister.
“Both basic confrontations, Tyrion/Shae and Tyrion/Tywin, have their source in the books,” acknowledge the showrunners of the novels by George R.R. Martin on which the fantasy drama is based. “It feels like the people who haven’t read the books will probably be pretty surprised by both scenes,” they add of viewers of what is now HBO’s most watched series ever. “We loved those scenes, and kept many of the broad strokes and particulars,” said the two, who wrote tonight’s “The Children” finale as they have the majority of the entire series, of the depiction in Martin’s Storm of Swords. That book is the third of the 5 books so far in Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series. Caught on latrine by a crossbow wielding Tyrion, Tywin unsuccessfully tries to talk his way out of his own demise. “To see Tyrion’s entire, troubled relationship with his father distilled into three minutes, that’s a lot of weight to put on two actors. It was our good fortune that the two actors in question were Peter and Charles, who are both power-lifters in this category.”
Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Director Talks Shocking Episode, Teases Season 4 Finale
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EXCLUSIVE: Breaking Bad executive producer/director Michelle MacLaren has signed a two-year first-look deal with HBO. The pay cable network has had its eye on MacLaren for a while — she has become one of the go-to directors for HBO’s flagship drama Game Of Thrones, directing four episodes over the past two seasons. She is now directing an episode of HBO’s new drama series, The Leftovers.
MacLaren shared in the best drama Emmy AMC’s Vince Gilligan-created Breaking Bad won last year, and has earned two directing Emmy nominations. She also is involved in the Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul. MacLaren, repped by ICM Partners and attorney Mitch Smelkinson, first worked with Gilligan on Harsh Realm and The X-Files, on both of which she served as a co-executive producer, making her directorial debut on X-Files.