While fans were allowed to ask questions to the string of talent from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Maze Runner and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 at 20th Century Fox’s WonderCon panel, the one creative talent not fielding questions from the crowd was X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg. While a “no questions” policy wasn’t blatantly announced, Fox gracefully saved its X-Men presentation for the final portion of its nearly two-hour panel. And it was brief next to the half-hour-plus devoted to Planet Of The Apes. Kinberg stepped in at the last minute after the studio pulled Bryan Singer in the wake of the director being slammed with a sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Kinberg promised the crowd that he had footage that was never seen before, but that wasn’t the case: He showed the same clip that was on the MTV Movie Awards last weekend with the young X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Iceman fighting a rather large latex figure who absorbs their powers. When Singer’s name appeared onscreen in the trailer that was shown at WonderCon today, the crowd was unfazed.
WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel
WonderCon: Warner Bros Still Earns Cheers With Largely Star-Less Presentation & Jaw-Dropping ‘Godzilla’ Tsunami Clip
Next to the all-star fireworks Warner Bros unleashed at CinemaCon last month with Adam Sandler, Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood, the studio kicked off WonderCon’s Saturday movie schedule on a sleepy note with a low wattage of stars. Comparisons to Disney’s previous D23s are inevitable, especially due to the fact that the Mouse House has trotted out such megastars at this same venue — the Anaheim Convention Center Arena — in its previous confabs, i.e. Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Robert Downey Jr. First up for Warner Bros today was a fresh Edge of Tomorrow trailer, spotlighting co-star Bill Paxton as a Kentucky sergeant. Paxton later took the stage, but Edge of Tomorrow star Tom Cruise didn’t show; the crowd didn’t seem to mind, though, rolling their cheers in appreciation for the Aliens thespian, but still — Cruise isn’t here. Nor was Godzilla castmember Bryan Cranston, a fave for his panel appearances for Breaking Bad at ComicCon.
EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of shocking allegations of sexual abuse against Bryan Singer that surfaced five weeks before the launch of the new X-Men film, Singer has cancelled a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s WonderCon in Anaheim, Deadline hears. Fox instead will send Simon Kinberg as the studio prepares to launch the Singer-directed blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg wrote and produced the film and has been a part of the X-Men universe since the beginning.
Singer had been scheduled to be on hand to do interviews for the film that Fox opens May 23. It seems fairly obvious that right now he’s not going to get the kind of questions that will help the movie, or that he could answer. Singer had been scheduled to represent X-Men among a bunch of big Fox movies vamping this weekend, appearing along with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and director Matt Reeves from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes; Jay Baruchel and writer-director Dean DeBlois from How To Train Your Dragon 2; and Dylan O’Brien, writer James Dashner and director Wes Ball from The Maze Runner.
NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ To Screen At WonderCon, Plus Previews Of ‘Hemlock Grove’, ‘Pacific Rim’, ‘Mortal Instruments’, ‘Hobbit 2′ & More
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
Fans will get their first look at how Mads Mikkelsen measures up to Anthony Hopkins and Brian Cox when NBC screens the first two episodes of Hannibal later this month at WonderCon 2013. And Netflix will have its upcoming murder mystery series Hemlock Grove in advance of the show’s April premiere. Those and a host of other geeky confections were unveiled when the annual convention, landing March 29-31 in Anaheim, revealed the full programming schedule that boasts a heavy TV and film presence hinting of things to come later this year in San Diego (as well as some that have been there before).
Netflix will screen footage from Hemlock Grove on Friday with executive producer Eli Roth and cast including Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Penelope Mitchell and others in attendance. The same day Warner Bros plans to premiere the direct-to-DVD animated film Superman: Unbound, followed the next day with a panel shared with Legendary pictures featuring Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro and New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring director James Wan. The same day, Sony hosts a huge panel of its own to showcase three upcoming films: Novelist Cassandra Clare, director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins, Kevin Zegers, and Jamie Campbell Bower will preview The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; Bruce Campbell will join director Fede Alvarez and stars Jane Levy and Jessica Lucas to talk about the upcoming Evil Dead remake that screened at SXSW; and Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson will present a new trailer for This Is The End. On Sunday, there’s a panel discussion of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing that also screened at SXSW, while J.R.R. Tolkien fan site Theonering.net will host a sneak peak of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
With Fox‘s Fringe once again facing cancellation, the show’s stars Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Blair Brown and Seth Gabel and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman are rallying fans of the sci-fi drama today with a session at WonderCon. Talks between the network and Fringe producer Warner Bros TV are ongoing. I hear the two sides are hopeful about clinching a shorter, possibly 13-episode pickup if the license fee and thus the budget could be reduced to reflect the show’s soft ratings. Here is a fun video of Walter-isms, things Noble’s character says on the show, which just premiered at the WonderCon panel. Fringe returns from hiatus this coming Friday to air the remaining episodes of Season 4.
The WonderCon crowd down in Anaheim today saw an exclusive extended trailer for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic Prometheus that was introduced by Scott, co-writer Damon Lindelof and stars Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender. Fox is among the majors on the convention schedule looking to drum up support for its tentpoles — for the studio, that means Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. (Lindelof tweeted in the lead-up: “Abraham Lincoln can hunt vampires, but Ridley Scott can hunt Abraham Lincoln.”) Here’s the trailer, which has more than a few echoes of Scott’s Alien — certain to make fans of that iconic pic happy: