San Diego Comic Con 2011 is winding down, and the non-stop panels and showcases of hot geekery are closing their doors. The last four days have seen people go gaga over the Twilight panel, get sneak reviews of some hot new shows and go one on one with best selling authors.
Here’s our roundup of the hottest Comic-Con 2011 releases. What are you looking forward too?
The Top TV Comic-Con 2011 TV Shows Teases
The Secret Circle
Anything which has the Vampire Diaries producer involved, (Kevin Williamson) is sure to be full of teens in barely there clothing pouting prettily and up to no good. The Secret Circle is an upcoming series which takes witches back to center stage, when Salem schoolgirl Brittany Robertson discovers she has powers. I liked Brittany in Life Unexpected (great acting, lousy lines) and it will be nice to see her sink her teeth into something more meaty. The show covers a coven of witches from all ages, and being a descendant of this family has its own problems.
The cast is impressive as it features TV die-hards such as Thomas Dekker from The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Ashley Crow from Heroes. I’m looking forward to moving away from vampire shows (overkill much?) and think this has serious potential.
Lost Girl Briefing
My favorite Canadian import is Lost Girl, which follows the life of succubus Bo (played by Anna Silk) and her human sidekick, the irrepressible and vaguely illegal teenage jailbait that is Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). It’s gritty, it’s sexy and the seedy underworld of the Fey (which Bo struggles with makes for a compelling backdrop. Season 1 saw Bo finally get it on with hunky werewolf protector (the hot Kris Holden-Ried) and the appearance of the cast at Comic Con 2011 gives hope that the rumored 2012 Season 2 series will actually go ahead as planned, Props off to Ms. Chip Chick Helena Stone for alerting me (and getting me addicted) to this show. It’s going to be available to a USA audience soon, as SyFy has just picked up season one, so you’ll soon be able to find out all the dirt on the characters.
This created by J.J. Abrams, the brains behind Lost, and though that may have foundered, we have enough respect for him to know the first few seasons should be insanely addictive. The show is set on the infamous Alcatraz and concerns a group of prisoners and guards who mysteriously vanish in the 60’s- then reappear in modern day just as young as ever. They now need to be tracked down and questioned- and it would be good to know just what happened and how. Considering many of the disappeared were serious offenders they’re not all that keen to be captured, and so the race begins…
In keeping with the gothic fairytale theme that haunts the halls of Comic-Con, we’ve just heard the lowdown on the brand new series called Grimm. Set to launch in the fall, it’s a modern day hero story, where a detective learns that he’s part of the ‘Grimm’ family, a legendary group of hunters who fight to keep humanity safe from evil. It stars David Giuntoli who has to come to terms with his new fate- as well as balance a relationship and stop people from thinking he’s gone cuckoo. Written by Angel co-creator David Greenwalt (so you know it will be fast paced and twisted) this show looks to be a good one, with a hot young cast and the city of Oregon as their playground, It’s nice to see a move away from LA and New York as a base for shows as well, to add some more diversity to modern day science fiction on TV.
Game of Thrones
This fantasy wowed people last year- remember that amazing climax? And we have a feeling the next season will be very dragon orientated. Having actually read all the books, I won’t give too much away but this George RR Martin show continues to gain popularity, with the man himself popping in to say hi on the Game of Thrones panel.
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) will be getting more airtime in the next series, and my favorite character Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) attended to share how she found juggling school and filming. Naturally a brunette, she says it’s easy enough to blend it when she’s studying. “It’s the hair,” she said, “no one recognizes me”.
It was revealed that the show will likely stop following the books narration -due to the fact that George RR Martine is a literary powerhouse and they simply can’t encompass all his twists in the TV show! I’m looking forward to the next series- those baby dragons are adorable!
As a hardcore Buffy fan, I’m thrilled to learn that Sarah Michelle Gellar is aiming a comeback- and what a vehicle to do it with, The Ringer is a show which stars Gellar as a mysterious girl who takes over the life of her deceased twin sister. The series will comprise of flashbacks of Bridgette’s life (sister one) to Siobhan’s (sister two) and there will be no supernatural overtones, no in your face extremes- so no vampires/werewolves etc. Sounds like a complex mind game web with the insecurities of the main character setting up the scene for the complex and varied relationships- for instance, is the other twin dead after all?
OK, I haven’t given much away, but hey, it’s BUFFY so we all know we’re going to watch it regardless- well at least for an episode or two. It premieres Sept 13th.
We can’t wait to find out all the new gossip in Bon Temps and the will they won’t they awkwardness between Eric and Sookie- I’m Team Eric all the way FYI. They spilled a little gossip about what we’ll see in the next series, and I can tell you that we’ll get to see how Pam was made- which should be exciting, even if her face looks a bit charred at the moment…
We also got to learn why Alan Bell (the creator) decided to stray so far from the plot of the books. “There would be no surprises,” he said. True to an extent, but how many of you have actually read the books? Exactly. Methinks he just spotted what was more profitable and who the audiences liked more.
The Hot New Cartoon
Thundercats- The New Cartoon Series
I loved Thundercats as a kid, but I was in two minds when I learned they were revamping it for the modern generation. Would a remake ruin the allure of Cheetarah and Tygra, Lion-O and all the Thundera gang? Or perhaps it will spawn a new generation of fans, who sing the catchy (if repetitive) them tune.
It’s scheduled to premiere next week- July 29 on the Cartoon Network and a Comic-Con 2011 panel previewed the show to a rapt audience. The first show will be an hour, setting up the scene, and then it will be a half hour weekly slot. People have been fairly receptive to the preview so my fingers are crossed that it will be awesome.
If you need a Thundercats recap, here’s the gist of it:
Thundera is a world in a distant galaxy which has become unstable. The last inhabitants flee the planet, but on its journey it gets damaged by evil mutants and crashes on the Third Earth. Those that remain try to establish themselves as a colony on the Third Earth and maintain peace- whilst fighting the evil mutants led by the dread Mumm-raa.
To help them they have the magical Sword of Omens and each Thundercat has different abilities. Lion-O is the unhappy leader, as the former leader sacrificed himself to help them land safely. It’s a story about growing as a person, discovering new places and learning how to work together- with some kick-ass fighting moves thrown in.
The Top Comic-Con 2011 Film Teases
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1
Twilight die hards are more than excited for the penultimate movie in the Twilight series, though they’re probably desperately trying to work out how to fill the vacuum this will inevitably leave in their lives. Hey, they still have a year of mooning over Robert Pattinson’s chiseled cheekbones and strangely tousled hair to go, so they can hold on for now. The Twilight Breaking Dawn cast all put in an appearance at the Comic-Con 2011 Twilight panel, and they were happy to share a few spoilers about the upcoming movie. The release date is November 18th and much of the action was filmed in Brazil. The final two films focus on the rather tricky events that happened in the books, such as (spoiler alert) Bella’s pregnancy and wedding and the chaos this causes. It will be hard to carefully follow the story and make it suitable for the teen audience, as well as stay true to the books.
“The wedding was insane, very Secret Service style”, says Kristen Stewart, referring to the scene between her and on screen lover Robert Pattinson. “ The crew was incredibly inconvenienced.“They wanted to keep the dress secret.” It was a tough movie for her to make, as her character has grown so much. “I can’t let the book punch me in the face every morning. You have to let the moments happen and they did so we just went for it. I feel it was very, very close to the book. At the same time we added bits that surprised me too in the more iconic bits.”
Who’s counting down the days till Breaking Dawn Part 1?
Snow White and the Huntsman
I’m a sucker for Disney films, and Snow White and the Huntsman takes the saccharine tale and makes it distinctly more Brothers Grimm. Sent to murder Snow White, the huntsman becomes her cherished protector and Snow White starts to plan a revolt against the evil queen. Charlize Theron has signed up to be the wicked queen and Kirsten Stewart (who will forever be known as the moody looking Bella Swan) stars as the troubled Snow White. There will be no singing dwarves and chirpy woodland creatures- this film is going to be gritty, violent and brutal. I’m intrigued… if only to see Charlize go full on vicious queen.
Steven Spielberg put in an appearance at Comic-Con 2011 to promote his upcoming film, the The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. The cast boasts a few of my favorite Brit actors as I love it when Simon Pegg (playing Inspector Thompson) and Nick Frost (plays Pegg’s twin!) get together as their rapport and on-screen chemistry is hilarious. Spielberg has teamed up with Peter Jackson so the production values are sure to be intense and fast paced. They showed some brief 3D clips at Comic-Con and Spielberg hinted at a possible JURASSIC PARK 4- OH MY GODDDD!!!- as well as discussed how they used the film medium to capture the quirky essence of Tintin. The movie is out Dec 23rd.
Lea Michele of Glee fame is involved in this brand new animated Wizard of Oz movie. The story focuses around Dorothy’s return to Kansas- which is a less than sweet homecoming, Kansas is in ruins AND Dorothy wants to get back to Oz, but when she returns she finds her friends are all in danger, On her new travel she meets a cast of strange creatures from a man made of marshmallows to a china doll princess, The most famous character is a tugboat (voiced by Patrick Stewart) who has multiple personalities, and somehow Dorothy must get them to work together to take back control of Oz and save her friends.
I’m a huge fan of John Cusack, so was excited to learn about his upcoming film, Raven. Cusack plays the main role of Edgar Allan Poe, who discovers his fiction is being used as the premise for some gruesome murders. Cusack joins up with detective (played by Luke Evans) and they struggle to hunt the killer. The film is not intended as a biography but does reflect certain aspects of Poe’s life and combines traits that Poe was known for within a gripping drama. There are some creepy scenes- one which involves being buried alive, as Poe’s love interest catches the eye of the killer…
The Hot Comic-Con 2011 Video Games
Kinect Star Wars
Microsoft are making the most of their Kinect facilities and will soon be launching Kinect Star Wars where (surprise surprise) your hands become fearsome light sabres and you use the ‘Force’ to defeat opponents. You need to learn how to maneuver your hands around for optimum damage and it was revealed that work on the game actually started in 2009 and the setting for the game is one year after the Phantom Menace. Players will be training to be a Jedi and will travel through planets on this journey.
It was also revealed that some peripherals may be introduced at a later date, but that the game didn’t need them to be played. It will be out Christmas 2011.
They also showed a rather stunning limited edition Star Wars Xbox 360 console with the familiar R2D2 striping and a hot C-3PO controller which made my mouth water.
Star Wars: The Old Republic : Join Us, It Is Your Destiny
A new MMO (Massive multiplayer online game) is always exciting, and BioWare and LucasArts are looking to challenge WoW with their new story driven MMO. The story is set 3000 years before the rise of Darth Vader and starts when the Sith Empire returns to their home world.
Players choose way class they are in and if they restart as a different class- Bounty Hunter/Trooper etc, the emission doesn’t replicate. This is an enormous game- think 800 HOURS of playtime to go through it with regular updates and weapon progression. You have a lot of customization- not just your character but your sidekick as well. It looks to appeal to Star Wars fans- old and new, and for a niche MMO looks very playable and has a lot of variety.
Wow, that’s quite a lot to look forward too! In addition to the movie releases, the TV show releases, the game release and the many MANY celebrity appearances there was also a lot of merchandise released, first edition prints for sale- and some comic info. Yes, Comic Con 2011 may have originally been a mecca for comic collectors, but recent years have moved the focus away from paper and onto the screen. Many of their shows have their roots in comics, so they don’t totally disregard the premise, but calling the event GeekFest 2011 might actually be more accurate. Old hands such as Dave Gibbons (creator of Watchmen) and Scott Westerfeld (author of the great Uglies series) put in an appearance, so the show did cover all bases, but we can’t deny the emphasis was more on the big screen output than than paper.
Do you feel Comic-Con has evolved naturally or would you like to see a return to old school comics taking center stage?