I've been reporting from Comic-Con these past few days, but here's a hodgepodge of random extra bits and pieces from my weekend.
- There was a panel I basically happened to attend by accident, which ended up being for this spooky-looking movie The Wolf Man, due in theaters April 3, 2009. Then, to everyone's surprise, the stars of the film, Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt, came onstage to talk about it. I'll post the trailer soon, so more on the movie itself later, but for now, how cute is this picture?!
- The writers of The Office spoke to a packed house on Saturday, and while the 11 people on the panel (12 if you count moderator Rainn Wilson) felt like a few too many, there were plenty of funny moments, especially from BJ Novak, Michael Schur, and Mindy Kaling. I particularly liked this part of Novak's answer about why he likes writing for Michael Scott: "It's so interesting to see someone with authority be so innocent and so wrong."
- Also a winner from that panel: Schur's description of how Dwight would act in the event of an actual robot invasion. "He would cross his arms in the middle of the street as the robots marched down the street, shaking his head and saying 'I told you so!'"
- Yeah, the Heroes screening and Hugh Jackman appearance were cool — but one of my other favorite panels of the weekend was much, much smaller. On Friday, I got to hear some of the original voice actors from the classic Peanuts specials talk about what it was like to put together shows like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. Several of the specials will be out on remastered, special-feature-laden DVDs this Fall, and I can't wait! Eventually, they're hoping to bring all the specials (more than 40 of them!) to DVD.
- Also, some of the best trivia of the whole weekend came out of that panel: Did you know Fergie was once the voice of Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally? (For more Peanuts trivia, check out today's Brainteaser!)
To find out Seth Rogen's latest dirty comment and to see Zachary Levi's hand in a compromising position,
- Friday night’s bawdy session about Zack and Miri Make a Porno was moderated by Kevin Smith and included Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Traci Lords, and several others. The clip from the movie was pretty funny, mostly because of Rogen’s mugging and sarcasm. He's clearly cut out for Kevin Smith's style of comedy. At the panel, Elizabeth Banks had a funny comment when asked about what it was like to play Laura Bush after doing Zack and Miri: "Playing Laura Bush, it’s really just like playing a porn star. Just the hair is different." Rogen followed up with, "She wouldn’t even have to change her name." Yipes!
- At the Chuck panel, moderator Kristin Dos Santos tried to get Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez to repeat their 2007 feat of demonstrating an, er, compromising sexual position for the audience. They wouldn't do it — but did agree to reenact the moment with hand puppets. (See gallery for the image.)
- Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Jessica Hynes from Spaced were all over Comic-Con, doing interviews (stay tuned for mine!), panels, and signings to promote the US release of the complete series on DVD. They screened three beloved episodes on Friday night: "Art," "Epiphanies," and "Gone," the one with the finger gun fights. And, speaking of finger gun fights, they kicked off the screening with a gigantic one — Pegg speculated it was their biggest ever — with about 1,000 people participating.
- Another smaller but still very cool moment of the trip came in the panel where several Disney artists showed how they created the storyboards for Bolt, the film about a TV superdog who thinks his powers are real. I'm still not sold on John Travolta as the voice of Bolt, but the drawings were adorable (see gallery) and the writing in the sequence we saw, in which some cats torture Bolt in his trailer, was totally clever.
- The panel for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was fun, but for some reason I thought it would be more so. One of the coolest parts was that Damon Lindelof, executive producer of Lost moderated the panel, and is apparently a huge fan of Always Sunny. Also, little trivia: Rob McElhenney ("Mac" on the show) once played an Other on Lost.
- The final celebrity of my trip: Red Fraggle! She made a special appearance at Sunday's Fraggle Rock DVD panel to lead the crowd in a sing-along of "The Beatle Song" and a recitation of the Solemn Fraggle Oath ("weeba weeba, woppa woppa, garpox gumbidge, whoopee!"). It should be noted that the vast majority of the crowd was not, in fact, parents with children but folks in their mid-20s, gloriously reliving their childhood. (The hand claps on the first runthrough of the Fraggle Rock theme were completely spontaneous and perfectly in sync.)