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By Mark Bell | July 26, 2007

Friday, July 26, 2007
The fun continues, Hell, it INCREASES on Friday, as perennial Comic-Con powerhouse Kevin Smith takes to the stage along with a number of high-profile panels and showcases from studios such as Warner Bros and Dimension. On top of that, Friday is “Star Wars” Day at the Con, meaning more teases about a franchise that is, basically, on its last Midochlorian-enhanced legs.

10:30-11:30, Room 5AB: The Art of Adapting Comics to the Screen — Some films do their source comics justice, some elevate their source material and some are cinematic abortions. That being said, apparently there’s an art to adapting comics to screen, and former Film Threat’er (current Creative Screenwriting senior editor) Jeff Goldsmith will be moderating this panel consisting of Stan Lee, Don Payne (co-writer, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”), Mark Fergus (co-writer, “Iron Man”), Kevin Feige (president of production, Marvel Studios), and Mark Verheiden (“Teen Titans”).

10:30-12:30, Hall H: Warner Bros. — This is a definite DO NOT MISS showcase. There will be film appetizers in the form of Ed Burns and Shannyn Sossamon showing footage from thriller “One Missed Call,” and Kate Beckinsale will be on-hand to discuss her murder mystery “Whiteout.” The real meal starts, however, when Zack Snyder appears to talk all things “Watchmen,” with a strong possibility of the casting being announced. Oh, yeah, “Get Smart” will be showcased too, but we all know it’s all about “Watchmen.”

2:15-3:00, Hall H: New Line Cinema: “Shoot ‘Em Up” — Clive Owen and director Michael Davis will be showing off footage from their latest film, “Shoot ‘Em Up,” following up with Q&A and a special preview of New Line’s upcoming slate of flicks.

2:30-4:00, Ballroom 20: Dimension Films: “Halloween” and “The Mist” — Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” may be released at the end of August, but we all want to know whether or not it sucks right now, and Rob Zombie will be at the Con to talk about the film (and, most likely, show some footage). This could either be the best publicity the film gets pre-release, or the worst. Zombie is joined by writer/director Frank Darabont and actor Thomas Jane, who will be at the panel to discuss their film “The Mist,” based on a Stephen King novella (Darabont is pretty good about delivering from King source material).

3:15-4:45, Hall H: Warner Bros. Home Video: “300” and “Blade Runner Final Cut” — We normally wouldn’t consider a DVD release the type of panel worth checking out, but “300” will be represented by Zack Snyder, stars Lena Headey and David Wenham and other special guests, and promises the screening of a never-before-seen clip. And another edition of “Blade Runner”? Apparently this is the be the very last, final, never-again cut and director Ridley Scott will be there to showcase the DVD and talk about the film alongside Sean Young, Joanna Cassidy, Joe Turkel, James Hong, Syd Mead (designer/futurist), Mark Stetson (FX), and DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika.

5:00-6:00, Hall H: “Star Wars” at 30 Years with Steve Sansweet — It’s “Star Wars,” it’s Steve Sansweet. Expect lots of teases, lots of talking and very little revelations. That being said… it is “Star Wars”…

6:15-7:45, Hall H: Kevin Smith — If you’ve never seen Kevin Smith talk, you’ve been missing out. Smith is a must-see at every San Diego Comic-Con he’s spoken at, and this one will be no different. On top of the normal hilarity and irreverence associated with a KS gig, Smith will also be showing a Comic-Con exclusive edition of the pilot he directed for the CW channel, “Reaper.”

10:15-12:15, Room 6CDEF: Spike and Mike: The Gauntlet — Spike and Mike deliver the best in animation in their annual showcases, and their Comic-Con “Gauntlet” is a perfect way to end your Friday. Well, also a perfectly disturbing way to end your Friday, but perfect is perfect.

Saturday, July 27, 2007
If you can pry yourself away from “The Simpsons Movie” screenings at the multiplex, Comic-Con’s got even more “Simpsons” fun for you to enjoy in what is traditionally the biggest and baddest day of the entire event.

10:45-12:00, Hall H: “The Simpsons” — It’s all thing “Simpsons” with creator Matt Groening and crew Al Jean (executive producer/head writer), David Mirkin (former executive producer), Matt Selman (executive producer), Michael Price (co-executive producer), David Silverman (director of The Simpsons Movie), Don Payne (consulting producer), and Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson). Considering the film will have just been released, this is almost like a post-premiere Q&A.

12:15-2:00, Hall H: Rogue/Focus Studios — Dan Fogler, Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will be attending to talk all about their “Balls of Fury,” and Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman will be talking “The Strangers.” The real highlight? “Doomsday,” the latest from “The Descent” filmmaker Neil Marshall.

2:15-3:15, Ballroom 20: “Battlestar Galactica” — Not film-related, but probably the best show on television today. And since the series will be ending after the upcoming season, this may be your only chance to meet the cast and crew of the show. So who’s going to be there? How about Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Kara “Starbuck” Thrace), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Ronald D. Moore (executive producer), David Eick (executive producer), and Erik Storey (VP, original programming, SCI FI)…

4:15-5:00, Hall H: Marvel Studios — Marvel’s bringing in the big guns for this one. Going down the list, “The Incredible Hulk” will be represented at the showcase by Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, director Louis Leterrier and producers Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd and Kevin Feige. And how do you follow-up that crew of A-Listers? How about with “Iron Man” and Jon Favreau, producers Avi Arad, Kevin Feige, and Robert Downey Jr. This panel is a blockbuster, period.

5:30-7:00, Hall H: Columbia/Screen Gems — Sure, Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter will be there to talk about “Resident Evil: Extinction” and, yes, Sam Raimi, Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, and Josh Hartnett will be on-hand for “30 Days of Night,” but they’re not the reason to go to this panel. The reason? Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Greg Mottola and Evan Goldberg will be at the Con representing “Superbad.” Go to this one and tell all your friends how you got to hang with Seth Rogen (don’t worry, they’ll be too amazed to ask you the full context of said hanging).

6:30-7:30, Room 1AB: Troma’s “Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead” — Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman will be showing exclusive clips from “Poultrygeist” and will be talking all about low budget filmmaking. Worth attending for all you beginner filmmakers out there.

8:30-1:30, Sails Pavilion: Comic-Con International Masquerade Party — This is the true highlight of the entire Comic-Con, when geeks of all walks of life come together to watch that rare breed of geek that has no problem dressing up in costume. Show the love or mock, your call, the Masquerade Ball is the best Saturday night you’ll ever spend watching people prance around on a stage.

The schedule highlights continue as Film Threat takes a look at Friday and Saturday in Part Three of Film Threat’s Guide to the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con>>>

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