SAN DIEGO—While the TV world is concentrated in Pasadena for the Television Critics Association Press Tour, the worlds of comics, video games, toys and movies (and just a bit of TV) are mobilizing down in San Diego for the 37th Comic-Con International, running from Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23.
Zap2it took the short drive down the 405 to the 5 to get the latest scoop on some of the most exciting films that will be hitting theaters over the next year. Check back for updates on the clips, the director interviews and all of the impressively geeky questions. From "Spider-Man 3" to "Snakes on a Plane" to a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie," we'll be updating often.
Venom Spooks 'Spider-Man 3' Fans
Guess what, "Spider-Man" fans? The big villain in the next webslinging movie is Venom, who will be played by Topher Grace.
That's not actually much of a surprise, given that "Spider-Man 3" star Kirsten Dunst spilled the beans on the subject back last September. But Saturday's Comic-Con event was the first time director Sam Raimi and the other filmmakers were willing to admit that the fan favorite baddie -- an alien symbiote who inhabits a disgruntled and suicidal journalist named Eddie Brock -- would be on the big screen next summer.
The presented footage only offers a glimpse of Venom at its very end, but those one or two seconds revealed a dark and toothy looking creature very much like the comic depiction. Much of what was screened sticks to the material from the fantastic teaser trailer, though some rough effects shots of Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman and of the dark direction for James Franco's Harry Osborn seem promising. It's enough for another standing ovation, as is the arrival of stars Tobey Maguire, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dunst, Grace and Church.
The new cast members are particularly excited, as Grace puts it, "I want to see the movie more than all of you combined."
Church is quick to add that this isn't much of a stretch for him because "Weirdly, in 'Sideways,' I was also made of sand.
Although fans shout and cheer and beg for a second viewing of the clips, the panel ends with a standard question -- What super powers would you most like to have.
Howard, up first answers, "Teleportation -- to go to the grocery store."
Maguire chimes in with "I'd like to fly. And to be invincible. That'd be fun. And to live eternally as well. And have X-ray vision."
Church mugs, "I would wreak havoc with corn and I would be known as the Corn Cob Goblin." [His answer refers to confusion as to whether Franco's dark turn might make him the second Green Goblin or the Hobgoblin.]
Dunst closes things with, "I'd want the power to create as many wishes as I want."
Welcome Johnny Blaze (No, Not Method Man)
"This feels good to be here with people like myself, who love comic books," says Nicolas Cage.
Comic-Con crowds love that kind of stuff.
Cage continues, "We've had enough of the Supermans and Spider-Mans and we're here to kick some ass."
Well, actually, the huge main-stage convention crowd is really at the panel for "Ghost Rider," because the film is being released next spring by Sony, the same studio that's dropping "Spider-Man 3" in May.