RT Photo Preview: What To Watch at Comic-Con

Tons of movie panels await, but which are worth camping out for?

by | July 24, 2008 | Comments

If you’re headed to San Diego for this week’s Comic-Con 2008, then you’re in luck; over 30 of Hollywood’s most anticipated films and television shows are slated to strut their stuff at the biggest pop culture event of the year. (They don’t call it “Nerdy Gras” for nothing!) But for those of you who can’t attend, Rotten Tomatoes will be bringing you all the highlights, news and photos from Comic-Con 2008.

This year’s Con kicks off today with Preview Night, followed by four straight days of nonstop panels, unadulterated geekery, and costumed fun. Here we’ve put together a preview of our own, photo highlights of the hottest movie panels we’re looking forward to over the next few days. (Stay tuned for our gallery of the best Comic-Con costumes — metallic bikini Leia alert!)

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen is quite possibly the most anticipated film of 2009, and it’s still eight months away. No less than ten Comic-Con panels will discuss the Watchmen movie this year, although Friday’s Warner Bros. presentation will be the biggest of them all — expect sneak peeks and special guests. Expected to attend: director Snyder and Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Patrick Wilson. Watch the teaser trailer here.

Next: The Spirit

Catch Frank Miller’s Spirit

The Spirit is not only the solo directing debut of comics giant Frank Miller (creator of the Sin City and 300 graphic novels), it’s also the brainchild of Golden Age comics legend Will Eisner. (The annual Eisner Awards are given in his honor.) Miller, producer Deborah del Prete, and stars Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, and Eva Mendes will be on hand Friday afternoon to present an exclusive preview of the highly stylized noir, which is scheduled for release this December. Check out the trailer and video interviews for The Spirit here.

Next: Star Wars: Clone Wars

Ready Your Lightsabers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars

George Lucas goes after a new generation of Star Wars fans (and, heck, reels in the older ones as well) with a new feature-length “episode” due in theaters August 15. The animated CGI flick, set in the time between Episodes II and III, will serve as an introduction to an all-new animated series debuting on the Cartoon Network this fall — a must-see panel for all the storm troopers and Jedis in the house. Watch the trailers here.

Next: Terminator Salvation

Christian Bale as John Connor in Terminator: Salvation

As if Christian Bale‘s star wattage couldn’t get any higher, the Dark Knight star is set to play another iconic hero, John Connor, in the May 2009 sequel Terminator Salvation. Glimpse the future of mankind (in the year 2018) and the future of the Terminator franchise at Warner Bros.’ Saturday afternoon panel, where director McG and stars Moon Bloodgood, Common, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Sam Worthington are scheduled to present tidbits from the film, currently in production. Watch the teaser trailer here.

Next: Pineapple Express

All Aboard the Pineapple Express!

Geeks love Judd Apatow. Geeks also love stoner movies. Experience the combined power of Apatow and the stoner genre with a sneak peek into this buddy-stoner-chase flick, directed by indie helmer David Gordon Green. Pineapple Express stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as the 21st century Cheech and Chong, on the run from corrupt cops after eyewitnessing a murder; join Green, co-writers Rogen and Evan Goldberg (the real-life BFFs behind Superbad), and co-stars James Franco, Danny McBride, and Amber Heard for their Saturday evening panel. Lucky attendees might even score tickets to a special sneak screening.

Next: Twilight

Tune in to Twilight

Stephanie Meyer’s bestselling young adult romance about romance between a girl and a vampire will get its own big-screen adaptation this December, but Comic-Con audiences will get an exclusive sneak peek Thursday at the Twilight panel. Expect director Catherine Hardwicke, author Meyer, and stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and more to present footage from the cult-movie in the making. Click here to watch the teaser trailer.

Next: The Wolf Man

See Benicio del Toro as The Wolf Man

What movie monster is more popular with film nerds than the Wolf Man? From Lon Chaney Jr.’s 1941 classic to Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf, werewolves have made appearances time and time again in Hollywood, and next spring Universal will revive the genre once more. Special effects whiz Rick Baker will be on hand Friday to unveil footage and peeks at 2009’s The Wolf Man, in which he’ll transform the admittedly hirsute Benicio del Toro into an even hairier hero opposite Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving.

Next: Zack and Miri Make A Porno

Watch Kevin Smith, Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogen Make a Porno

Kevin Smith is no stranger to Comic-Con. Back again with his super popular traveling road show (An Evening With…), Smith will take time from his busy Comic-Con schedule of moderating every panel known to nerd to present clips from his latest film, Zack and Miri Make A Porno. Not familiar with the plot? It’s about a guy named Zack and a girl named Miri who…well, it’s fairly self explanatory. If you can’t make the film’s panel on Friday, catch Smith at the SCREAM Like a Girl panel, Entertainment Weekly‘s Visionaries panel (along with Frank Miller, Zack Snyder, and Judd Apatow) or moderating the Battlestar Galactica (nerd alert!) panel on Sunday.

Next: Bolt and UP

Catch a Disney-Pixar Two-fer: Bolt and UP!

Bring the kiddies around to Hall H on Saturday for the biggest animation panel of the Con. Disney and Pixar will team up to present their respective upcoming flicks, Bolt and UP. Bolt directors Chris Williams (Mulan) and Byron Howard will present exclusive clips from their fall canine adventure, while Peter Docter (co-writer of Toy Story and WALL-E, director of Monsters, Inc.) will present the first-ever look at Pixar’s 2009 “coming-of-old-age” animated septuagenarian adventure.

Next: Death Race

Come for the Death Race, Stay for Drag Me To Hell

Fire up your engines for a Q&A and all-new footage from Death Race, Universal’s remake of the cult film Death Race 2000. Jason Statham is expected to be on hand with cast members from the film, sharing time with a presentation of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; expect action-packed clips from the two very different high-throttle flicks, which both hit theaters this August. Universal will also unveil tidbits from their upcoming Land of the Lost update, but the true-blue geeks in the house will be there for a sneak peek at Sam Raimi‘s first post-Spidey project, Drag Me To Hell.

Next: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Underworld 3: No Kate, But Plenty of Rhona

I know what you’re thinking: an Underworld movie without Kate Beckinsale? Calm down — it’s a prequel, not a sequel, and so Beckinsale passes the torch to another raven-haired beauty: Rhona Mitra. As vampire hottie Sonja, Mitra joins forces with Michael Sheen’s Lucian in the star-crossed romance that started all the ruckus between Lycans and Death Dealers eons before black leather bodysuits came into vogue. See Mitra, Sheen, Bill Nighy and director Patrick Tatopoulos Saturday evening as they answer a Q&A and present a first look at footage from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

Next: The Day The Earth Stood Still and Max Payne

Thursday is the Day The Con Stood Still

Keanu Reeves as an alien life form in human form who sounds a bit odd? Call it a stretch. Reeves will be on hand Thursday to unveil footage of the December remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still, along with co-star Jennifer Connolly and director Scott Derrickson. Stick around for a peek at Marky Mark’s — err, Mark Wahlberg’s — vid game adaptation, Max Payne, which he’ll be showing along with cast members Mila Kunis and Ludacris.

Next: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

**Updated** Hugh Jackman Unveils Wolverine (and Gambit)!

Thursday morning attendees were in for a real treat, as surprise guest Hugh Jackman arrived to share footage from the recently wrapped X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In addition to showing scenes of Logan’s adamantium operation courtesy of the Weapon X program and Wolverine in full hack-slash action, 20th Century Fox unveiled looks at the fellow characters from X-Men lore that will be joining Wolverine on the big screen next May: Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Wraith (Will.I.Am.), The Blob (Kevin Durand) and…Gambit (Taylor Kitsch)! Click pic for more images from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Next: Even more movies await…

But wait, there’s more! Check out the full Comic-Con 2008 schedule for more looks at Eagle Eye, Push, Knowing, RocknRolla, Race to Witch Mountain, Punisher: War Zone, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Starship Troopers: Marauder, The Lost Boys: The Tribe, 25/8, The Unborn, Friday the 13th, Quarantine, and Saw V.

And make sure to check back for all the Rotten Tomatoes Comic-Con 2008 coverage, photos from the convention floor, and news from around the web right as the Con gets going!

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