There was once a time when Comic Con was the rightful domain of only the fiercest most devoted of comic books nerds. But with the rise in superheroes and the emergence of geek chic, even Comic Con has gone mainstream. Now it's not only intense fanboys and fangirls who trek from all over to gather at this mecca of comics, anime, sci-fi, and collectibles. Studios jockeying for buzz and devoted fan followings have lured in hoards of more casual fans, as well as movie bloggers, TV journalists, and just about an variant of pop culture coverer, making the preeminent San Diego Comic Con more massive and overwhelming each year.
The festivities of San Diego Comic Con kick off July 11th, and yesterday we broke down the film and television-related highlights of the first two days. Now the event’s official site, has divulged it's full Friday schedule, which we've abridged below to focus on the more enticing elements for movie and TV fans.
There's something for everyone at Comic Con, where you can check out the panels for dueling cult hits Community and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and then bolt to see the pilot of a new CBS drama series called Cult, or showing your browncoat pride at the 10th Anniversary reunion of the cast of Firefly. Or maybe you'd prefer a behind-the-scenes peak at the much-anticipated Laika animated feature Paranorman followed by Sony's promotion of their upcoming sci-fi action slate Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake, Rian Johnson's Looper and Neill Blomkamp's Elysium. Just pick your passion.
Of course, if you can't make it to the madness that is SDCC 2012, worry not, because we here at Cinema Blend will have people on the ground bringing you the best coverage of the fan-centric fest. Check out the schedule for Friday below! (To see the rest of the Comic Con schedule, click HERE)
FRIDAY10:00-11:00 Community: School is Back in Session— Joel McHale (The Soup), Gillian Jacobs (The Box), Danny Pudi (Chuck), Yvette Nicole Brown (Family Guy), and Alison Brie (Mad Men) from the hit Sony TV comedy have graduated to the Convention Center in advance of their fourth season. Join your favorite Greendale study group for a panel and Q&A to find out firsthand what surprises are in store for the show's return to NBC this fall. Ballroom 20
10:00-11:00 Hasbro Studios: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic— Panelists from Hasbro Studios and The HUB TV Network's My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic share details of the making of the animated series and how the "friendship" and "magic" are brought to life. Fans won't want to miss it! Also includes Q&A time. Room 23ABC
10:15-11:15 Go Green! With the Lean, Mean, Ninja Team -Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!— Experience Nickelodeon's very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Comic-Con panel, as executive producer Ciro Nieli (Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!) sets up the new series and unveils never-before-seen footage. Meet the incredible Ninja cast: Jason Biggs (voice of Leonardo), Sean Astin (voice of Raphael), Greg Cipes (voice of Michelangelo), Rob Paulsen (voice of Donatello), Kevin Michael Richardson (voice of Shredder), Hoon Lee (voice of Splinter), and Mae Whitman (voice of April O'Neil). Hear and see the radical undertaking of this 25-year-old property and some of the creative insights that have taken it to new and reinvigorating heights. Prepare to be shell-shocked! Moderated by Rich Magallanes, senior VP of current series for Nickelodeon. Room 6BCF
10:45-11:45 ParaNorman: Behind the Scenes— Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Travis Knight, Chris Butler, and Sam Fell discuss making their new stop-motion-animated comedy thriller, ParaNorman, made in 3D. Never-before-seen footage will be shown from the Laika movie that Focus Features is opening nationwide on August 17. Hall H
11:00-11:45 Adult Swim: The Venture Bros.— Show creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, with the voice of Dr. Venture James Urbaniak, discuss the original series and answer fan questions. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
11:15-12:15 Join the Revolution! Nickelodeon's Legend of Korra— The cast and crew of Legend of Korra offer an in-depth discussion of Nickelodeon's hottest new series. Executive producer and creator team Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender) are joined by co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos (Avatar: The Last Airbender) as they discuss the creative process that brought the first book in the Korra series to life. You'll also get to hear from your favorite characters as talented voice actors Janet Varney (Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P. J. Byrne (Bolin) and Seychelle Gabriel (Asami) will be featured on the panel and renowned voice director Andrea Romano (Avatar: The Last Airbender) will direct the actors in a live performance from the series. And if you're extra nice, Mike and Bryan may even drop a hint or two about Book 2. So don't miss out! Moderated by Rich Magallanes, senior VP of current series for Nickelodeon. Ballroom 20
11:30-12:30 Cult Pilot Screening and Q&A— There is television...and there is the world we live in. In the shadows where they meet, there is Cult. In this visceral thriller, a young reporter teams up with a television researcher to investigate a series of disturbing disappearances connected to a wildly popular new television show called...Cult. With everyone a suspect and no one to trust but each other, they follow an obscure trail of tantalizing clues deeper into the cult of Cult. Moving from the real world into the labyrinthine world of the series and its two characters-a detective and a charismatic cult leader-events inside the show begin to bleed into the outside world and vice versa as the certainty of what's real and what's illusion crumbles into dust. Be among the first to see a special pilot screening, followed by a Q&A with creator and executive producer Rockne S. O'Bannon (Farscape) and series stars Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries), Jessica Lucas (Psych), Alona Tal (Supernatural), and Robert Knepper (Heroes). Cult will air midseason on The CW and is produced by Fake Empire and Rockne S. O'Bannon Television in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Room 6BCF
11:45-12:45 Cartoon Network: Annoying Orange— Boasting more than 1 billion YouTube views to date, Annoying Orange is the web sensation transformed into a new Cartoon Network television series that follows Orange and his buddies as they go on a wide range of adventures taking them from the fruit stand to parts unknown and everything in between. Join series creator Dane Boedigheimer (Orange), Toby Turner (Nerville), and others for a delightfully annoying time. Room 6A
12:00-12:45 Adult Swim: NTSF:SD:SUV:: (National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::)— Watch a sneak peek at NTSF:SD:SUV:: season 2 and hear from the show's creative team led by creator and star Paul Scheer (The League), executive producer Jonathan Stern (Childrens Hospital, Newsreaders) and co-executive producer Curtis Gwinn (Fat Guy Stuck in Internet). They will be joined by members of their ensemble cast, including Martin Starr (Party Down, Freaks & Geeks), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, Ugly Betty), Brandon Johnson (Funny or Die) and June Diane Raphael (Players). Rob Corddry (Childrens Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine) moderates. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
12:05-1:05 The Big Bang Theory Screening and Q&A— Boldly go Big Bang Theory! For the first time ever in Hall H, the mega-popular TV series returns to Comic-Con for a special screening and a lively discussion. Will Howard ("Froot Loops") Wolowitz return from space? Where do things stand with Penny and Leonard? And will unscheduled handholding affect "The Relationship Agreement"? From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS. The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 11. Hall H
12:30-1:30 Firefly 10-Year Anniversary Reunion— Calling all Browncoats to unite! It has been 10 years since the crew of the Serenity took flight in the now infamous show Firefly. Science Channel will reunite, for the first time ever, Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew from the ship. Join Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and many more for a trip down memory lane, some special surprises, and exclusive Science Channel giveaways. SHINY. Ballroom 20
12:45-1:45 666 Park Avenue Pilot Screening and Q&A— Spend Friday the 13th getting to know the residents of the historic-and otherworldly-Manhattan apartment building The Drake, during this special screening of 666 Park Avenue. Sexy, seductive, and inviting, The Drake maintains a dark hold over its residents, tempting them through their ambitions and desires, in this new drama that's host to an epic struggle of good versus evil. Series stars Terry O'Quinn (Lost), Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives), Rachael Taylor (Charlie's Angels), and Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters), along with executive producers Matthew Miller (Chuck) and David Wilcox (Fringe), will be on hand for a special Q&A following the screening. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, 666 Park Avenue will air Sundays at 10/9c on ABC this fall. Room 6BCF
1:00-1:45 Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital— Watch a sneak peek of Childrens Hospital season 4i and hear from the show's creative team, led by creator and star Rob Corddry and executive producer Jonathan Stern. They will be joined by members of the show's ensemble cast of comedic heavyweights, including Lake Bell (How To Make It In America), Erinn Hayes (Parenthood), Rob Huebel (The Descendants), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Ken Marino (Party Down, The State). Childrens Hospital explores the emotional struggles and sexual politics of a group of doctors charged with healthy libidos. Paul Scheer (NTSF:SD:SUV::) moderates. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
1:25-2:25 AMC's The Walking Dead— Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, and introducing Danai Gurira as Michonne and David Morrissey as The Governor join executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, and special effects makeup supervisor and co-executive producer Greg Nicotero in a panel moderated by Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, Talking Dead). The panelists will discuss the wildly successful second season of The Walking Dead and what to look forward to in season 3, debuting this fall on AMC. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season 3. Hall H
1:45-2:45 Bones— Creator and executive producer Hart Hanson, executive producer Stephen Nathan and stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are on hand to discuss the shocking finale of season 7 as well as what's in store for Booth and Brennan in an exciting season 8. The panel will be followed by a fan Q&A. Ballroom 20
2:00-2:45 Adult Swim: Aqua Something You Know Whatever/Squidbillies— Show creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier discuss their original series, show footage from the new seasons, and answer questions. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
2:15-3:15 Tron: Uprising— Disney XD is bringing the Grid to Comic-Con! Join the noteworthy voice cast Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige) and Tricia Helfer (The Grid), along with executive producer/director Charlie Bean and consulting producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Once Upon a Time, LOST), to see exclusive footage and find out everything you want to know about this ground-breaking animated series. The panel will also feature never-before-seen clips of Disney XD's turbo-charged original series Motorcity and a sneak peek of the upcoming animated series Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. The panel will be moderated by Daily Variety film editor Josh Dickey. Room 6A
2:45-3:45 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A session— Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones series concluded its 10-episode second season on June 3. Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the series follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Season 2 of the hit series told an epic story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor, conquest and triumph, set in an enthralling world of intrigue, seduction, and magic. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, production of season 2 also took place in Croatia and Iceland. Some of the cast featured in the second season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, and Richard Madden as Robb Stark. George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series, moderates with executive producer Carolyn Strauss. Hall H
3:00-4:00 Walt Disney Animation Studios: Wreck-it Ralph: The Art of Story— Join Walt Disney Animation Studios story artists Josie Trinidad (Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled), Raymond Persi (Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons), Leo Matsuda (Wreck-It Ralph, Princess and the Frog), Nancy Kruse (Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons) and writer Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph) as they discuss the art of story for the upcoming feature Wreck-It Ralph, in theaters November 2nd. Room 6DE
3:00-4:00 Arrow Screening and Q&A— Oliver Queen lives! The iconic DC Comics character will be the subject of a hard-hitting new drama series on The CW this fall. Arrow makes its Comic-Con debut with a screening of the full Arrow pilot, followed by a Q&A with series stars Stephen Amell (Private Practice) and Katie Cassidy (Supernatural), executive producers Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) and Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe), and pilot director/executive producer David Nutter (Smallville). After being marooned for five years on a remote island, former billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns to his home of Starling City with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Arrow will air Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW this fall. Ballroom 20
3:00-3:45 Adult Swim: Robot Chicken/Robot Chicken DC Comics Special— Co-creators/executive producers Seth Green and Matthew Senreich are joined by co-head writer/executive producer Tom Root, actor/writer Breckin Meyer, and writer Matthew Beans to discuss the Emmy-winning series. DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns joins to the panel to share insider scoop about the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. Watch a sneak peek and get your questions answered about Season Six. Keith Crofford, VP of production for Adult Swim, moderates. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
4:00-5:00 Bob's Burgers— Creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard and executive producer Jim Dauterive and cast members H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal are on hand to screen never-before-seen footage, followed by a panel discussion and fan Q&A. Room 25ABC
4:00-4:45 Adult Swim: Black Dynamite— Creators and voice talent from the new animated series, based on the 2009 feature film will give an exclusive preview of the show and answer questions. The Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of Black Dynamite and his crew. Panelists include executive producer Carl Jones (The Boondocks) along with Michael Jai White (For Better or Worse, The Dark Knight, Why Did I Get Married?), Tommy Davidson (In Living Color), Kym Whitley (The Cleveland Show, Brian McKnight Show), Byron Minns (Mongo Wrestling Alliance), Debra Wilson (MadTV), Orlando Jones (Rules of Engagement), and Cedric Yarbourgh (The Boondocks). Moderated by Gary Anthony Williams (The Boondocks). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San
4:05-4:35 Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Retribution— In Resident Evil: Retribution, we learn more about Alice's mysterious past as she continues to hunt those at The Umbrella Corporation responsible for the T-virus outbreak, a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, including the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Rain Ocampo, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. Appearing in person: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr, Boris Kodjoe, Mika Nakashima and writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson. Please join them for a preview and discussion of this highly successful film franchise, based on the popular video game series, and watch never before seen footage from the latest installment, Resident Evil: Retribution, in state-of-the art 3D. Hall H
4:30-5:30 Falling Skies: The Battle Is Just Getting Started— Continuing the fight against alien invaders, TNT's Falling Skies follows a band of human survivors on their quest to outrun and outwit the powerful alien force that invaded Earth. Join stars Noah Wyle (ER), Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation), Will Patton (Armageddon), Drew Roy (Secretariat), Collin Cunningham (Living in Your Car), Sarah Carter (The Vow), and Connor Jessup (The Saddle Club), executive producer Greg Beeman, and show runner Remi Aubuchon (Caprica), with Q&A hosted by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory). Watch never-before-seen clips and be treated to an in-depth discussion on Falling Skies season 2. Room 6BCF
4:35-6:35 Sony: Total Recall, Looper, and Elysium—
Total Recall-Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," this brand new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman, who will join stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston on stage.
Looper-In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented-but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper"-a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)-is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good...until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. Writer/director Rian Johnson will join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt to discuss the film.
Elysium-Ever since writer-director Neill Blomkamp broke through with his first feature film, District 9, people have been wondering what he has in store for an encore. Be a part of the first audience anywhere to get a first look at his new movie, Elysium, as stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster join Neill and producer Simon Kinberg on stage. Hall H
5:45-6:45 Spartacus: War of the Damned— Liam McIntyre (McLeod's Daughters) returns to Comic-Con, along with Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night), executive producer Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and a few surprise appearances to show footage from the final season of Spartacus: War of the Damned, airing on STARZ in January 2013. They will also discuss some of the bonus features on the Spartacus: Vengeance DVD, available September 11. Room 6BCF
6:45-7:45 AMC's Breaking Bad-— Executive producer and showrunner Vince Gilligan appears with the cast of Breaking Bad, including Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R. J. Mitte, and Jonathan Banks. In a panel moderated by TV Guide's Mike Schneider, Vince and the cast talk about what it's like to shoot one of the boldest and most intense dramas on television, and how they are preparing for the final 16 episodes of the series. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of Breaking Bad season 5, premiering Sunday, July 15 at 10ET/PT. Ballroom 20
8:00-9:00 Strike Back— Hit action series Strike Back kicks off its second season with stars Sullivan Stapleton (300: Battle for Artemisia, Gangster Squad, Animal Kingdom), Philip Winchester (Crusoe, Finge, Camelot), and new cast member Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Doomsday, SGU Stargate Universe). The drama follows stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20 as they span the globe to stop potential threats. The panel will feature cool insights about the show, giveaways, and exclusive clips from the new season, which begins in August. Moderated by HitFix TV critic Alan Sepinwall. Presented by HBO/Cinemax. Room 6DE