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Will Ferrell set the bar high as the first star to take the stage at Hall H this year. Walking out before anyone really even knew the panel had started, Ferrell walked out in front of the 5,000 strong crowd dressed as his blue-headed villain character from Megamind, complete with bulbous blue helmet, spiked black collar and blue face paint. "The first rule of Comic Con is to show up in your own costume," he explained, and of course the cosplayers in the crowd wouldn't disagree.
Ferrell was joined onstage by Megamind director Tom McGrath and co-stars Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt. OK, fine, it was just a cardboard cutout of Brad Pitt-- "Angelina is here, and someone has to take care of the kids" was the explanation-- but it was worth seeing Tina Fey hold the cutout on her lap and admit, "I've always wanted to do this." Everyone gathered onstage to introduce five minutes of footage, basically an extended trailer, and I've got to say, it looked really good. Previously Megamind had seemed like some DreamWorks version of Despicable Me, another story about a villain we were supposed to have sympathy for. Instead Megamind seems a lot wilder, basically exploring what would happen if the evil villain, er, actually won. I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal that the heroic Metro Man comes flying toward Megamind in what looks like a heroic escape from a death ray-- and is just a bunch of bones wearing a cape. Hilarious.
The footage was shown in 3D and looked great, but animation has always been better in 3D so that's no surprise. And while the highlights of the Q&A that followed didn't really have much to do with the movie itself-- Jonah Hill "defending" Mel Gibson by saying the Jews killed Christ and also announcing he's playing the Hulk in The Avengers, Will Ferrell admitting Charlize Theron is his nemesis, Tina Fey promising an HBO wrestling match between her and Betty White-- they did remind us that this is an animated movie voiced by a bunch of very, very funny people, and that counts for something.
Keep checking back for more highlights from Hall H-- I'll be here all day.
The panel, including cardboard Brad Pitt, is assembled.
Tina and Brad get up close and personal.
The first weird and enthusiastic fan to ask a question in Hall H.
Bob Stencil has arrived.