July 24, 2014 | 11:32 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Fans get first extended look at ‘Star Wars Rebels’

“Star Wars” fans got their first look at the new “Star Wars Rebels” series on Thursday at Comic-Con with a screening of the first episode, which isn’t due to premiere on the Disney Channel until October. While the animation wasn’t quite finished, and therefore not quite ready for review, it did evoke the look and feel of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” The exclusive clip above was screened at the panel and gave fans a feel for the lighthearted, more adventurous feel of the new series. At the show’s panel discussion beforehand, executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg appeared before fans for the first time with the show’s cast, which includes Freddie Prinze Jr., Steve Blum, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Tiya Sircar. The new series takes place in the “Star Wars” timeline between “Revenge of the […]
July 24, 2014 | 6:27 p.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Interstellar’s’ Nolan, McConaughey make surprise showing

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey
With this year’s Comic-Con feeling relatively light on huge tent pole movies compared with recent years, Hollywood observers wondered in the run-up to the convention whether the studios had any surprises up their collective sleeves. In its Hall H presentation, Paramount offered two fairly big ones in the forms of actor Matthew McConaughey and director Christopher Nolan, who took the stage to offer an early look at Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi epic “Interstellar.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Despite his fanboy-fave pedigree thanks to films like “Inception” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, Nolan had never actually attended Comic-Con before. “I’ve heard a lot about this really being a place where people are most passionate about movies and popular culture in general, so I thought I’d come see what all the fuss is about,” he said. “I’m not disappointed and I’m extremely honored to be here.” Making his own first Comic-Con appearance, McConaughey […]
July 24, 2014 | 5:56 p.m.

‘Batman’: Zack Snyder tweets new portrait of Ben Affleck as Dark Knight

Ben Affleck as Batman
Zack Snyder, the director of the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel that will bring together Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, released a new photo of actor Ben Affleck in Batman’s cape and cowl on Thursday, the opening day of Comic-Con International 2014. The close-up shot arrives one day after July 23, which had been officially declared Batman Day to honor the hero’s 75th anniversary. Set for release on May 6, 2016, “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” will see Henry Cavill reprise his “Man of Steel” role as Superman, with Affleck taking over as Batman and Israeli actress Gal Gadot portraying Wonder Woman. Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the film, which will lead in to a planned “Justice League” movie that Snyder also will direct. Warner Bros. has not yet confirmed which characters will appear in […]
July 24, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Stan Lee bows out of San Diego signings due to illness

Fans hoping for a chance to meet Stan Lee at Comic-Con International in San Diego were disappointed to learn Thursday that the Marvel icon was forced to bow out of his scheduled appearances at the pop culture expo. The culprit? A case of laryngitis. In a statement released Thursday, the first full day of Comic-Con 2014, a spokesman for Lee said, “Unfortunately, Stan Lee has lost his voice due to laryngitis and is unable to attend this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and has regrettably had to cancel his appearances. Stan is otherwise well and in good health, though he is disappointed to miss the event and wishes everyone a great time.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Lee, 91, had been set to attend the convention on Friday and Saturday. Marvel enthusiasts will, however, be able to catch a glimpse of the […]
July 24, 2014 | 2:59 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch charms the fanboy faithful

Benedict Cumberbatch attends the DreamWorks Animation panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International 2014 on Thursday, July 24, in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In the first major studio presentation at this year’s Comic-Con International, DreamWorks Animation was eager to show off its upcoming alien buddy-comedy “Home” and its big-screen spinoff “Penguins of Madagascar.” But for the fans who packed Hall H for Thursday’s panel, some of whom had lined up overnight, the main attraction wasn’t cuddly extraterrestrials or adorable penguins: it was actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The star of the BBC hit “Sherlock” and last year’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Cumberbatch had never actually attended the convention before this year and, to no one’s surprise, he was met with a rock star’s greeting of screams, squeals and popping flashes. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 To ensure the focus remained squarely on “Penguins of Madagascar,” in which the actor voices a secretive and heroic wolf named Classified, panel moderator Craig Ferguson half-jokingly admonished the crowd, “I’m warning you, if anyone asks a […]
July 24, 2014 | 1:24 p.m.

‘Books of Blood’ digital comic reteams Clive Barker with composer

"Books of Blood"
Ever wonder what Clive Barker’s legendary horror series “Books of Blood” might sound like? As announced earlier this year, the celebrated collection of stories that established Barker as one of the masters of horror will be getting a release on the Madefire Motion Books platform, the interactive digital comic book company that incorporates music, sound effects and panoramic views into the reading experience. Now, Madefire has announced that composer Cris Velasco will be creating the soundtrack for the digital version of the stories. The “Books of Blood” series, originally published as six separate books in the mid-’80s, inspired Stephen King to tout Barker as the “future of horror,” and launched the author’s and filmmaker’s illustrious career. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Best known for scoring video games such as “Darksiders,” “God of War” and “Mass Effect,” Velasco is no stranger to […]
July 24, 2014 | 7:52 a.m.

‘Phineas and Ferb’ creators talk Disney Channel ‘Star Wars’ film

Ferb, Phineas and Watto in a scene from "Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars." (Disney XD)
To say that “Phineas & Ferb” creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are fans of “Star Wars” is a bit of an understatement. “I was the first kid in line for the first showing of ‘Star Wars’ in Mobile, Ala. I watched it 19 times that summer, and more times since we were making this movie. I can’t count how many times I’ve actually seen it. But it’s pretty burned into my cerebrum,” says Povenmire. That fervor is what the duo brought to the Disney Channel movie “Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars,” which airs at 9 p.m. Saturday. (They’ll also be offering a sneak peek of it at Comic-Con at 10 a.m. Saturday.) The film takes place parallel to events that transpire in the original 1977 film “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” Alongside Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, […]
July 24, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro takes fans into ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim’

Guillermo del Toro outside the "Crimson Peak" Gothic Gallery at Comic-Con
If he could, Guillermo del Toro would probably walk through San Diego’s Comic-Con International talking to every fan personally about their shared love of monsters, robots and things that go bump in the night. Instead, the director helped create two immersive worlds for the Legendary booth at the convention, a virtual reality encounter where fans can train to pilot a Jaeger–the giant, neurally linked robots from his 2013 science-fiction epic “Pacific Rim”– and a Gothic gallery they can stroll through to enter the world of his next project, the 2015 haunted house film “Crimson Peak.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 To enter the “Crimson Peak” portion of the booth, which Del Toro gave press a tour of Wednesday night, fans walk through snow-covered gates into a space that includes evocative props and costumes from the film. Set in a deteriorating mansion in 19th century northern England, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia […]
July 24, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Outcry, action against harassment grows

Anna Kegler, left, Rochelle Keyhan and Erin Filson, representing a group called geeksforCONsent at Comic-Con. The trio will be handing out anti-harassment paraphernalia at the convention. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
SAN DIEGO — Mariah Huehner attended her first Comic-Con as a newly minted comic book editor a few years ago, looking to network with artists. But at a nighttime party in a hotel by the bay, she realized that others had a different kind of connection in mind. “One of the guys suddenly had his hand on my butt,” said Huehner, 35, who is best known as the author of the “True Blood” and “Emily and the Strangers” comics. “It’s a shocking reminder that you’re seen differently.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Comic-Con International’s dense crowds, Bacchanalian atmosphere and mask-wearing anonymity make it prime territory for misbehavior, according to both men and women who have attended the event many times. Here, and at other similar events around the country, convention-goers have been known to grope, stalk and take “upskirt” photos with […]
July 23, 2014 | 7:24 p.m.

Image Expo: Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek, Jeff Lemire conjure new titles

ImageExpoJuly14Featured
New highs, warthog wizards and a robot boy on the run figure into upcoming Image Comics titles from acclaimed writers Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek and Jeff Lemire, respectively. Those projects and more in an increasingly sci-fi-heavy lineup were revealed Wednesday afternoon during Image Expo at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego before Comic-Con International’s preview night – part of a trend of comics publishers making announcements before the din of Comic-Con reaches full volume. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 But where Marvel and Archie Comics announced changes to longstanding franchises and characters, Image pointedly rolled out all-new, creator-owned titles. Iconoclastic Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, mentioning the changes to Thor, Captain America, Archie and more without naming the characters, said, “It’s hard to believe that as far as comics have come since the turn of the century … this is still what passes […]
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