Cue the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme – Steven Spielberg is coming to Comic-Con.
The Oscar-winning director who ushered in the blockbuster film era with “Jaws” and brought sci-fi to the masses with movies such as “E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Minority Report,” will make his first appearance at Comic-Con International when he takes the stage in Hall H July 22.
The 64-year-old filmmaker will receive an Inkpot Award, which has been presented since 1974 to signature figures in comics and genre entertainment, among them Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, Hayao Miyazaki and R. Crumb.
And, keeping with the convention’s drumbeat of Hollywood promotion, Spielberg will be bringing footage from “The Adventures of Tintin,” the motion-capture movie from Paramount Pictures that reaches theaters in December and marks his first work as a feature director since “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in 2008.
To give life to the boy-journalist character from the vintage Belgian adventure tales, “Tintin” uses state-of-the-art technology, which Spielberg described as “a whole new muscle set — the technology and the approach and the thinking of it. It was a muscle set I didn’t even know I had and the tools were entirely new. I did feel like a painter in a way, and that was exciting for me.”
Spielberg will get his award and discuss “Tintin” in Hall H, the 6,000-seat room where Hollywood stars and filmmakers present previews for fans. Interestingly, the day after Spielberg appears, Francis Ford Coppola will be on the same stage to promote his newest project, “Twixt.”
It’s a busy time for the filmmaker. On the heels of “Tintin,” Spielberg will release the World War I-era drama “War Horse,” the historic biopic “Lincoln” starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president, and, perhaps most intriguing, “Robopocalypse,” based on the startling Daniel H. Wilson novel.
After the business distractions of finding a new home for his DreamWorks studio in recent seasons, Spielberg seems to be in an intense mode of creative reconnection with his audience both as a producer and director. He’s behind two shows being touted at Comic-Con – Fox’s “Terra Nova” and TNT”s “Falling Skies” – in addition to producing a run of current feature films including “Super 8,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Cowboys & Aliens.”
“You get the feeling he’s on a roll,” said Guy Hendrix Dyas, the Oscar-nominated production designer for “Inception” who is now at work on “Robopocalypse.” “It’s an exciting thing to see.”
One reason is, after so many years in the business, Spielberg’s tendrils run far and deep. But there’s also his desire to work with younger talent on the rise.
“I feel I have a duty to help people succeed, the people I truly believe in,” Spielberg said.
He added: “I want to see these projects realized for a selfish reason too: I’m a fan who can’t wait to watch them.”
– Geoff Boucher
Editor’s note: Geoff Boucher will be the moderator of the “Tintin” panel at 11 a.m. on July 22 in Hall H at Comic-Con International in the San Diego Convention Center.
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