You can thank “Zathura” for Harrison Ford’s first visit to Comic-Con International.
The man who gave the world Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan had never made the trek to San Diego, but he stepped on stage Saturday to promote “Cowboys & Aliens” because director Jon Favreau impressed upon him the need to win over the room.
“Jon asked me to do it and it’s hard to say no,” Ford said as he waited in the green room before entering Hall H. “I’ve never been here before, so we’ll see how it goes.”
So what does “Zathura” have to do with it? Favreau knows what it’s like to light a firecracker at Comic-Con — but he also knows what it’s like to bomb.
Favreau famously launched the “Iron Man” franchise in San Diego, but fewer people remember that earlier he had fizzled here with “Zathura.”
“I showed some stuff nobody cared about and it just didn’t happen,” Favreau said. “It’s rough when it goes like that.”
Favreau brought “Cowboys & Aliens” this year and scrambled to cobble together footage to show. In fact, he altered the shooting schedule to be in San Diego. “You gotta do it,” he said. “You have to show something.”
Favreau coaxed Ford, who is no lover of fanboy events, to fly in from New Mexico where shooting on the film is only just underway. Daniel Craig made the trip, too, giving the audience the nerdvana sight of James Bond and Han Solo side-by-side.
Backstage, Ford was a major magnet. Sigourney Weaver, in to promote “Paul,” staged an impromptu “Working Girl” reunion with Ford, while Seth Rogen and Jeffrey Tambor looked on.
– Geoff Boucher
Photo: Harrison Ford arrives at the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mike Nichols held on June 10, 2010. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images
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