The 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival is underway. Here’s a rundown of the day-by-day schedule. There will also be trivia, prizes and some very interesting surprises throughout the four-day program.
DICK TRACY: Fourteen-time Oscar nominee Warren Beatty – the very definition of the Hollywood hyphenate as world-famous leading man, an acclaimed director and an elite producer — will be the opening-night guest for the 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival to celebrate his 1990 hit “Dick Tracy“ and talk about the film future of a square-jawed character who is celebrating his 80th anniversary as an iconic crime fighter in American pop culture.
Beatty directed “Dick Tracy,” which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three. He also starred as the title character, leading a stellar cast that included Al Pacino, Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, Glenne Headly, Charlie Korsmo, Mandy Patinkin, Dick Van Dyke, William Forsythe, Kathy Bates, Charles Durning, James Caan, Paul Sorvino and Catherine O’Hara. The legacy of the film and Beatty’s aspirations for the property have been back in the news, which will be part of the onstage discussion following the screening of the film. The screening is at 7 p.m. The Q&A will follow the film. MORE DETAILS.
STAR TREK: The past and the future of Starfleet comes to the festival as Nicholas Meyer, director of the 1982 fan favorite “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” and the creative team of the 2009 franchise-reviving “Star Trek,” will share the stage during a double-feature screening of their films. Meyer, viewed as a true figure of integrity in the long cinematic journey of the starship Enterprise, will bring a director’s cut of the 1982 movie that many view as the most satisfying voyage of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the iconic crew.
Then, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, three key members of the “Star Trek” creative team (as well as top-tier writers and producers whose collective credits include “Lost,” “Transformers,” “Fringe” and “Cowboys & Aliens“) will take the stage and talk about the success of the J.J. Abrams-directed movie and their plans for the intensely anticipated sequel. The first film, “Khan,” begins at 6 p.m. The Meyer panel will be at 8:10 p.m. and after a short intermission, the second Q&A will begin at 9:10 p.m., followed by the second film. MORE DETAILS
SUPERMAN: Richard Donner, the filmmaker who took Superman to new heights with the beloved 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve, is the guest of honor on a day that will include both a screening of the original film as well as a rare theatrical presentation of “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.”
The onstage interview with Donner will look back on the movie classic that promised to make the world “believe a man can fly” and in doing so created the modern cinema era of superhero films that is showing no signs of slowing down. Donner will also talk about the bittersweet achievements of “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut” — for more on that, follow the link below — and reflection of the celluloid mythology he created with a stellar cast that included Reeve, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Ned Beatty and Glenn Ford. Donner will also touch on his other films, among them the “Lethal Weapon” movies, “The Goonies” and “The Omen.” The first film will screen at 4 p.m. The Q&A will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. MORE DETAILS
DC UNIVERSE: Superstar comics creators Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will also speak publicly for the first time about the seismic changes in the DC Universe on the page. The pair will reveal new details about the major new plans for Superman and the entire mythology of the most storied comic book company of them all. This panel will be 7:40 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The second film will screen after this Q&A. MORE DETAILS
MIKE MIGNOLA: The Saturday program also begins with Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy and one of the signature figures in comics over the last 25 years, sitting for a free signing of the special limited-edition poster that he designed and illustrated exclusively for the festival. The signing is 2:45- 3:45 p.m. MORE DETAILS.
CHRISTOPHER REEVE STATUE: Fans will be able to take a photo with a life-size — and lifelike — statue of Hollywood’s most heroic Superman. The amazing statue is the work of British sculptor and artist Mike Hill, who is building an international reputation as a master in his field. He has worked frequently with horror film icons as his subjects but in creating this caped tribute to the late, great Christopher Reeve, Hill tapped into something more sentimental from his own past. “I made this piece to remind me of my youth,” the 42-year-old sculptor said. “As adults we forget the magic moments that forged our childhood dreams. For me ‘Superman’ still ignites that little boy who couldn’t afford popcorn watching an uplifting and incredibly exciting superhero save the planet. I believed a man could fly … and I still do.” The statue will be on display all day and there is no extra charge for photos. MORE DETAILS.
IRON MAN: Jon Favreau, the filmmaker who ushered in a major new chapter in superhero cinema, will be the closing-night special guest at the 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival and present a double feature of “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.” Perhaps no one in Hollywood understands the Comic-Con generation of film fans better than Favreau, whose “Iron Man” franchise brought home a billion-dollar success for upstart Marvel Studios and launched the cinematic universe that is now filling in with the films “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” as well as next year’s “Avengers” project.
Teaming with star Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, the director crafted a hero for the 21st century — Tony Stark, the irrepressible, genius tycoon who has no need for a secret identity but does have a stripper pole on his private jet. This summer, Favreau is mapping a new on-screen mythology with the sci-fi adventure “Cowboys & Aliens,” which stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde and hits theaters July 29. That project and his upcoming plans with Disney will be part of the on-stage discussion. The first film begins at 4:10 p.m. The Q&A (and a surprise) will begin at 6:10 p.m. After a short intermission the second film will follow about 7:30 p.m. MORE DETAILS
MARVEL: “Captain America: The First Avenger” will add some fireworks to the closing night of the Hero Complex Film Festival. Marvel Studios has picked the festival for the world premiere of the new trailer for the July 22 film that brings the star-spangled hero to the silver screen. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the patriotic character created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon and the new film, directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans, opens a new chapter in the pop-culture life of the red-white-and-blue icon. The trailer will be shown at 4 p.m. Sunday as part of a Marvel presentation that includes some other surprises. MORE DETAILS
PIXAR: The day starts at noon with a screening of the superhero masterpiece “The Incredibles,” followed by a special extended sneak preview of “Cars 2” as Disney Pixar brings an animated new spirit to this year’s festival. “The Incredibles,” written and directed by Brad Bird, was one of the top films of 2004 and ranks among the most acclaimed Pixar releases.
The movie tells the tale of a retired superhero named Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) who feels smothered by civilian suburban life and longs to revisit his glory days. A mysterious offer gives him a chance to wear the mask again, but there is an evil plot afoot that will endanger the aging hero as well as his stretched-to-the-limit wife, Elasti-Girl (Holly Hunter), and their children — the shy and exasperated Violet (Sarah Vowell), the wildly hyperactive Dash (Spencer Fox) and little Jack-Jack (both Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews).
After “The Incredibles” credits roll, fans will be able to test drive “Cars 2,” the sequel to the 2006 hit that introduced the red racer Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and the rust-brained Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). This time the four-wheeled friends are far from home in a tale of “high-velocity adventure and international espionage.” The voice cast is a deep one, with Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, Jason Isaacs, Vanessa Redgrave, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub and John Turturro as well as racing-world stars Jeff Gordon, Lewis Hamilton, Darrell Waltrip and David Hobbs. The animation supervisor of “Cars 2,” Dave Mullins, will be the special guest onstage to talk about the new project, the film’s 3-D approach and Pixar’s ongoing success story. Ticketing for the this free screening was done separately but the room is now full. However, spots have been saved for fans who buy all-day Saturday tickets. The only way to attend the Pixar event now is to buy an all-day pass. MORE DETAILS
— Geoff Boucher
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