WonderCon schedule: ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Much Ado’ and more

March 15, 2013 | 9:04 p.m.

The programming schedule for WonderCon 2013 is out, featuring panels for Guillermo del Toro’s robots-versus-kaiju movie “Pacific Rim,” Joss Whedon’s Shakespearean adaptation “Much Ado About Nothing” and the upcoming reboot of “Evil Dead.”

The annual gathering of sci-fi, fantasy and comics professionals and fans — sort of a little sibling to San Diego’s Comic-Con International — runs March 29-31 at the Anaheim Convention Center and offers movie and television panels, previews from comic publishers, a cosplay masquerade (click through the gallery above for a peek at last year’s costumes), autographs and book signings, portfolio review for aspiring professionals and, of course, plenty of geek-friendly shopping.

This year’s roster includes panels devoted to several big-budget Hollywood productions. A Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures panel Saturday at 11:30 a.m. will feature”Pacific Rim” director Del Toro and “The Conjuring” director James Wan. And Sony’s panel, Saturday at 2:30 p.m., includes a discussion of the film adaptation “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” with the book’s author Cassandra Clare, film director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, as well as “Evil Dead” producer Bruce Campbell, director Fede Alvarez and stars Jane Levy and Jessica Lucas.

Whedonites will rejoice at the 11 a.m. Sunday panel devoted to “Much Ado About Nothing,” guests TBA (could the “Avengers” director make a surprise appearance?), as well as an audience-participatory screening of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” Sunday at 3 p.m.

Whovians can look forward to Friday’s 7 p.m. early screening of “The Bells of St. John,” starring new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman. Several TV series including “Arrow,” “Teen Wolf” and “Adventure Time” are also hosting panels.

In the world of comics, Scott Snyder will discuss his new Batman storyline “Batman: The Zero Year” Friday at a 5 p.m. panel; a Saturday 2:30 p.m. panel focuses on the work of “Spider-Man” writer Dan Slott; “Catwoman” writer Ann Nocenti is the focus of a Saturday 4 p.m.panel moderated by Jim Lee; and a Saturday 6 p.m. panel features “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9″ writer Andrew Chambliss and artist Georges Jeanty, along with “Angel & Faith” writer Christos Gage and longtime “Buffy” writer Jane Espenson.

This is WonderCon’s second engagement in Anaheim. The 2012 expo was held there because of major renovations at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where it had been held since 2003. With renovations at the Moscone Center complete, the convention was expected to return to its Bay Area home, but a coinciding event caused conflicts, and planners decided to stay in Anaheim for 2013.

Tickets for WonderCon, now in its 27th year, are available online after creating a Comic-Con member account. Three-day passes are $40 in advance and $50 on site for adults, and $20 and $25 for teens under 18, active military and seniors. Single-day passes for Friday and Saturday are $20 in advance and $25 on site for adults, and $10 and $13 for teens, military and seniors. Sunday passes are $10 and $15 for adults, and $5 and $7 for teens, military and seniors. Children 12 and younger can attend free with a paying adult.

Stay tuned for Hero Complex’s guide to WonderCon.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark

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