April 17, 2015 | 5:28 p.m.
Ray Park has gotten to be in some high-profile projects. Snake Eyes in “G.I. Joe.” Toad in the “X-Men” films. The martial artist even got to play Chuck Norris in “The Legend of Bruce Lee.” But killing a Jedi puts you in a whole different stratosphere of fandom. As Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” Park helped create the most well-known and popular villain in the franchise since Luke Skywalker’s dad and fellow Sith Darth Vader choked out his first victim. And in the panel “Ray Park: The Man. The Sith. The Legend” at the Star Wars Celebration, Park was treated as the royalty that befits any wielder of a double-sided lightsaber. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Darth Maul. It was the best feeling in the world to get […]
April 17, 2015 | 9:40 a.m.
They came with Son Goku’s orange training suits on, with wigs of his golden or brunet or red spiky hair, or dressed as the Saiyan Prince Vegeta, or dressed ornately as Goku’s main adversary Frieza — but they were all gathered at the Egyptian Theatre to celebrate the premiere of a new Dragon Ball Z movie, and toast one of the franchise’s biggest stars. “Dragon Ball Z: The Resurrection of ‘F'” opened in Japan this past weekend, and the 19th installment in the popular anime series debuted at the top of the box office charts with $7.6 million, besting even the hard-charging “Furious 7″ premiere. Filmmakers plan to screen the film in 74 countries worldwide. It’s scheduled to open in the U.S. this summer, but it premiered on April 11 in Hollywood at the Egyptian Theatre. On that day, an […]
April 16, 2015 | 2:44 p.m.
Ryan Gosling may become a replicant alongside Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard in the upcoming sequel to “Blade Runner.” That is, if you think Deckard was a replicant in the first place. The “Drive” star is in negotiations to co-star in the film, directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Incendies”) and executive produced by Ridley Scott, Alcon Entertainment announced Thursday. Set to begin shooting in the summer of 2016, the film is co-written by Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green and is based on an idea by Fancher and Scott. It was announced earlier this year that Ford, a busy guy, what with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and spectacular plane landings, would be involved in the project. According to the release, the story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Of course, any story details, […]
April 06, 2015 | 10:08 a.m.
WonderCon, the smaller-but-no-less-fervent version of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, has announced that it will move closer to the Hollywood spotlight, relocating from Anaheim to the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2016. “Los Angeles is honored to have been selected as the destination for WonderCon 2016,” read a statement from Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Comic-Con International, the presenter, and helping them establish a home-base in L.A. We anticipate the show to be highly attended and to set the precedent for future successful Comic-Con events in L.A.” The Anaheim Convention Center is planning an expansion of their facilities with renovations to include: 200,000 square feet of space on two levels that can be used as exhibit, ballroom or meeting space; loading docks and 1,400 parking spots; and a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge connecting to the […]
April 05, 2015 | 2:45 p.m.
Editor Wil Moss moderated a motley crew of writers at the “Marvel: Next Big Thing” panel, though, of course, the next big thing was not discussed much and many of the questions about Marvel’s Secret Wars and its Battleword had to be left unanswered. “We can’t say anything [about ‘Secret Wars’] except that we’re excited,” said panelist Rick Remender, a writer on “Avengers: Rage of Ultron,” “All-New Captain America,” and “Uncanny Avengers.” “Other than the death of Spider-Man. Whoops,” added Remender. Maybe if writer Jonathan Hickman, who is guiding the series, had been there, some things may have leaked out, but this group of writers on the panel — which included Remender, Cullen Bunn (writer, “Magneto”), Sam Humphries (writer, “Guardians of the Galaxy” & “X-Men: The Black Vortex,” “The Legendary Star-Lord”), James Robinson (writer, “Fantastic Four,” “Invaders”) and Greg Weisman […]
April 05, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.
DC Comics’ Jeff King did double duty at Anaheim’s WonderCon. The writer of the comic company’s major crossover series “Convergence” also served as the moderator of the comic convention’s panel designed to hype the comics and hopefully answer a few questions about the upcoming special event. It may not have completely succeeded in the latter, but with some of the interesting pairings and crowd-pleasing images, it certainly did OK with the former. Like its rival Marvel’s Secret Wars event, the people speaking about the comic book super series could not reveal too much about what was about to go down. However, an all-star panel consisting of Len Wein, Scott Lobdell, Dan Jurgens, Marc Andreyko and colorist Peter Steigerwald did show images from the titles that they’d be working on, and all talked a bit about how their characters would fit into the “Convergence” universe. First, King did go […]
April 04, 2015 | 2:03 p.m.
There’s no particular anniversary to celebrate, but the cast of Richard Donner’s “Superman” and “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut” was introduced to loud applause as the group sat down to reminisce on the second full day of Anaheim’s WonderCon. Moderated by Jim Bowers, founder of CapedWonder Superman Imagery, and Jay Towers, morning news anchor for WJBK-Fox 2 News Detroit, the room was filled to capacity to see a star-studded group that included Margot Kidder, Valerie Perrine, Diane Sherry, Marc McClure, Jack O’Halloran, Aaron Smolinski and Ilya Salkind. Memories were the order of the day: Many of those moments shared, whether on-screen, behind the scenes or off-set, humanized a cast that at the time was thought of as superhuman. Top of mind for Kidder, who played Lois Lane, and O’Halloran, who played Kryptonian thug Non, was the flying. Specifically, how […]
April 04, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.
Legions of Links, citizens of the Land of Ooo and the various iterations of Batman descended upon Anaheim on Friday for the first day of WonderCon, the annual pop culture expo celebrating everything sci-fi, horror, fantasy and comics. Last year the convention drew nearly 60,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center. Many of the most devoted attendees are fans who, via their costumes, display their creative talents and knowledge of even the most obscure characters, from TV franchises to web-comics. Some of the cosplayers spotted so far include new favorites such as StarLord to classics such as Batman and Joker. WonderCon, now in its 29th year, was born in Oakland and moved to Anaheim after renovations at San Francisco’s Moscone Center forced the convention to seek a new home in 2012. Produced and operated by San Diego’s Comic-Con International, WonderCon […]
April 04, 2015 | 9:14 a.m.
“Wayward Pines,” a new show that combines the government conspiracy crime mystery of “X-Files” and the creepy, exclusive small-town community of “Stepford Wives,” screened at WonderCon on Friday to a large crowd that seemed to grow until people were standing along the walls as the screening continued. The 10-episode Fox show, starring Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis, Reed Diamond, Tim Griffin, Carla Gugino and Melissa Leo, is based on the novel “Pines” by Blake Crouch and produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”). “Always answer the phone” is the creepy refrain that many in the crowd were repeating as the lights came up after the screening. A short panel discussion afterward included producer Donald De Line and actors Diamond and Griffin, with Entertainment Weekly’s “Sandra Gonzalez moderating. De Line talked about reading the book and […]
April 03, 2015 | 8:16 p.m.
Batman versus Superman’s grandmother? Batgirl cavorting with a vigilante rock star? The many differing personalities of the comics in the Bat-world came into focus early Friday on the first day of Anaheim’s WonderCon. Let’s get this out of the way: There was no news regarding Convergence, a huge crossover storyline that promises big changes to the DC universe. Convergence, however, will be addressed in a Saturday panel. The Bat-discussion centered on new characters, as well as the upcoming portrayals of a couple of old favorites. The panelists — Tom King, Greg Pak, Babs Tarr and Brenden Fletcher — kept up a lively discussion in a room at the Anaheim Convention Center. Moderated by Tiffany Smith from DC All Access, each creator spoke enthusiastically about their projects, and where their books are heading in the immediate future. Pak started it all off talking […]