David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Comic-Con. The mecca of pop culture.
Movies, TV, Comic and Gaming enthusiasts will gather in the temperate California town for a five-day, pop culture extravaganza, where the top dogs in every field come to showcase their latest and greatest products. Whether it's the Hall H premiere trailer of a new summer blockbuster, the cast meet and greet in Ballroom 20 for the hot new TV show or just a sit down with some insightful creator-types in a dark and dingy backroom, SDCC is always full of surprises and this year looks to be no different.
We'll be there on the ground floor picking up all the news bites as they break, but you can check out the schedule for the first two days below -- and better prepare for the onslaught of updates!
Friday, July 22
10:00-11:00 LEGO Star Wars— A behind-the-brick look with the LEGO Star Wars team at how the epic Star Wars story comes together with the creativity and imagination of the LEGO brand. Additionally, be among the first to hear about a special LEGO Star Wars entertainment event, and meet Emmy award-winning writer Michael Price. Also includes Q&A time. Room 7AB
10:00-11:00 Torchwood: Miracle Day— John Barrowman (Doctor Who) and Eve Myles (Doctor Who) join cast members Mekhi Phifer (ER), Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Alexa Havins (All My Children), and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), along with writer Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica), to discuss the fourth installment of the hit BBC Worldwide show, a Starz Originals co-production, currently airing Friday nights at 10 ET/PT on Starz. Ballroom 20
10:15-11:15 Star Trek: The Captains— William Shatner is joined by fellow Star Trek captain Avery Brooks to present a preview of the EPIX Pictures original documentary produced and directed by Shatner, in which he travels the world to interview all the actors who've played Starfleet captains. This lively discussion and Q&A session is moderated by Comic-Con fave Kevin Smith. Room 6BCF
10:30-11:30 Locke & Key FOX Pilot Screening— The most talked-about pilot not on the fall schedule was the FOX production of Locke & Key. This screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TVs this fall. Watch the special filmed adaptation of Welcome to Lovecraft, and see the Eisner-nominated comic brought to life. Can't get in to see it this morning? Don't worry...there's a rescreening tonight at 9:15 in Room 6DE! Room 8
11:00-12:00 Radical Publishing— Radical will announce its imprint deal with Sam Worthington's production company, Full Clip, and introduce the writers and artists working on those projects. Panelists include Sam Worthington (Avatar), John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz (Full Clip Productions), Rick Remender (The Last Days of American Crime), Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier), Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer), and Radical Studios president Barry Levine. Radical will also give the inside scoop on Sam Worthington's attachment to Rick Remender's The Last Days of American Crime. Room 24ABC
11:00-12:00 Paramount: The Adventures of Tin-Tin— TBA Hall H
11:15-12:15 AMC's The Walking Dead— Stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints), Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile); series creator/writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption); executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator); executive producer Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series); and makeup artist and consulting producer Greg Nicotero discuss the success of season one of AMC's series The Walking Dead and reveal what to look forward to in season two, which will air on AMC this Fall. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season two. Ballroom 20
11:30-12:30 Halo Universe— Frank O'Connor, Kevin Grace, and others from 343 Industries, as well as special Halo guests Greg Bear and Karen Traviss, discuss the first 10 years of Halo and offer a sneak peek into what's next for this exciting sci-fi universe. Room 6BCF
11:30-12:30 Locke & Key Panel— Make your plans to watch the Locke & Key TV pilot at 10:30, then join Eisner-nominated creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, along with Locke & Key TV pilot writer Josh Friedman, for a frank discussion of the show, the comic, and what's coming up in Clockworks, the second-to-last story arc in the acclaimed series (or is it?). Room 8
11:45-12:45 Nickelodeon & DreamWorks Animation: Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness— The bodacity continues as Po the panda punches his way onto a new animated series. Executive producer Peter Hastings and supervising producers Randy Dormans band Gabe Swarr present an exclusive sneak peek into the new series by Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. This panel will also include select moments with voice cast members Mick Wingert (Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special), James Hong (Kung Fu Panda 2), Kevin Michael Richardson (Penguins of Madagascar), and John DiMaggio (Penguins of Madagascar), followed by a screening. Moderated by Megan Casey, executive in charge for Nickelodeon. Room 6A
12:00-1:00 ABC Family: The Nine Lives of Chloe King— An exclusive sneak peek of an upcoming episode of The Nine Lives of Chloe King, followed by a Q&A session with the cast and producers. The cast in attendance includes Skyler Samuels (The Gates) as Chloe King, Amy Pietz (The Office) as Meredith King, Grey Damon (True Blood, Friday Night Lights) as Brian, newcomer Grace Phipps as Amy, Benjamin Stone (Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter video game series) as Alek, Alyssa Diaz (Shark Night 3D) as Jasmine, and Ki Hong Lee (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Paul. The executive producers are Dan Berendsen and, from Alloy Entertainment, Gina Girolamo. The Nine Lives of Chloe King airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on ABC Family. Room 23ABC
12:15-1:15 Relativity Media: Raven and Haywire— Two fantastic films from Relativity Media debut in this Hall H presentation.Raven -- The film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis for a string of brutal murders. Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, Luke Evans, and Alice Eve and is directed by James McTeigue.Haywire -- An electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal. A female covert ops specialist who works in the deadly world of international operatives strikes back after discovering she's been double-crossed by someone close to her in the agency. Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano makes her feature film -- and Comic-Con -- debut, starring and performing her own high-adrenaline stunts. Also appearing is director Stephen Soderbergh.
12:30-1:30 The Big Bang Theory Screening and Q&A— Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Mr., Miss...See everyone's favorite scientists (and engineer and waitress) from The Big Bang Theory as the show's producers and stars return to San Diego with a special screening and Q&A. Executive producers Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg), and Steve Molaro (iCarly) join stars Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Jim Parsons (Garden State), Kaley Cuoco (Charmed), Simon Helberg (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), Kunal Nayyar (NCIS), Mayim Bialik (Blossom), and Melissa Rauch (True Blood) for a fun and lively discussion. From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS, and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. Ballroom 20
12:45-1:45 Legendary Pictures: Preproduction Preview— Legendary Pictures holds its first-ever Comic-Con panel and shares an early look at some of the movies on the company's upcoming film slate. Fans will be able to access Legendary's plans, garner sneak peeks at their movies in preproduction, and hear from filmmakers and cast members from the upcoming Pacific Rim, Seventh Son, Paradise Lost, and Mass Effect. Panel participants include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Guillermo del Toro, Ben Barnes, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Alicia Vikander, Alex Proyas, Sergei Bodrov, Travis Beacham, Mark Protosevich, and Casey Hudson. Room 6BCF
1:30-2:30 Screen Gems: Underworld 4— Underworld 4 brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrior Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find that humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species. Appearing in person are Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, Len Wiseman (producer and director of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution), and directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. Hall H
1:30-2:30 Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital— See a never-before-screened episode of Childrens Hospital and hear from the show's creative team led by Rob Corddry (Cedar Rapids) and Jon Stern (The Ten). They will be joined by members of their ensemble cast of comedic heavyweights, including Malin Akerman (Couples Retreat), Lake Bell (No Strings Attached), Erinn Hayes (Parenthood), Rob Huebel (I Love You Man), and Megan Mullally (Will and Grace). Childrens Hospital explores the emotional struggles and sexual politics of a group of doctors charged with healthy libidos. The panel will close with a sneak peek at Adult Swim's newest live-action comedy, NTSF:SD:SUV::, featuring creator and star Paul Scheer (The League). NTSF:SD:SUV:: is a clandestine team of government agents working to protect San Diego from numerous terrorist threats coming in daily from such evil countries as Mexico, Canada, and Guam. This team of highly trained operatives has only one job: saving your ass so you can drive your Prius and see your movies in 3D without worrying about living in a country run by no-good terrorists. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1:45-2:45 Bones— Creator/executive producer Hart Hanson, executive producer Stephen Nathan, and stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel discuss the shocking finale of Bones Season 6 as well as what's in store for Booth and Brennan in an exciting Season 7! Hanson will also introduce the audience to the stars of The Finder, his new FOX series premiering in January. Plus, Q&A! Ballroom 20
2:00-3:00 Green Lantern: The Animated Series Video Presentation and Q&A— Warner Bros. Animation brings the Green Lantern to television in a new CG-animated action series for Cartoon Network from world-renowned producer, artist, and animator Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series). Based on the DC Comics superhero, Green Lantern: The Animated Series centers on Hal Jordan and his partner Kilowog, who find themselves alone on the edge of the Guardian Frontier fighting off an invasion by the deadly Red Lantern Corps. Timm headlines a panel -- moderated by Warner Bros. Animation's Sam Register (Teen Titans) -- that also features producer Giancarlo Volpe (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and producer/story editor Jim Krieg (Ben 10: Alien Swarm). In addition to the Q&A, fans in attendance will be treated to footage prepared exclusively for Comic-Con. Don't miss out, or you'll be waiting 'til 2012! Room 6BCF
2:15-3:15 Exclusive Screening of ABC's Newest Supernatural Series, The River— From the studio that brought you Lost comes a new adventure set deep in the Amazon. Executive producers Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Michael Green (Green Lantern), and Zack Estrin (Tru Calling), along with cast members Joe Anderson (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Eloise Mumford (Lone Star), and Leslie Hope (24), present an exclusive screening and a Q&A of their much-anticipated new series, The River. All attendees will get a limited-edition Comic-Con giveaway. Room 6A
2:45-3:45 DreamWorks: Fright Night— Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), Dave Franco (Charlie St. Cloud), director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) take the dais to give fans a taste of the horrific fun to come in DreamWorks Pictures' 3D reimagining of the classic horror film. Hall H
3:00-4:00 Eureka— Small town. Big panel. Syfy's smash hit Eureka is back at Comic-Con. Colin Ferguson (Jack Carter), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo), and guest star Felicia Day (Dr. Holly Martin) join executive producers Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller for a chat about the big secrets of America's smartest little town. Moderated by guest star Wil Wheaton (Dr. Isaac Parrish; Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: Next Generation). Ballroom 20
3:00-4:00 Bob's Burgers— Bob's Burgers creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard, executive producer Jim Dauterive, and cast members H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal entertain animation fans with hilarious never-before-seen footage from season two, followed by a Q&A. Room 23ABC
3:15-4:15 Falling Skies— TNT's powerful drama series Falling Skies follows a group of survivors who band together after a devastating alien invasion has incapacitated most of the world. Ordinary people are called upon to fight back against the occupying alien force as they struggle for the survival of the human race. Join stars Noah Wyle (ER), Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation), Will Patton (Armageddon), Drew Roy (Secretariat), Collin Cunningham (Living in Your Car), and Sarah Sanguin Carter (Shark) and co-executive producer Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) in a Q&A, and watch exclusive never- before-seen footage from Falling Skies. Room 6BCF
3:30-4:30 ThunderCats Premiere Episode Screening and Q&A— Comic-Con, ho! From the moment this series was announced, fans have answered the call -- now, the wait is over as Warner Bros. Animation is proud to bring you the world premiere of this new reimagining of the beloved '80s franchise. Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wily Kit, and Snarf are back! After the screening, producers Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender), art director Dan Norton (G.I. Joe: Resolute, and members of the voice cast will discuss what viewers can expect in the first season of this exciting new series. ThunderCats premieres in a special one-hour episode on Friday, July 29 at 8/7c on Cartoon Network. Room 6A
3:30-4:15 Adult Swim: Robot Chicken— Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken), and Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken) discuss the popular Adult Swim series. The series uses stop-motion animation to bring pop culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format. In Robot Chicken, no pop culture target is safe. Legions of action figures are used to spoof everything from reality television and Star Wars to past presidents. Moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of production, Adult Swim. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
4:00-5:00 Developing Interactive Entertainment: The Performance Capture Techniques of the Uncharted Franchise and Today's Film Industry— Naughty Dog has consistently led the industry in adopting advanced performance capture processes and technology to propel their critically acclaimed Uncharted video game franchise to greater heights of quality and presentation. Launching in November, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception delivers character-driven narrative and dramatic action sequences to create an engaging experience that grounds the player in the game world with relatable and believable characters. Moderated by USA Today's Mike Snider, Uncharted 3's creative director Amy Hennig and cast members Nolan North, Richard McGonagle, and Emily Rose discuss the influence of theatrical techniques and styles from the history of film that have helped the team produce interactive entertainment. Room 25ABC
4:00-5:30 Sony— Sony returns to Hall H with a stellar lineup of films and talent, including:Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance -- After blazing a trail around the globe in the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Columbia Pictures' Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter, Blaze is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider again, but it is the only way to protect the boy -- and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Live on stage: directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank) and stars Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth.30 Minutes or Less -- From Ruben Fleischer, the director of Zombieland, comes the action comedy 30 Minutes or Less. In the movie, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network and Zombieland) is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wannabe criminal masterminds (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). The duo kidnap Nick and force him to rob a bank. With only a few hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship. Talent in attendance includes director Ruben Fleischer and stars Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Michael Peña.Total Recall -- Welcome to Rekall, the company that with one little implant can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. With the line between fantasy and reality blurred and the fate of his world hanging in the balance, Quaid goes on the run to discover his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic story "I Can Remember It for You Wholesale," this new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman and stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and John Cho, all of whom will be appearing.The Amazing Spider-Man -- The Amazing Spider-Man is back on the big screen, shot in 3D for the first time, and will be swinging into your neighborhood on July 3, 2012. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen, as well as Sally Field, and directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man's new creative team will be taking a whole new direction in the unfolding saga of everyone's favorite web-slinger. Appearing in person are producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, director Marc Webb, and our own Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy -- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
4:15-5:15 Warehouse 13— For one day only, America's top-secret treasure trove is moving from the middle of nowhere to the middle of Comic-Con. Stars Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen), and Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), along with executive producer Jack Kenny, take you inside Syfy's blockbuster hit series, Warehouse 13. Moderated by Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo, Eureka). Ballroom 20
4:30-5:30 Marvel Television Presents: Anime on G4— Marvel Television and G4 take your favorite characters -- Iron Man, Wolverine, The X-Men, and Blade -- to Japan to tell their stories in a whole new way, beautifully animated by the anime masters at Madhouse. Hosted by Attack of the Show's Blair Butler, watch a never-before-seen episode with Marvel's head of TV Jeph Loeb and surprise guests. Plus, get a sneak peek at The X-Men's explosive first episode. Room 6BCF
4:45-5:45 Phineas and Ferb— Hear from the brilliant minds behind the series, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, along with voice talent Vincent Martella (Everybody Hates Chris), Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure), and Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad). See exclusive footage and hear all the scoop about their upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, which premieres August 5. Moderated by Matt Blum of Wired.com's Geek Dad. Room 6A
5:00-6:00 BBC America's Bedlam: Exclusive U.S. Premiere Screening and Q&A— Star Theo James (Downtown Abbey) and creator David Allison (Boy Meets Girl) host a premiere screening event followed by discussion and Q&A. Bedlam Heights, the stylish new apartment building, has sexy tenants and gorgeous amenities. But little do its new residents suspect that behind the luxury fittings lay unimaginable horrors. This is a place tainted by abuse, suffering, and death -- and the ghosts of its dark and violent past are out for revenge. As the direct descendent of those who ran the asylum, Kate (Charlotte Salt, The Tudors) -- who both lives and works there -- is a prime target. She is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Jed (James), her adopted cousin. With a history of mental illness, Jed is a troubled man who sees ghosts and visions of the past. Recent messages to "Save Kate" propel him back into Kate's life. Can he really "Save Kate"? And from whom, or what, does she need saving? Everybody has a dark side in this new series also starring Ashley Madekwe (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Hugo Speer (Skins), and Will Young (Pop Idol winner, Skins). Bedlam premieres October 8 on BBC America's Supernatural Saturdays. Room 7AB
5:00-6:00 The World of Capcom— Capcom fans won't want to miss this opportunity to learn about all the new games coming from their favorite video game publisher. Plus, get in-depth details straight from Capcom's stellar producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Resident Evil 4) about his exciting new open-world action adventure game, Dragon's Dogma. Producer Jason Leigh talks about the zombie-infested streets of Fortune City in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, and producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya discusses the new over-the-top rollercoaster IP, Asura's Wrath. Followed by a Q&A session. Room 25ABC
5:30-6:30 True Blood Panel and Q&A session— Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated True Blood kicked off its 12-episode fourth season June 26 on HBO. The series follows the on-and-off romance between waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, and 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Oscar and Emmy award winner Alan Ball created and serves as executive producer of the series, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The series -- and this panel! -- also features Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam, Joe Manganiello as Alcide, and Kevin Alejandro as Jesus. Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. Ballroom 20
5:45-6:45 Spartacus: Vengeance— Liam McIntyre (McLeod's Daughters) makes his Comic-Con debut, along with Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night), Dustin Clare (Underbelly), and Katrina Law (Legend of the Seeker). Executive producer Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) joins the cast to discuss the upcoming second season, titled,Spartacus: Vengeance, expected to air on Starz in January 2012, and the exclusive content found on the Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Blu-ray discs, available September 13. Room 6BCF
6:00-7:00 Hermes Press / Dark Shadows The Classic Series and the New Tim Burton Film— Lara Parker (Angelique from Dark Shadows), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans and Josette DuPres from Dark Shadows), Jim Pierson (consulting producer for the new Dark Shadows film), and Daniel Herman (publisher, Hermes Press) talk about the classic show, the comic book, and print tie-ins and reveals up-to-date news and some surprises about the upcoming Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, along with a Q&A session. Room 4
6:00-7:00 Alphas— Syfy's newest original series Alphas has taken the summer by storm -- and it's just the beginning. David Strathairn (Dr. Lee Rosen) and fellow cast members, plus creator and executive producer Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand; The Avengers) and executive producer Ira Steven Behr (Star Trek: The Next Generation; The 4400), reveal why impossible is what Alphas do best. Moderated by Geoff Boucher ("Hero Complex," Los Angeles Times). Room 6A
6:00-7:00 Girls Gone Genre— Come talk with women who write, read, game, and perform in arenas that are statistically dominated by men. What happens when traditionally "male" genres are reinvented by female writers and embraced by female fans? Sex and the City it ain't. Meet the women who like to play with trucks and Barbies. And Wolverine action figures. And flux capacitors. Moderator Jenna Busch is joined by panelists Marti Noxon (screenwriter/producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Mad Men, Fright Night), Gale Anne Hurd (producer, The Walking Dead, Terminator, Aliens), and Marjorie Liu (writer, X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine, Black Widow, Dirk & Steele novel series). Room 25ABC
6:00-7:00 At the Drive-In— Come with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when one of the few places you could see some offbeat genre films and a slew of trailers was at your local Drive-In. We're trying something new at Comic-Con this year by giving some up and coming genre filmmakers an evening berth to preview their upcoming films. So as San Diego gets darker tonight, so will Hall H as we welcome our first guests to the Virtual Drive-In:Grave Encounters -- Locked in an actual abandoned mental hospital, the crew of a ghost-hunting reality show find themselves trapped in a psychotically endless and deadly labyrinth. Written and directed by The Vicious Brothers, Grave Encounters, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, takes the found footage horror genre to a terrifying new level. Appearing on stage: The Vicious Brothers.Tucker & Dale vs. Evil --Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil has been a hit on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance, and winning the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW, the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia, the Best Director award at Fantaspoa, and the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges. Confirmed panelists include Eli Craig, Alan Tudyk, and Tyler Labine.
6:30-7:30 Resident Evil Round-Up!— 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of the legendary video game franchise that gave fear a face and horror a home. Get the latest information about the newest entries to the Resident Evil franchise: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, with producer Rey Jimenez; Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS; the gorgeous reimagining of Resident Evil 4 HD; and Resident Evil Code Veronica X HD, plus some surprises! Followed by a Q&A session. Room 5AB
7:00-8:00 Sushi Girl— Sushi Girl chronicles the story of five friends who reunite six years after a diamond-job-gone-wrong to eat sushi off a naked girl. Sure enough, the thieves can't help opening old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, and all mayhem ensues. This film marks the return to the big screen for Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Noah Hathaway (Neverending Story) and also features cast members Tony Todd (Candy Man), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Andy Mackenzie (Shoot 'Em Up), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight), and Cortney Palm (Sunday Morning High). The legendary Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill) also stars. Kern Saxton (Deader Living Through Chemistry) directed and co-wrote with Destin Pfaff (Millionaire Matchmaker). Producers Neal Fischer (Fight Club) and Suren Seron (Forever Plaid) and moderator Ted Stryker (KROC) round out the panel. Meet the entire cast and creators and witness the world premiere of the official trailer, followed by Q&A session. Room 25ABC
7:30-8:30 Death Valley— MTV brings the unique marriage of horror and comedy together with this new series. Join members of the ensemble cast, including Caity Lotz (Mad Men), Tania Raymonde (Lost), Bryan Callen (The Hangover), Bryce Johnson (Sleeping Dogs Lie), Texas Battle (Final Destination 3), and Charlie Sanders (Funny or Die), along with showrunner/executive producer Eric Weinberg (Californication, Scrubs), director Drew Daywalt (Bedfellows), executive producer/director Austin Reading (Spike TV's Scream Awards, FEARnet), executive producer Julie Kellman Reading, and co-executive producer Spider One, in a discussion about the challenges of bringing the comedy and horror genres together and how the team involved in the series bring all the elements of what they know best to the series. Fans will get an exclusive first look at an upcoming episode. Q&A session to follow! Room 5AB
7:30-8:30 Lost Girl— Supernatural seductress Bo is a succubus who feeds off sexual energy. Having survived for years alone, she now discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend who pass as humans. Unwilling to chose sides, Bo forges her own path between the human and Fae worlds, embarking on a mission to unlock the secrets of her origin. Join star Anna Silk (Ghost Whisperer); actor Emmanuelle Vaugier (Saw II), who guest stars as The Morrigan, the head of the Dark Fae clan; and the production team behind the series, Jay Firestone, executive producer (Andromeda, Mutant X) and Michelle Lovretta (Mutant X), as they discuss this exciting new show coming soon to SyFy! Room 24ABC
8:00-10:00 World Premiere: Batman: Year One— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present the World Premiere of Batman: Year One, the highly anticipated next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli, Batman: Year One depicts young Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham. When the film ends, stay in your seats for a lively panel discussion amongst voice cast members Ben McKenzie (Southland), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), executive producer Bruce Timm (DCU films), directors Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) and Sam Liu (All-Star Superman), and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano (DCU films). Moderator Gary Miereanu will offer a first glimpse into the 2012 DC Universe Animated Original Movies slate, give away some exclusive prizes to inquisitive audience members, and quite possibly introduce a few surprise guests. Warner Home Video will distribute Batman: Year One on Blu-ray and DVD, OnDemand and For Download on October 18, 2011. Ballroom 20
9:00-11:00 Syfy Screening: Eureka, Haven, and Mercury Men— Imagine Greater with fellow fans during an advanced preview screening of the next all-new episode of Eureka, followed by a special presentation of an all-new Haven. And be sure to stick around for the exclusive premiere of the new digital series The Mercury Men. Introductions by Eric Balfour (Duke, Haven). Room 6A
9:15-10:15 Locke & Key FOX Pilot Screening Encore— Second screening added due to demand! The most talked-about pilot not on the fall schedule was the FOX production of Locke & Key. This screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TV this fall. Watch the special filmed adaptation of "Welcome to Lovecraft" and see the Eisner-nominated comic brought to life. Room 6DE
10:15-12:00 Encore Screening: Batman: Year One— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation offer a second opportunity to see Batman: Year One, along with a chance to see a few special Comic-Con exclusive trailers for upcoming Warner Bros. films, videogames, and Blu-ray/DVD releases. Ballroom 20