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The View From Home

Maija Gustin | Thursday, August 26, 2010


Scene Writer

For those who, like myself, were unlucky enough to miss Comic-Con 2010 this year, here are some of the greatest hits, misses, news and shockers to come out of San Diego.  

Comic book movies are all the rage right now, with “The Green Lantern,” “Thor” and “Captain America” all having strong presences at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. But, perhaps even more exciting than Ryan Reynolds in the CGI Green Lantern suit, is the announcement of a director and final cast list for “The Avengers,” a comic book about the crime-fighting antics of a legion of famous superheroes, including, but not limited to, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk. Fanboys rejoiced when Joss Whedon, the creator of such pop-culture hits as “Firefly,”  “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” was announced as the director of this superhero extravaganza.

Marvel Comics also announced their third Hulk in the last decade, after Eric Bana and Edward Norton both left the franchise, with Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”), who will be joining the cast of “The Avengers.”  Jeremy Renner, star of this year’s Oscar winner “The Hurt Locker,” will join Whedon, Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and many others as the superhero Hawkeye. During the Marvel Comics panel, Robert Downey Jr. sauntered onstage and proceeded to bring out the entire cast of the film. Never has so much nerd-power been in the same room at one time.  

Though “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” has since been released, to mostly great reviews, Edgar Wright surprised fans at Comic-Con with several free advanced screenings of the film. He rewarded the fanboys who made his film possible and showed Comic-Con how to do a panel the right way — preferably with a movie waiting at the end. 

Not long after director Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) announced he would no longer be directing “The Hobbit,” the sequel to the much-beloved and much-Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, he came out at Comic-Con and announced his next big project — a new film adaptation of the Disney World attraction “The Haunted Mansion,” absolutely unrelated in any to the 2003 Eddie Murphy movie. Though millions are scratching their heads, del Toro professes to be a diehard fan of the ride and wants to make it a scary, but still family-friendly, film.  

Though people having been walking around Comic-Con for years dressed as Han Solo, Harrison Ford finally made his first appearance at the geek Mecca when he was brought onstage, as a surprise, by director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), during the panel for his upcoming film “Cowboys & Aliens.” Tears flooded the eyes of many fanboys and girls in the audience, and even more outside the convention hall who missed Mr. Ford in person.  

Aliens really are taking over the world, or at least Hollywood. After the success of alien-related flicks last year, like “District 9” and “Avatar,” a ton of new alien movies were announced at this year’s Comic-Con. They range from the very intimate British film “Monsters,” about a couple dealing with the aftermath of an alien invasion, to “Skyline,” about aliens that literally suck people up into the sky, to “Battle: Los Angeles,” which takes a look at warfare against an alien invasion in Los Angeles. Each of these films looks totally awesome, and each takes a different look at aliens. Whether they’ll be any good or not, however, remains to be seen.  

“Tron” was a cult hit almost 30 years ago and this December, Jeff Bridges, this year’s Oscar winner for “Crazy Heart,” is back with a new look at the world inside a computer. In “Tron: Legacy,” Sam Flynn (“Eragon”) gets sucked into the world of Tron where his father, Kevin (Bridges) has been for the last 25 years. Sam must save his father and get them both out of a world that doesn’t want them to leave. Not only did the “Tron: Legacy” trailer look awesome, Disney brought out the big guns at Comic-Con with an awesome scavenger-hunt that led to a giant rave/party with waitresses dressed in Tron suits serving fluorescent drinks, clips from the new movies, a DJ and lots of video games.  

“Let the Right One In,” a Swedish film about a young vampire and the human boy she befriends, took the movie world by storm last year, receiving immense praise from most of the world’s top critics. Groans were heard round the world when director Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”) announced he’d be remaking the film. And though nothing could beat the originality and ingenuity of the Swedish version of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, the trailer for “Let Me In” that premiered at Comic-Con wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was downright enticing, showing off what appears to be some great work by the movie’s young stars Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass”) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”). Skepticism over the American version is still running rampant, but many were surprised at how not-bad Reeves’ film actually looks.  

While Warner Bros. did a great job of showcasing upcoming films like “The Green Lantern” and “Sucker Punch,” the audience was left fairly miffed by the lack of coverage of what might be the movie event of the year: the release of part one of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final installment of the wizarding franchise. They better have something good up their sleeves to make up for this.  

Contact Maija Gustin at mgustin@nd.edu