By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
The 2016 San Diego Comic-Con is now officially underway and day one was some what of an interesting experience for those expecting long lines for Hall H and Ballroom 20. That’s because there weren’t any. With many of the movie studios sitting out this year, and with restrictive photo policies that prevent people from taking pictures of any screen, it seemed as if the fans stayed way from Hall H, too. But looks can be deceiving, as they’ve already begun lining up for the big panels Friday. Meanwhile, there was still plenty to see … even virtually.
We got there early and took a look around. First panel of the day in Hall H was DreamWorks Animation’s presentation of TROLLS, starring Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. But the fans weren’t feelin’ it as the Twitter feed from Hall H was filled with people saying that the hall was only filled to the first section, barely a quarter full and you could just walk right in. Not even Nerdist Chris Hardwick’s witty moderating, or the free troll wigs could lure enough people in. But those who did stay heard that Justin Timberlake’s participation in the film was amounting to him being called the “Sonic Wizard.”
The next stop was Ballroom 6 where Disney was giving fans a behind the scenes look at their new Polynesian animated princess film Moana, starring Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho in the title role. And while the Rock wasn’t in attendance, the filmmakers talked about how they got to travel to Tahiti for some laborious research (oh how those Disney animators suffer), and how the young Cravalho nailed her audition when the producers asked her how she would react if they gave her the role right then and there, and then they did just that. The panel concluded with showing of the first three minutes of the film, which left many Disney animated fans begging for more.
Cruising around the show room floor in between panels, we got our good look at some of the costumes on display for films like XMen: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I especially liked how Magneto’s costume was placed on a mannequin and hovered above the crowd as if the mutant was really flying above us. But the real story here was that Lucasfilm unveiled a new character called Edrio Two Tubes, a Tognath mercenary pilot who has to wear a special breather that looks very familiar in a Vader like fashion.
We also got up close looks at a new Desert Tank Stormtrooper, a pair of menacing Death Troopers, Death Star Overseer Director Krennic, and the entire costumes for the rag tag group of freedom fighters led by Jenn Yrso.
After that, we saw the playful costumes of Suicide Squad, and the amazing Wonder Woman costumes, which also included the original outfit worn by Lynda Carter in the ABC Television series. Being that this year is the 75th anniversary of the appearance of the Amazon princess in DC comics, having Carter’s original costume seemed appropriate.
We wanted to tell the story about occupation. The surveillance state. SciFi was a great way to tell that. – Carlton Cuse, Colony series creator
Then it was time wrap up the day with a few panels, namely for USA Network shows Colony and Mr. Robot. I needed the west for my barking dogs anyway, so we ducked in and learned more about these ground breaking series in their sophomore seasons.
The two series deal with controversial topics, with Colony being a science fiction drama depicting an alien occupation in Los Angeles after an invasion, and what happens when family members find themselves on opposite sides playing collaborators and freedom fighters. But regardless of what the series was about, the real takeaway for fans is that star Josh Holloway said that if you want to save your favorite TV shows, take it to social media, and be active, because network executives pay attention. Very telling.
Meanwhile, Mr. Robot is a drama about a collective of hackers who fight against corporations enslaving people with the most nefarious weapon ever .. debt. The society, known as “f-Collective,” is being run by series star Christian Slater and his son, played by emmy nominated star Remi Malick. Dealing with mature themes and raw sexual situations, the show has gotten some flack for it’s gritty depiction of the lead characters. But Malick gave a hats off to USA for sticking to its guns and producing the film according to the creator’s vision. “This is a very polarizing show. There’s nothing we won’t broach. And that takes some brave people to give us free reign,” he said.
That’s where we left Day One. Weary from a seven mile hike that included hours in I’ve forgotten how many lines, but we get to do it all over again Friday, when the big shows come in with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. We’ll be doing our best to keep track of any breaking news, and you can tune in at our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for it as it happens.