The famed San Diego Comic Con is in full swing this weekend, celebrating its 40th anniversary with four days of panels, parties and sneak peeks at upcoming blockbusters.
What started as a humble meet-up of comic book enthusiasts has grown into the premiere venue for Hollywood to unveil its latest properties to die-hard fans — whether the properties are comic book-related or not.
The biggest buzz this year surrounds James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar, a 3-D live action film that’s been kept carefully under wraps as the famed director has spent the past five years working on it.
But vying for attention is also the latest film in the Twilight series, New Moon. The series’ predominantly female fan base adds a new element to the usually male-dominated convention, lovingly referred to by insiders as “Nerd Prom.”
Hollywood has learned over the last few years to respect and even indulge the Comic Con audience. The San Diego Convention Center will play host to the first glimpse of Iron Man 2, which is fitting since the first Iron Man had its unveiling here as well.
Producer Joel Silver, who runs Silver Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment and was the producer behind the Lethal Weapon and Matrix franchises, fully appreciates the power of the comic book audience.
“I’ve been involved with comic book stories for a long time,” he says. “We bought Watchmen and V for Vendetta in the late ‘80s. I lost Watchmen over the years — I wish I hadn’t.”
That film, which made a huge splash at last year’s Comic Con, is back to celebrate the director’s cut DVD with a screening curated by director Zack Snyder.
But Silver has other projects he’s focused on now, including the fan favorite DC Comics character Lobo, who should be hitting the big screen soon, according to Silver. “Lobo is one I’m very excited about doing,” he says. “We’ve got a script we like.”
• Comic Con audience will get the first glimpse of Iron Man 2