'Psych' Reunion Movie: Jimmi Simpson Sets Return, Creator Teases Sequels


The ‘Westworld’ star will reprise his role as Mary Lightly in the upcoming special.

The cast of Psych made a triumphant return to Comic-Con Friday to tease the upcoming reunion movie.

As in years past, the Psych team once again took over Ballroom 20 for a fun-filled hour that included a sing-along, a brand new video made especially for Comic-Con and some very special guests.

Among them was moderator Jimmi Simpson, aka Mary Lightly, who announced during the panel that he will be reprising Mary in the upcoming movie, for what he estimated will be his third posthumous appearance in the series since his character was killed off.

“You’ve now appeared more on this show dead than you did alive,” star James Roday joked.

“Ed Harris passed,” quipped Simpon in reference to his Westworld character.

Simpson joins previously announced guest stars including Zachary Levi, Jazmyn Simon, Ralph Macchio and WWE star Charlotte Flair. 

Picking up three years later, Psych: The Movie follows the ambitious friends — along with some returning fan-favorite characters – when they come together during the holidays after a mystery assailant targets one of their own. A comedic thrill ride ensues as the wild and unpredictable Psych team pursues the bad guys, justice … and food! After the series finale, the movie will trade Santa Barbara for the gang’s new hometown of San Francisco.

Also in attendance at the panel were stars Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson and Corbin Bernson, as well as creator Steve Franks and executive producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak. (Sadly, Timothy Omundson was unable to attend but the cast filmed the crowd loudly yelling “Suck it, Tim!” for a video to send to him.)

After opening the panel with a video showing Roday and Hill (both in character as Shawn and Gus, natch) getting back into Psych shape — met with huge applause and cheers from the crowd — the team got right into the nitty gritty of where their characters are now.

“Gus is thriving,” Hill told the crowd. “He’s enjoying his life up there. … He’s growing a beard.”

As for Shawn, “You guys might be surprised to know that Shawn has taken a few steps forward. Not emotionally, he physically took a couple steps over the last three years, and he’s feeling pretty good about it,” Roday said. “He’s still working cases, sometimes cases that Gus doesn’t know about. He’s still got a crush, a hard crush on Juliette. I think it’s evolved from a school boy crush to a hard man crush.”

As for Shawn’s dad, Bernson teased that viewers will meet “Henry 2.0” in the movie. It’s “a very modified Henry,” he said.

Franks also teased more musical moments in the two-hour movie following season seven’s special Psych: The Musical. “I will say that more than one person on this panel might do a little singing in that movie,” Franks said.

In addition to those somewhat vague spoilers, those in attendance got a very special treat: A first look at the opening eight minutes of the movie, which saw Shawn in a very surprising getup and Gus in a new gig.

The special premiere was especially fitting for Franks, who recalled getting a call from Universal Cable Productions president and NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chief content officer Jeff Wachtel exactly one year (and nine days ago) to make a Psych reunion movie.

“I have to say it’s the best experience I’ve had in my professional life with this group of people,” said Franks, who co-wrote the movie with Roday and also directed the movie.

If Franks gets his way, this is only the beginning of Psych‘s revival. Said Franks, “I don’t want to make one movie. I want to make six Psych movies.”

Watch the special Psych Comic-Con video below:

 

 



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FX's 'Legion' Mixed Reality Experience Is the Strangest Activation at Comic-Con



8:30am PT
by

Chris E. Hayner

FX’s ‘Sessions’ mixed reality experience puts you in the middle of the very creepy world of ‘Legion.’

While virtual reality is all the rage in gaming, FX decided to take one step forward with their Legion experience, Sessions, at San Diego Comic-Con. Using Microsoft Hololens technology, fans of Legion are immersed into the show’s world in the role of David Haller (Dan Stevens) as his powers are put to the test.

 

Utilizing the augmented reality of the Hololens, along with live actors, Sessions is a truly unique experience and one that’s not easy to explain. Upon entering the activation, located in FX’s FXhibition, you are fitted with the headset and help calibrate it. That’s when the fun begins.

 

 

After being escorted into an office, you are told by an attendant that you’ll be revisiting a past memory. In that memory, the extent of your powers are examined as you levitate and teleport objects. Something doesn’t quite add up. Much like David himself on Legion, you begin to hear voices in your head, questioning whether or not this is how the events actually unfolded in your memory.

 

Likewise, pictures on the wall that you’re asked to describe begin to change. The entire experience becomes confusing and disorienting and while you may be questioning whether or not something is malfunctioning, it’s this frame of mind Sessions wants you to be in: questioning everything and very suspicious.

 

 

It’s at this point that you suddenly hear the voice of Syd (Rachel Keller), David’s girlfriend. It’s her that explains the memory you’re experiencing isn’t what it seems. In fact, it’s been implanted in your brain. That’s when the reality part of this mixed reality experience begins to unravel.

 

 

Syd takes control of your interviewer’s mind, promising to get you out of this situation and memory alive. She doesn’t take the attendant who led you into the room into account though. As said attendant begins questioning what’s happening, the interviewer quickly tries to dismiss you from the room, only to reveal the attendant’s head has become engorged and distorted, resembling something closer to the evil Shadow King than an actual human being. It’s at that point that you’re leave through a hidden door in the room, ending your experience.

 

As far as immersion goes, Sessions does a great job of dropping you right into the narrative of David and the actors surrounding you in the experience are the right mix of tense and cordial to make you believe you truly are something special, that you might just have these powers.

 

 

Given that virtual reality activations are nothing new at Comic-Con, it’s good to see FX stretching beyond the norm to incorporate new technology. Mixing computer graphics with live actor and physical environments creates a new sensory experience. And quite honestly, it’s one that feels very similar to the Playtest episode of Black Mirror — Just without the immediately dying part.

 

What’s more, if you’re a fan of Legion this experience might just help make the wait for new episodes a bit easier to handle. 



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'Stranger Things' Director Shawn Levy on How He Plans to Lose His "Comic-Con Virginity"


Even going to the Oscars for ‘Arrival’ might not top the excitement of San Diego: “I have been told to hydrate and sleep when you can.”

2017 was a year of firsts for director-producer Shawn Levy — from his first Oscar nomination for Arrival to a first Emmy nom for Netflix’s Stranger Things. Levy will soon embark on another (and arguably biggest) first… his first San Diego Comic-Con. Levy talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what he’s expecting from Hall H ahead of Saturday’s Stranger Things panel.

I have been told to hydrate and sleep when you can. But, I think, the worst peril that we are goanna face is getting sick of the sound of our own voices.

Comic-Con is the epicenter of passionate fandom and I think it’s why one hears tales of such madness. But also when something catches a wave at Comic-Con, the surge towards the middle of the culture can be really powerful. I remember when the Deadpool footage shows it became clear that you can ride a Comic-Con wave from genre specific towards much more of a zeitgeist-y conversation.

Since I am a Comic-Con first timer, I need to lose my Comic-Con virginity just by walking the floor and taking it all in, in it’s full overwhelming glory. I am planning on doing a solo tour of the floor without our actors to have a chance at anonymity. The first thing [Stranger Things creators] the Duffers and I talked about was that Steven [Spielberg] would be there showing Ready Player One and we were trying to figure out whether our schedules would let us sneak us in to catch that. That was the very first conversation we had about Comic-Con. 

It’s actually somewhat rare that all of us get together in the same space at the same time — it’s usually two or three or five actors. We are going with, what I am told, might be the biggest panel in all of Comic-Con. 

Having gone to a bunch of awards shows with our actors, what amazes me is our kids are a magnet, not only for fans, but to other creatives and producers and actors. I saw it at the Golden Globes and at the SAG Awards. So moving through Comic-Con towards Hall H with our cast will be a pretty big challenge. [If there’s advice] from people who have been a part of shows and movies that are at the scale that Stranger Things has now achieved, it’s that we need to keep moving because if you stop you will be doing signings for hours. It’s like a shark. You have to keep moving forward or you die.  

For me, every time I do an event or panel with Stranger Things and I am in the room with the passion for our show, when I am confronted by how much people adore what we’re making, it’s completely overwhelming. That’s what I’m genuinely excited about.

Between Arrival and Stranger Things, making content these years that has connected with fans who are so vocal is something that is new to me. The Oscars were fun and the Golden Globes are exciting, but I think Comic-Con is going to be equally fun and exciting. With Stranger Things, more than anything I have ever done, I just worked on it because I thought it would be cool. A year ago, we were this little show that it looked like no one was gonna pay attention to, so it is insane what a ride this past year has been. We didn’t do the show because we thought it would be a hit, but we have been rewarded with something that merits a Hall H appearance. 

***

Netflix’s Stranger Things panel is Saturday, 3-4p.m. in Hall H.



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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 3 Ways to Build a Better Black Superhero


It’s not just about the superpowers. Every African-American comic book protagonist must have these important characteristics, writes the NBA great and THR columnist.

When I was a kid, Batman and Superman didn’t just kick supervillains’ butts, they also helped me battle the slings and arrows of outrageous adolescence. I had already read many exciting classic novels like The Three Musketeers, Ivanhoe and Treasure Island, which gave me hope that — unlike the mind-numbingly boring daily routine of childhood — adulthood could be an exciting adventure in which the battle to defeat evil and corruption paid off in massive public adoration and endless attractive women. Comic books were a modern shorthand version of those thick old books, made more exciting by the addition of superpowers or cool gadgets.

Then along came Spider-Man in 1962, when I was 15, the same age as poor, pitiful Peter Parker. Not only was he struggling to deal with his new Spidey powers, but he was fighting an even more evil nemesis: high school. Every high school kid understands the debilitating torment of being a teen, and how it seems like you have a secret identity — the polite, mild-mannered kid your parents want you to be hiding the bursting hormonal desires, demonic drives and unbridled energy that are the real you. Spider-Man was the perfect expression of that adolescent angst of id versus superego. But when you happened to be a teenage person of color, you had an additional secret identity — especially if, like me, you were one of only a few blacks in a white high school. Everything you did was scrutinized as a representation of how all African-Americans behaved and thought. You were the default ambassador of blackness.

Today, kids of color have it easier, at least when it comes to finding relatable comic book heroes, because this is a golden age of black comic book characters no longer relegated to servant or sidekick status. There’s now a cornucopia of center-stage black heroes, who run the full spectrum, from the traditional costumed male crime fighters like Spawn, Blade, Falcon, War Machine, Green Lantern, Luke Cage, Black Panther and half-black, half-Puerto Rican Spider-Man Miles Morales, to female warriors like Kamau Kogo (Bitch Planet), Amanda Waller (Suicide Squad), Moon Girl (Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur) and Michonne (Walking Dead). Marvel even has several Muslim female superheroes, including Ms. Marvel, Monet St. Croix and the second Black Widow. There’s a black Watson and Holmes series; a black NBA player turned inhuman, Mosaic; and a terrific black interpretation of the Frankenstein story called Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. But not all black characters are created equal. For me, there are certain characteristics a writer must consider when crafting a black comic book protagonist. After all, with great storytelling power comes … you know the rest.

First, a black superhero must have a social conscience that makes them aware that they are a minority and what that means to them and all others who are marginalized. Being black isn’t just having the colorist shade the skin darker, it’s a significant personal element that motivates the character’s actions. The character doesn’t have to start out full-throttle altruistic and self-aware. In fact, it can be a much more exciting story for the character to start selfish because they’ve been marginalized (“I don’t owe this world anything!”) and slowly come to the realization of their connection to society, even an imperfect society.

Second, the character should have a sense of humor, especially about themselves. The degree of humor depends on the overall tone. Michonne in Walking Dead can’t be cutting off zombie heads then using them as ventriloquist dummies. Having dour, humorless heroes only works if other characters poke fun at their dourness, as happens in Batman, with Robin, Alfred and Catwoman getting laughs off Bruce Wayne’s brooding self-importance. Humor is even more important for minority heroes because otherwise their earnestness overwhelms the story, making it seem like a political diatribe rather than an adventure story. A great story can be both, but humor makes it more subtle.

Finally, the character should be smart. It’s not enough to defeat the enemy with superior power, the hero must also be able to outwit them. One enduring racial stereotype is the black man who is more brawn than brain, the runaway field hand who crushes anything in his path to freedom. I prefer to see our black superheroes flexing their cunning and dazzling us with intellect as much as with their supernatural abilities. We have to promote the idea that anyone can attain knowledge — even as we entertain our fantasies of powers beyond science. Invisibility is nice, but intelligence wins the day.

My own graphic novel, Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, features the very white brother of Sherlock Holmes out to save the world. My spin was to pair him with part-Native American and part-black Lark Adler, the partner — definitely not a sidekick — who rivals him in every way and surpasses him in some. My main goal was to throw these two together for an exciting and sexy adventure. But my subtext was to have a character who represents the exploited Americans (Indians, blacks, women) fighting alongside an enlightened white man to save the U.S. from a villain who represents the corrupt ideals of racism, sexism, xenophobia and class snobbery. Mycroft and Lark are funny, smart, brave and have dark pasts they want redemption from. After all, second chances are what America is all about. And the rising tide of black comic book characters lifts all of us closer. As Lark tells Mycroft, “This country may not treat me the way it should, but the Constitution says it wants to. I just want to help it get to that point.”

This story first appeared in the July 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.



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Comic-Con Marketing Blitz Reaches Peak TV Status


Weddings and tigers and winter, oh my.

With one full day now in the books, San Diego Comic-Con has become one of the most striking displays of the Peak TV era.

With nearly 100 panels dedicated to new and returning TV shows, an overwhelming display of interactive booths on the exhibition floor as well as massive activations surrounding the convention center, the competition for viewers (or subscribers/ad dollars, depending on the platform) at this year’s fan confab has reached a feverish level.

Comic-Con, which attracts hundreds of thousands of fans of all ages from across the globe, is often considered a key launchpad for new fall shows, with the outspoken fanboy crowd seen as early tastemakers. Winning over the crowd — with many fans spending much of their time standing in line to get into over-stuffed ballrooms — can help generate good buzz, and in turn, signal a hit. Only the competition for eyeballs on-screen — as well as at the San Diego convention — has hit overdrive. (And we’re just talking about TV here, not film, comics, etc.)

Fox’s rookie X-Men drama The Gifted has odd banners urging Con attendees to get tested for the “mutant” gene with a nearby installation actually offering said testing. The side of the Hilton Bayfront — across the street from the convention center — has been taken over by FX’s Marvel drama Legion, with the cabler also moving into the neighboring park area with installations for Archer, Legion and American Horror Story, the latter of which is bypassing a panel this year in favor of a late-night water display. Also featured: freshman Snowfall, with the 1980s cocaine drama offering branded shoe laces in what seems like a stretch for Comic-Con. Speaking of out of place, Comedy Central’s Broad City is in San Diego, too, with a massive coloring book art display promoting the show’s return — and, yup, a panel this weekend. There’s even elevator doors wrapped in Fear the Walking Dead and Walking Dead adhesives. 

Across the street from the convention center, NBC is well aware that its long-gestating genre drama Midnight, Texas, launches on Monday. The network has taken over the corner area by re-creating sets from the show — that few have seen. Down the road, History’s Knightfall has built a storage unit of sorts offering attendees a place to store their haul. And beyond that, AMC has teamed with the San Diego Parks Department for a huge Walking Dead “Deadquarters” area featuring re-created characters and a small (netted) batting cage. HBO has also brought winter to San Diego by taking over an empty storefront and transforming it into a lengthy Game of Thrones immersive experience. The same is true for Westworld, too. Syfy, rather than put down roots, has Orlando Jones officiating (legal!) weddings as part of a pop-up chapel, and has a drumline clad in network-branded capes playing geeky theme songs marching all over the place. Behind the convention center, History is going to set a boat on fire as part of a Vikings-themed funeral and TBS has created an “island” to support second-year comedy Wrecked. And we’re not even inside the convention center yet! Petco Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, also has banners for ABC’s Once Upon a Time — which is rebooting itself with a largely new cast — and another Marvel show, ABC and Imax’s big bet The Inhumans — hanging from the top of the stadium. Netflix has also taken over the sides of two huge buildings to support another Marvel drama, The Defenders, as well as Stranger Things season two. Both shows are featured prominently in Netflix’s interactive event nearby with fans waiting in line for more than an hour to get inside and see … nothing they haven’t really seen before. But hey, it’s all selfie friendly!  

The push for The Walking Dead is hard to miss as the star of the AMC zombie drama’s face adorns all Comic-Con badges. Those, of course, must be swiped on a, yup, Walking Dead-themed security pillar in order to go in or out of the venue. And in a change, Netflix is joining The Walking Dead with banners inside the convention center for Bright, among others. (And we’re old enough to remember when all the lanyards were sponsored by Dexter and Showtime, with the premium cabler now barely visible at the Con after sitting it out completely last year.) 

On the exhibition floor, Warner Bros. has life-sized Supergirl and Arrow Funkos, wings from Lucifer and a small version of The Big Bang Theory‘s living room for photo-ops. The Walking Dead has selfie opportunities with a silicon Negan and another with a cheesy stuffed tiger. ABC has a hologram Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time and an activation around freshman The Crossing, which is promoted on trolly cars with large wraps that more prominently feature the phrase, “From the network that brought you Lost” than any imagery of the Steve Zahn starrer). Other trains are branded with Seth MacFarlane’s face to support Fox’s The Orville, which is also making its Comic-Con debut. Oh, and Conan O’Brien is here, too, taping a series of SDCC specials with his Funko-styled face also popping up around town.

So how do you even cut through? Who are the winners in the dizzying Comic-Con marketing blitz? Honestly, it’s nearly impossible to measure. But then you remember: Comic-Con is a fan event and a happy fan who is willing to tune in, post selfies, tweet, tell a friend and leave San Diego happy? Maybe everyone’s a winner. (But those offering a place to sit, shade, free drinks and a charging station are typically everyone’s favorite.)



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Comic-Con: What to Watch for on Friday


THR is on the scene in San Diego. Here are the day’s TV and film panels to watch for.

After a brisk Thursday of panels at San Diego Comic-Con, it’s a rather slow day on the film side as studios gear up for an even busier Saturday. On the TV side, it’s full-speed ahead with some of the confab’s biggest shows (Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Twin Peaks and The Big Bang Theory) holding court in the convention center’s biggest ballroom: the 7,200-capacity Hall H.  

The Hollywood Reporter is on the ground in San Diego and each morning will offer a guide to the day’s must-see panels and what to expect when some of the biggest names in Hollywood take the stage as movie studios and TV networks alike look to win over fanboys and cut through the clutter and breakthrough the increasingly crowded landscape.

Here are the must-see film and TV panels for Friday:

TV

The Big Bang Theory (10-11 a.m., Hall H) The cast of broadcast television’s No. 1 comedy makes their long-awaited return to San Diego as stars Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Kevin Sussman are joined by a surprise moderator (or two!). Typically low on scoop about the season to come, the Big Bang panels tend to be high on laughs — like the time Galecki dressed up in costume and made a surprise appearance during the audience question segment. Bazinga!  

Psych (10-11 a.m., Ballroom 20) The USA Network favorite returns ahead of its highly anticipated movie revival. Exec producers Steve Franks, Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak will be joined by surprise cast members.

The Walking Dead (12:15-1:15 p.m., Hall H) After a rough week, the cast and creators of AMC’s zombie drama will focus on the upcoming eighth season of the comic book adaptation. In keeping with the show’s SDCC tradition, expect the season eight trailer and an official premiere date to be announced as stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Seth Gilliam and Khary Payton join EPs Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Greg Nicotero. (We’ll miss you, Steven Yeun, Michael Cudlitz and Sonequa Martin-Green.)

Game of Thrones (1:30-2:30 p.m., Hall H) The hottest show on television returns for what’s likely to be an artful display of avoiding spoilers. With the season seven premiere having already aired, the panel will not offer Con attendees an early look at episode two. Still, that’s an hour of Q&A — moderated by what’s being billed as a “special guest from Westeros” — to allow stars Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) a chance to offer up enough of a cryptic tease to go viral.

Twin Peaks (2:45-3:45 p.m., Hall H) More than halfway through its Showtime revival, stars Kyle MacLachlan, Tim Roth, Dana Ashbrook, Kimmy Robertson, Everett McGill, Matthew Lillard, James Marshall, Don Murray and Naomi Watts will be grilled by moderated by Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers, Lost) about what’s to come.

Outlander (5-6:30 p.m., Ballroom 20) The Starz fan-favorite will see super-fan Jenna Dewan Tatum host a season three preview chat with stars Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin as well as EPs Ron Moore, Maril Davis and author Diana Gabaldon.  

The Defenders (5:15-6:15 p.m., Hall H) Avengers Defenders unite! Netflix and Marvel bring Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones — aka the stars of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the critically panned Iron Fist —together for the first time. Expect special guests (and if last year’s Marvel TV/Netflix panel was any indication, some breaking news.)  

FILM

World Premiere of Batman and Harley Quinn (7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Ballroom 20) Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Tim and star Kevin Conroy (Batman) will be onhand for a Q&A following a screening of the animated film about a teamup between the Dark Knight and one of DC’s favorite villains.

 



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'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Cast Talks Nicknames, Elton John on 'Conan'


Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal joined the TBS show in San Diego.

Conan O’Brien wasted no time trying to get spoilers from the cast of Kingsman: The Golden Circle on Thursday night.

The cast of the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle joined the host during his week of Comic-Con shows to get to the bottom of the big mystery of the sequel: How is Colin Firth back? 

Firth, Taron Egerton, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal did their best to avoid the inquisition. 

“Why the hell are you here tonight?” O’Brien asked Firth, whose character was killed in the first movie but according to the new film’s trailer, appears again. 

“I am under instructions to confess nothing,” Firth insisted. “I’d like to posit the theory that I am just in the trailer.” 

Firth also commented on working with Elton John, who appeared in the film. “I haven’t actually considered he’s a real person until I met him. He’s larger than life.”

The cast also shared their characters’ nicknames in the film, all named after drinks. Tatum was proud to be Tequila, but Bridges wasn’t a fan of his name, Champagne, “so I tell everyone to call me Champ.”

Berry even dubbed O’Brien “Aperol Spritz,” a nod to his orange-colored hair. 

Earlier in the day, the cast showed off footage from the upcoming film in Hall H, which included a chase scene starring Egerton and his foe. Director Matthew Vaughn appeared during the panel via video message.

The film, hitting theaters Sept. 22, follows the Kingsmen who go to Kentucky after their headquarters across the pond is destroyed. Firth’s character Harry, thought to be alive after the first film, returns, but the actor kept mum about his role this time around.

O’Brien also hosted the casts of Bright and Supernatural on Wednesday, and will conclude the week-long themed episodes with casts of The Lego Ninjago Movie and Game of Thrones.



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Marvel's 'Inhumans' Debuts Footage at Comic-Con, Reveals Ellen Woglom's Character



7:32pm PT
by

Chris E. Hayner

After keeping her character a secret, Ellen Woglom was finally able to spill the beans on her ‘Inhumans’ role at San Diego Comic-Con and that wasn’t the only surprise.

With Marvel’s Inhumans heading to IMAX theaters across the country before it premieres on ABC in September, the cast and creative team arrived at San Diego Comic-Con ready to give fans their first look at the new series.

 

Not only did they answer fan questions but new footage was shown that introduced attendees to the world of Inhumans. Interestingly, executive producer Jeph Loeb also revealed, at long last, what role Ellen Woglom is playing on the series.

 

For one reason or another, details about Woglom’s role have been kept under wraps. However, Loeb explains she plays a woman named Louise who is “from Earth but has some special knowledge.” While she doesn’t have special powers, she has been exposed to Terrigen Mist, a substance that alters Inhuman biology. The substance has appeared on Earth, causing Black Bolt (Anson Mount) to send his cousin Triton (Mike Moh) to investigate and rescue any Inhumans.

 

 

It’s unclear how major a role Louise will play in the series but both Loeb and Woglom were quick to note she’s essentially the only character on the series that doesn’t have superpowers.

 

As for the footage shown, ABC brought a few scenes from the first two episodes, both which will be shown in IMAX, to give an idea of the scope of the series. The first, which features Triton looking for Inhumans on Earth, took full use of the IMAX capabilities with establishing shots of the jungle that were beautiful. Once the scene focused in on Triton’s action on the ground, the visuals weren’t quite as stunning. The fans in attendance loved what they saw though, showering the panel with applause.

 

The second scene was what Loeb likes to call “the dinner sequence.” It’s here that the characters of Inhumans get the chance to shine. As the royal family gathers for a meal and Maximus (Iwan Rhoen) harshly questions his brother Black Bolt about sending Triton to Earth in the first place. At this point in the story, the Inhumans believe Triton to be dead. It’s here that the show introduces the sign language Black Bolt uses, which only Medusa (Serinda Swan) can understand.

 

Next was a clip that takes place during a coup carried out by Maximus. As he takes his brother’s throne, Maximus orders his men to capture or kill both Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) and Karnak (Ken Leung). It’s this scene where the Inhumans (finally) get to show off their superpowers. This is especially important for Karnak, as his power is his brain and its ability to look at every event he’s involved in strategically.

 

 

It should be noted that while this coup may seem like the act of an ultimate villain, and Maximus is definitely a villain in this story, he believes his actions are the right thing to do for hit people. It leaves Medusa stuck in-between the two brothers, as the royal family of Inhumans falls apart.

 

Finally, a clip was shown of Medusa’s hair in action. When the first look at the character was revealed, the internet had a field day mocking her long red locks for not looking particularly real. While the wig looks questionable when Medusa isn’t using her powers, seeing it moving as if it has a mind of its own is something else entirely.

 

Given the scope producers are aiming for, its clear they are taking full advantage of what IMAX offers for the first two episodes. According to Loeb, over 600 effects shots are featured in those first two hours alone. Likewise, director Roel Reine said they had to create a new lens for the IMAX cameras just to capture the picture as he envisioned it.

 

 

And just to send the crowd home happy, Loeb delivered one final look at the series, an extended trailer that will be attached to IMAX screenings of Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated World War II saga Dunkirk. The trailer included new looks at several characters plug footage of the gigantic CGI pitbull Lockjaw in action.

 

Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September first before debuting on ABC on Sept. 29.

Watch the new InHumans trailer:



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Orlando Jones Officiates 'Star Wars'-Themed Wedding as Syfy Opens Pop-Up Chapel at Comic-Con


The ‘American Gods’ star — who was ordained — is officiating legal weddings and vow renewals at Comic-Con. ‘Sharknado’ star Ian Ziering also renewed his vows with his wife, Erin, on Thursday.

By the power vested in him by the Universal Life Church, American Gods star Orlando Jones pronounced Melissa and Esteban Martinez man and wife in a Star Wars-themed ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con.

And yes, it’s all legal — the actor and self-professed geek really got ordained, the couple really got a marriage license, and they really said “I do” in front of TV stars, Syfy employees and fellow fans during a ceremony at the cable network’s pop-up wedding chapel in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. 

The San Diego couple recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. “We already considered ourselves husband and wife — we’re dedicated to each other,” the groom told The Hollywood Reporter before the ceremony. “But then this opportunity came up and we thought, ‘Why not make it official?'”

The groom, who is a Star Wars fan, was dressed in a Han Solo-inspired suit, while the bride wore a Poe Dameron-inspired dress, naturally. 

The couple attended their first Comic-Con together seven years ago after bonding over Harry Potter and other shared nerdy interests. They’re both fans of Jones’ work, from the movie Double Take with Eddie Griffin to his recent dramatic turn on Starz’s American Gods. And, of course, they both love the fact that Jones is as big a nerd as his fans. “It’s always great to realize that the people you see on TV are as human as us,” the groom said. 

The ceremonies continue through Saturday as part of Syfy’s all-out 2017 Comic-Con strategy as network celebrates its 25th anniversary. That also includes drumlines, a karaoke bus, cosplay makeup stations, 15 panels and three nights of a live show hosted by fellow nerd fave Zachary Levi. The romantic gig is also something Jones has wanted to do at Comic-Con for years, as he identifies with the passion of the fans he’ll be uniting in happily ever after during the weekend.

“Marrying fans at the Syfy Geek Chapel is the most spectacular thing I’ve ever done,” he tells THR. “Everyone follows the same path to fandom: You read or watch a story unfold as your heart races, you laugh, you cry, you fall in love and become a fan. I will forever be in Syfy’s debt for not only partnering with me and my Cosmunity app, but boldly going where no network has ever gone before. Celebrating 25 years of Syfy by putting fans center stage and sharing in one of the most magical moments in a person’s life pays more than lip service to the idea that #ItsaFanThing.”

 

The sunny wedding space, which is sandwiched between a steak restaurant and a taco shop, will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons and comes complete with lush greenery, benches for guests and a station of accessories (including bouquets, bow ties, veils, and the most essential wedding accouterment: lightsabers). 

And the Comic-Con love didn’t end after the Martinez ceremony. Sharknado star Ian Ziering surprised his wife, Erin, and proposed that they renew their vows. The couple took advantage of Jones’ new status as an ordained minister and re-tied the knot with their children present. (There were no reports of flying sharks.)

 



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'Legion' Cast, Creator Offer 10 Things to Know About Season 2


Creator Noah Hawley and the cast of FX’s psychedelic Marvel drama assembled in San Diego to look back on the past and ahead toward season two.

For most of his life, David Haller believed he was crazy. So did everyone else. The troubled young man spent years weaving in and out of different forms of treatment, from outpatient therapy to full-on hospitalization. It’s only thanks to the sudden arrival of some like-minded (or at least like-type, if not quite like-minded) individuals that David finally saw the truth: He’s not crazy, he’s a mutant — and quite possibly the most powerful one in the world.

So … now what?

That’s the crux of season two of Legion, the FX drama series based on the character of the same name from Marvel’s X-Men comics. The series comes from creator Noah Hawley (Fargo) and features an all-star lineup of actors, including Dan Stevens as David. And, starting with season two, there’s a new actor in the mix: Saïd Taghmaoui, most recently of Wonder Woman, who is also known for roles in Three Kings, American Hustle and the fifth season of Lost.

Taghmaoui’s upcoming turn on Legion was revealed Thursday during the show’s official panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the first time the series has attended the convention. Castmembers on hand included Stevens, Amber Midthunder (Kerry), Bill Irwin (Cary), Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy), Rachel Keller (Syd), Jean Smart (Melanie) and Aubrey Plaza (Lenny). Producers Jeph Loeb, Lauren Shuler Donner and John Cameron were in attendance as well, in addition to Hawley.

When the first season of Legion wrapped, Jemaine Clement’s Oliver Bird hit the road alongside Plaza’s Lenny — or more accurately Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King, who lived inside of David’s mind since the mentally fragile protagonist was a young boy. Now, Taghmaoui is getting his shot to put a stamp on Farouk as well. How will his casting impact the show, especially with Plaza delivering such a breakout turn as the Shadow King in season one, and Clement set to get in on the fun as well in season two? In that regard, Hawley made it clear: “It’s going to be a trio with Aubrey and Jemaine Clement.”

Here are other highlights from the panel:

• Season two will consist of 10 episodes, up two from its freshman run. 

• Will Syd feel more proactive heading into season two? “It’s all about an exploration of who am I and what am I capable of, and how do I reckon with something I thought was wrong and made me sick, but I can now use to help people and deepen a relationship she feels strongly about,” said Keller.

• On what’s going to happen to David following his abduction at the end of season one: “He went on a little ride in that little ball. That will obviously take him some place, and he’ll have to get his way back to the others.”

• Hawley on the future of David and Syd’s romance: “This is an epic love story between two people who can’t physically be together. If season one was the honeymoon, in season two we’re going to explore how this actually works.”

• In terms of how Hawley settled on the Shadow King as the show’s key villain: “They’re taking something that should be action and turning it into something so much more interesting. That always stuck with me: Xavier defeated this guy, went off and had a kid. It always seemed to me that it was an interesting thing we could build into where at first you think it’s Division 3 and it’s the plucky rebels against the empire. And as we’re getting ready to fight the empire, we see David’s memories and learn he’s not mentally ill. The real enemy was within him. I thought that was very subversive.”

• Will we see more of David’s youth in season two? Hawley’s answer suggested a focus on other characters’ backstories instead: “We know his story pretty well now, but we don’t know everybody’s story really well now, so I think there are other people we may see where they came from and how it brought them to this moment.” Could that explain how Taghmaoui will be involved in the show — via Shadow King flashbacks? “It could be,” said Hawley. “We’ll get our money’s worth out of every character on the show. I have a slight character issue. I like having a lot of them.”

• What about a Professor X sighting in season two? “We’re working on it” is the resounding non-answer we’ve all come to expect at this point. Someone dressed up as Tina from Bob’s Burgers asked more about Xavier: If he shows up, will it be the Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy version of the character? Hawley’s not sure at the moment. “I don’t know yet what that would be,” he said. “It depends on who would do it. If we reach that part of the story, is it funnier if it’s the young or the old one? It could be great if you’re older than your dad.”

• Now that he’s rid of the Shadow King, will David be more stable now? Hawley said it might actually lead to some very bad decisions: “Now he has to face up to the fact that without that thing in him, he’s like everybody else — he has good ideas and impulses, bad ideas and impulses. It might be interesting to see his hubris: ‘I’m a hero, so everything I do is heroic.'” Stevens concurred: “There are still a number of issues inside this man’s head.”

• What does everyone want to see for their characters in season two? Plaza wants to ride a horse, Smart wants to tango with Oliver and Stevens’ request is … well, pretty fair: “Can I get out of the orb?” Hawley’s terse reply: “Not until you eat your vegetables.”

• Hawley ended the panel with a bombshell announcement: He’s developing a movie with Fox that Comic-Con attendees might be especially interested in. “Two words,” he said. “Doctor Doom.”

Follow THR.com/Legion for news, interviews and more coverage of the show.



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