Comic-Con International Programming: Wed/Thurs

The wait is over! Comic-Con International has announced the programming for Preview Night, Wednesday, July 22nd, and Thursday, July 23rd.

Where else can you see Dave Gibbons, Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Stan Lee, James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, Terry Gilliam, and Nicholas Cage in the same day?

Everyone will be picking it apart and naming their favorites in the days to come, but here are a few things that caught my eye already:

10:15-11:15 Summit Entertainment: Astro Boy A superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film based on the classic manga about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Director David Bowers, producer Maryanne Grager, and stars Freddie Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) debut footage exclusive to Comic-Con 2009 and answer your questions about bringing this beloved hero to the big screen. Room 6BCF

10:30-11:30 Motion Comics: Graphic Novels in The Digital Age— Warner Premiere is one of the pioneers in the production of Motion Comics, which include Watchmen, Peanuts, Batman: Black and White, and many others. Motion Comics are short-form videos that use subtle movements, voice-overs, sweeping music scores, and stunning comic book artwork to bring an engaging visual experience to life. Moderated by Gregory Noveck (DC Comics), with panelists Paul Levitz, (DC Comics, Batman: Black and White), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Batman: Black and White), Paul Dini (Batman: Black and White, Mad Love), Lydia Antonini (Warner Premiere), Dylan Coburn (Karactaz, Superman: Red Son), and Stephen Fedasz (Perpetual Notions), who discuss graphic novel storytelling and production in the digital age. Attendees will also see the debut of two DC Motion Comic series during this panel. Room 6DE

11:00-12:30 Disney: 3D Panel— Walt Disney Pictures presents key filmmakers, select cast members and previously unseen footage from its upcoming slate, including Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Alice In Wonderland and Tron. Special guests include Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Sean Bailey, Steve Lisberger, and moderator Patton Oswalt. Hall H

11:15-12:15 The Middleman Cast Reunion and Lost Episode Table Read— Creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) and the complete cast—including Matt Keeslar, Natalie Morales, Brit Morgan, Mary Pat Gleason, Jake Smollett, Mark Sheppard, Brendan Hines, Sarah Watson, Jordan Rosenberg, Margaret Dunlap, and Andy Reaser—reunite to celebrate the DVD release of The Middleman: The Complete Series from Shout! Factory, with an exclusive table read of the lost 13th episode, The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, which was never produced for television but is now available as a graphic novel from Viper Comics. Room 6A

11:45-12:45 DC: Superman: Two Worlds— Torn between New Krypton and Earth, the Man of Steel has only just begun his latest adventure. You’ve seen the stories: a new planet of Kryptonians; scores of super-powered beings. The people behind Superman’s future are here to face the most trying times in his life. Meet the talented folks behind Superman as they give you a glimpse of what is in store for our favorite Super-family. Featuring Superman group editor Matt Idelson, writers Geoff Johns (Adventure Comics, Superman: Secret Origins), Greg Rucka (Action Comics), James Robinson (Superman), Sterling Gates (Supergirl), Renato Guedes (Superman), and more! Room 6DE

12:45-1:45 Disney: Stan Lee’s Time Jumper Don’t miss Stan Lee and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as they present a special sneak peek of their new digital motion comic series Time Jumper. Comic book legend Stan Lee is joined by Natasha Henstridge (one of the character voices in Time Jumper), Omar Ponce (writer), and Anthony Diecidue (artist) for a Q&A session. Room 6BCF

12:45-2:00 20th Century Fox and James Cameron present Avatar In this first public screening of footage in 3D from his much-anticipated action/adventure/fantasy, James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and cast members take you to a spectacular new world beyond imagination. Conceived 14 years ago and over four years in the making, Avatar breaks new ground in delivering a fully immersive, emotional story and reinvents the movie-going experience. Hall H

2:00-3:00 Sony Pictures Animation: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs In 2009, Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be the most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the classic children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food begins to fall from the sky like rain. Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) is the voice of Flint Lockwood, a young inventor who dreams of creating something that will improve everyone’s life. Anna Faris (The House Bunny) takes on the role of Sam Sparks, a weathergirl covering the phenomenon who hides her intelligence behind a perky exterior. James Caan plays Tim Lockwood, Flint’s technophobic father. SNL‘s Andy Samberg plays Brent, the town bully who has plagued Flint since childhood. Bruce Campbell plays Mayor Shelbourne, who figures out that Flint’s invention can put the town, and more importantly himself, on the map, and Mr. T plays the by-the-rules town cop, Earl Devereaux. Bobb’e J. Thompson (Role Models) is Carl Devereaux, Earl’s son. Appearing in person: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Bobb’e J. Thompson, and directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Room 6BCF

2:15-3:15 Summit Entertainment— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of exclusive footage of some of its upcoming major film releases!

Astro boyA classic superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Join Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell as they premiere the final trailer for Astro Boy before it’s in theaters.

Sorority Row—When five sorority girls inadvertently cause the murder of one of their sisters in a prank gone wrong, they agree to keep the matter to themselves and never speak of it again, so they can get on with their lives. This proves easier said than done, when after graduation a mysterious killer goes after the five of them and anyone who knows their secret. Join the cast of Sorority Row as they debut footage from the film exclusive to Comic-Con 2009.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon—Summit Entertainment is proud to present the panel for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s box office smash Twilight. Surprise members of the cast will answer your questions about the second film in the series and debut never-before-seen footage from the new film.

Hall H

3:00-4:00 Robot Chicken with Titan Maximum Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken/co-creator, Titan Maximum) and Doug Goldstein (head writer, Robot Chicken) with Chris McKay, Breckin Meyer, Kevin Shinick, Mike Fasolo, and Dan Milano discuss the popular Adult Swim series Robot Chicken. They will also discuss the upcoming new stop-motion animated series Titan Maximum, slated to premiere on Adult Swim this fall. Join this meet-up of show creators, writers and voice actors for a Q&A, moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of Adult Swim production. Room 6A

3:00-4:00 Masters of the Web— For the third year in a row the most popular genre and movie websites are coming together to discuss how new media have affected moviemaking, what it takes to run a popular site, and much more in a panel discussion and Q&A session. Participants include Robert Sanchez (IESB.net), Ryan Rotten (Shocktilyoudrop.com), Mike Sampson (Joblo.com), Jeremy Smith (Aintitcoolnews.com), Brad Miska (Bloody-Disgusting.com), Drew McWeeny (Hitfix.com), Devin Faraci (CHUD.com), Paul Christensen (Movieweb.com), Wilson Morales (Blackfilm.com/AOL Black Voices), Vic Holtreman (Screenrant.com), and George Roush (Latinoreview.com). Director Kevin Munroe (TMNT, Dead of Night) moderates, with Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington on hand to preview an exclusive sneak peek of their new film Dead of Night, based on the Dylan Dog comic books. Room 32AB

3:30-5:00 Golden and Silver Age of Comics— A Comic-Con tradition: the yearly gathering and discussion of the clan of some of the finest comic book creators ever to put pen or typewriter to paper! This year’s panel—moderated by Mark Evanier—includes Comic-Con special guests Murphy Anderson (Hawkman), Gene Colan (Tomb of Dracula), Ramona Fradon (Aquaman), Russ Heath (The Haunted Tank), Jack Katz (The First Kingdom), Jerry Robinson (Batman), and Leonard Starr (Mary Perkins On Stage). Both Katz and Starr, known best for their underground comix and comic strip work, respectively, also worked in comics in the Golden and Silver Ages. The stories these people can tell are the stuff of legend…be a part of the yearly magic of this panel. Room 8

3:45-4:45 Entertainment Weekly: Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture— EW will moderate a conversation with Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), and other stars about the actresses who have redefined the rules and the female characters that have shattered the glass ceiling for all women. Basically: a discussion with women who kick ass. Ballroom 20

4:45-5:15 Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of both Comic-Con and Monty Python, we welcome the sole American Python, the great animator and director Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits, Brazil, 12 Monkeys) to introduce you to his new film starring Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, and Lily Cole. Dr. Parnassus is a fabulous anachronism, touring the streets of modern-day London in a horse-drawn carnival wagon accompanied by his beautiful daughter, devoted dwarf, and neophyte barker. On stage Parnassus plays a holy man whose Imaginarium can realize the innermost fantasies of all who dare to enter. Backstage, he is a drunkard, a gambler who centuries ago lost a wager with the Devil and must now pony up with his daughter once she turns sixteen. Tomorrow. Yet, there may still be hope for the Doctor and Valentina in the person of Tony, a well-dressed amnesic they rescue from a perilous fate and invite into their world of unrelenting magic and possibility. Hall H

5:00-6:00 Showtime: Dexter Calling all Dexter fans! If you’re a Dexter fanatic and can’t wait for the new season, you don’t want to miss this killer panel! Moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment Reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Plus, get an exclusive first look at clips from the new season! Featured panelists include series star/executive producer Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Julie Benz (Rita), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), and executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips, and Melissa Rosenberg. The new season premieres September 27 at 9:00 PM EST/PST only on Showtime! Ballroom 20

5:45-6:45 Kick-Ass World premiere footage from Kick-Ass, based on Mark Millar’s bestselling comic, is presented by director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layercake). Joining him on the panel are Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), and comic co-creator John Romita Jr., among others, including a surprise guest. You don’t want to miss the chance to be the first to experience this gritty, brash, and funny actioner. Hall H

9:30-12:00 Halloween Comes Early: Trick ‘r Treat Screening— Be among the first to see writer/director Michael Dougherty’s (Superman Returns, X2) creepy, darkly comic celebration of the scariest night of the year. Trick ‘r Treat takes the Creepshow/Tales from the Crypt approach to nefarious new depths with four interwoven tales set on Halloween night: a high school principal who moonlights as a vicious serial killer; a young virgin whose quest for that special someone takes a gruesome turn; a group of teens who carry out a cruel prank with disastrous consequences; and a cantankerous old man who battles a mischievous trick-or-treating demon. Prior to the screening, Ain’t It Cool News mogul Harry Knowles will moderate a panel featuring Michael Dougherty and members of the cast, including Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-Men), Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse), and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X2). A collection of creepy stories that mixes fun with fear, candy with poison, and laughter with screams, the critically acclaimed Trick ‘r Treat will be released on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD and On Demand by Warner Home Video in October. Ballroom 20

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