Saturday, a.k.a. day three of Comic-con, was spent entirely inside the cavernous Hall H. M and I had staked out this 6,500 seat auditorium the day before when we'd attended the Warner Bros. presentation, so we had an idea of how long the line would be, where the best seats were, where the bathrooms were located, etc. On Saturday we got up early and got into the line for Hall H at 8:00 a.m.
This meant, of course, that we missed the "Lost" panel, which was the same morning. We were seriously torn on this, especially because, not only was Josh Holloway going to be there for "Lost," but they were also doing previews of the upcoming "Invasion" and Frank Spotnitz's "Nightstalker," which I would have liked to see. But we finally decided that since we'd already seen the "Lost" cast in person at the Paley Festival, it was more important to get into Hall H early to secure seats for all the other great panels happening there later in the day.
And I'm glad we did, because our seats? Were awesome. We were only about 15 rows back on the left side, right behind the Q&A mic, so not only did we have a great view of the panelists all day, but they were essentially looking right at us most of the time. We'd planned ahead, too, and come armed with snacks, drinks and blankets, which was handy because it was freaking arctic in that room, even with 6,500 people crammed in there.
Before each panel began they made a series of announcements including a warning about flash photography and a plea for everyone to please extinguish their lightsabers. Yes, we are in the promised land.
The first panel of day was Superman Returns, which I was excited about because I knew Bryan Singer had flown in all the way from Australia in the middle of principal photography just to make this presentation at Comic-con. It was cool to know that everyone working on this film was waiting in anxious anticipation to see what we thought about it.
A very jetlagged Bryan Singer
As it turned out, it was one of the best panels of the con. Singer was exhausted, but very articulate, and despite one early slip-up where he got Superman's father's name wrong (doh!), he is obviously well-versed in the lore and, more importantly, he knows how to talk to fanboys. The questions were pointed and challenging and he answered them all confidently.
Singer in his v. cute glasses
And then came the moment we'd all been waiting for: he showed us a reel of footage edited together by the film's co-writer, Dan Harris. None of the effects shots are done, so it was mostly character stuff, but... wow. When it was over, the audience went mad and gave Singer a standing ovation. You could practically see the smoke rising off the Blackberries and Palm Pilots over in the VIP section.
Next up in the Hall H lineup was the Paramount presentation, which inexplicably started with the effects supervisor from War of the Worlds taking questions and forcing me to watch a clip from the movie. Stupid Tom Cruise. Bah.
Then came the Aeon Flux panel, which was mostly a yawner. Charlize Theron (our first Academy Award winner of the day, for those keeping count) stupefied the fanboys with her pretty, rendering the Q&A totally lame. But Marton Csokas (Celeborn!) was there, along with Peter Chung, who created the original animated series on MTV's "Liquid Television."
Marton Csokas and Charlize Theron
The trailer was okay, but nothing to get anyone very excited. Okay, I actually thought it looked pretty good, but the general consensus was a big "eh," so I guess I'm in the minority.
After that was Kevin Smith's panel. He started off by admitting that the only reason he'd agreed to do a panel at Comic-con this year was because he wanted to come for the King Kong preview.
Then he took questions from the audience on basically anything anyone wanted to ask, all of which he answered in his typical hilarious, profane and utterly brilliant manner. The highlight was when he totally pwned this dude was trying to proselytize to him from the back of the auditorium.
Smith projected on one of the big screens
The panel ended with him introducing Richard Kelly, director of Donnie Darko, and a strange clip promoting Kelly's upcoming film, Southland Tales, which is about to begin filming.
To be continued...
(Up next: Hey, that dude is Kirk's brother!)
P.S. I finished Harry Potter on Saturday! Go me!