Though nothing can compare to the rush of days spent roaming the San Diego Convention Center with 130,000 fellow pop culture geeks and evenings spent traipsing through hotel lounges with chubby Han Solos and tipsy River Tams, the folks behind San Diego Comic-Con are trying to ease the pain of 2020’s fest being canceled for the first time in 50 years with a five-day virtual event that they hope can capture some of the old magic.
As Variety reports, Comic-Con International threw together a modest series of videos that CCI chief communications officer David Glanzer called “kind of last minute,” when Anaheim’s WonderCon was canceled in March due to COVID-19. So when SDCC got the Kibosh in April, event organizers decided to create [email protected], featuring the kinds of panels and parties that helped make San Diego Comic-Con one of the most important entertainment destinations of the year.
“We wanted to do something,” Glanzer says. “But then came the second half of that thought: Can we do it?”
They’ve certainly tried. [email protected] will take place when the original con was scheduled, from July 22 to 26, and will include panels with some fan-favorite actors and creators, plus a costume contest and masquerade ball. In another departure from previous years, [email protected] will be spread across a number of platforms, including YouTube, Amazon, and IGN, rather than teaming up with one lone partner.
“We felt there were some platforms that lend themselves better to programming videos, some to exhibit tour stuff, some to community engagement and watching as a group,” Glanzer tells Variety.
Sadly, Universal, Sony, Paramount, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm will be no-shows, as they still don’t know when, where, or how their major releases will reach audiences. Still, there are plenty of much-watch events. Here are some highlights from the packed schedule (all times PST).
GeekEd: Watchmen and the Cruelty of Masks (4:00 p.m.)
Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda Throughout Pop Culture (5:00 p.m.)
Star Trek Universal Virtual Panel, including Patrick Stewart and the cast of Star Trek: Picard, plus the cast of Star Trek: Discovery (10:00 a.m.)
His Dark Materials Panel and Q&A with E.P.s Jane Tranter and Jack Thorne, along with cast members Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Ariyon Bakare, Amir Wilson, Andrew Scott, and Lin-Manuel Miranda (1:00 p.m.)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: A Panel Panorama. A Q&A with creator Joel Hodgson, and “Crow T. Robot” actors Bill Corbett and J. Elvis Weinstein (6:00 p.m.)
Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass. A Q&A with the star of Mad Max: Fury Road, Aeon Flux and Atomic Blonde (10:00 a.m.)
AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead panel with showrunners and executive producers Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, and cast members Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Karen David, Jenna Elfman, and Rubén Blades (12:00 p.m.)
A Zoom with Joss Whedon. A one-on-one discussion with the Buffy/Firefly/Whedonverse creator (5:00 p.m.)
The Simpsons @ Home panel with Al Jean, Matt Selman, David Silverman, Carolyn Omine and Mike B. Anderson, moderated by Bart Simpson actor Yeardley Smith (11:00 a.m.)
Constantine 15th Anniversary Reunion with Keanu Reeves, director Francis Lawrence, and producer Akiva Goldsman (12:00 p.m.)
Family Guy cast members Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, and executive producers Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin, and Kara Vallow celebrate 350 episodes with a virtual table read and discussion (2:00 p.m.)
The Stars and Executive Producer’s of ABC’s The Goldbergs features actors Wendi McLendon-Covey, George Segal, Sean Giambrone, Hayley Orrantia, Troy Gentile, Sam Lerner and executive producer Doug Robinson talking about the upcoming Season 8 of the 1980’s-based sitcom (1:00 p.m.)
A Conversation with Nathan Fillion. Buffy Season 7 villain “Caleb”—also the star of Firefly, Castle, and The Rookie—discusses his career with Rookie showrunner Alexi Hawley, plus special appearances by Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Mekia Cox, Molly Quinn, Seamus Dever, and Jon Huertas (2:00 p.m.)
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