Now that the geeks have really inherited the earth, Comic-Con has become this weird amalgam of legitimacy (say hello to James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar!) and, well, lameness (watch the cast of the now-canceled ABC Family series Middleman read through a lost script!). Since this horse-and-buggy show gets under way in San Diego tomorrow, chances are you won’t be making a trek to the festivities. Not to worry! Here are some things to watch for from the comfort of your own Web browser.
What about Avatar anyway?
Ten years in the making and with enough hype to cause even Michael Bay to blush, James Cameron’s Avatar will have an unveiling at Comic-Con on Thursday in the run-up to its December release date. The 3-D behemoth, which reportedly runs over two and a half hours, is the White Whale of the 2009 movie season: Will it be a huge blockbuster? An Oscar favorite? A monumental dud? Will Avatar change the way we watch movies? Whatever the case, expect the footage to get hyperbolic praise from all corners of the blogosphere. Consider this: The notoriously evenhanded Steven Soderbergh called the footage he saw from Avatar “the craziest shit I’ve ever seen.”
Two RDJ’s Are Better Than One!
If you like Robert Downey Jr., then Comic-Con is for you! The now-A-list star has two blockbusters making appearances this week: First, the Guy Ritchie–directed Sherlock Holmes, which hits theaters on Christmas Day and looks like a combination of Pirates of the Caribbean and Bad Boys; figure on a new trailer and talk about how much “fun” this movie is going to be. And then there’s also a little something called Iron Man 2. One of the key bits of news coming out of Comic-Con will be whatever footage director Jon Favreau doles out to waiting fanboys. Hopefully, it’s something showcasing Mickey Rourke, who has apparently gone all Colonel Kurtz for his role as a Russian mobster–turned–supervillain. To wit: His character gets drunk and talks to his pet cockatoo.
It just wouldn’t be Comic-Con without a panel about Lost, so mark your calendars for Saturday, since that’s when the secrets about the new season will be spilled. And by “secrets,” we mean red herrings and random footage that may or may not have anything to do with the upcoming final season. Lest you forget, last year’s Comic-Con clip, featuring Dr. Marvin Candle talking about time travel with an off-camera Daniel Faraday, never actually happened during season five, and couldn’t have happened since Daniel died. Unless it did happen and season five took place on an alternate timeline and everything we saw last year was just … Oh crap, our nose is bleeding again.