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Hello and goodbye at Comic-Con

The annual pop-culture fest and book-end for Greg Mottola’s 2011 Paul sees a solid Kiwi presence this year, with farewells and new arrivals in the mix.

Among those bidding adieu this year to Comic-Con, if still with a little on-screen life to run, were The Hobbit – unless there’s a late bid to become a quadrilogy and the Anna Paquin-led True Blood.

Peter Jackson celebrated the culmination of his unexpected journey by wandering around the convention hall incognito, inviting 150 folk to take an early look at the final part of the trilogy, and that there was still unseen footage which might yet make it into an even longer version of Lord of the Rings, “if there’s enough interest out there”.

Comic-Con panel: The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies

Among the new arrivals, they mostly divide into two camps – the more-or-less imminently arriving and those projects that still lie some way over the horizon, of which mention is largely designed to fuel facebook fires and twitter tirades.

In the former category, several NZ actors were featured in person or proxy at Comic-Con. Lucy Lawless was announced as a new cast member for season two of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (TV2 in NZ); Keisha Castle-Hughes will join season five of Game of Thrones (SoHo); Zoe Bell was busy promoting Mercenaries (see this week’s Trailer Park); and Rose McIver offered her thoughts on the early stages of production for iZombie from Veronica Mars creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero.

The males in front of the lens are promoting returning series: Antony Starr of Banshee (SoHo), Grant Bowler of Defiance (recently announced for Sky’s new genre channel, The Zone) and Manu Bennett of Arrow (TV2) all fly the flag.

Grant Bowler

Grant Bowler in Defiance: See that window? No 8 wire, mate.

Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures was reaffirmed as the production company for the adaptation of videogame The Last of Us. Raimi announced at Comic-Con a TV adaptation of Evil Dead, with original lead Bruce Campbell and Tapert as a producer.

One of the larger NZ presences at Comic-Con this year was Weta. Not only was it obviously supporting The Hobbit, the company was also celebrating 20 years with a book launch and, hand in hand with Pukeko Pictures, teasing out a little more news and a new image from Thunderbirds Are Go! ahead of a world premiere screening (presumably of ep. 1) at MipCom in October.

Media Design School’s Over the Moon is playing in the competitive Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. James Cunningham and Karl Wills present on the film below.

Comic-Con wraps today NZ time, handing out various awards before closing time.

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