The unofficial West Coast warm-up to the untamed beast that is the San Diego Comic-Con is WonderCon, which will commence on Friday, March 29 and run through the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year's convention once again brings several movie panels and screenings to balance out all the rampant comic-booking.
The big highlight this year is the Sony Pictures panel on Saturday at 2:30PM, at which attendees will be treated to a sneak peek at what the producers hope will be the next YA sensation, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones." Author Cassandra Clare, director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower will be on hand to discuss the tale that brings an element of dreamy teen romance to an epic battle between angels and demons.
The Sony panel will also spotlight one of this year's most anticipated genre pics, "Evil Dead." Producer and original "Evil Dead" star Bruce Campbell, director Fede Alvarez and stars Jane Levy and Jessica Lucas will introduce clips and answer questions about the extremist new vision of Sam Raimi's cult DIY horror flick.
The Sony panel will close on an apocalyptic note as Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson gather to try to constantly one-up each other at the "This Is the End" panel. The meta-comedy features several Hollywood funnymen playing funhouse-mirror versions of themselves, including James Franco and Jonah Hill, as they contend with the end of the world.
There's also a Warner Bros. panel earlier that day at 11:30AM, at which convention regular Guillermo del Toro will present clips from his much-hyped giant robots vs. giant monsters smackdown, "Pacific Rim." He'll be joined by "Saw" director James Wan, who will introduce attendees to his latest horror outing, "The Conjuring."
WonderCon gets a little classier this year with the inclusion of "Much Ado About Nothing," director Joss Whedon's run-and-gun adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy of manners. The "Avengers" maestro shot the film in 12 days in his own back yard with some familiar Whedon players, some of which will make appearances as "special surprise guests" at the panel on Sunday at 11AM.
Other highlights this year include Friday's panel of "The Psychology of 'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars,'" which will no doubt include several J.J. Abrams references and attempts to merge classic quotes from both franchises, such as "Boldly go where no one has gone before and explore a galaxy far, far away," and "How to Build Your Own R2," which will detail the materials, blueprints, building techniques, tools and electronics needed to construct your own R2 unit. The convention will also feature an in-depth look at "Batman: Zero Year," Scott Snyder's rebooted origin story for DC Comics that may serve as the basis for future big-screen adventures of the Caped Crusader.
WonderCon 2013 will run from March 29-31 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The full schedule can be found at the Official Site.