CATEGORIES Movie NewsIt's that time of year again! Legions of fanboys and fangirls besiege the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to get their geek on during Fan Expo Canada. This four-day genre convention spotlighting comics, horror, sci-fi, gaming and anime is this country's answer to San Diego Comic-Con, with huge names in cult entertainment making it an annual stop.
Think about it -- where else in Canada can you see Christopher Lloyd, Levar Burton, Stan Lee, John Carpenter, Gillian Anderson, Lou Ferrigno, John Rhys-Davies, Rose McGowan, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and so many more all under one roof?
Yes, it's a true collision of cult, but not just on the guest list. This year Fan Expo will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man, screen upcoming fall TV shows like J.J. Abrams' 'Revolution' and The CW's 'Arrow,' bring together the entire creative team from DC Comics' controversial prequel to 'Watchmen' and ... there will even be a wedding taking place. Utterly perplexed? Don't worry, we've isolated the real gems of the weekend just for you.
Celebrate Spider-Man at 50 with Stan Lee Stan Lee, The God of Geekdom and the co-father of the Marvel Universe, returns to the Expo after driving a record-setting attendance in 2010. This time, he comes to help celebrate 50 years of his greatest co-creation during what could be his last convention appearance in Canada (the man is 89, after all). Face time with him will likely be once in a lifetime, but it comes at a price: $50.00 for an autograph and $60 for a photo-op. To truly gain insight into Spider-Man as only Stan can deliver it, we recommend the free Q&A session on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Hall G. Then, on Saturday at 1 p.m., head over to Room 714 to find out what the webhead's future holds, including the story behind his new teen sidekick Alpha (a.k.a. Andrew Maguire) -- named after two actors Spiderfans are very familiar with.
A Marriage Made in Hall G Fan Expo Canada requests the honour of your presence at the superhero-themed wedding of Rob Bridges and Amy Banman. It will be officiated by a Protestant pastor in front of friends and family, but that's where the church comparisons stop. The wedding party will be split into heroes and villains, the flowers will be made from comic book origami, the groom will be wearing Green Lantern accents over his tux, the bride will don her Harley Quinn Converse Chuck Taylors with her dress, the best men are patterned after Superman and Batman, the maid of honour will go as Catwoman and any Expo attendee can be there to witness history. The San Diego Comic-Con fields many proposals each year, but this will be the first fan convention wedding. The "I dos" begin in Hall G at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Watch Jay and Silent Bob Get Old Technically Kevin Smith is still a filmmaker, but after 'Hit Somebody' (his alleged final film), he plans to focus on telling stories through other media, particularly through his growing podcast empire. 'Jay and Silent Bob Get Old' is just one of an ever-growing list of shows available on his Smodcast Podcast Network (or on iTunes) and it will be broadcast live from Fan Expo for one episode. The show features Smith and Jason Mewes' characters struggling to come to terms with middle-age. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday in Hall G and requires an additional ticket for $39.00. Doors open at 7:20 p.m. sharp.
See Fall's Hottest TV Shows Before Your Friends Do If you've been clamouring to check out J.J. Abrams' new upcoming series or The CW's effort to take Green Arrow from the comic page to the TV screen, the wait ends at Fan Expo. CityTV will be premiering the Jon Favreau-directed pilot for 'Revolution' -- the J.J. Abrams vehicle that sees society try to rebuild 15 years after a global blackout permanently shuts off all electricity. Meanwhile, 'Arrow' follows shipwrecked billionaire Oliver Queen as he seemingly returns from the dead to protect the citizens of Star City as an archer called The Green Arrow. The cast of 'Arrow' will also be signing autographs, along with the cast of 'Flashpoint' and 'Lost Girl.' The 'Revolution' screening happens on Friday at 7 p.m. in Room 701. For the 'Arrow' screening and signing times, visit CTV booth #650.
The Art of 'Frankenweenie' In 1984, a young Disney animator named Tim Burton made his first live-action short film based on Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein.' It was a comedy that saw a boy successfully reanimate the corpse of his dog. Unfortunately the project was mired in controversy, never to be released in theatres after Disney determined it was too scary for children. Now, the film is being remade, using stop-motion animation, for release later this year, and attendees at Fan Expo will get an exclusive look at its making through the actual puppets, sets and finished shots. This is the only Canadian stop for The Art of 'Frankenweenie' as it tours the globe, so catch it while you can at booth #950.
Visit the Fan Expo website for a complete list of all the things on offer over the weekend.
Here's an old video we shot back in 2010, when Fan Expo Canada was much smaller: