It’s becoming increasingly obvious to us that continuing with our week-before-the-show round-up of San Diego news will not only a) kill us but b) be hopelessly out of date. In that spirit, we’ll be posting what will eventually end up being daily roundups of news and notes.
§ First, a reminder: the con is eBaying, (at the original price) a few memberships and passes that have been returned. They sell out almost instantly, so we advise checking the eBay page often.
§ Next, this blog is announcing updated programming as it’s released or leaked. This year, programming news is getting out earlier than ever, perhaps to avoid just the same logjam we’re worried about.
§ The LA Times is the first to report what has been long rumored; Hayao Miyazaki will be at the con to promote the US version of PONYO. The appearance is part of a program to improve Miyazaki’s US box office — while his films are revered and showered with awards, they’ve been box office underperformers:
Veteran producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (“The Color Purple,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) are hoping to turn the trend around with Miyazaki’s latest creation, “Ponyo,” which opens in the U.S. on Aug. 14 but is closing the Los Angeles Film Festival with a special screening on Sunday night. The loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” — about an enchanting female goldfish who wants to become a human — has been receiving a lot of attention. For the first time in his career, Miyazaki will be appearing at Comic-Con in San Diego in July showing clips from “Ponyo,” which has made $182.1 million internationally. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will also be showing “Spirited Away” on July 17; Pixar’s John Lasseter, who has executive produced the American-language version of the last three Miyazaki films, will be interviewing the master animator at the academy on July 28 (the event has already sold out).
§ This piece from Variety spotlights Comic-Con’s increasing emphasis on TV:
�What�s happening at Comic-Con is the fan community gives you an immediate reaction to your project in a big way,� said Lisa Gregorian, exec VP of worldwide marketing for the Warner Bros. TV Group. �It�s live testing.�
This year�s event may play an even bigger role in spreading the word; for the first time, Comic-Con will take place a few days before the Television Critics Assn.�s summer press tour.
�It�s a total game-changer,� said Chris Alexander, 20th Century Fox TV�s senior VP of publicity. �Previously, Comic-Con would be the place where you would just interact. Now, it�s the place to break news.�
Nearly all of the studios and nets traveling south on the 5 Freeway plan to have their cast members and creatives present for panel discussions and will screen pilots at the Convention Center. They�ll build massive booths on the show floor where they�ll host autograph signings and offer giveaways.
§ Personal to Variety’s webmasters; You’ve been inserting those gremlins into your stories for a few years now; surely there is a fix?