Hall H is always the place to be for film and television and Friday’s panels are no exception. Beginning the morning with a huge surprise by Stephen Colbert opening the day and leading the way to Prime’s upcoming series LORD OF THE RINGS: The Rings of Power. With the unusual look of an orchestra on the stage, Colbert introduces musician extraordinaire Bear McCreary who plays the most intense music with choir right behind. It is stunning, beautiful and ethereal. That is exactly what LORD OF THE RINGS: The Rings of Power is.
The cast is so large it took three different panels because the stage would be overcrowded if they all came at once. Showing trailer after trailer, the audience became more and more excited and, at times, bantered with Colbert on who knew more about Middle Earth and it was hilarious.
The panel included Patrick McCay, J.D. Payne and Lindsey Weber as they explained their love of Tolkien and how deep their feelings run. Making sure our trip back thousands of years before Frodo and the gang is as wonderful, trust me when I saw fans and even those who might just want to check it out will not be disappointed.
There will be more on this in another article because trust me when I saw there is so much to share.
AMC brings Chris Hardwick back to the stage to moderate The Walking Dead Universe and after receiving a wonderful welcome back from the crowd, Hardwick introduces a new show. TALES OF THE WALKING DEAD is the next journey with six stories into the dead universe at Scott Gimple comes to the stage.
The panel includes Showrunner and Executive Producer Channing Powell, Director Michael Satrazemis, Terry Crews, Danny Ramirez and Samantha Morton returning as Alpha. To best describe the show, Satrazemis says, “This is everything with amazing stories and new people. TALES OF THE WALKING DEAD feels exciting and we like what we have done”. Of course a trailer makes the audience cheer knowing that universe has many surprises.
Hardwick then moderates AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD for its final panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con. Speaking with a few people in the audience, they tell me it is a mixture of sheer sadness yet happiness to be in Hall H to be a part of saying goodbye. Hardwick, trying to keep it together himself, introduces the cast that includes the return of Scott Gimple, Angela Kang, Greg Nicotero, Melissa McBride, a very blonde Josh McDermitt, Ross Marquand, Seth Gilliam, Lauren Ridloff, Cailey Fleming, Michael James Shaw and, of course, Norman Reedus.
There were laughs, memories shared and nods to other cast members but also there were tears coming from so many people on the stage and in the audience. McBride, who had played Carol from the very first season, tries to speak and continually becomes choked up tries to express her feelings about the end of THE WALKING DEAD.
Everyone notices two cast members who were not present and that is because Maggie aka Lauren Cohen and Negan aka Jeffrey Dean Morgan had an announcement of their own to make. Seems Maggie and Negan are going to find their way to New York City in another break out show ISLAND OF THE DEAD. I don’t care what they call it because I am more interested in how Maggie and Negan end up in New York as all will be revealed.
As the cast says their final goodbyes both to the audience and each other, it gets very intense. Each of the cast tells the audience how much their support has meant and as much as we all love the show (and I am a huge fan, just ask my Sheriff Rick Grimes badge on my desk), they wanted the fans to know their feelings are equally returned.
As they exited the stage, Scott Gimple remained because an audience member earlier had asked about the movie that had been rumored to explain where Andrew Lincoln aka Rick Grimes had gone. Gimple starts to talk when he is drowned out by the audience going nuts as Danai Guiria aka Michonne and Andrew Lincoln aka Rick Grimes saunter onto the stage.
There big announcement is that instead of a movie, there will be six episodes on AMC+ (I’m sure their subscription is going to go through the roof now!) that will explain where Rick and Michonne have been and wrap up that part of the story…or will it? Lincoln makes a date with the audience for next years Comic Con to answer questions and I’m sure there will be plenty. Its not like we want these characters to ever go away.
The next panel kept everyone in their seats as the panel for BRZRKR, Keanu Reeves comic book character gets its first time in the very large Hall H. Along with Ron Garney, the book is about a half-man-half-god making his way through time. Moderator Coy Jandreau was geeking out a little speaking with Matt Kindt, Matt Gagnon, Eric Harburn, Mattson Tomlin and Stephen Christy.
Speaking about the character of B, Reeves says, “I had this idea of a character who can punch you through the chest and rip arms off who was cursed with violence trying to figure out who they are and reclaim their humanity.” Meeting with Boom! Studios, the idea was pitched and it took a few years to put it together.
Continuing to gush about the project, Reeves says, “The people at Boom! Curated my experience in a special way. They brought together a team that helped this be more enjoyable. But when the first issue was in my hand, I thought it was f**king Christmas. When I read it, I thought it was some of the best creative days of my life.”
Growing up with comic books in Toronto, it is clear that this project is something special by Reeves and his team so expect it to be epic.
But that isn’t all – Reeves returns to the stage letting fans know they were not going to get out of Hall H with empty hands. Giving out posters for JOHN WICK 4, fans (yes, I’m one) get an even bigger swag gift with a trailer to the film.
That is a day fill with excitement that can only be found in Hall H! Now comes Saturday, the day people have slept overnight for on concrete because who doesn’t want to go home with a story of their own to tell. It is going to be a feast for the eyes and senses because San Diego Comic Con in Hall H never disappoints!