Highlights from 2015 Wizard World Minneapolis Comic-Con

MplsWizardWorldComicConWhew, another packed weekend at Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con this year! This year I was able to make it to the Press Welcome Party at Hard Rock Cafe, which includes an advanced screening of Avengers: Age of Ultron [check out my review] We even had the Avengers cosplayers greeted us before we got in 😀

Comic Con Highlights:

We got to the Minneapolis Convention Center just before 11 am and immediately made our way to Room 101 for the WETA workshop: character creation through prosthetics, hair & make up.

As a big fan of the Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit trilogies and King Kong, I simply had to see the work of famed makeup/effects artist Warren Dion Smith. He asked for a volunteer from the audience who wanted to be turned into an Orc in under 40 minutes! A guy named Scott was the lucky winner, see below for pics of his transformation. Not only is he a master at what he does, Warren’s such a fun guy, answering a couple dozens questions whilst working on Scott. It was so entertaining to learn tidbits about his career and how he’s become longtime friends with a lot of the actors he’s worked with in various films.

During the panel, Warren said he’s worked on hundreds of Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, etc. during his time at WETA. But he’s also done other films besides those directed by Peter Jackson, i.e. Elysium, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Man of Steel, and the children’s classic remake of the 1960’s Thunderbirds are go Series.

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In between panels, Ivan and I walked around the exhibit hall… and I spotted Lance Reddick in his booth. My immediate reaction is ‘Oh that’s John Wick’s concierge from the Continental Hotel!” 

I asked one of the comic-con organizers if I could approach him and was allowed to do so. So I said hello to him and shook his hand. I erroneously thought he was also the same actor in HEROES, to which he graciously corrected me, oops!! Of course I had to ask him about John Wick 2 and he’s hoping that’d happen. You and me both, Mr. Reddick!

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That’s me chatting w/ Mr. Reddick

 

2:00-2:45 – No “bones” about it: Karl Urban

Ok so naturally I knew the Karl Urban panel would be one of the main highlights of the day. But I really didn’t know it’d be THAT much fun!

I had gone to the restroom just before the panel started and spotted him going into the ballroom through the side door. He looked just as tall and handsome as I had imagined it. He came to the stage to thunderous applause. Interesting that there’s no moderator present during his panel and really there’s no need for one. The hunky New Zealander handled the crowd and a throng of fans lining up for questions with aplomb! I’ve been a fan of his since his Lord of the Rings days where he played Éomer, but he’s since impressed me in various films like Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek, RED and Dredd. There were questions for pretty much every role he’s played, even Xena: Warrior Princess!

What strike me about Karl was how relaxed and polite he was. He thanked every single person after each question and he answered even the silliest ones like this guy who asked him if other people should all move to New Zealand. Karl thought he meant *his* people should move to NZ, and it was a hilarious exchange. One blond woman asked him simply ‘Cake or Pie?’ and even he entertained the audience by asking her what’s in the cake and the pie, before settling with apple pie.

Karl shared that he just wrapped Pete’s Dragon which was filmed in his native NZ, it’s a family adventure film that starred Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard and Wes Bentley. Sounds like a fun film!

Many of the questions were about Dredd 2 and he seemed keen on that idea and it sounds like there’s still hope for that project, woo hoo! He’s also confirmed to play Bones in the Star Trek sequel of course. One fan asked him if he’d have more screen time, to which the room cheered. I definitely think he SHOULD have more screen time, he’s so awesome in the role!

4:00–4:45 – The truth is out there: Gillian Anderson

I wasn’t going to stay for the whole segment as I haven’t really watched enough of her work to know what’s going on, but we ended up staying anyway.

Gillian Anderson looked even more beautiful in real life. She seems a bit shy and didn’t expect the huge crowd… “I thought there’d only be a 100 people in here…” to which the moderator said “Well you’re wrong, Gillian.” Clearly she had many fans being in the X-Files series.

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It’s cool that a couple of people asked about her stage work as I know she’s done some performances at London West End, including Doll House at DonMar Theatre in London with none other than Toby Stephens! She also talked about how much she loved playing Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic theatre in London. Based on a couple of brief clips I’ve seen, she can do a very convincing British accent!

One thing that made me want to watch after this panel is her British show The Fall that’s on Netflix. I had no idea Gillian was in Hannibal as well, not sure if she is still on that show and whether she’d have some screen time with Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde.

 

 Michael Rooker called James Gunn during his panel

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I got to this panel rather late and when I arrived, Michael Rooker was goofing off on stage with his former Mallrats co-star Jason Mewes. The panel was apparently about the Mallrats 2, which is to be Kevin Smith’s next movie. [There was a special Q&A session ‘An Evening With Kevin Smith’ at the State Theatre on Friday].

At one point Mewes said, “Yeah man, why didn’t you get me into one of your movies?” Well, the next thing I know, Rooker suddenly took his mobile phone out and called James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy to ask if Jason Mewes could play one of the Ravagers (the interstellar group of thieves, smugglers and pirate led by Rooker’s character Yondu) in Guardians of the Galaxy 2!

Someone’s posted the video of the exchange on Youtube, watch it below:

 

You could hear Gunn on speaker phone and the funniest bit was when Gunn said “I got an even better idea. Why doesn’t he play Yondu?” Ahahaha, be careful Rooker, you could end up losing your job to Mewes! 😉

 

Favorite Cosplayers

One of the best parts about comic-con is the people cosplayer watching… and here are some of my favorites! The father-son team of Batman & The Joker is my absolute favorite, we saw them just outside the exhibit hall after they’d just finished their lunch and we just had to take a photo!! The two Dredd guys were pretty cool as well, they’re both pretty imposing in those costumes.

That was a blast! I definitely had even more fun this year than last year, definitely the highlight of my weekend! Big shout out to Wizard World PR people Jerry and Ryan for your hard work organizing this wonderful event!

I look forward to next year when Wizard World is back in town on May 6-7-8!

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So that’s my recap folks. Any thoughts on any of the actors/projects I mentioned above?

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35 thoughts on “Highlights from 2015 Wizard World Minneapolis Comic-Con

  1. I didn’t know there’s a comic con here in town until I saw your tweet and then some people on my FB started posting photos. Sounds like you had a fun time. I’ve never attended these kind of events and to be honest, it’s not something that interests me much.

    As for Gillain Anderson in Hannibal, she’s actually going to be in more episodes in the new season, which airs this summer. She’s sort of an ally to Hannibal, I assume they might be lovers. I don’t think she’ll be involve in Francis Dolarhyde storyline but I could be wrong since the show mix elements of the books and films together.

    Would love to see Dredd 2 but the producer of the first movie already said the sequel is not happening. Dredd didn’t make enough money at the box office and the DVD/Bluray sales wasn’t strong enough to justify a sequel. He said no studio would want invest any money on the sequel. But of course this is Hollywood, so never say never.

    1. I always enjoy this type of events and seeing talents in real life, though I could only handle about a day of it, not the full weekend.

      I just checked on IMDb and it looks like she will be in the episode that Dolarhyde is in, so I guess they might actually share a screen together. I don’t really want to see it though, not my cup of tea.

      Yeah I think there’s a chance Dredd 2 might happen if they see there’s enough interest in it.

  2. Great recap! I was there too! I loved Karl Urban. He was the highlight, hands down. And the fact that he didn’t use a moderator means bonus points. He seemed like a cool guy.

    1. Hi Anne! Glad you were at the comic con too! Karl was great wasn’t he? I didn’t expect him to be so good at handling the crowd. I’ve been a fan of his for some time, he’s quite underrated.

  3. That’s so cool that you talked with Lance Reddick, Ruth! He’s also in The Wire, which I’m watching season 2 of right now. 🙂 Can’t wait for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and I’d love to see a sequel to Dredd!

    1. Hi Josh! Wow Lance is in The Wire also? I didn’t know that. Yeah, Dredd sequel would be nice, I’d think it’d make an excellent series as well like Netflix’s Daredevil.

  4. So awesome! Some friends just invited us to go with them the end of the month when it hits Dallas…so if we can arrange sitters, we are so there!

  5. Tom

    Haha that’s so cool you got to speak with Lance Riddick for a bit. I would’ve been geeking out about random things like his brief appearance in things like The Guest and Fringe. The only two things I’ve really known him from. He seems like he would be cool.

    Lots of cool cosplay characters there, too. Thor looks pretty convincing and the Dredd guys are great! Looks like fun!!!

    1. Hi ya Tom! I was fortunate that they allowed me to approach him at his booth. After that they said I had to go through the organizer to do so. I can’t believe I forgot he’s in The Guest, I really enjoyed that one.

      The Dredd guys were great. When I saw them they had their helmets off and were sweating profusely. Poor dudes had to put them back on to take a photo 😀

  6. Looks like you were having so much fun 🙂 the Avengers (with ppl in their costumes) also appeared here in Monas – Jakarta, not like it’s the same though. Gillian is blonde now?? She’s looking like ageless or something (not looking older from here)

    1. Hi Andina! So were the Avengers cosplayers white guys or Indonesian? I just can’t imagine an Indo guy tall enough to pretend to be Thor, ahah. I don’t know much about Gillian to know what other hair color she had, but I thought she was a red head. She does seem to defy aging though, she looked great!

      1. It was white guys. I don’t think Asian face would pull off a Thor (or maybe they can??). Some can be that tall but rare, I guess 🙂

        1. Ah I see! Wow what a gig for them to tour different countries as cosplayers! Ahahaha, well maybe if they’re mixed race w/ white (or indo as they call it), one of my high school friend’s cousin was half German-Indo and he was tall so it’s possible. Capt America however is even harder to pull off!

          1. Yes I think so, a mixed race will pull it off. Do you know that here there’s a celebrity brand ambassador for Black Widow (or something like that)

  7. You got to meet Scully(Sorry for Misspell) Dredd and the Dad from Mallrats. How freaking cool Glad to read about a John Wick 2 happening and is Urban going to be in a remake of Pete’s Dragon. That would be awesome.

    1. Hi there Vern! Somehow I didn’t know you’re in Mpls too! So why didn’t you go to this Comic con? Yeah it was three great panels back to back, starting w/ the WETA one. Yes, glad to hear John Wick 2 is happening, yay!!

    1. Hi Fernando! Karl is extremely handsome in person but I was even more amazed by his dynamic personality. He’s quite hilarious too!

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