Comic-Con is over for another year, but the buzz is still buzzing, especially for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which delivered the most anticipated presentation of the San Diego pop-culture fest.
Director J.J. Abrams gave thrilled fans a night for the ages by bringing the film’s entire cast on stage – including returning stars of the original trilogy: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. And he screened behind-the-scenes footage from the hotly anticipated blockbuster from Walt Disney Co. subsidiary Lucasfilm.
After the presentation, Abrams led the entire 6,500 San Diego Convention Center audience outside for a free Star Wars concert and fireworks show. On the morning of the July 10 event, Abrams had doughnuts brought to fans – some of whom got in line early the day before – waiting to get in.
It was a tough act to follow, though Fox Studios did its best by showing off the stars of and footage from its five upcoming superhero movies. Sneak peaks of “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Deadpool” played best.
Warner Bros. also had a strong showing, bringing “Batman vs. Superman” stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill on stage for a discussion and sneak peak of that blockbuster.
But the preview footage that seemed to be best received at the four-day fest was an extended trailer for TV series “Ash vs Evil Dead” – 10 episodes of zombie comedy carnage, based on cult film “The Evil Dead.” The show debuts on cable network Starz on Halloween.
But some other preview footage played less well with the influential audience of pop culture enthusiasts, suggesting potential box office challenges ahead.
Previews for upcoming films “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” based on the 1960s TV show of the same name, and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a mash-up of the Jane Austen classic and zombie fiction, seemed to leave the crowd bemused. So did creepy Christmas movie “Krampus,” which is based on a European folk tale about a rival to Santa Claus who comes down the chimney, beats up kids and takes them away in a bag.