Comic-Con 2009: Thursday-Friday News Highlights

Continued Comic-Con news coverage…

The latest updates are time-stamped below as they are added. Please keep checking back for more updates that will be added throughout the weekend. Also, photos are forthcoming!

7:05 PMThe Pixar Blog has a photo and recap of the Disney/Pixar panel.

And on a related note, this is the current confirmed voice cast for Toy Story 3: Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Wallace Shawn (Rex), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Jodi Benson (Barbie), Michael Keaton (Ken), Ned Beatty (Lotso), and James Anthony Cotton (Chuckles the Clown).

And if you’re scratching your head wondering who “Chuckles the Clown” is, The Pixar Blog interviewed the actor about the role back in February 2009.

It is rumored that Lucy Liu (voices in Kung Fu Panda, King of the Hill, Futurama) and child actor Emily Hahn may be lending their voices to the film as well, but this has yet to be confirmed.

John Lasseter told MTV News in a November 2008 interview that the voice of Slinky Dog (originally performed by the late Jim Varney) is being provided by “another actor… an old friend of Jim’s [we found] who sounds an awful lot like him.”

Elsewhere, The New York Times has a Comic-Con recap with a comment on the Disney/Pixar panel that John Lasseter “let slip that the Disney animation shop will be soon be posting tidbits about its works in progress online, beginning with a video blog he expects to begin in the next day or two.” As of this writing, I have not been able to find a link for this — The Times comment is vague and they didn’t provide a link, but I’ll try to track it down.

[For more Toy Story 3 news, scroll down to the last entry on this post.]

6:00 PMFuturama update with response from John DiMaggio and panel details direct from Comic-Con.

5:20 PMPress release for new book from voice actors Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind The Mic.

2:40 PMIGN.com has the press release for Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show, which boasts a massive voice cast:

Tom Kenny (aka Spongebob) as Iron Man, Captain America and M.O.D.O.K., Grey DeLisle (Fairly Oddparents) as Ms. Marvel and the Enchantress, Alimi Ballard (“NUMB3RS”) as the Falcon, and Charlie Adler (“Cow & Chicken,” “Transformers” 1 & 2) as Dr. Doom. In addition, superstar guests have joined the cast to play various villains and heroes from throughout the Marvel universe, including Shawn Ashmore (“X-Men” films) as Iceman, LeVar Burton (“Ali,” “Roots”) as Rhodey, Taye Diggs (Private Practice) as the Black Panther, Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) as Dormammu, Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”) as Ant-Man, Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) as the Red Skull, Lena Headey (“Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as the Black Widow, Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Sif, Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Ugly Truth”) as Stardust, Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld”) as Egghead, James Marsters (“Smallville,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) as Mr. Fantastic, Jennifer Morrison (“Star Trek,” “House”) as the Wasp, Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) as Hawkeye, Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Meet The Spartans”) as Ka-Zar, George Takei (“Heroes,” “Star Trek”) as Galactus and Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gossip Girl”) as the Valkyrie. The cast is also joined by comics legend Stan Lee (co-creator of “Spider-Man,” the “Fantastic Four,” the “X-Men,” “Iron Man,” the “Hulk,” “Thor” and many other Marvel characters) in a recurring role as the Mayor of Super Hero City.

“The talent that has signed on truly speaks to the strength of the Marvel brand as well as the uniqueness of this series,” says Eric Rollman, Marvel’s President of Animation commented. “This is the first time Marvel has produced an action-comedy show and the reaction from both broadcasters and celebrity talent indicates we have something very special in the making.”

Actors not mentioned in the press release but listed on IMDb.com (and most have been confirmed for the show) include Tamera Mowry as Misty Knight, Tara Strong as Scarlet Witch, Steve Blum as Wolverine and Abomination, Maurice LaMarche as Magneto, Scott Menville as Quicksilver, Travis Willingham as Hulk and Human Torch, Hynden Walch as Jean Grey, David Boat as Thor, Antony Del Rio as Reptile, and Ted Biaselli as Mole Man.

2:30 PM — Added several new interview links to my coverage of Disney’s live-action/CGI feature film G-Force which opened in theaters this weekend.

2:20 PM — Movieweb.com has video interviews with Freddie Highmore and Kristin Bell, voices of Astro Boy and Cora.

2:10 PMMovieweb has a video interview with Bobb’e J. Thompson voice of Cal Deveraux in Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, as well as an interview with director Chris Miller.

- Movieweb has a featurette from Where The Wild Things Are.

2:05 PMAccess Hollywood has a preview of Tron Legacy. Additionally, Movieweb has a video interview with cast members Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, and Olivia Wilde. [Don't ask how this applies to this blog's coverage. I don't need to justify it. It's freaking TRON and I'm a geek, okay?]

Update: 2:00 PMMovieweb has a video interview with the Drawn Together creative team on what to expect in the movie and Season 5.

Original post first published 7.25.2009, 3:56 AM:

- IGN.com has additional details on yesterday’s San Diego Comic-Con news coverage of the upcoming stop-motion comedy Titan Maximum created by Robot Chicken creative team members Matthew Senreich and Tom Root who wanted to do their own spin on Voltron, but make it “as stupid and destructive as possible.”

IGN’s review of the short preview that was shown:

[What] we can expect is a foul-mouthed parody of not only the Mecha cartoon genre, but of pop culture as well, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the talent involved. The creators admitted the concept of teenagers saving the Universe in real life was ridiculous, so they ran with that idea. What would really happen if a Princess, a nerd, an animal and an overweight guy were a team called Titan Force Five who joined up to form a giant fighting robot called Titan Maximum? We can only assume something horrible, apocalyptic and funny as hell.

Titan Maximum is slated to premiere Sept 27th at 11:30 pm on Adult Swim. IGN adds that the pilot will be a half-hour special, while “subsequent episodes will be 15 minutes long.” The voice cast includes Robot Chicken regulars Breckin Meyer, Seth Green and Dan Milano, and listen for “familiar” guest voices Rachel Leigh Cook, Donald Faison, and Billy Dee Williams as Admiral Bitchface.

- Another update on the Futurama recasting, this one courtesy of Maurice LaMarche.

- Newsarama.com has coverage of Cartoon Network’s Batman: The Brave and The Bold panel, revealing news that the original Catwoman Julie Newmar will voice Martha Wayne by way of a flashback scene in the episode “Chill of the Night.”

Newsarama says, “The highlight of the panel… was the premiere screening of the episode featuring Neil Patrick Harris as The Music Meister. It’s a musical episode that has to be seen – and heard – to be believed. Whether you like musicals or not, you’ll appreciate the effort that went into crafting this ingenious, and downright catchy, story. Harris is his typically brilliant self as the Evil Orchestrator, and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd two-step, with Black Mantis pirouetting stage left. It certainly struck the right chord with the SDCC audience, which gave the panelists a standing ovation when the final note was hit.”

+ IGN.com has more detailed coverage of the panel:

The audience obviously loved [John] DiMaggio‘s Aquaman, with [Michael] Jelenic recalling that he was resistant when the voice actor came up with Aquaman’s catchphrase, “Outrageous” – which DiMaggio said onstage to more cheers. As [Deidrich] Bader put it, it might not seem like much on the page, but then neither was, in his words, “What are you talking about, Willis?” Taylor added that he felt Aquaman, who originally was going to be played more straight, is essentially, “John when the mic isn’t on.”

As for “Mayhem of the Music Meister” – If you don’t want to know any spoilers at all, stop with this paragraph, but know this: It’s simply awesome and one of the best and most entertaining episodes of any TV series, animated or live-action, I’ve seen this year.

IGN also has a full review of the musical episode, so don’t click the link above if you don’t want spoilers.

When asked whether Superman and Wonder Woman might appear on the series, series producer Sam Register says they “have thoughts about” using them, “though it seemed some work had to be done to get the powers to be to allow permission to use those characters.” And when asked by a fan if they would adapt Crisis on Infinite Earths, Register answered, “Only if we can do it as a musical!”

- Voice actor Erin Fitzgerald (Bleach, Ed, Edd, and Eddy) says that the Batgirl: Year One digital motion comic debuted on iTunes Friday. Erin provides the voice of Black Canary, and Keith Silverstein (Bleach, Naruto) voices Robin.

Warner Premiere hosted an entire panel on motion comics: “Graphic Novels in the Digital Age,” with industry guests including animation writer/producer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Freakazoid!). Newsarama.com has full coverage of the panel, with details on previous iTunes motion comics releases Batman: Black and White (previously mentioned here) and Watchmen, and announcements of new and upcoming titles: Batgirl: Year One, Superman: Red Son, and Batman: Black & White Collection 2. Warner Premiere’s press release is also included.

No details on the voices for these projects were provided by Warner Premiere or even mentioned at the panel, but I’ll try to do a follow-up with their PR department to rectify that.

- Newsarama.com has full coverage of the DC Universe Animated panel which featured Green Lantern: First Flight and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies. Two highlights with mention of the voice actors:

[Lantern director Lauren] Montgomery praised [Victor] Garber for nailing Sinestro’s sense of entitlement and superiority. [Voice director Andrea] Romano praised the work of the two lead voices.

“You would have thought Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan) and Victor Garber had been working together for years,” Romano said. “They were so good together.”

Garber, BTW, was not the first choice to voice Sinestro. Deadwood star Ian McShane was, according to [Bruce] Timm.

[Kevin] Conroy says part of the reason the DC ‘toons are so good is that Romano insists the voice actors lay their tracks down together. He says interaction between the actors ultimately translates to the animated final work.”

It was also announced at the panel that the DC Shorts program has been officially greenlit for production. Newsarama confirmed “that a series of shorts will be created to be included with DCU’s Direct-to-DVD films.” The first short produced will tie-in with the Jonah Hex feature film coming to theaters June 18, 2010, and starring Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), Megan Fox (Transformers), Will Arnett (Monsters vs Aliens), and John Malkovich (Con Air, In The Line of Fire).

- IGN.com reports that Avatar: The Game (the video game version of James Cameron’s feature film of the same name) will feature the voices of Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Grace Augustine), Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy Chacon), Giovanni Ribisi (Parker Selfridge) and Stephen Lang (Col. Quaritch).

IGN adds, “Rodriguez’s character, Trudy Chacon, functions as the player’s chopper pilot throughout the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 system and PC versions of the game. Ribisi reprises his role as the arrogant Parker Selfridge, appearing exclusively in the Wii version of the game. The film’s antagonist, Col. Quaritch, played and voiced by Lang, will appear in the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions.”

- Yahoo! Movies has “red carpet” photos from Comic-Con, including Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Robot Chicken), James Marsden (X-Men), Freddie Highmore (Astro Boy), and Kristin Bell (voice of Cora in Astro Boy).

- RopeofSilicon.com has coverage of the Disney/Pixar panel, where it was announced that Michael Keaton (Batman, Cars) would be providing the voice for Barbie’s plastic pal Ken for Toy Story 3:

Yup, Barbie is back in Toy Story 3 in a much larger role and Ken will be making his big screen debut as Keaton returns to Pixar after voicing Chick Hicks in Cars. Unkrich ended the news saying, “I think he was born to play Ken,” just before they played a bonus feature called “Groovin’ with Ken” poking fun at the plastic sidekick to Barbie telling him many thought of him as a glorified accessory and pointing out how his name is three times smaller on the packaging than Barbie’s. It was pretty good stuff.

As for the plot of Toy Story 3 the film will center on the idea of Andy and his growing up and too old for his toys. Lasseter said, “It’s one thing to make peace with something and another thing to find yourself at that day.” At the start of the movie Andy is grown up and heading off to college and the film will focus on the emotional implications of that.

“At Pixar we believe it is important to focus to not only make [a movie] funny and make it beautiful, but [to also focus on] the emotion.” And with Toy Story 3 they set out to find “a totally different emotional core” than what they explored in the first two films.

Other highlights of the Disney/Pixar panel:

+ Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich said they have been working on the film “about three years and the voice cast has already laid down their tracks and a quarter of the film is animated.”
+ Preview of scenes from Toy Story and Toy Story in 3D.
+ Beauty & The Beast in 3D preview. (Coming to theaters February 12, 2010.)
+ Preview of the made-for-TV ABC animated special Prep & Landing about “a group of elite elves that prep the scene before Santa arrives each night. It will air this holiday season. According to IMDb.com, the voice cast includes Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as Magee, Dave Foley (Pixar’s A Bug’s Life) as Wayne, and Derek Richardson (Men in Trees) as Lanny.
+ Previews of two scenes from The Princess and the Frog, one featuring Keith David singing “Friends on the Other Side.”
+ Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki was a panel guest, introduced by John Lasseter who said, “I think this guy is one of the most important filmmakers working today.” Then they offered an extended preview of Ponyo. RopeofSilocon.com says, “While we weren’t able to really grasp the narrative it was a lesson in unique animation as a film from Miyazaki looks like nothing you have seen before, that is unless you are comparing to another Miyazaki film.”

Previous report: 7.24.9009 — Comic-Con 2009: Wednesday-Thursday News Highlights.

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2 Responses to Comic-Con 2009: Thursday-Friday News Highlights

  1. [...] Crumpton is doing a great job of covering Comic-Con 2009 on his Voice Actors in the News [...]

  2. [...] that does not make me happy. I do like the preview at Access Hollywood (h/t Voice Actors in the News) visually, but why drain the fun out of the [...]

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