We attended Denver Comic Con this weekend and had the pleasure of attending every panel we intended. As is the case following any con or fest we attend, we will be skipping the comic for Monday and diving right into the meat of the convention's top stories! The celebrities in attendance were all fantastic; respectful, open, personable, and a great time. Alan Tudyk really stole the show, but we were able to grab some entertaining tidbits from everyone throughout our time there.
Tudyk was a superb presence on stage. He answered every question with a stand-up comedian-caliber of humorous delivery and wit, while providing fans the time and personal attention one can when
on stage. Tudyk gave a randomly chosen item from his goody bag and signed it for every person who posed a question to him. These items ranged from (but were not limited to) an apple, Sean Astin's panel sign, hotel room items/toiletries, dinosaur toys, set papers from his new show Con Man, and his very own guest pass from the convention. He admitted to stealing this method from his friend Nathan Fillion, who he says was much more prepared and generous with his gifts.
When asked what scifi/fantasy character he would like to be, he replied, "Aquaman. [But he would smell like a dead seal that had been sitting on the beach for a week. With plastic six-pack rings stuck around his neck. And he'd have a chunk taken out of his side from a fight with a pack of dolphins.] Take that, Mamoa!"
Some may know that Tudyk was actually the character Sonny from the film I, Robot. When asked about his time playing that character, Tudyk said it was great. He really enjoyed the month of preparation done one-on-one with the theater director, exploring different personalities and mannerisms. He didn't enjoy the proceeding work as much, when he was dressed in "a large, all over green panty" for the motion-capture portion of the role.
He was asked which character from Firefly would he like to see die a Tucker and Dale vs. Evil death and what death that would be, he replied promptly with, "Niska. Wood chipper."
Comic book writer and artist Ennis was a rather blunt individual who truly spoke his mind on anything asked. He has dabbled in horror graphic novels and has never been one to shy away from violence, having done quite a bit of work in the realm of war and even working on the Punisher from time to time.
He mentioned Alien being one of his favorite films, and he finds himself thinking of the film constantly. He had ideas for an Alien prequel of sorts that he shelved for a time until he was inspired to pursue the ideas further with the production of Prometheus, the pseudo-prequel. The film's creative freedoms inspired Ennis to make his own ideas into an original work, thus the scifi horror graphic novel Caliban was born. It is a must-read for fans of the horror comic genre.
Perhaps his most publicly beloved comic is Preacher. It is currently being produced as a TV series. When asked about his involvement in the show, Ennis said he is keeping his distance. This was his idea, as he "[doesn't] like to tell the same story twice" and would rather like to see someone else's take without his influence.
Warburton, the actor and voice actor most notably beloved for his roles as David Puddy on Seinfeld and Kronk on Emperor's New Groove, was a very lovable guy on stage. During his panel,
he mentioned that the Tick live-action TV show rebirth is "at the 5-yard line" to be greenlit for production with Amazon.
Of note, his son talked him into purchasing the car of his cartoon character Brock Samson from the show Venture Bros., for whom he supplies the voice. The 1969 Dodge Charger has become a bit of an obsession for him as well, just like his character.
Astin, with little surprise, spent a great deal of his panel speaking on the topic of Lord of the Rings. Given the venue, it was par for the course. But we did get some interesting tidbits of information on the pre-production process for Astin. When preparing for the role, Astin delved into the world of JRR Tolkien and Peter Jackson. Astin was stunned when watching some of Jackson's earlier works. Though he didn't mention the film by name, Astin was clearly referring to Dead Alive when speaking of the film as "filthy and irreverent". He delivered these thoughts out loud to comedic effect, but found himself concerned about what he was exactly heading into with this director. Easily considered one of the most violent films of all time, it is no surprise Dead Alive would cause some hesitation in Astin!
Astin, kindly, refused to have anyone left standing in the question line and demanded that everyone get to ask their question. Due to time constraints, they went through a speed round, which led to Astin's best moment of the panel. An individual asked Astin, "Could Rudy bring the Ring to Mount Doom?" To which Astin replied after a brief pause, "I'm pretty sure he did, bro."
The name may not initially ring any bells, but Pileggi plays one of the more iconic characters in the realm of scifi/horror television. Pileggi played none other than Walter Skinner from the X-Files. Though a smaller panel, Pileggi supplied some of the juicer bits of information for the horror community, from both the past and future perspectives.
Many of us know that X-Files is coming back for 6 episodes, much to our excitement. Pileggi is thankfully reprising his role as Skinner. He mentioned during his panel that production is set to begin in two weeks! The studio used will be a familiar one in Vancouver. It was used for the first 5 seasons of the original series. Pileggi later shared thoughts on his excitement to return to that venue. He said that the dark, foggy atmosphere was a character unto itself for the show and it lost some of that feel when the studio switched locations to LA at the beginning of the 6th season.
Pileggi was prodded for multiple questions from his history on X-Files. There were several questions and answers of note. Despite his constant reminder that his memory isn't what it used to be, he answered his favorite episode of the series rather quickly: "Home." That episode is arguably the most controversial and brutal episode of the series, and was even banned from television for a time due to its content. It was a truly horrifying episode, and it was nice to hear it had such a strong impact on him as well as the audience.
On the topic of X-Files, Pileggi also mentioned that he based a good portion of his Skinner character off of his father. And that led well with the script, as Skinner often portrays some level of a father figure to Mulder and Scully. And to that point, Pileggi briefly mentioned the romantic tension between the two (Mulder and Scully) on the original series, and he alluded to that continuing in the new series with the comment, "And wait till you see what's next!"
Away from X-Files, Pileggi dipped in the horror/thriller genre a couple of other times. He played electric (pun intended) serial killer Pinker in the film Shocker, as well as a memorable role as a disturbed man named Norman Hill on the show Criminal Minds. He sounded rather fond of both of those roles, saying Norman in particular was his favorite performance. He also was rather fond of Shocker director Wes Craven, referring to him as one of his favorite people and "such a gentle soul." However hard that may be to believe, with a chuckle.
DCC was a great experience this year, and we are incredibly grateful to have been able to attend the event as press, to all the people that made the event happen, to all the celebrities in attendance and their gracious attitudes, and the fans and cosplay artists that gave the place so much flavor. Efrit and I look forward to continuing our press runs into the summer and fall months with more horror-oriented conventions and fests, and we will be sure to keep you up to date on all of that!