After showering off the would be hangover courtesy of Sony Entertainment's generosity, we made our way back to a San Diego Convention Center filled with wannabe Ghostbusters, ill-fitting Batman costumes, and custom built hoverboards...ok, that last one was badass.
First up, a demo of the upcoming Ghostbusters video game scheduled to release this October. What makes this item a point of interest is the fact that the entire cast and writers of the films have returned to reprise their roles basically creating a third "movie" for the series. The game play was good, and the story feels like an interactive feature as supposed to an opening sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto IV. A multiplayer aspect really would be a great addition.
Our first panel of the Con was NBC's reincarnation of the 1980s classic Knight Rider. While the producers revealed various tidbits of the show, they were more stalling for time with every actor MIA (apparently a meat truck overturned on I-5 between L.A. and San Diego, causing half of Hollywood to be stuck in-between). Once the actors arrived, we were told the new series will delve deeper into the Michael Knight character and his post-Iraq War service. Rumor has it that David Hasseloff will appear in a few episodes later in the season. While all the discussions built nice expectations, the trailer for the first season ruined everything. Cheesy dialogue and amateur fight scenes mixed in with well-crafted SFX wasn't enough to keep us wanting more this September, but, then again, it's fucking Knight Rider.
At the next panel, Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and Douglas Aarniokoski announced their plans to recreate the comic legend and 1985 cult film, Red Sonja. With only various posters of McGowan and her trusty sword projected on the jumbotron (they've only just started location scouting) Rodriguez made it perfectly clear his signature style would be present even though Aarniokoski is set to direct . We can also expect a "double R" rating with gallons of blood spillage and mountains of dead bodies covering vast landscapes. Red Sonja is scheduled to release in the Fall of 2009.
Along with talks of Red Sonja, Rodriguez discussed the initial creation and upcoming development of the full-length feature Machete. Previewed as a "fake trailer" in the Grindhouse series, however, outpouring cries from excited fans pushed the director to move the project into production. Watch Rodriguez discuss the future project below.
Back on the convention center floor, we were able to get a hands-on with DC Universe online, the MMO (massive multiplayer online) sandbox of superhero proportions. The gameplay seemed a bit awkward and jaunted, but as the game is in pre-alpha, we were willing to forgive these early glitches. The idea and story of the game are very cool - you build up your own superhero and fly around a city with little more than a collection of nemeses and allies. The sandbox format fits well with the multiplayer, and no single player version currently exist, or is even in the planning.
Back upstairs, we attended the highly anticipated HBO panel for the new show, True Blood. Based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries books by Charlaine Harris and directed by Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, the series follows telepathic Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse in a world where vampires live among us openly. When a Japanese Bio-Tech company creates synthetic blood, the opportunity for vampires to emerge and live among humans in "harmony" is made possible. Naturally, not everyone is ready to provide vampires with equal rights; on the other hand, others are excited to swap DNA with the lifeless creatures of the night (a.k.a. Fang Bangers).
With the vampire craze hitting book stores, movie theaters, and televisions everywhere, and Ball's ability to capture true human (and non-human) emotion on camera, True Blood could be the life preserver HBO most desperately needs after losing it's all-star lineup (Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, etc.).
As the convention center came to a close on day two, the crowds flooded the street for the assorted after parties and restaurant and bar scene of the San Diego Gas Lamp district. First stop was the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe preview and open bar. Luckily, this underattended shindig allowed for two hours of unrestricted play with this yet-to-be released game. The gameplay was well-tuned and provided a similar interface to the original gameplay of the Mortal Kombat series. A few Mortal Kombat characters in costume were present to take part in the festivities.