SFX at Comic-Con: Day Three

I met Pee Wee Herman. Normally that would be enough for any festival blog, but a lot more happened during Comic-Con Friday than an unexpected red carpet chat with Pee Wee.

How about Zack "300" Snyder talking about his plans for the long, long, long-awaited Watchmen movie? It proved the highlight of the Warner Brothers presentation (we also saw new footage from 60s TV update Get Smart), as Snyder showed he knows how to work a Comic-Con crowd by telling the assembled legion of fans exactly what they wanted to hear. Stuff like not worrying about making a movie for the masses ("it's going to be an R-rated superhero movie, which I think is pretty cool"); explaining that he chose a younger-than-expected cast because he didn't want to end up using different actors for the flashbacks and present-day scenes; maintaining the book's Cold War setting rather than updating it for the "War on terror"; using the original comic book panels as a template - "If you don't do that you're full of shit," he reckons; and that Doctor Manhattan will be a CG creation with Billy Crudup's face mapped on (apparently Snyder didn't want a naked guy wandering around covered in blue paint).

After catching up with Sanctuary creator Damian Kindler for a quick chinwag (the show's soon going to be uniformly priced around the world - see www.sanctuaryforall.com ), it was off to meet Ridley Scott and the Blade Runner cast (with the notable exception of Harrison Ford, who's busy making some movie about something or other) to get all nostalgic about the movie and talk about the new DVDs (the 80-something Joe Turkel - who played replicant creator Tyrell - seemed utterly delighted to have appeared in two bona fide movie classics (for the record, the other one's Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory)).

I also met up with Bruce Boxleitner, Tracy Scoggins and Peter Woodward, who were all delighted to return to the mantle of "last best hope for peace" in Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (and they seemed rather chuffed that the uniforms still fit). And I caught up with them again when they were among the guests walking up the red carpet for a screening of 300 in the San Diego Padres' baseball stadium - complete with an army of finely chiselled Spartans and multiple copies of Roy Batty, Pris, Rachael and Zhora from Blade Runner. Frank Miller told us he'll be starting shooting The Spirit later this year, and we grabbed Snyder for more Watchmen and 300 chat. And then of course there was Pee Wee Herman (or Paul Reubens as he's calling himself these days). If you'd told me 24 hours ago I'd have been face-to-face with the man who made the bow-tie fashionable (kinda), I'd probably have laughed in your face.