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Comic-Con Wrap-Up: The Winners, the Losers, and the WTFs

Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22:  Actress Emma Stone speaks at "The Amazing Spider-Man" Panel  during Comic-Con 2011 at San Diego Convetion Center on July 22, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images

Now that the dust has settled from last week’s Comic-Con, it’s time to take a look back at both the movies that thrived and the titles that barely survived. Did The Amazing Spider-Man manage to overcome its been-there-done-that trailer with a terrific panel? Did we get excited for movies we’d initially written off, and did we fall out of love with some we’d been eagerly anticipating? And more important, who said the weirdest things? Vulture’s got your Comic-Con wrap-up right here, and it’s full of winners, losers, and WTF moments.

All weekend, the legend around this panel grew. “I heard a thousand fans didn’t get in!” “No, there were five thousand, and they were in line for hours.” “Guys, I was there, and it was nine thousand.” No matter the numbers, it’s clear that Game of Thrones has become Comic-Con’s biggest buzz series in one season flat, and next year, expect it to command the gigantic Hall H. Photo: Frazer Harrison/2011 Getty Images
Asked at a press conference whether Peter Parker might ever join his Marvel stablemates in The Avengers, Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad was definite. “No,” he said. “Spider-Man has a huge universe of his own.” If only they’d let Thor and Captain America have that same breathing room.
No one had high hopes for this Ghost Rider sequel, but you could feel the mood turn in Hall H as directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor showed behind-the-scenes clips of the wild ways they shot the movie, using rollerblades and careening cranes. Oh, also, the Ghost Rider now pisses fire (really!). And did we mention that the movie’s not-safe-for-multiplexes tagline is “Fucking Your Shit Up in 3D?” Suddenly, the movie’s prospects improved from bad to bad-good, and we’ll see if Neveldine and Taylor can continue to move the dial further. Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images
We love Francis Ford Coppola, and his warm presence made him a congenial host on the panel for Twixt, his upcoming digital drama starring Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning. However, the movie looked cheap and hammy, like an early 90s CD-ROM adventure game, while Coppola’s attempts to cue up and reshuffle scenes via iPad went disastrously. It was a fun disaster, but it doesn’t bode well for the director’s hopes to take the movie out on a national roadshow. Photo: John Shearer/2011 Getty Images
They showed a very early clip from the movie. It was fine. But why did they need to remake this if they were going to turn it into a generic, earthbound action movie? Why was Paul Verhoeven’s sense of fun the first thing to go?
Asked to describe his character Poseidon in Immortals, Lutz laid down this creep-bomb: “He’s the god of wetness.” Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images
The Amazing Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin passed away from cancer a month ago, and both Emma Stone and director Marc Webb subtly honored her at the Spidey panel: Stone wore a “What Would Laura Do?” button, while Webb was zipped up in a fleece emblazoned with the name of “Stand Up to Cancer,” Ziskin’s foundation. Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images
Soderbergh said that rumors of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated, and he blames Matt Damon, who first broke that story to the press after the two went out for drinks while shooting Haywire. “Matt Damon,” said Soderbergh, “is apparently as discreet as a 14-year-old girl.” Photo: Joe Corrigan/2010 Getty Images
Though there were plenty of good shindigs throughout the weekend – Entertainment Weekly’s Saturday night celebration had a high star count, while the party for Robert Rodriguez’s QuickDraw Productions put us into a food coma – we were most partial to the party thrown by Summit, and it wasn’t just because the height differential between Alexander Skarsgard and Peter Dinklage was so much fun. (Though that counted for something.) Photo: Michael Buckner/2011 Getty Images
Candid and uncensored, Refn (who directed Drive) and del Toro (who produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) brought their A-game during the Film District panel. “The chief enemy of creativity is safety,” Refn insisted, when not trading profane jokes with del Toro. “Being safe is always dangerous. Creativity is the most capitalistic thinking tank. It has no rules. It’s all about ideas.” Photo: Kevin Winter/2011 Getty Images
Immortals producer Mark Canton was effusive about Singh, the film’s director: “There’s no one like him.” Replied Singh sardonically, “There’s a billion of me in India.” Photo: John Shearer/2011 Getty Images
Comic-Con Wrap-Up: The Winners, the Losers, and the WTFs