Immersive fan experiences, exclusive content, panels and more
FOX Broadcasting Company, 20th Century Fox Film, FX Networks and National Geographic engaged fans with a wide variety of panels, exclusive content, interactive experiences, parties and more at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. Here’s a rundown of what each of these brands did at the annual convention, along with some photos and videos:
Fans of FOX shows were treated to a long list of interactive experiences and first looks at trailers, including:
- “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” (premieres spring 2019 on FOX): Fans were invited to an immersive dome experience by FOX and National Geographic, including the opportunity to snap a shareable photo of themselves sitting in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s actual chair in the Ship of the Imagination.
- “The Passage” (premieres January on FOX): A viral cell lab gave fans an exclusive look at a “patient” and the chance to learn more about Project Noah.
- “The Orville” (Season 2 premieres December on FOX): Fans were treated to free rides anywhere in the Gaslamp Quarter by custom pedi-cab shuttle pods. Riders were shown exclusive content during their rides and left with a special U.S.S. Orville crew pin.
- “The Gifted” (Season 2 premieres Sept. 25, on FOX): Art from the show was featured all over San Diego Comic-Con and throughout the Gaslamp Quarter. Street teams helped fans unlock their mutant vision using free blue/red gel viewer cards, which helped them see the artwork in a new way. Fans not able to join Comic-Con in person could use a custom Snapchat filter.
- “The Simpsons” (Season 30 premieres Sept. 30, on FOX): A digital version of the show’s iconic living room set gave fans an opportunity to take a family-themed photo.
- “Family Guy” (Season 17 premieres Sept. 30, on FOX): Fans were given the choice of joining Team Peter or Team Chicken for a fun photo opportunity right in the midst of the battle between the two characters. The show also set up a special website where fans could create their own custom “Family Guy” character.
- “Bob’s Burgers” (Season 9 premieres Sept. 30, on FOX): On Friday, fans had the chance to be picked up in downtown San Diego by a “Bob’s Burgers” charter bus to be taken to the Shake Shack in Mission Valley where they could taste the burger of the day and fries. Voice talent joined fans at the Shake Shack, where fans could also take commemorative photos to share on social media.
Panel discussions were also hosted for each of these shows throughout the weekend:
“Cosmos: Possible Worlds”
At the FOX Fanfare booth on the convention center floor, fans were given the opportunity to meet stars at signings and activities. Limited-edition poster tubes and fanny packs were part of giveaways at the booth.
20th Century Fox Film
In Comic-Con’s Hall H, 20th Century Fox Film hosted a lively panel discussion for “The Predator” (in theaters Sept. 14) with director and co-writer Shane Black and stars from the cast, including Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn and Keegan-Michael Key. Attendees also saw an extended trailer for the film.
The studio also hosted a panel for “Alita: Battle Angel” (in theaters Dec. 21) for a special audience comprising winners of a scavenger hunt. After screening 18 minutes of exclusive footage from the movie, director Robert Rodriguez and producer Jon Landau were joined by stars Rosa Salazar and Keean Johnson talked about the special effects and animation in the film.
20th Century Fox Film also assembled a panel for “The Darkest Minds” (in theaters Aug. 3) moderated by Alexandra Bracken, author of the novel that inspired the film. She was joined by director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and stars from the movie, including Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks and Miya Cech. During the discussion, Jennifer talked about the inspiring message in the film.
Comic-Con attendees staying at hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter may have noticed bellhops from the El Royale handing out luggage tags as part of a promotion for the upcoming film “Bad Times at the El Royale” (in theaters October).
FX also made a big splash at this year’s Comic-Con thanks in part to the return of its FXHibition, which brought the network’s shows to life by combining art and technology. The immersive fan experiences, located on the lawn of the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, included:
- “American Horror Story” eccentricities gallery, featuring art and oddities inspired by the hit FX series and an augmented-reality revealing clues to the eighth season (premieres Sept. 12, on FX).
- FX 3-D Me, featuring a 360-degree scanner that captured fans’ pictures, which were turned into digital art pieces from their favorite FX shows. Physical 3-D figurines were also available.
- “Archer” sound boxes, an installation where fans could capture a photo of themselves inside suspended sound boxes adorned with character art and featuring classic sound bites from the show.
- The “Legion” chamber, an audiovisual experience giving fans the opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and enter the hypnotic digital realm of David Haller.
- “Sunny” the 13th sunscreen and water stations, a Camp Paddy’s Irish Pub-themed space featuring a photo op, sunscreen and water to celebrate the upcoming season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (season premiere Sept. 5 on FXX).
- “Mayans M.C.” deconstructed bike zone, featuring a gallery of artists’ take on the new FX series and a photo op.
In addition to co-hosting the “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” panel and experience with FOX, National Geographic hosted a panel titled “When Earthlings Become Martians: MARS Season 2.” It included Dee Johnson, showrunner and executive producer; Stephen Petranek, co-executive producer, scientific advisor, “MARS” big thinker and author of the book upon which the series is based (“How We’ll Live on Mars”); Andy Weir, “MARS” big thinker and author of “The Martian”; Susan Wise Bauer, “MARS” big thinker, historian and expert in colonization; Leland Melvin, “MARS” big thinker and former NASA astronaut; JiHae, “MARS” actor; and Jeff Hephner, “MARS” actor.
National Geographic also hosted a “MARS”-themed Nerd Nite party on the rooftop of the Solamar Hotel. Guests were treated to free food and drinks, as well as remarks from presenters, including systems engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bobak Ferdowsi and Emily Manor-Chapman. A VR station was also set up so party-goers could take photos of themselves as Martians.
Fox Home Entertainment
“Deadpool 2” was well represented at Comic-Con, with star, producer and writer Ryan Reynolds joined by co-stars Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapičić; director David Leitch and co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick in Hall H. The group gave fans a peek at two scenes from “Deadpool 2 Super Duper $@%!#& Cut,” the extended edition of the film available on digital HD on Aug. 7, and Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 21.
Fox Home Entertainment also got cheeky by promoting the upcoming digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD release of “Deadpool 2” with toilet seat covers featuring Merc with a Mouth and the words “This is all Fox could afford.” They soon became profitable collector items.
And to top things off, Deadpool and his animatronic band of X-Force rejects played a series of musical performances at “Deadpool’s Super Duper Dance Party.” Each day, exclusive T-shirts were given to the first 1,200 attendees.
Comedy team Broken Lizard was also at Comic-Con to tout the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Super Troopers 2” (now available). During their panel, director Jay Chandrasekhar maybe-jokingly told fans that next movie in the series was being written, and that it would be called “Super Troopers 3: Winter Soldiers.” Fans were also given the chance to pick up an exclusive “Super Troopers 2” poster at the FOX Fanfare booth.
Fox Home Entertainment also gave a poster, tote bag and coupons for collectible pins to attendees who purchased available “Family Guy” Blu-rays; gave free survival guides to attendees who pre-ordered “Archer: Danger Island” on DVD; and had a collectible “Christmas in July” edition of “Die Hard,” which just celebrated its 30th anniversary, available for pre-order.
FoxNext Games, a division of 20th Century Fox and Fox Networks Group, made its big debut at San Diego Comic-Con this year with a number of live activities, exclusive giveaways, photo opportunities, raffles and gameplay demos at its booth. A custom comic book and exclusive posters for “MARVEL Strike Force” were available to attendees, and fans were treated to a panel featuring the game’s creative director, Jason Bender. FoxNext Games also hosted a live “MARVEL Strike Force” tournament with prizes.
A larger-than-life photo opportunity was set up for fans of “The Simpsons: Tapped Out,” where creator of the beloved cartoon series Matt Groening was spotted. FoxNext Games also gave away mini-posters, pins, and other collectibles during “Happy Hour” at the “Family Guy: Another Freakin’ Mobile Game” Booze Truck.