Still, in one of the panels I attended, there was a reminder that the irrepressible spirit of SDCC goes on. In the Amazon Prime/IMDB panel on upcoming projects, director Nicolas Entel, “confessing” to creating the entire genre of “narcos” movies and television series with his documentary about Pablo Escobar, seen through the eyes of his son, Sebastian (“Pecados de mi padre”), and then impishly explaining that his goal for his new project is “to drop an atomic bomb” on the genre. How to do that? Zombies, of course! His new series is called ” S.O.Z: Soldados o Zombies” (“Soldiers or Zombies”) and the brief clip we saw showed that he delivered on his other priorities, giving the zombies an origin story and, to use his word, a “logic,” to “make the science of our zombies believable.” His zombies have varying abilities, he told us, depending on how close they are to Patient Zero and they evolve through the season, all to the tune of Mexican music, classic rock for the older generation, a Northern Mexico sound for the middle generation, and a mix of Latino urban hip-hop.
Showrunner Rafe Judkins talked about one of the most ambitious projects of the fall, “The Wheel of Time” series based on the 14 plus Richard Jordan books that have sold more than 90 million copies. He has loved the books since he and his mother read them together when he was a young gay teen and she was a Mormon woman, both feeling out of place, because they “let us each see what it is like to be a different person in the world.” He sees the stories as “that connective tissue between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones,” and what particularly appealed to him was the complexity of the world and the care given to the points of view of many diverse characters. “It was the most diverse fantasy book of its time and we will make this the most diverse show.” Rosamund Pike plays the key character Moiraine Damodred. Judkins said that when he interviewed her for the part over the phone he was in a remote location with poor cell service, but somehow her voice was perfectly clear. “I know this woman,” she told him. “I can be this woman.” And after that he could not imagine anyone else in the role.
Possibly the longest and most complicated title at this year’s Comic-Con is: Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time, the final episode in the post-apocalyptic anime story. Through a translator, Hideaki Anno said he thought the series was very specific to Japanese culture and he was surprised and honored by the fans throughout the world. After sixteen years, including additional tweaks after the theatrical release in Japan, he is hoping to move on to live action. “Creation does not have an end.”
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