Although the end of Summer often triggers a chorus of sighs, it also means that FAN EXPO CANADA‘s back in Toronto. The annual convention now in its 22nd year, bringing together the greatest figures in Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime and Gaming with their Fans in a true celebration of “geeking-out”, takes place at Metro Toronto Convention Centre between Thursday, September 1 through Sunday, September 4, 2016.
127k Fans were expected to attend this year with star-power unparalleled. Appearing this year are the likes of Jack Gleeson, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Frank Miller, Gillian Anderson, George Takei, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Adam West, Burt Ward, Christopher Lloyd, Anne Heche, Linda Blair, Hayley Atwell, Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin, Charlie Cox and the headliner, Mark Hamill. This also marks the final time that Marvel icon Stan Lee will be appearing in Canada.
Riding the high of international sensation POKÉMON GO, Fan Expo Canada introduced for the first time a Pokémon Go Lure Party giving attendees a chance to advance levels on the game and collect rarePokémon.
Several series premiered episodes at Fan Expo Canada including the likes of Travelers, The Killjoys, Son of Zorn and YouTube series Carmilla.
Netflix Canada getting into the spirit also presented a retro 90s-theme Dance Party for attendees to mingle. The Canadian League of Gamers eSports Tournament debuts at Fan Expo Canada also this year. More info on that here.
We had the chance to sit-on some panels and even chat with some of talent appearing this year. Here are some highlights and memorable quotes:
JACK GLEESON, GAME OF THRONES
“People just love to hate me”, says Gleeson on his role as King Joffrey Baratheon on the record-breaking HBO series. The 24-year-old Irish actor adds “I just give ’em a hug and we are alright”, when people transfer their dislike of him on the show to him in real life. On whom he’d like to see take the throne on Game of Thrones, he chooses Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). “We need a woman to knock some sense into people.”.
JOE QUESADA, Chief Creative Officer, MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
The Comic Book Writer, Artist and Editor from New York grew-up loving the likes of Black Panther, Daredevil, Punisher and The Inhumans. When he was brought-on to Marvel in the late ’90s, he admits he wanted most to work on these books. He tells us, “They were paying artists $14 per hour back in 1990!”. After being appointed CCO in 2010, he has helped transform Marvel Entertainment into the powerhouse it has become once again. He admits, “I am the luckiest son of a bitch in Comics right now.”.
STAN LEE, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF MARVELCOMICS
The Marvel legendary is making his final Canadian appearance at Fan Expo 2016 and was a great sport appearing from start to finish. He spoke at his hotly-buzzed panel, reflecting back on his career. On the many iconic characters he has developed, he says “I really don’t have a favourite character. I love them all. I love Silver Surfer, I love Doctor Strange, I love Spiderman. I love them all. But every time I get asked the question I always say Spider-Man and the audience goes ‘yay’.”.
Of all the talented actors to bring his character to life on-screen, he reveals “My favourite actor is Robert Downey Jr. I asked him if anyone ever has called him Bob? He said sure you can call me Bob, Bobo. So now I call him Bobo.”.
ADAM WEST & BURT WARD, BATMAN
We all grew-up at some point watching the Batman live-action series of the ’60s. How amazing is it that Batman and Robin both were at Fan Expo Canada together this year in spirited fashion?
Ward, known best for his role as Robin gives his Co-Star West the highest praise. “There were a lot of fine actors who played Batman, but there’s only one Batman and that’s Adam West!“. West jokingly replied, “I deserve that!”. On some of the highly-physical work he did on the series, he kids “They took out a $3 million life-insurance policy on me and I’m convinced by the end of the show they were trying to claim it!”.
West, reflecting on Catwoman remembers, “She gave me a curious stirrings in my utility belt!”.
GILLIAN ANDERSON, THE X-FILES
Work has brought the TheX-Files star back to the City to film, including upcoming series AMERICAN GODS. At her panel, she shed some light on her Agent Scully character saying, “She is quite square and I’m not, but I like her.”.
JOHN CUSACK, HIGH FIDELITY
The well-known Actor appeared in a package offer with his equally-brilliant sister Joan. While he is quite political on Social Media, he made an interesting analogy at his panel, “I see Twitter as curation and graffiti.”.
JOHN BARROWMAN, DOCTOR WHO/ARROW
The spirited Scottish-American Actor appeared at a hot ticket panel to thunderous applause. He tells his Fans, “If you don’t follow me you’re missing out on my fabulous life!”.
On his theatrical pursuits, he does say that his dream role on-stage would be Mac in Mac and Mabel.
MARK HAMILL, STAR WARS
The iconic Star Wars Actor made a rare appearance at Fan Expo this year and offered a VIP Experience to Fans and spoke at multiple panels. He tells his Fans, “This isn’t a show it’s an intimate conversation between thousands of my new best friends and me”.
On the upcoming continuation of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, he says “Gareth Edwards said five words to me that’s the biggest spoiler.”.
CHARLIE COX + ELDEN HENSON, DAREDEVIL
The two stars originally were to be joined by Marvel‘s Daredevil Co-star Jon Bernthal, although he was unable to make Fan Expo 2016 in the end. The duo spoke at a panel today and when asked which Marvel character they’d like to appear as a cameo on their series, Cox chose Black Widow. Henson however is a fan of Chris Pratt and would like to see his Star-Lord appear on the series.
A fun fact revealed is that the portrait on the wall at the 15th Precinct in the series is actual one of Stan Lee!
MAT FRASER + NAOMI GROSSMAN, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW
Speaking to our Justin Waldman and Siobhán Rich, the two stars of the popular FX Series reveal some personal details about their experience.
Fraser tells us about filming a bed scene with Jessica Lange, “Of course, she’s hugely attractive but when you’re acting you’re acting. […] She pulled me in close. She made it really intimate. She nailed the scene: she nailed the intimacy between two actors to make the scene believable. Because she is a star in every sense of the word.”.
Grossman talks to the series’ shorter seasons, stating “As an actor it’s amazing. Because with the exception of me everyone’s gotten a chance to play another role. So I hope to have that opportunity.”.
CHARLES MARTINET, MARIO
We enjoyed most our chat with charismatic Charles Martinet, who voices Video Game icon Mario.
We had the pleasure of ringing-in the fourth Season of HBO international sensation GAME OF THRONES‘ Home Video launch at the thematically-correct CHILL Lounge earlier tonight. Temperatures were below-zero inside the Lounge containing Ice Sculptures and fixtures, the Centerpiece tonight being an Ice Replica of the famous Throne from the Series. And yes, I sat in it. YES, I DID.
The ever-popular Series’ Fifth Season might not be premiering till Spring, but Season Four’s Video release is timed perfectly giving Fans a chance to re-live and catch-up. We learned Season One in sales pulled-in an already impressive $8 million. Season Two earned $9.5 million. And if Season Three’s astonishing $10 million in sales is any indication, Game of Thrones right now is more popular than ever, trailing only Blockbusters like The Hunger Games, The Hobbit and Frozen, Brian Blazik, VP of HBO Canada and South America tells us.
Season Four’s release packs several interesting surprises including a Roundtable with all those Cast members who were killed off in that Season. And in celebration of its Video release, HMV Canada also is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a replica of the Throne, valued at $30k!
Season Five of GAME OF THRONES airs in Canada Tuesday on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Season Four is available on Home Video Tuesday, February 17, 2015.
Although technically we saw him a couple months back here in Toronto, this counts as our first time meeting Peter Dinklage! The brilliant Actor who has gained international popularity in recent years as Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones and also X-Men: Days of Future Past as Dr. Bolivar Trask. The Golden Globe and Primetime EMMY Winner currently is in our City filming PIXELS alongside Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad.
Sightings of Dinklage have been plentiful, but the often private Actor who has been seen most with his Wife Erica, has been to known to be private, often declining Photographs. After a Dinner Date with his Wife at a Café Boulud tonight, the Star was spotted on the streets and after stopping to pet a dog, he made a quick moment for Fans, politely offering to take a few Snaps.
I am beyond thrilled. Just look:
Recently presented at COMIC-CON, PIXELS continues to film in Toronto through early September.
In celebration of the release of Game of Thrones‘ Season Three on DVD, Stars Kristian Nairn and Isaac Hempstead-Wright, have arrived in Toronto to ring-in the occasion! The Thespians, who play Hodor and Bran Stark respectively, braved the slushy weather conditions to do a bit of promotion this morning, their day starting early in the east-end at CTV‘s CANADA AM.
Right in the nick-of-time, their super-skilled Driver got them to their Breakfast Television appearance at CITY afterwards, all full of smiles and extremely gracious to pose for some Fan Photos. Irishman Nairn in particular, seemed to enjoy the snow. Shortly after, the Duo head over to Global Television‘s The Morning Show to pre-tape an Interview to air soon.14-year-old Hempstead-Wright meanwhile, is a bit of Sultan of Style in-the-making, wearing some awesome boots and his Sweater which looked like Halloween – the coolest!
In case you missed them, both Nairn and Wright will be meeting Fans who purchase Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season at HMV with a qualifying Wristband. The Meet-and-Greet takes place tomorrow at 333 Yonge Street, 12:00 PM tomorow – Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Details here.
Also a Touring Exhibit featuring Pieces from Game of Thrones will take place in Toronto at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX from Wednesday, May 14 – Sunday, May 18, 2014. More details to come.
Check-out the spellbinding Series’ Season Four (premiering Sunday, April 6, 2014) Trailer:
See our Snap:
Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season is now in stores via Warner Home Entertainment/HBO.
Nominees for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced earlier this morning in Los Angeles and leading the pack is F/X‘s American Horror Story: Asylum earning and impressive 17 nominations including Miniseries or Movie. Following closely behind is HBO‘s Game of Thrones with 16 nominations including Drama Series, with its Supporting Cast Members Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke also getting recognized for Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series.
Also front and center is Liberace Biopic Behind the Candelabra nominated for Miniseries or Movie, while both of its Stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon up against one another for Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. The HBO Movie is up for awards in 15 categories as is long-running NBC Series Saturday Night Live.
Setting precedence is Netflix‘s brilliant Series House of Cards, becoming the first ever Internet-aired Series to be up for a Primetime Emmy, a Finalist in nine categories. The Series is up for Drama Series, while both Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are up for Actor and Actress in a Drama Series also. In addition, original Netflix Series Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development both also received nods, giving the Service a total 14 nominations.
Lightning strikes twice! We spotted Game of Thrones Star Kit Harington out and about in Toronto today. By total chance, some Fans and I spotted him driving by in his Mini Van, intently texting away on the Passenger Seat. The Actor, best known for his starring role as Jon Snow on the highly successful HBO Series, currently is in Toronto till July filming Paul W.S. Anderson`s Pompeii.
Harington dropped quickly for some Take-Out at Yorkville’s Yamato Japanese Restaurant – known best for its Teppanyaki (Iron Griddle) Cuisine – as his Driver waited for him around the corner. Fans will notice the Actor’s noticeably strengthened physique as he wore a form-fitting top and track pants. If you had any doubt about how he got there physically, now you know what he’s been eating! He even spotted me, coming over to shake my hand. A Gentleman and Class Act!
In addition to being seen on Game of Thrones, Harington next will appear on the Big Screen in Adventure-Fantasy, The Seventh Son, which hits theatres this October via Warner Bros. Also, he will be voicing the Dragon Prince in 20th Century Fox’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, in theatres June 2014.
We were among the first to spot Harington in Toronto last month. Click here for more on that.
Toronto sure loves Game of Thrones and the latest Cast Member to grace our City is none other than Kit Harington. An no, that’s not Orlando Bloom whom he often is confused for! The 26-year-old Thespian Heartthrob arrived in Toronto last week to begin prep on Paul W. S. Anderson‘s (Resident Evil: Retribution, The Three Musketeers… Husband of Milla Jovovich) Action/Adventure Pompeii, which films later this month. And this of course wouldn’t be Harington‘s first time in Toronto though as he filmed Silent Hill: Revelation here early 2011.
Harington has been turning heads allover the City this past week with Fans taking to Twitter to voice their shock at seeing Jon Snow (his Game of Thrones Character) in-person on our streets. For once, some Snow in April is actually welcome! The incredibly kind Actor, who actually is even more handsome in-person, tells me he isn’t quite sure when some of his Co-Stars including Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and our v. own Kiefer Sutherland will be here. The Film centers around a Man condemned to Slavery on a ship, who must work his way home to save the Woman he loves and his Best Friend, a trapped Gladiator. Think Django Unchained, but not really! eOne Films will release Pompeii in 2014.
The Actor also recently revealed (pardon the pun) that a nude scene is forthcoming on the fourth season of Game of Thrones, although we don’t know exactly when. He tells the New York Daily News, “I’m fine with nudity actually. I think it’s one of those things…you take off your robe and you are nude.“.
I never leave my Readers empty-handed, so in celebration of our Spotting, let’s share an Autograph shall we? To enter to win a Signed Photo from Kit Harington, click “like” on this Post before May 1, 2013. Share this Post on Facebook and double your chances! All are welcome to enter.
And while we’re on the topic, let’s take a look back at some of the Game of Thrones Cast Members who’ve visited Toronto recently:
Hot on the heels of its announcement earlier this week of adding its Ultimate Sports Celebrity Experience, Fan Expo Canada has just announced some new additions to their annual Convention in Toronto this August including the likes of Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) and also the legendary George Takei (Star Trek).
Fans who attended Fan Expo‘s Toronto Comicon this weekend were treated to the news first. Timing will be perfect particularly for Headey who stars in one of this Summer’s most eagerly-awaited Blockbusters, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which she filmed here last year.
In case you didn’t catching wind, it was announced that Sports Icons like Hulk Hogan, Ron Turcotte, Joe Montana and Bobby Orr also will be meeting Fans for a fee this August, with more names to come shortly.
Perhaps this will be the year True Blood‘s Sam Trammell doesn’t bail on us Toronto Fans?
For more information, visit Fan Expo Canada‘s website here. Fan Expo Canada (Toronto) takes place between August 22-25, 2013 at Metro Convention Centre.
Right in time to launch the upcoming third season of HBO‘s Game of Thrones, Scottish Actress Rose Leslie is in-town and ready to work in a big way. The 26-year-old Actress first gained recognition internationally with a role in acclaimed Downton Abbey as the Housemaid Gwen, and now her star officially has risen first appearing on the second season of Thrones as Ygritte.
In addition to a bevy of Television and Radio appearances, including visits to The Roz & Mocha Show at KISS 92.5 and Global Television‘s The Morning Show (Toronto Edition), she also will be visiting CBC later today for George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. Tomorrow, she will be gracing the Red Carpet opening of Game of Thrones: The Exhibition. The Event runs from March 9-16, 2013 at the Design Exchange, showcasing Artifacts from the first two Seasons of the Series, with selections from the upcoming Season.
The porcelain-skinned and petite Leslie was gracious enough to stop for a quick Snap earlier today, absolutely lovely and sweet! Unfortunately, no signs yet of Co-Star Kit Harington, who is said to be seeing Leslie, while slated to film Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Pompeii in Toronto next month.
Game of Thrones Season Three premieres on HBO Canada Sunday, March 31, 2013. See what Celebrities like Elijah Wood, Seth Green, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Anna Kendrick are freaking out about!
Finally, a real Star! Danish import Nikolaj Coster-Waldau definitely has been at it for a while, but he’s making his presence felt in these parts thanks to the massive success of HBO Series Game of Thrones on which he stars as Jaime Lannister. Coster-Waldau is in the City promoting Toronto-filmed Mama, from first-time Feature Director Andrés Muschietti, who also directed the original Short Film it is based upon.
Also starring a currently-on-Broadway Jessica Chastain, the Horror is about a Couple who take-in two Nieces who were left alone in the Forest for over five years. The Actor tells Jennifer Valentyne on CityTV‘s Breakfast Television today, “It goes by the idea that in the Forest you can never get between the Mama Bear and her Cub.”. He indicates that he currently is on a break, spending quality time in his native Denmark with his two Daughters after wrapping on Oblivion, which stars Tom Cruise. The Action/Sci-Fi Flick opens in theatres this April.
The Actor was up early and ready to work, appearing on KISS 92.5‘s The Roz & Mocha Show. Listen to the Interview in full here.
Among other interviews, Coster-Waldau will also be appearing on George Stromboulopoulous Tonight, in addition to an appearance at an Advance Screening this evening.
eOne Films releases Mama on Friday, January 18, 2013.
Watch the creepy Trailer in full below:
To enter to win a Photo signed kindly from Coster-Waldau himself this morning, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook before February 1, 2013. All are welcome to enter! Good luck.