While Fan Expo looked a little different this year, fans still were able to enjoy the three day event safely amidst our current climate. The three-day event took place this weekend at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, bringing together fans of Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming together under one roof with a chance for them to meet some of their idols. The event was modified to a Limited Edition version this year, working around safety guidelines and restrictions/caps. It normally draws hundreds of thousands of people every year when at full capacity.
While there were several guest cancellations this year due to uncertainty and changes in scheduling, fans still were able to feast on an exciting array of programming and stars including the likes of Kit Young, GeorgeTakei, Robert Patrick, Melanie Scrofano, Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, James Marsters, Italia Ricci,Trailer Park Boys (including a fun #Swearnet backdrop seen above for fans to pose at),Christopher Eccleston… and of course the legend himself William Shatner, fresh off his successful mission to space, giving him the distinction of being the oldest person ever to visit it.
George Kozera from Team Mr. Will and I were able to check-out some of the thrills and sit-on (literally on the floor) on some of the exciting Q&As with the talent. George even got to ask Shatner a question!
Some highlights and quotes:
This former Supergirl star, hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario is connected to a few superheroes, being married to Robbie Amell (The Flash) who is a cousin of Stephen Amell (Arrow) – the latter married to Cassandra Jean, also who has starred in Arrow. When asked about her family being like a mini Comic-Con, she says “Well, none of us got the keep the costumes. Maybe Stephen, I don’t know. But yeah, it’s been fun. Supergirl shoots in Vancouver, but when I shot season one, it was on the Warner Bros. lot. But I had a lot of fun and didn’t think they would kill me. I thought ‘I’m coming back for sure!'”. Ricci also filmed Designated Survivor here in Toronto and when asked about McDonald’s vs. Pizza, she says she takes her son almost daily to McDonald’s right now, although she admittedly still hasn’t found amazing Pizza in the City just yet. Her hunt continues.
The most fascinating tidbit revealed during the Q&A session with Marsters (Spike on TV’s BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) was that the Producers of the Show were unhappy with the success of the Angel character and that the audience attention was drawn-away from Buffy. Originally hired for a five to ten episode storyline (it stretched to 97 episodes), Marsters said ” I would have fired myself to keep the integrity of Buffy intact.”.
At 90 years young, the iconic, natural-born raconteur William Shatner greeted the crowd with “Hello, fellow Canadians” where he quickly added, “I haven’t been able to say that in a long time” and entertained the rapt and adoring crowd with stories of his childhood growing up in Montreal, living in Toronto on Sherbourne Street as a struggling Actor trying to find work and living on his one inexpensive meal at the Sherbourne Hotel. When I asked him about his experience working in JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG he replied, in part, “Imagine being a youngActor, sitting on a bench and watching icons like Judy Garland and Spencer Tracy perform”. He promoted his new album “Bill“, then spoke at length of his recent space flight on Jeff Bezos‘s rocket and likened the darkness he saw to death itself. There was only a very brief mention of STAR TREK (while never mentioning the title), none of BOSTON LEGAL (for which he won his only Emmy,) but it didn’t matter; Shatner owned the room!
Watching Christopher Eccleston at his Q&A was revelatory. He was self-effacing (“I am the worst Marvel villain ever” and “My dad said to me:you finally get a job in Hollywood and you play the invisible man?”), brutal honest (he spoke of his one season as DOCTOR WHO as contentious and hated the direction that the BBC wanted to Series to proceed. However, he also mentioned two episodes that contained some of his best work ever due to the exceptional Script and, in hindsight, would have liked to have done one more year to correct the acting mistakes he felt he made). Highly complimentary of other Actor’s work (“I don’t envy the next Actor who steps into the shoes of James Bond after what Daniel Craig has done in the past 15 years” but didn’t think he’ll ever get a chance to play the character “not with these ears!”) and comparing Toronto lovingly with his hometown of Manchester.
STEPHEN & ROBBIE AMELL
These Toronto born first cousins admitted they were not very close growing up (Stephen: “I was 13 years old. He was 6. He had little in common”), but eventually bonded when they discovered their mutual love of acting. Whereas Stephen was saddened when ARROW ended its TV run, he was excited about exploring new opportunities and then the pandemic hit and “nothing!!!” though he is thrilled with his new HBO show HEELS. Robbie was thrilled to report that the second season of CODE 8: PART ll is back in production and is currently being filmed in Toronto. The chemistry between the Amell boys was infectious and giddy to watch!
Robbie Amell (The DUFF, The Babysitter) gets a big welcome home! The Actor/Producer born in Toronto and now based in L.A., returned here to promote his latest Film, CODE 8. The Film has him starring as a man with special powers who clashes with the militarized police force after a petty crime. Filmed in Toronto, the Film also stars his cousin Stephen Amell (Arrow). The Film was crowdsourced by Fans, exceeding ten times the asking amount in donations!
See the Trailer:
In addition to Press today, Amell will be presenting to Film to Fans tonight at a Special Screening of Code 8. We spotted him out and about earlier this morning, including a stop at KISS 92.5. Amell looked sharp, getting into his Range Rover before getting off to an appearance at Breakfast Television.
See our Snap!
Elevation Pictures release CODE 8Friday, December 7, 2019 in select theatres and on-demand and digitally Friday, December 13, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Elevation Pictures)
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto a chance to win Advance Screening passes to see CODE 8, with star Robbie Amell in-attendance. The screening takes place Wednesday,December 4, 2019 in Toronto at Cineplex Yonge & Dundas. Winners also will receive promotional socks and shot glasses from the Movie!
In a world where 4% of the population is born with varying supernatural abilities, a desperate young man possessing special powers clashes with a militarized police force after committing a series of crimes. Based on the short film.
Starring: Stephen Amell & Robbie Amell
Directed by: Jeff Chan
Now in its 23rd year, FAN EXPO returned once again to Toronto this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre celebrating fandom and bringing fans close to their idols of past and future. The extravaganza continues to pull-in upwards of 129,000 people from around the world with panels, exhibits, signings and photo ops galore. There’s even Speed-Dating for the geek-minded.
Cosplayers were out in full festive force with several paying tribute to the likes of The Joker, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Doctor Who.
A major highlight this year was the reunion of the original ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Cast including a seldom-seen Tim Curry, who was available for photo ops and also pre-signed memorabilia. His Castmates Meat Loaf, Nell Campbell, Barry Bostwick and Patricia Quinn also made their way to Fan Expo.
A hot ticket item this weekend, selling-out, was photo ops for the Cast of STRANGER THINGS including Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo. The former also appeared with his fellow Castmates from another production in which he stars, hotly-anticipated Stephen King Remake IT, out next week.
This year, Fan Expo‘s Guest List was heavy on talent filming in the City including Cast members from STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, which sees a premiere on CBS this September including Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones.
Meanwhile, returning favourites Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), John Barrowman (Arrow), Nathan Fillion (Castle), Stephen Amell (Arrow), Anthony Daniels (Star Wars) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) also proved popular.
THOR: RAGNAROK EXHIBIT
Among the several dazzling displays and exhibits at Fan Expo Canada this year was an exhibit for eagerly-awaited THOR: RAGNAROK from Marvel, giving fans get an exclusive first look at the costumes and pieces seen in the Movie.
In this third Thor Movie, our hero faces his toughest villain yet, Hela played by Cate Blanchett, and her costume makes the villain even more daunting. A black and green costume with a 3D printed headpiece that resembles something similar to a creature from nightmares it truly is a sight to behold. As well the headpiece was never actually worn in the film but rather carried afterwards in very careful placement to fit the Film.
Next is Karl Urban’s Skurge and without giving away too much information about the character he seems to be a forced to be reckoned with as well. A double-sided axe that is truly remarkable accompanies his costume. As well his costume is made of actual steel and fabric, making it one of the more impressive costumes.
Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) costume takes its final form in this third Film. There are little tidbits of goodies in the costume as well, if we remember the first Avengers Film, the necklace Loki wears has a small piece in his costume this time around as an ode to that other appearance.
Next we have hotly-anticipated Jeff Goldblum’s The Grandmaster whose fabric costume is so much more impressive in person that anyone could have ever imagined. The layers of fabric and costume it self really stands out and boasts the character.
Two really cool props from Ragnarok are from the Hulk Vs Thor scenes where we get a first up close look at Hulk’s sword and hammer that he uses in the fight. These props are massive and certainly a dream come true for fans to be able to see these props up close and personal.
One of the most impressive pieces at Fan Expo’s exhibit this year was Thor’s costume itself, as it is a mish-mash of different pieces. While he is away from Asgard and fighting, he acquires different pieces of his costume and writing on his costume that shows his journey. However the most interesting piece for fans would be Thor’s helmet, which many fans have dreamed of seeing since the first Movie came out.
Photos from the THOR: RAGNAROK Exhibit. Hover cursor left and right below to navigate.
Our Justin Waldman and Siobhán Rich had the pleasure of sitting-in on some of the hottest panels at Fan Expo and deliver us that scoop!
This gorgeous star of X-Men, Taken, The Wolverine, The Blacklist, How to Get Away with Murder, The Blacklist and Hemlock Grove, the latter filmed right in our City, returns to Toronto again once again. She tells her fans at her panel about her experience working with Hugh Jackman who would go on to be in the widely-acclaimed LOGAN. “It’s impossible to envision anyone else playing that role”, she says about her Co-Star. “I’m grateful to have worked with him.”.
On Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner playing a role she helped shape in upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, she says “I think she’s amazing. She reached out to me when she got cast as Jean Grey and asked what pointers I had for her and I told her she’s amazing and to just follow your gut and that’s what she did.”.
You know you’re iconic when your Films are remade and your roles are reprised. This iconic star of Rocky Horror Picture Show and the original Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT, which is projected to make a huge splash next weekend at the Box Office, made a rare appearance at this year’s Fan Expo treating fans to an intimate panel.
On which of his projects he considers his favourites, Curry says “Well, I guess one of them is Clue where my part was as big as the Bible. I also love Muppet Treasure Island.“.
On his phenomenal voicework in Animation, he says “I love it. I’ve never been a contortionist. The day is young and one day I hope to be.”.
While he is the idol of many who attended his panel, he cites Alec Guinness as being someone he looks up to.
This star of Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, Torchwood, Legends of Tomorrow and of course Arrow is loved by many a fan. He reflects on the fun he has had on the latter. “A lot of things happened and part of what I like to do is making people crack-up by doing something from across of them. Stephen (Amell) is really easy to crack-up”.
In what will be the most talked-about moment of Fan Expo Canada 2017, Barrowman was asked by a fan at his panel whom his best on-screen kiss was with. A fan who went by the name Montana then rushed the stage to the shock of the crowd and Barrowman, and the two embraced in a kiss which had the fan going shirtless. The crowd went ecstatic. David Tennant, his Doctor Who Co-Star was his favourite kiss, by the way!
Those of us who grew-up in the ’80s have fond memories of Turner‘s work in classics like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Peggy Sue Got Married, Romancing the Stone and TheJewel of the Nile. Turner reflected on her beginnings as an actress with her fans. She claims “I didn’t see many films. I always felt like Film happened to me.”. “Most of my imagination was satisfied by reading. This is how I always thought I wanted to be an actor”, she says. “This is my 40th year in my profession and it is still absolutely thrilling to be doing it. I am now entering my fourth profession and I will be doing Cabaret. I can sing.”.
In addition to its presence being felt largely this year with several fans dressed as Dr. Who, Matt Smith returned to Fan Expo once again this year. On his eventual exit from the beloved Series, Smith says “Yeah, I always knew I was going to stay for another year. Maybe I would’ve stayed on for another year. But then I thought I couldn’t get too comfortable. It’s a difficult show to leave because it’s such a brilliant character but as an actor you have to continue to do things that frighten you and make you uncomfortable.”.
Smith currently can be seen in Netflix‘s acclaimed The Crown as Philip.
See some Snaps from Fan Expo Canada 2017. Navigate by hovering cursor over left and right of gallery.
Paramount Pictures Canada + Mr. Will want to take Readers in Toronto to see TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS! The screening takes place Tuesday, May 24, 2016. And guess what? Stephen Amell will be there!
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael return to theaters this summer to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). After supervillain Shredder escapes custody, he joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly), to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.
Bell Media rolled out the Red Carpet and took over Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in a big way, welcoming seventy eight Stars to preview their forthcoming 2014 Fall/2015 Mid-Season Lineup.
Balancing Canadian content with some major renewals – like a third season of Saving Hope and second seasons of Bitten and Spun Out – a focus also is placed on several of its new and proven American titles, CTV (and CTV 2!) – Canada’s number one Network for 13 consecutive years – looks to take a chance on some high-profile new releases.
New major Titles seeing a release in the forthcoming Fall and Mid-Season include:
SECRETS AND LIES
THE ODD COUPLE
MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA
Among the several Stars walking the Red Carpet today were Beau Bridges (The Millers), Judd Hirsch (Forever), Alana De La Garza (Forever), Ben McKenzie (Gotham), Donal Logue (Gotham), Robin Taylor (Gotham), Anthony Lemke (19-2), Tyler Ritter (The McCarthys), Kelen Coleman (The McCarthys), Jimmy Dunn (The McCarthys), Michael Emerson (Person of Interest), Alfie Enoch (How to Get Away with Murder), Matt McGorry (How to Get Away with Murder), Caitlin Gerard (American Crime), Elvis Nolasco (American Crime), Jack Falahee (How to Get Away with Murder), Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), William Moseley (The Royals – he came with Actress Girlfriend Kelsey Chow!), Alexandra Park (The Royals), Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), George Wendt (Buzzys), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Stephen Amell (Arrow), David Ramsey (Arrow), Candice Patton (The Flash), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), Jared Keeso (19-2), Laura Vandervoort (Bitten), Steven Lund (Bitten), Michael Xavier (Bitten), Greg Bryk (Bitten), Greyston Holt (Bitten), Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Kristin Lehman (Motive), Brendan Penney (Motive), Louis Ferreira (Motive), Erica Durance (Saving Hope), Daniel Gillies (Saving Hope) and several more. Newcomer Grant Gustin, formerly of Glee, drew the most anticipation on the Fan-filled Red Carpet, many predicting that new CW Series The Flash will propel his Career to the stratosphere.
And now for the fun stuff! We snagged a few Autographs from some of today’s CTV Upfront Stars including Laura Vandervoort, Ben McKenzie, Matt McGorry, Elizabeth Henstridge and Chloe Bennet! To enter to win, specify at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook under this Post whose Autograph you’d like to win and click “like” also. You may enter for multiple Autographs!
The Stars have descended upon Toronto for the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards and while preparations are well under-way over at the Station’s Queen Street Headquarters with Soundchecks taking place throughout the day, several Guests and Performers are just now arriving. Several Fans today not only got a Sneak Peek of tomorrow night’s performances, but some were even lucky enough to meet the Performers including Co-Host PSY, who was gracious to stop for Snaps earlier today with Fans! Others like Armin Van Buuren, Avril Lavigne, Phillip Phillips and more graced the stage today.
Meanwhile on the other end of the City, we were lucky enough to witness several of tomorrow’s Presenters arrive including the likes of Josh Bowman (Revenge), Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory), Naya Rivera (Glee), Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Popstar Cody Simpson and this year’s MMVAs “It Couple” Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect, Hairspray) and Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf). Red-hot Arrow Star Stephen Amell, who hails from Toronto, already has been in town for a bit in advance of the Show.
Meanwhile, Australian Internet Sensations The Janoskians have been causing quite a rage at their Hotel, requiring their Security to step-it-up a bit as their hoards of female Fans shower them with attention.
And although simultaneously in town for her Red Tour at Rogers Centre, Taylor Swift and Tourmate Ed Sheeran are expected to grace the Queen Street Stage tomorrow and some are saying they just might perform their latest Single Everything Has Changed as a surprise.
The 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards air tomorrow night at 9:00 PM EST on both MuchMusic and Fuse.
Avril Lavigne covers this week’s issue of Hello! Canada, featuring their 50 Most Beautiful Canadians. Set to return with her current single Here’s to Never Growing Up, Editor-in-Chief Alison Eastwood released a statement saying, “Unveiling our annual Most Beautiful issue is as thrilling as giving a close friend a big, beautiful birthday present. And this year is especially exciting. Avril and her Fiancé Chad Kroeger have been great friends to HELLO! Canada, their Wedding is just around the corner, and our exclusive (and rare) Photo Shoot, on the eve of Avril’s return to the pop charts, was nothing short of magical.”.
The List ranges from Media, Ballerinas, Singers to Movie Stars with some surprises and some names you have to do a quick Google Image search for. Selected this year by the Magazine are:
Actor: Arrow, CTV
Actor: Arrested Development, Netflix
Canadian Television and Film Royalty have united in Toronto this past week for three separate Galas honouring the v. best we have to offer in Entertainment. Combining what formerly were known as the Genies and Geminis together, the Awards are given by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Drawing some of the Country’s most familiar faces, the final Broadcast Gala took place, airing nationally on CBC, hosted by beloved Funnyman Martin Short.
Winning top honours this year was War Witch (Rebelle), a Drama about a 14-year-old Girl in Sub-Saharan Africa who tells her unborn Child the story of her life since she has experienced the War, which swept ten categories including Best Motion Picture and Director for Kim Nguyen. American Actor James Cromwell won for Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Still Mine, while War Witch‘s Rachel Mwanza won Actress in a Leading Role.
In the Television categories, CTV‘s now concluded Flashpoint won Dramatic Series, with Enrico Colantoni winning Lead Actor in a Dramatic Role. Meanwhile, Meg Tilly, who stars in Global Television Series Bomb Girls won Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role. HBO Canada‘s Less Than Kind won Comedy Series with its Wendel Meldrum winning Lead Actress in a Comedic Role. Gerry Dee won Lead Actor in a Comedic Role for CBC‘s Mr. D.
Many Stars braved the cold to greet Fans who lined hours at the Red Carpet including Laura Vandervoort, Catherine O’Hara, Geneviève Bujold, James Cromwell, Jay Baruchel, Stephen Amell, Xavier Dolan, Kristin Kreuk, Sandra Oh and several more. Even Vandervoort spotted me and even came over to say a quick “hi” recognizing me instantly! The Party continued at a Reception post-Gala at the venue, before making its way over to Rosewater Supper Club.