With the likes of Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Matt Groening and Guillermo Del Toro as interpreters, Morgan Spurlock explores what’s become a pop culture mainstay in his new documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.
Commonly, and mistakenly, considered the domain of smelly dudes in freaky costumes, Comic-Con has emerged as the epicenter for pop-culture influence and a hotbed for creativity. A convention that started humbly 41 years ago, drawing a mere handful of hardcore comic book collectors, the Con now sells out months in advance, draws over 150,000 of the fanatically inclined, and has become a must-attend event for the Hollywood power elite–whether they know why they need to be there or not.
However, unless you’ve ever navigated the sprawling city-sized convention, it’s been hard to understand the real Comic-Con. Organizers had routinely denied previous requests to document the event, fearing a public mocking of a misunderstood subculture.
But that all changed when Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) came calling with the support of his “geek dream team”: comics legend Stan Lee, Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, writer Jeremy Chilnick, and wunderkind producer Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly). The result is Spurlock’s latest documentary feature, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
As a self-described misfit-made-good, Spurlock set out to get inside a world he personally holds dear, determined not to ridicule or create caricatures of the people who embrace their fandom. “This is a world I regard with great reverence,” says Spurlock.
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