2019 Comic-Con International: Amazon Prime Video activities and exclusives

June 6, 2019

The following are Amazon Prime Video’s activities and exclusives at 2019 Comic-Con International in San Diego. Panel descriptions are from Comic-Con International.

July 18, 2019

“Undone”

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 

From acclaimed creators Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg (BoJack Horseman) comes “Undone,” a groundbreaking and genre-bending animated series about a young woman’s complex journey to unlock her past and solve the mystery of her father’s death. Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar) takes her mundane life one day at a time until a near-fatal accident induces visions of her late father, Jacob. Through these persistent visions, he urges her to tap into a mysterious ability that allows her to travel through space and time with the hopes of preventing his untimely death. This quest challenges Alma’s relationships and brings into question her mental well-being with those closest to her. Purdy and Bob-Waksberg serve as executive producers, along with Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, and Tommy Pallotta. Dutch artist and filmmaker Hisko Hulsing served as the series director and production designer. Panelists include: Rosa Salazar, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy, and moderator Ben Travers. “Undone” is produced by Amazon Prime Video and Tornante Productions.  (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

July 19, 2019

“The Boys”

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Based on The New York Times bestselling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, “The Boys” is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes—who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and as revered as Gods—abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the superpowerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven and Vought—the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes and covers up all of their dirty secrets. The series stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, and Elisabeth Shue. The Boys is executive produced by Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, and Ori Marmur, as well as Ken Levin and Jason Netter. Panelists include: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara; executive producer Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Jessie T. Usher, Elisabeth Shue, moderated by Aisha Tyler. Premiering July 26 on Amazon Prime Video, the eight-episode Amazon Original series is co-produced by Amazon Prime Video and Sony Pictures Television Studios with Point Grey Pictures, Kripke Enterprises, and Original Film.  (Ballroom 20, San Diego Convention Center)

“Carnival Row”

4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. 

Set in a Victorian fantasy world filled with mythological immigrant creatures whose exotic homelands were invaded by the empires of man, Amazon Prime Video’s “Carnival Row” explores how this growing population struggles to coexist with humans—forbidden to live, love, or fly with freedom. But even in darkness, hope lives, as a human detective Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) and a refugee faerie named Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) rekindle a dangerous affair despite an increasingly intolerant society. This panel features a cast and executive producer discussion, exclusive sneak peeks, and audience Q&A. From Amazon Prime Video and Legendary Television “Carnival Row” is executive produced by Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Eli Stone), René Echevarria (Star Trek, Teen Wolf, Castle, Medium), Jon Amiel (Outsiders), Orlando Bloom, and Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim, Clash of the Titans). Beacham’s “A Killing on Carnival Row,” on which the project is based, appeared on the very first installment of the Hollywood Blacklist in 2005. Panelists include: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, David Gyasi, Tamzin Merchant, Travis Beacham, and Marc Guggenheim, moderated by Tim Kash (IMDB). (Ballroom 20, San Diego Convention Center)

July 20, 2019

“The Expanse”

1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. 

Calling all Earthers, Belters, and Martians, “The Expanse” is making its return to Comic-Con this summer! The series has had an incredible journey since San Diego last saw the Rocinante crew. They return with news from beyond the Ring Gate and from their new home-thanks to help from the fans-as an Amazon Prime Video series. Be the first to hear about what’s next for your favorite crew from the creatives and cast, and get an early look at what’s to come when season 4 drops on Prime Video later this year. The Hugo Award-winning series, based on the hugely popular science fiction novels, was developed and scripted by the Academy Award-nominated writing duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby who executive produce season 4 along with Naren Shankar, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Sharon Hall, Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Dan Nowak. Shankar serves as showrunner for season 4. Panelists include: Steven Strait, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Naren Shankar, Ty Franck, Daniel Abraham, moderated by Kyle Hill (Nerdist). (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

2019 Tribeca Film Festival pilot episode review: ‘The Boys’

May 1, 2019

by Carla Hay

Jack Quaid and Karl Urban in "The Boys"
Jack Quaid and Karl Urban in “The Boys” (Photo by Jan Thijs)

“The Boys”

Pilot episode/Season 1, Episode 1

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29, 2019.

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” series couldn’t have come at a better time, when superhero movies have been dominating the box office, and the lead characters in the movies have legions of devoted fans around the world. “The Boys,” based on the graphic-novel series of the same name, explores what it would be like to live in a world where over-worshipped superheroes abuse their fame and power. Based on the pilot episode of “The Boys” that had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Amazon Prime Video could have its first big superhero-themed hit.

The main protagonists of “The Boys” aren’t even superheroes. They’re mere mortals who want to expose the corrupt superheroes because of personal vendettas they have against them. Hughie Campbell (played by Jack Quaid) is a mild-mannered employee of an independent electronics store in New York City. It’s the type of store that’s rapidly disappearing in a retail economy that’s killed Radio Shack. Hughie seems to have a safe and predictable life. He and his girlfriend Robin (played by Jess Salgueiro) are very much in love, and although Hughie’s job doesn’t pay too well, it’s enough for him to get by comfortably, even if he still has to live with his single father (played by Simon Pegg).

Hughie’s world turns into a nightmare when his girlfriend is killed right in front of him in a freak accident. It’s because a lightning-speed superhero named A-Train (played by Jessie T. Usher) literally runs right through her while chasing a robber, and that leads to Robin’s gruesome death. A-Train runs so fast (just like DC Comics’ The Flash) that he didn’t even notice that he killed someone until he sees the bloody aftermath, and he makes a quick excuse that he has to leave in order to keep chasing after the robber.

A devastated Hughie tries to get justice from Vought International, the mega-corporation that manages and secretly covers up for the world’s top superheroes, including an elite group called The Seven. (The Seven is written as an obvious satire of DC Comics’ supergroup Justice League.) Vought is run by Madelyn Stillwell (played by Elizabeth Shue), a ruthless executive who puts on a façade of doing what’s best for the world, while hiding superheroes’ dirty secrets. Vought offers Hughie a $45,000 settlement to not sue over Robin’s death, but he refuses. A-Train gives a half-hearted public apology, but Hughie is not convinced the apology is sincere. Hughie isn’t so mild-mannered anymore. He’s heartbroken, bitter, and out for revenge. He just doesn’t know what to do about it yet.

Meanwhile, in Des Moines, Iowa, a naïve young woman named Annie January (played by Erin Moriarty) is training to become a superhero, much like a girl would train for an event that’s a combination of an athletic competition and a beauty pageant. She’s hoping she’ll be the chosen one to replace Lamplighter, one of the superheroes who is retiring from The Seven. What happens to this young superhero will set in motion much of the action for the rest of the series. She joins The Seven under the new identity Starlight, a character clearly inspired by Supergirl.

Not long after Starlight joins The Seven, Hughie unexpectedly meets Billy Butcher (played by Karl Urban), a no-nonsense badass who crashes into Hughie’s store. Billy says that he’s part of a secret vigilante group called The Boys, whose goal is to hold law-breaking superheroes accountable for their misdeeds. Hughie wants in on the action, but Billy wants Hughie to prove himself first.

Billy tells Hughie that all of the superheroes are corrupt except Homelander (played by Antony Starr), the leader of The Seven, an alpha-male, patriotic type who has the superhero ability to fly, just like Superman. But is Homelander really a good guy or has Billy been fooled into thinking he is?

Other characters from The Seven that are introduced in this pilot episode include The Deep (played by Chace Crawford), an Aquaman-type heartthrob who’s secretly a creep abusing his power through sexual harassment; Black Noir (played by Nathan Mitchell), a mysterious silent type; Translucent (played by Alex Hassell), who can make himself invisible, similar to the DC Comics character Negative Man, and uses this ability to be a perverted Peeping Tom; and Queen Maeve (played by Dominique McElligott), a tough-but-tender alpha female, similar to Wonder Woman, who shows signs that she’s not as committed to The Seven’s corrupt ways as the rest of the group.

Translucent is not in “The Boys” comic books, so his storyline in the TV series is the least-easiest to predict. Advance teaser footage of “The Boys” shows Translucent imprisoned in a cage. The Amazon Prime Video series also has some other differences from “The Boys” comic books (which were created by writer Garth Ennis and illustrator Darick Robertson), but that spoiler information won’t be included here.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Ori Marmur, Ken F. Levin and Jason Netter are among the executive producers of “The Boys.” They previously adapted a popular graphic-novel series to television with AMC’s “Preacher.” Other executive producers of “The Boys” are Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), Neal H. Moritz (“The Fast and the Furious” franchise) and Pavun Shetty (CBS’s “S.W.A.T.”).

Based on the pilot episode of “The Boys,” this series is going full-throttle with sex, drugs, adult language and violence. Now that Amazon Prime Video has canceled the superhero comedy series “The Tick” (which didn’t really click with audiences, after two seasons), “The Boys” can step in and fill that superhero series void with a rip-roaring abandon that’s a satirical kick in the face to superheroes who are too popular for their own good.

Amazon Prime Video will premiere the first season of “The Boys” on July 26, 2019.