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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 07/26/2010

The buzziest movies to come out of Comic-Con 2010

By Jen Chaney

"The Avengers" cast, soaking up the buzz. (AP) | PHOTO GALLERY


The promotional pop-culture dust has settled, the "Star Wars" freaks have (presumably) packed away their Darth Vader masks and Comic-Con 2010 has come to an end. Now that it's over, which high-profile movies have gained the most much-coveted buzz coming out of the Con? Here's a breakdown, based on the panels I attended and word-of-mouth from the big long weekend in San Diego.

"The Avengers": Production hasn't even begun on this Marvel superhero ensemble film, which now counts Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo among its lead players. But excitement is officially high for this 2012 release, which unveiled its cast in the flesh for the first time at Comic-Con while director Joss Whedon humbly asked for the crowd's support as he moves forward with the making of the movie. He certainly has the support of one girl who sat behind me on a Comic-Con shuttle Saturday evening, screaming repeatedly into her cell phone: "Jeremy Renner is going to be in it. JEREMY RENNER!" To the surprise of the shuttle riders around her, she managed not to spontaneously combust with excitement.

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World": This Edgar Wright-directed comic book adaptation, which comes out Aug. 13, already had strong buzz behind it. But after a panel and series of preview screenings at Comic-Con, the Michael Cera-battles-a-series-of-romantic-rivals comedy saw its stock rise dramatically. The Comic-Con faithful are pumped for this one. How could they not be after watching Michael Cera answer questions in a ridiculous Capt. America suit during the "Scott Pilgrim" panel?

"Paul": This Simon Pegg and Nick Frost comedy was destined to win over the Comic-Con crowd. Why? It opens with actual footage from Comic-Con, where the characters played by Pegg and Frost begin a road trip that eventually leads to an encounter with an alien, voiced by Seth Rogen. The crowd at the San Diego Convention Center cheered wildly at the onscreen images of their beloved Con (shocker), but the presence of the impressive ensemble cast -- Pegg, Frost, Rogen, Bill Hader, Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Jeffrey Tambor, Joe Lo Truglio -- also went a long way toward selling the film, directed by Greg Mottola and out next spring.

"Cowboys & Aliens": Director Jon Favreau said this Western-meets-extra-terrestrials movie has only been shooting for a few days. But he managed to pull together some intriguing footage featuring Daniel Craig (looking just right in chiseled-cowboy mode), Harrison Ford literally bringing out the big guns and some "Close Encounters"-esque UFOs. Bringing Ford to Comic-Con also helped ratchet up excitement for this one, which is due in theaters in July 2011.

"Let Me In": Even though it's about a vampire, this remake of the exceptional "Let the Right One In" was kind of a weird fit for a Comic-Con panel. Its dramatic, well-acted scene didn't exactly get the crowd to shout the way that, say, a trailer for "Piranha 3D" did. Nevertheless, the footage shown at Comic-Con looked strong. Even if the movie winds up being somewhat derivative of the Swedish original, it certainly promises fine performances from its three principals: Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Richard Jenkins. Here's the new trailer that was unveiled at Comic-Con.

"Thor": The reaction from the crowd to this Marvel adaptation seemed largely positive. One person told me afterward that he has been worried about the quality of this one before Saturday's Comic-Con panel. Having seen the footage unveiled by director Kenneth Branagh, he said, "I'm not worried anymore." We'll find out if there is any need for concern when the movie opens next May.

"The Walking Dead": Okay, technically this is not a movie; it's a TV adaptation of the post-apocalyptic zombie comic from writer Robert Kirkman that's set to debut on AMC in October. But the preview shown at Comic-Con definitely had a cinematic feel, and was greeted warmly -- or at least, as warmly as one can greet a bunch of zombies -- during a panel on Friday. AMC is already planning for a second season. This is one to watch.

Mixed Buzz

"Tron: Legacy": This continuation of the 1982 video gamer's cautionary tale received a positive, but not over-the-top, response from the 3D glasses-sporting faithful in Hall H. Depending on who you talked to afterward, the verdict on this one was either "awesome" or "so-so."

"The Green Lantern": I was one of the many who got shut out of this panel in Hall H. Word-of-mouth afterward indicated that Ryan Reynolds was a total stallion for reciting the Green Lantern oath for a sweet little fanboy, but that the amount of footage shown was brief and not terribly impressive. In other words, we'll have to wait and see whether this one triumphs or trips.

Bad Buzz

"The Green Hornet": Comic-Conners filed out of the massive Hall H in droves during this presentation after seeing some additional footage that didn't deliver anything much more enticing than what we'd seen in previous clips. Poor Seth Rogen was doing his best to sell the crowd, but no one seemed to be buying.

Now that you've heard the buzz, which project are you most excited about?

By Jen Chaney  | July 26, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Comic-Con, Pop Culture  
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Next: Angelina Jolie opens Twitter account; Oliver Stone apologizes for 'Times' comments


Interesting to hear about the mixed buzz of "TRON"; the unveiling of the first teaser trailer seemed to get a ton of good buzz (check out the pirated clip on YouTube from 2008's ComicCon), which in-and-of itself was a little surprising, given its 'legacy' of being sort of a joke (plus, it effectively killed-off Disney's live action efforts- Disney still made non-animated films, but post-TRON they've relied on partner studios).

"Lantern" will make or break DC's movie wing; if it's another Superman, the brand is done. Since it's helmed by someone whose name isn't Nolan, it's already behind the 8-ball. "Hornet" won't make a dime. And I feel fine.

Posted by: steelers_rule123 | July 26, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the trailer for girls-kick-*ss to escape from mental asylum Sucker Punch. It's looks pretty good. Better than most of the films listed above.

Posted by: Pupster | July 27, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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