Part of the attraction of Comic-Con is never knowing when a celeb is going to turn up. Sure, you know they'll be in the big panels in Hall H or Ballroom 20, and occasionally you'll get lucky and bump into one on the exhibit hall floor. Sometimes, though, you get really lucky and someone huge (or even quite Hugh) decides to drop in in the unlikeliest of places.
Hugh Jackman, in town to promote his October robot-boxing, father-and-son-bonding epic Real Steel, tweeted on Wednesday that he'd be swinging by the Petco Park parking lot (just down the road from the convention hall) early Thursday morning with a frakload of swag – including HP touchpads, whoa! – and some awesome prop pieces from the film. If you follow him on Twitter, or happened to catch a retweet off someone, you were ready and there bright and early. If not, you were probably one of the ones strolling past the lot on their way into the con who suddenly stopped and stared slack-jawed at Wolverine chucking pimped out swag bags at an adoring throng from the back of the beat-up truck owned by his Steel character (a down-on-his luck former boxer, aiming to get back in the game by training a robot champ).
Those who turned up early to wait didn't seem terribly fussed about standing around in the humid morning sun, snapping pics of the truck and the full-sized pugilistic 'bots from the movie, held at bay by the staffers passing out free tees and wristbands. A DJ spun mash-ups while folks awaited Jackman's arrival, and camera crews– including G4, with hostess Alison Haislip — meandered around the barricades searching for the perfect spot for their interviews.
With little fanfare and massive mega-watt grin, Jackman arrived on-time at 10:30 and, true to form, was a thoroughly entertaining and engaging emcee – tweeting his own pics of the crowd, carefully reading the texting instructions multiple times so folks could enter to win the touchpads, and talking up the sheer awesomeness of the giveaways, including Real Steel robot action figures. (“Listen, my son… he's very picky about [the things he likes], and I've got to say… he loves these [toys].”) One can only hope the guy about halfway back who was beaned in the head with one of the toys when Jackman chucked it out into the crowd is gonna love it, too.
“I swear,” Jackman laughed, “There are so many lawsuits here waiting to happen!”
It wouldn't be Comic-Con without a little bit of a scoop, though, and while Jackman gave an extensive on-the-fly Q&A (and playfully accepted a multitude of offers to by him a beer later), he was understandably reticent to give too many details about the upcoming Wolverine feature (to be directed by James Mangold, after Darren Aronofsky dropped out) which follows the fan-beloved Japan storyline from the comics. One thing he did confirm, though, is that fans of his showtune side will finally get to see him belt it out on the big screen: As rumored, he will play Jean Valjean in a feature adaptation of Les Miserables, to be directed by The King's Speech's Tom Hooper. Vive la revolution, Logan.
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