DC Fandome Streaming Event Returning Oct. 16

DC Fandome, an online Comic-Con alternative for WarnerMedia properties, will return Saturday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. PT.

The free virtual event will once again give fans of superhero, sci-fi and other genre programming a chance to immerse themselves in content at DCFanDome.com and celebrate the stars and creators of their favorite feature films, live-action and animated television series, games, comics, home entertainment releases and more. Casts and creators behind fan-favorite DC games, comics, movies and TV shows will gather to unveil breaking news, exclusive trailers and announcements, never-before-seen footage, revealing conversations, and more surprises in the DC FanDome.

“DC FanDome 2020 was a first-of-its kind global virtual fan experience and showcased every aspect of the DC Universe with unprecedented scale and access. This year, we’re taking everything that people loved about DC FanDome and supercharging it to super-serve fans with even more exclusive first-looks, breaking news, in-depth interviews and insight from the stars and creative teams of their favorite DC content,” Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said in a statement.

The 2020 event generated more than 22 million global views across 220 countries and territories with more than 150 million views of trailer content.

DC FanDome 2021 will stream via Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, giving fans more ways to watch the events unfolding in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes. Additionally, DC Kids FanDome will launch the same day with a special kid-friendly experience accessed separately at DCKidsFanDome.com.

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Among the schedule for DC FanDome 2021:

  • Warner Bros. Pictures will showcase six titles, with an exclusive trailer for The Batman, new content from DC League of Super-Pets, a first look at Black Adam, a sneak peek at The Flash, and behind-the-scenes looks at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
  • Warner Bros. Television will offer a look at new seasons of “Batwoman,” “The Flash,” “Superman & Lois” and “Sweet Tooth”; a farewell tribute to “Supergirl” as it approaches its finale after six seasons; a celebration of 100 episodes of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”; a first look at forthcoming new drama “Naomi”; and a sneak peek at an upcoming episode of “DC’s Stargirl.”
  • Warner Bros. Games will feature new reveals from the highly anticipated Gotham Knights, developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, developed by Rocksteady Studios.
  • HBO Max will unveil an exclusive look at the upcoming series “Peacemaker” and limited event series “DMZ.” The streamer is also debuting more surprises and sneak peeks from new series as well as returning favorites such as “Titans” and “Doom Patrol.” All four series hail from Warner Bros. Television.
  • Warner Bros. Animation will feature a look at the upcoming limited series “Aquaman: King of Atlantis”; provide a sneak peek at season three of the adult animated comedy series “Harley Quinn” and share what’s in store for #HarIvy; deliver a very early look at the next animated chapter of the Dark Knight in the all-new upcoming series “Batman: Caped Crusader”; and give fans a preview of “Young Justice: Phantoms” (promoters have issued a spoiler warning).
  • Warner Bros Home Entertainment will preview two upcoming original DC Animated Films: a sneak peek at Superman and the rest of the Justice League in Injustice, an all-new animated movie inspired by the popular games and comic, as well as the premiere of the trailer for the all-new animated heist movie Catwoman: Hunted. Both movies are produced in association with Warner Bros. Animation.
  • DC publishing will showcase a number of upcoming comic books, including tie-ins to the 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman.

 

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Through the end of October, Warner Bros. Consumer Products is offering the DC FanDome Shop in the United States with additional territories around the world to follow, allowing fans from across the globe to stock up on DC FanDome apparel, accessories, collectibles and more. Featuring exclusive DC Comics merchandise, the DC FanDome Shop will drop new items every week leading up to the main event Oct. 16.

In addition, leading up to DC FanDome and the event day itself, online comics database DC Universe Infinite will be releasing more than 300 comics and graphic novels available to read for free with registration. New titles will be available each week, starting with the complete storyline of Flashpoint, fan-favorite series Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 1 and, available for the first time on DC Universe Infinite, The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes.

Comic-Con to Return to San Diego in November

There’s going to be a Comic-Con this year, after all.

Organizers of San Diego International Comic-Con in a press release issued late on Saturday, March 27, announced “Comic-Con Special Edition” will be held as a three-day event over the Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-28, at the San Diego Convention Center.

“It is our hope that by Fall conditions will permit larger public gatherings,” according to a news release.

Comic-Con is traditionally held in July and draws more than 150,000 fans to the San Diego Convention Center. The annual show began in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and in its early years consisted mostly of comic book collectors selling, buying and trading rare and underground comics.

Over time, the show shifted focus to embrace all things pop culture and is now dominated by studios, and streaming services, who set up elaborate displays to promote their latest movies and series.

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The 2020 Comic-Con was replaced with the virtual Comic-Con@Home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Plans for a return this summer were dashed on March 1 when Comic-Con organizers said the 2021 edition would also be canceled as a result of the pandemic, with fans instead once again getting a free virtual show.

At the same time, organizers said  they are hoping to stage a smaller, three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November — plans that have now materialized.

“Comic-Con Special Edition will be the first in-person convention produced by the organization since Comic-Con 2019, and the first since the onset of the global pandemic COVID-19,” according to the March 27 press release.

“The Fall event will allow the organization to highlight all the great elements that make Comic-Con such a popular event each year, as well as generate much needed revenue not only for the organization but also for local businesses and the community.”

“While we have been able to pivot from in-person gatherings to limited online events, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the organization as it has with many small businesses, necessitating reduced work schedules and reduction in pay for employees, among other issues,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization.

“Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022.”

Details are still being finalized as to badge cost, attendance capacity, and other information.

WonderCon 2021 Canceled, Replaced With Virtual Event

The 2021 edition of WonderCon has been canceled as a result of continued concerns over large crowds as the coronavirus pandemic lingers into its second year.

The event had been slated for March 26-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The fan gathering is organized by the Comic-Con International group, which also presents the annual San Diego Comic-Con International, an annual mecca for studios and content creators to interact with pop-culture fans, and showcase new movies and TV shows.

In a Feb. 11 announcement, organizers wrote: “2020 was a difficult year all around. For the first time in the history of our organization, we were unable to have in-person events for WonderCon or Comic-Con. We have hoped that by now, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might have subsided enough that we could once again come together in person for a traditional WonderCon event. Sadly, as we continue to monitor the latest information from healthcare officials, we have determined the interest of public safety will prevent this spring’s WonderCon from moving forward as an in-person convention.”

Instead, for the second year the event will transform into WonderCon@Home, and will be held on Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27. More information is available at comic-con.org.

“The challenges of this past year and the postponement of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources,” organizers wrote. “Therefore WonderCon@Home will be a two-day celebration instead of the usual three days as we continue to marshal our resources for Comic-Con this summer.”

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While not as large as San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon Anaheim has been a popular destination from nearby Hollywood to promote the latest pop culture projects. WonderCon typically draws about 60,000 attendees, about half of its San Diego counterpart.

“Our commitment to the community of fans who enjoy WonderCon and the celebration of comics and related popular art remains an important part of who we are,” organizers wrote. “We would like to thank everyone for your continued support as we anxiously look forward to a time when we can once again meet in person to celebrate comics, popular art, and spend time with our dedicated community of fans.”

No updates were offered on the status of Comic-Con, which remains slated for July 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center and Downtown San Diego. The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Comic-Con@Home Panel Plumbs the Depths of Shooting Underwater in ‘Deep Blue Sea 3’

There were several challenges when making the third installment in the “Deep Blue Sea” feature franchise, including overcoming the usual difficulties with shooting on water (a la Steven Spielberg’s legendary struggles with Jaws) and coming up with a new premise that didn’t involve an underwater lab, as the two previous movies had.

Global warming came to the rescue on the script. Screenwriter Dirk Blackman did some research on small islands sinking as the oceans rise and had a moment of inspiration.

“I thought, ‘Let’s sink the town,’” he said during a July 24 online panel at Comic-Con@Home for the July 28 digital and Aug. 25 Blu-ray combo pack and DVD release of Deep Blue Sea 3 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film follows Dr. Emma Collins and her team, who are spending the summer on a sinking island studying the effect of climate change on great white sharks. Their routine is disrupted when a team led by her ex-boyfriend and marine biologist Richard shows up looking for three rogue bull sharks.

Director John Pogue discussed the logistics of shooting four major underwater action sequences at the South African location.

“We figured out a way to be 360 with our water set so that we could have all of the sets gathered around this cove and most of the rest of everything else was made up digitally,” he said.

The underwater scenes got an assist from some professionals.

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“There are so many additional safely issues with shooting around water, from what can happen with electricity to people falling in, so safety was paramount,” Pogue said. “We were very fortunate in that we had this incredible South African team called the Frog Squad that do underwater projects all over the world. They are essentially South African SEALs that also make movies.”

The actors spent time training and getting scuba certified before the shoot, noted Emerson Brooks, who plays Shaw, a sort of brother/father figure for Emma.

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“I think all the training that we did, all the real underwater experience … that really added to it, that put you in it, certainly,” added Tania Raymonde (Emma).

The water in the winter in South Africa was cold, and “we were always wet, always wet,” she recalled.

Shooting in water posed challenges for the director as well.

“I think about 30 % of the time it went as planned— so many things would break,” Pogue said. “The communication underwater is super challenging. You’re basically talking to 20 people with a giant underwater megaphone that no one can really understand.”

Mumbling like the teacher a “Charlie Brown” special, Nathaniel Buzolic (Richard) demonstrated what the actors could hear underwater.

“There was this underwater megaphone that looked like something from the Victorian era, which is like a box with a string on it that was threaded all the way down into the water,” added Raymonde. “Once you suit up and you’ve got your regulator and they make sure you’ve got air in the tank and check all your levels and you’ve got everything on and you go under, it’s kind of a pain to get back up to the surface, take everything off, go get notes from John and come back in. So once we were in the tank and underwater, we were pretty much underwater and stuck and that was it. … And when you’re under there, you don’t hear anything because your regulator is so loud. Every time you take a breath there are bubbles everywhere, you can’t hear anything.”

The Frog Squad helped interpret by using a sort of “sign language,” she said.

“[The process] definitely influenced the tone of the movie in that there’s a more realistic as opposed to a controlled, stylized feel to the movie, where we’re trying to sort of use those happy accidents that happen as a result of this chaos,” Pogue said.

He credited the cast for being game to go the extra mile in shooting the action sequences.

“During the casting process, one of the things that we talked about was, given the resources that we’ve got, that you’re going to have to do your own diving and your own stunts,” he recalled. Deep Blue Sea 3 wasn’t “one of those movies where we just sort of stop everything and bring in your double,” he said.

“In many of the key sequences, it was very important that we see your faces, we see you experiencing what’s happening in the action,” he said.

Bren Foster, a martial arts expert who plays Lucas, noted the action on land was equally intense.

“You kind of bring it above the water, and all hell breaks loose,” he said.

Inspired by another shark movie The Deep, screenwriter Blackman added a fight.

“I don’t expect to see a fight, necessarily, in a shark movie, so we have a fight,” he said.

Comic-Con@Home Panel Discusses Bugs Bunny’s History, 80th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection and New HBO Max Series

Three voices of Bugs Bunny — Billy West, Jeff Bergman and Eric Bauza — joined “Looney Tunes Cartoons” executive producer Pete Browngardt, movie historian/author/TV personality Leonard Maltin, animation historian/author Jerry Beck, and George Feltenstein, SVP, theatrical catalog, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, for a Comic-Con@Home panel July 23 to discuss Bugs Bunny’s history, the new HBO Max series “Looney Toons Cartoons” and the character’s upcoming Blu-ray collection.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Dec. 1 (moved from Nov. 3) will release the “Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection,” featuring 60 remastered cartoons starring the wily rabbit.

“This is gonna be something that fans have wanted for a very long time,” Feltenstein said. “It’s been many years since the company has put together a collection on Blu-ray Disc dedicated to what I consider to be one of the most popular Warner Bros. cartoon stars, Bugs Bunny. He’s right up there with Bette Davis and [Humphrey] Bogart, who created the DNA of the studio’s history. What we meant to do here is have 20 cartoons that had been out before, but that are basically essential, and then have 40 cartoons that either had never been on Blu-ray or never been remastered at all or they were not released in the proper aspect ratio. … It goes from the great classic early cartoons to the very end of Bugs’ tenure [in the mid-60s].”

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The collection includes some titles not available previously, including “Racketeer Rabbit” (1946), “Rabbit Every Monday” (1951), “Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk” (1943) and “What’s Cookin’, Doc?” (1944).

“If you’re collecting Bugs Bunny, as you should be on video, I can’t say you’re going to complete the collection, but you’re going to have literally most — 90% or more — of all the Bugs Bunnys when you get this set,” added Beck.

Panelists mused about the lasting appeal of the cartoons, which were designed as mere amusing precursors to the main feature.

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“These cartoons were considered throwaways as far as the industry at large,” said West (Space Jam, “Futurama,” “Doug”). “While people were getting popcorn and Coca-Colas, that was what was playing on the screen. … They’re more famous and more well-known than any of the movies they opened up for.”

“If something is great entertainment, it will transcend time,” Feltenstein said.

The online panel screened “A Wild Hare,” considered the first official appearance of Bugs Bunny, supervised by Tex Avery.

“When Tex Avery arrived on the scene … he started pushing the cartoons toward wackier, crazier gags,” noted Maltin.

It’s those early Bugs iterations that inspired the new “Looney Toons Cartoons” on HBO Max, said executive producer Browngardt.

“We kind of tried to go back in time to a Bugs that was sort of before the [director Chuck] Jones Bugs had sort of taken over,” he said. “We felt like the character was a little bit more dynamic then. He had flaws. He would actually lose from time to time in a few cartoons and was a little bit surreal at times as well. We purposefully went back to that.”

They gave the character yellow gloves, which created controversy on the web, but helped differentiate the new Bugs. Bugs also got an updated vocabulary, saying things such as “fake news” and “Is that organic, Doc?”

“’Looney Toons Cartoons’ was definitely a different direction as far as getting out of the half-lidded, sarcastic Bugs from the Jones era and into more of the manic, unhinged energy that [voice actor] Mel Blanc had,” added Bouza, the voice of Bugs in the new series.

Each discussed their favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons, the many adversaries he has faced over the years and what they liked about the character.

“He’s a genuine, great hero,” Browngardt said. “He stands up for the little guy when he’s put upon. We all wish we could be the smartest guy in the room, wish we could take on every bully and not be cut down to size.”

“We all want to be Bugs Bunny, but we’re stuck with Daffy Duck is who we are,” added Bergman (“Tiny Toon Adventures,” “Our Cartoon President”).

Feltenstein credited Warner Bros. for taking care of these gems of cartoon history.

“I’m so grateful to our company that we have a preservation program that will see to it that they will remain available for people to see for years to come,” he said.

‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ Getting Simultaneous VOD and Theatrical Release Sept. 1

Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the “Bill & Ted” franchise, is heading to VOD Sept. 1 on the same day it hits theaters (that are open).

In the Orion Pictures film, the stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves). To fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.

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Bill & Ted Face the Music is directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), from a screenplay by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Bogus Journey).

The news came as Orion released the official poster and trailer during the online Comic-Con@Home.

Disney+ to Join Virtual Comic-Con

Disney+ July 1 announced that it will join Comic-Con@Home, the virtual confab put on by the organizers of San Diego Comic-Con, the annual pop culture fest that was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Walt Disney Co.’s streaming service will present virtual panels for three of its upcoming original titles. Disney+ will feature the animated movie Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe, the anthology docuseries “Marvel’s 616,” and the service’s first scripted series from National Geographic, “The Right Stuff.”

Comic-Con@Home will be held on the same dates as the previously canceled Comic-Con, July 22-26, 2020, and online attendees are encouraged to use the official #ComicConAtHome hashtag to be included in the virtual activities.

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Disney+’s virtual Comic-Con@Home panels include:

  • A Look Inside “Marvel’s 616” on Disney+, Thursday, July 23, 1:00 p.m.: “Marvel’s 616” explores how Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters and creators exist within the “world outside your window.” Each documentary, helmed by a unique filmmaker, explores the intersections of storytelling, pop culture and fandom within the Marvel Universe. Join directors Gillian Jacobs, Paul Scheer and executive producers Sarah Amos and Jason Sterman as they discuss the making of this Disney+ original anthology series with moderator Angélique Roché.
  • Disney+’s Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,  Saturday, July 25, noon:  Join the creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, director Bob Bowen and stars Ashley Tisdale, Vincent Martella, Maulik Pancholy and Dee Bradley Baker as they share an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming film and discuss the origins of this iconic animated series.
  • Blast Off with Disney+’s “The Right Stuff,” Saturday, July 25, 1:00 p.m.: From Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, “The Right Stuff” is the first scripted Disney+ original series from National Geographic. The series takes a look at the early days of the U.S. space program. The series follows seven of the military’s best pilots as they become astronauts for the newly-formed NASA at the height of the Cold War. Moderated by former NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, the panel will feature cast members Patrick J. Adams (Major John Glenn), Jake McDorman (Lt. Cmdr. Alan Shepard), Colin O’Donoghue (Capt. Gordon Cooper), Michael Trotter (Gus Grissom), Aaron Staton (Wally Schirra), Micah Stock (Deke Slayton), James Lafferty (Scott Carpenter), Nora Zehetner (Annie Glenn”), Shannon Lucio (Louise Shepard), Eloise Mumford (Trudy Cooper), Eric Ladin (Chris Kraft), and Patrick Fischler (Bob Gilruth”), showrunner and executive producer Mark Lafferty, and executive producer Jennifer Davisson.

The Disney+ panels will join previously announced conversations from Walt Disney Television and Hulu during Comic-Con@Home. Follow Disney+ on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates.

 

San Diego Comic-Con Going Virtual

The organizers of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will instead present the show as an online event called Comic-Con@Home. Dates for the virtual show will be July 22-26, the same dates this year’s convention had been slated to take place at the San Diego Convention Center.

Plans for Comic-Con@Home include an online exhibit hall offering promotions, specials and limited-edition products unique to the celebration. As well, Comic-Con@Home promises exclusive panels and presentations about comics, gaming, television, film, and a wide variety of topics from publishers, studios, and more. Comic-Con@Home will also have a Masquerade, gaming, and many other activities in which fans can participate from their own homes.

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Although Comic-Con@Home will provide badges for fans to print and wear, all aspects of the initiative are free and there are no limits to how many can attend.

“For the first time in our 50-year history, we are happy to welcome virtually anyone from around the globe,” SDCC spokesperson David Glanzer said in a statement. “Though stay-at-home conditions make this a very difficult time, we see this as an opportunity to spread some joy and strengthen our sense of community.”

Virutal events will be announced at Comic-Con.org.

The initiative joins the Comic-Con Museum’s virtual endeavor, Comic-Con Museum@Home, which is already ongoing.

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It remains to be seen how much studios will participate in a virtual Comic-Con as opposed to presenting their own online promotional events. Warner Bros. just announced a virtual event Aug. 22 called DC FanDome to promote movies and TV shows based on DC Comics.

Warner Slates Virtual ‘DC FanDome’ Event for Aug. 22

Warner Bros. June 16 announced a virtual fan event called “DC FanDome” will take place Aug. 22 starting at 10 a.m. PT.

DC FanDome will be accessible around the world for 24 hours at DCFanDome.com, and is touted as the largest virtual gathering of talent announcements and content reveals in the history of DC.

The event will immerse fans into the DC Multiverse, with new content reveals and announcements from WB Games, Film, TV and comics, as well as an opportunity to hear from the casts and creators behind DC Comics-based feature films and TV series.

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Films include the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and Black Adam, plus Aquaman, Shazam! and Justice League: The Snyder Cut. TV shows include “Batwoman,” “Black Lightning,” “DC Super Hero Girls,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “DC’s Stargirl,” “Doom Patrol,” “The Flash,” “Harley Quinn,” “Lucifer,” “Pennyworth,” “Supergirl,” “Superman & Lois,” “Teen Titans Go!,” “Titans,” “Watchmen” and “Young Justice: Outsiders.”

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Content will be virtually housed in six different, fully-programmed areas inside the virtual DC FanDome: “Hall of Heroes” (Main Hall), DC WatchVerse, DC YouVerse, DC KidsVerse, DC InsiderVerse and DC FunVerse. Content will be available in 10 languages including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazil Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. Additionally, content programmed from specific countries will be in their native language.

DC FanDome will help fill the marketing void left by the cancellation of San Diego Comic-Con, one of the year’s biggest events for promoting genre-based entertainment. Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-based content is often a major participant in Comic-Con presentations.

Star Wars Celebration 2020 Canceled

Disney-owned Lucasfilm June 15 announced it has canceled the 2020 Star Wars Celebration confab slated for Aug. 27-30 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., citing the ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

A memo posted at the official Star Wars Celebration website (StarWarsCelebration.com) states “the health and safety of our fans, attendees, exhibitors, guests and staff is always our No. 1 priority. Due to the global impact of the COVID-19 virus and in speaking with local and state authorities on the latest public health guidelines related to indoor conventions, we have made the decision to cancel Star Wars Celebration for 2020.”

The site announced that the next Star Wars Celebration will take place Aug. 18-21, 2022, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Star Wars Celebration event, which started in 1999, is typically held every couple of years.

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Fans who were planning to attend this year’s Star Wars Celebration may either transfer their current ticket to the new event dates, receive a refund or receive a credit for Star Wars Celebration merchandise. Those who transfer their tickets to 2022 will receive a free exclusive Star Wars Celebration stormtrooper character pin for all transferred tickets.

All information about transferring tickets or requesting a refund can be found at starwarscelebration.com, and ticket holders will receive an e-mail with detailed instructions on submitting a request. Fans who pre-ordered merchandise can opt to still receive their order or request a refund. The exclusive merchandise planned for this year’s show will be available for purchase online at some point in the future.

The ticket refund and merchandise credit request period will open June 22 and must be completed by Aug. 26. Hotel reservations booked through the Star Wars Celebration housing portal will automatically be canceled.

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Star Wars Celebration is the latest high-profile pop culture convention in Southern California to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, following WonderCon slated for the Anaheim Convention Center in April, and San Diego Comic-Con International in July.