Comic-Con sets 3D panels

Will showcase Fox's 'Avatar,' three Disney releases

This is the year that Comic-Con enters the third dimension.

Fox is hosting an "Avatar" panel, during which it will show the same 3D footage screened at Cinema Expo last month, plus more. And Disney is throwing what it's calling "Comic-Con's first ever 3D panel," unleashing footage from "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Tron."

"Avatar" director James Cameron, "Carol's" Robert Zemeckis and "Alice" helmer Tim Burton will make the trek to the Con for the first time. Producers Sean Bailey and Steve Lisberger will represent "Tron."

The two panels, set for July 23 in the cavernous Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, will mark the first time any panel has screened reels in 3D, highlighting just how important that slice of the industry has become.

"The Hole," Joe Dante's 3D horror film for Bold Films, also is having its presentation in Hall H, with a 3D trailer expected.

All those eye-popping sizzle reels will require retrofitting to be done in the hall, including work on the projection system and the screen. Thousands of pairs of 3D glasses also will be needed. Fox and Disney are sharing the costs. It is unclear whether Bold and Comic-Con are participating in the cost-sharing.

Apart from the high-level interest in "Avatar" and "Tron," Hall H might also see a repeat of last year's female fan frenzy with Summit's presentation of "New Moon." In the program lineup unveiled Thursday by Comic-Con International, the "Twilight" sequel panel also takes place that day.
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