SDCC 2015 – Con Man Trailer Released at Show Panel

After a hugely successful Indiegogo campaign and months of anticipation from fans, the trailer for the upcoming web series Con Man was released at the show’s Comic Con panel on Thursday, hosted by Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick. Con Man is a sort of spoof on the popular, yet short live Sci-Fi show Firefly and the lives of its actors after its cancelation. The show revolves around Wray Nerely (Alan Tudyk,) an actor who played a pilot on the canceled Sci-Fi show Spectrum alongside the ship’s captain Jack Moore (Nathan Fillion). Jack has gone on to be wildly successful, while Wray is still very much stuck in his past, begrudgingly attending conventions to celebrate his one and only successful project. Naturally, Wrey is more than a little upset about his lack of a colorful resume.

The release of the trailer brings in even more exciting news. While the Indiegogo campaign released many big names that would be on the project (Seth Green, Felicia Day, James Gunn and Gina Torres,) even more stars were announced during the panel and can be seen in the trailer. The cast list includes Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse), Joss Whedon, Sean Maher (Firefly, Eastsiders), Seth Green (Family Guy/Austin Powers), Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers), Jewel Staite, (Firefly), Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator: SCC), and Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings.) 

The web series will be released exclusively on Vimeo On Demand for $14.99 and is available for pre-order. It’s curious that fans will have to pay for the show, as web series are usually free. It is especially strange given the Whedonverse routes that this is coming out of. Joss Whedon’s web series Doctor Horrible Sing-A-Long Blog was first released for free before going to DVD as was Felicia Day’s The Guild which is still available to watch on YouTube. With the $3.2 million that was raised for the project, one would think Con Man could afford to go the same route. Regardless, the show still seems to be worth every penny.

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Shot from Spectrum.

Tudyk has sacrificed a lot for this project. He originally brought it to a television network but was unsuccessful, which led him to take to Indiegogo instead. He even loss his agents over the show because he decided to take time off during pilot season to dedicate himself to the production of the show. “My agents fired me,” Tudyk said. “I said, ‘I can do something in six months.’ They said, ‘Yeeeaaah, we’d be happy for you to do that with someone else.’ ” Tudyk took the risk anyway. This show means the world to him.

The most difficult part for Tudyk was getting people outside of his friend group involved. Many agents are wary of web content and wouldn’t even tell their client that they had been approached for the project. They didn’t want to take the risk, much like his own agents. “There is a sort of firewall,” Hardwick said about how the agent/talent dynamic sometimes works. Tudyk said that he is hoping that Con Man will show the film industry just how lucrative the web can be. Felicia Day believes it could “blow up the world the way Doctor Horrible did.” So far, this doesn’t seem like a far off claim.

Another cool thing that came out of the panel was a marriage proposal between leading visual effects artist Billy Brooks and makeup artist Barry Bishop after Tudyk invited them on stage. Bishop tearfully said yes. “We were born and raised in the deep south, and now we can go to our home states and get married,” Brookes said.

Photo by Comic Book Resource
Photo by Comic Book Resource

Things are definitely looking awesome for this group of creators. Con Man will release September 30. There is no word yet on Bishop and Brookes’ wedding date, but is certain to be equally exciting.

“Respect My Craft” – Alan Tudyk

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con “Respect My Craft” articles

Name:  Alan Tudyk

Profession: Actor, writer, director, below-average carpenter.

Notable Work: Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, I, Robot, Dodgeball, Death at a Funeral, Suburgatory, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6, Con Man (coming soon)

“Wash does a lot of this; I land the spaceship and I go ‘Be careful, everybody!’ and then they do these extraordinary things and they come back and I go, ‘Thank God you made it! Strap in, I’m going to fly!’ I do the babysitting job on the spaceship.” – Alan Tudyk (SFX Magazine – 2004)

Alan Tudyk may very well be the funniest guy on TV. Some of my favorite Firefly moments are chalked up to Wash’s gut busting one liners. “If I were unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.” Every time I see this guy onscreen, I get all giddy, regardless of the role. He’s simply a joy to watch.

Tudyk was born March 16, 1971 in El Paso, Texas but raised in Plano, Texas. He had a brief experience as a stand up comedian but stopped due to an audience member threatening to kill him. Luckily for us, he didn’t give up on acting and studied drama as Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas where he won the Academic Excellence for drama. He briefly attended the prestigious Juilliard conservatory, but dropped out in 1996 without earning a degree. A few years later, Tudyk made his Broadway debut in Epic Proportions in 1999. He would go on to perform in Wonder of the World, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Misalliance, Oedipus and Bunny Bunny. He also filled in for Hank Azaria in Spamalot in 2005.

Tudyk’s career really took off when he was cast as the lovable pilot Hoban “Wash” Washburne in Joss Whedon’s beloved and short-lived science fiction western Firefly. While the series only lasted 14 episodes, it remains a major staple in pop culture with some of the most avid fans in the world. Tudyk is astoundingly funny and charismatic in his role. Wash’s wisecracking, sarcastic attitude and undying loyalty to his loved ones is what makes him such a wonderful character. It’s also what makes his *SPOILER* death in the cinematic reprise Serenity so gorram heartbreaking. 

Tudyk also played the hauntingly deranged maniac, Alpha in the also short-lived Whedon series Dollhouse. Don’t get me wrong. I love Wash. He’s probably my favorite Tudyk character, but Alpha is deliciously insane and Tudyk’s portrayal of him is quite possibly the best acting of his career. Plagued with hundreds of different personalities floating around in his noggin, Alpha’s constantly shifting demeanor and sociopathic mannerisms are heart pounding to watch. Tudyk is great as Wash, but his range is best shown in Dollhouse.

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Tudyk’s latest project, Con Man, has Firefly fans absolutely ecstatic. Also starring Firefly co-star Nathan Fillion, Con Man is Tudyk’s very own brainchild. He not only stars in the upcoming web series, but also acts as screenwriter, director, and co-producer. Fillion is also co-producing alongside science fiction writer PJ Haarsma. Con Man tells the story of Wray Nerely (Tudyk) who a spaceship pilot on a canceled science fiction series similar to Firefly called Spectrum. His friend Jack Moore (Fillion) played the captain of the ship and has gone on to become a widely successful A-List actor. Meanwhile, Wray struggles to be happy with his lesser known career, traveling from convention to convention as he makes appearances for the sake of his fans. The series will explore the nuances of convention life and fan culture.

Here’s how Hollywood works. You write a script, you get an agent, that agent proposes your script to a production company and then, hopefully, it gets sent to a bunch of bigwig network people who will pay for it. It’s a grueling process and it takes years. Sometimes you can skip a few hoops if you’re a big name actor, writer, or director or if you work as a reader for a production company, but for the most part, you’re at the mercy of the system. And even if you do get picked up, your project can go any number of ways, including being canceled before its prime. Tudyk said “Eff that!” and took his project to Indiegogo. “It’s not that I have trust issues…” Tudyk joked in his campaign video. Instead of giving his project to a network who might not appreciate the concept and royally screw it up, he reached out to his fans to help fund the web series. He wanted the show to be backed by people who actually understood the nuances of convention life i.e. those who attend them. The initial goal was $425,000 for three episodes. What Tudyk and Fillion wound up with by the end of their campaign was $3,156,234 for 12 episodes and a “lost” episode of Spectrum. In only 24 hours the project raised $1 million, a new record in web series funding. There will also be a Con Man comic book, game, and DVD.

The project will begin filming in June to be released in September through Vimeo’s on demand service. The series will also include actors Seth Green, Felicia Day, James Gunn and Gina Torres. All twelve ten minute episodes will be released simultaneously, so make time in your schedule to binge watch this Fall. I certainly will be forgoing homework for the occasion. Scholarship be damned! I aim to misbehave!

Come see Alan Tudyk at Denver Comic Con this weekend where he will be speaking at two panels, signing autographs, taking photos and possibly pulling inspiration for his new project! Autographs are $40 and photos are $50, cash only. Tudyk will be at the convention Saturday and Sunday.

Photos and Firefly clip courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Video courtesy of Indiegogo.

So Far this Week… April 9, 2014

If you saw this week’s episode of Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you know that s*** just got real! Tying into the fallout of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (review here), S.H.I.E.L.D. has just gotten shaken up in a big way. Even better is news that Nick Fury and Maria Hill will be showing up in the television series. #HAILHYDRA

Bit by bit, we are getting a better look at Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This week begets character posters of each turtle holding their respective weapon(s). Story be damned, this movie is going to look awesome.

This rumor is too juicy not to tell: Captain Mal/Hammer himself, Nathan Fillion, might have a cameo in the upcoming space epic, Guardians of the Galaxy.

Wreck-it-Ralph fans can anticipate a return to the arcades, as Disney is currently in development for a sequel.

Hogwarts is coming to California! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a mini-park inside Universal Studios Florida, will be joining the California park in 2016. A round of Butterbeer for all my friends, please.

Also in theme park news, Universal Studios will be getting a Fast and the Furious attraction. This franchise will never run out of ways to make money off of itself.

Professional wrestling Hall of Fame inductee (just three days into induction) Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Check out some of his in-ring highlights if you didn’t know who he was.

Looks like they found work for an old Wookie! Peter Mayhew is set to reprise his role as Chewbacca in Star Wars: Episode VII.

The next edition of Super Smash Bros. will also come out on the 3DS and feature an online mode; it will also feature Charizard. Between this and Scribblenauts: Unmasked, we’re one nudge away from owning a Nintendo system.

DC Comics will be relaunching two of their super teams in Suicide Squad and Teen Titans this summer. I’m pretty stoked to see Deathstroke and Black Manta on a team together, and it’s great to see Raven and Beast Boy finally back on the Teen Titans squad.

I would say “SPOILER Alert,” but this news is literally all over the internet – even CNN is talking about it. The death of Archie Andrews is coming. I’m not gonna touch this one…

The legendary Roots crew, known by many as Jimmy Fallon’s band, has released a single from their upcoming album, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, called “When the People Cheer.” The album is due out in a month, and you can find a streaming version of the single at okayplayer.com.

If you needed another reason to hate EA, the reigning worst company in America, look no further than the fact that they were sitting on a Darth Maul game, supposedly inspired by the Batman: Arkham series. Now that Disney has the rights to the franchise, that game is shelved permanently – just like 1313 before it. Seriously, f*** those guys.

On the other hand, EA’s next UFC installment will feature the Dragon, Bruce Lee, in all his glory as a playable character.