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Philadelphia Wizard World 2014: Zombies, Doctors and the Winter Soldier

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Strengthened by this year’s excellent lineup of superhero and science fiction stars, 2014 Philadelphia Wizard World was a smashing success. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie, the two co-stars of The Marvel universe’s latest summer hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier spent hours meeting fans and signing autographs. Actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan at 2013 Wizard World in Philadelphia. Photo: Diane Cooney.

Mackie and Stan shared anecdotes from their experience making the film. One fan suggested that the Winter Soldier was empty, and asked Mr. Stan about how he prepared to play that type of character.

“I never thought of the Winter Soldier as being empty," Stan countered. "It’s actually the opposite of it for me, because the guy has so much going on…its almost an extreme version of ADD, to me, you know. He keeps getting flashes of things, he sees things he recognizes, or he doesn’t…his mind is constantly going; it’s all over the place.“

Anthony Mackie kept everyone laughing during their jam-packed panel in the grand ballroom. They were quick to rib each other, but they also take their craft seriously. Mackie is a graduate of Juilliard, and Stan is a graduate of Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, and both stars performed on Broadway prior to their superhero status. Mr. Stan gamely smiled, mugged and swooned with his fans for their photos. Check out Philly2Philly’s Pinterest to see the breadth of their requests.

While Philadelphia native David Boreanaz is in town, he visited his family and enjoyed his mother’s home cooking. His father, retired 6ABC weatherman Dave Roberts, was also in the audience and received a round of cheers as well. Boreanaz shared stories from his tortured turn as the vampire Angel, and he talked about his current role on Bones, now in its 10th season.  

Happy to be home, Boreanaz described a typical visit.David Boreanaz at Wizard World Philadelphia 2014! Photo: Diane Cooney.

“I like to walk the streets, get a cheesesteak, go to Tony Luke’s maybe, thrown down a steak, get it inside out, with without, you know provolone, no onions, ketchup, and just kill that. That’s once a year or so.”  

The people watching continues to be a highlight of the event. Where else can you find various incarnations of Spiderman, Superman, Captain America who partake in costume play “cosplay” where they dress up as their favorite characters? With the attendance of the 11th Doctor Who, Matt Smith, there were Doctors across the ages, several sporting  red Fez hats. His companion, Karen Gillan, was also pulling double duty for her role in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Wizard World also featured several stars of the hit TV show The Walking Dead. Actors Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal and Scott Wilson  all made appearances. Reedus of course, is the beloved Wizard World veteran, and spends most of his time at the booth meeting his rabid fans.  Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion at Wizard World Philadelphia 2014! Photo: Diane Cooney.

Actors Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk shared the stage for a hilarious panel – that featured the engaging storytelling of Mr. Fillion, interspersed with the vocal stylings of Mr. Tudyk. Fillion currently stars as the title character in the hit show Castle, and Tudyk played the Duke in the Disney film Frozen. Fillion and Tudyk previously both starred in Firefly, a beloved short-lived science fiction western from creator Joss Whedon. In the twelve years since its debut, Firefly has developed a cult following, as many of its stars have moved onto successful new shows and films

While the pair answered questions, they gave each audience member a giveaway; Mr. Tudyk gave away old swag and possessions that included t-shirts, a coffee mug, and a watch. Mr. Fillion signed what looked like a business card, as he explained why his role as Mac was so special to him.

“That was a lot of dreams come true for me. I had a list of things I wanted to do on TV….and I got to do them all on the first episode of Firefly," Fillion said.

 

 

The show floor featured vendors selling posters, comic books, clothing, and toys. Nearby Reading Terminal Market was packed, with fairies standing in line next to the tourists. Next year’s convention has been scheduled a bit earlier in May, so you have time to recruit your friends for your Game of Thrones cosplay.

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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Photos: Diane Cooney