I originally planned to leave the San Diego on Sunday morning and skip the last day of the show, but when I was looking over the program guide, I saw an ad for the Hamlet 2 panel on Sunday morning, which would include an appearance by Steve Coogan.
As I’ve blogged earlier, I seem to have Steve Coogan karma. In 2006, I saw all of 3 movies in the theatres, and they all happened to have Steve Coogan in them. Since then, I happen to catch every movie in American release that has Steve Coogan in it, even though I don’t know as I buy the ticket that he’s in it. Whatever casting agents want to put him in, it seems, is the kind of movie I want to see. And now, at the first Comic-Con I’d gone to in years, Steve Coogan was going to be making a public appearance. The movie he was in and promoting (Hamlet 2) didn’t even have any association with comic books whatsoever. It was simply a quirky indie film…exactly the kind of film I go to. Apparently because I came to the con, Steve Coogan suddenly found himself there, too. So, of course, I had to be sure to stay another day to see him.
In short, Hamlet 2 is about a washed up actor turned drama teacher (played by Steve Coogan) who tries to save the drama program at his school by writing a blockbuster play: a sequel to Hamlet. OK, so Hamlet died in the original play, but there’s a way around it: put in a time machine! And while you’re at it, bring in Jesus, too, because everyone loves Jesus! And make it a musical, with a song taking advantage of how everyone loves Jesus: “Rock Me Sexy Jesus!”
No doubt because of my Steve Coogan karma, I scored a free Rock Me Sexy Jesus t-shirt and a Sexy Jesus air freshener for my car (so now I can drive around with eau de Steve Coogan). But I think the best promotion for the movie had to be the rockin’ sexy Jesuses (Jesii?) greeting people who were going into the Hamlet 2 panel. Here’s my picture of them, though it’s not so good because I only had my cell phone camera:
Or perhaps it wasn’t that my camera was bad, but better explained by one of the Jesi who told me the picture would sparkle. I think they may have been professional actors, but come to think of it, given Comic-Con weirdness, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were simply enthusiastic Hamlet 2 fans.
Peter, Neil and I managed to find seats close enough to actually see Steve Coogan in person (no small feat in the 4500-seat room which had filled by the time the panel began). It was actually a fairly brief panel, about 15 or 20 minutes) in which we saw a few clips from the movie and the panelists took a few questions from the audience. Thanks to one of her fellow school-mates in attendance, we found out the movie’s writer had been a Catholic school girl, which may explain the sexy Jesus angle. I found out I have a Japanese counterpart with Steve Coogan karma, real Steve Coogan fans want to know when the Alan Partridge movie is coming out (Alan Partridge being a character he did in Britain), and that Steve Coogan seemed to be somewhat shocked to see 4500 fans in one place, all looking at him. Neil hasn’t seen as much of Steve Coogan as I have, but we did discover Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride this summer, and I told him we were going to see Mr. Mole. Neil commented that in person Steve Coogan sounded more like Ratty than Mr. Mole.
And yes, I’ll be seeing Hamlet 2 when it shows at our local art film theatre.