“Any questions about Sherlock and Comic-Con is canceled,” said Craig Ferguson.
Ferguson gamely tried to deflect attention away from Benedict Cumberbatch’s signature role and onto “Penguins of Madagascar,” for which he voices the wolf called Classified. But every time Ferguson, who hosted the opening Hall H panel, mentioned the BBC show, the crowd’s excitement increased.
DreamWorks Animation brought “Penguins” voice cast including John Malkovich and Cumberbatch, and Jim Parsons, who voices the lead character in alien fantasy”Home,” along with both of the films’ directors to Comic-Con. The 6,500 person hall wasn’t full and the fanboy crowd didn’t seem wowed by the very family-friendly fare.
One of the presentations “surprise” moments occurred when Parsons took a photo with a cardboard version of Rihanna’s “Home” character, Tip, in the singer’s racy Council of Fashion Designers of America outfit.
Malkovich and Cumberbatch said the animation production schedule meant they worked “in a vacuum” and didn’t meet until the Wednesday before Comic-Con.
“It’s really bizarre,” said Cumberbatch, of working in a sound booth alone.
The most electric moment of the panel came when an audience member asked which comicbook character Malkovich and Cumberbatch would most want to portray. Cumberbatch has been rumored to be a frontrunner in the casting of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.” The British actor dodged the question and answered “Batman” — take note Ben Affleck and Warner Bros. — while Malkovich opted for Lois Lane, the intrepid Daily Planet reporter from “Superman.”
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The panel ended with the first five minutes of rough-cut footage from “Penguins of Madagascar,” which opens Nov. 14.