SDCC 2015: Alan Tudyk Brings Absolute Amazingness To The Con Man Panel

Con Man
Con Man

Alan Tudyk’s Con Man took over Hall H last Thursday at San Diego Comic Con, becoming the first webseries to take that stage.

The project, brought to life thanks to fans who donated to the IndieGoGo campaign earlier this year, was presented by Tudyk himself along with Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Seth Green, Casper Van Dien, Tricia Helfer, Michael Trucco, Nolan North, Mindy Sterling and Alison Hairslip. Makeup artist Barry Bishop, visual effects artist Billy Brooks, co-producer P.J Haarsma and his daughter, Sky, also joined the table.

It was a big panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick, that gave us all kinds of feels.

Our Firefly nostalgia was present from the moment Tudyk came out in Wash attire and Nathan Fillion reminded us of his tragic fate (thanks for the feels, Nathan), causing Tudyk to pour some ketchup on his shirt. All the feels, I’m telling you.

Tudyk then realised he was wearing the wrong costume and peeled off the jumpsuit to reveal a new outfit: the costume of Cash Wayne from Spectrum, the fictional series his character Wray Nerely plays in Con Man.

The series follows Nerely, an actor who starred in a science fiction show called Spectrum, which was cancelled too soon. Now, Nerely goes to conventions to meet fans, do panels, and all that fun convention stuff. Nerely’s best friend and captain of the spaceship on Spectrum, Jack Moore (Nathan Fillion) is now a big star. Frustrated by Moore’s stardom, we will see Nerely going to conventions, doing voiceovers, and other stuff while going through some really funny situations.

The idea for Con Man, as explained by Tudyk, originated in Nathan Fillion’s kitchen. Because they are best friends, of course! In fact, this is a cast made of the best of friends. You could truly see how strong their bond is; every cast member had great things to say about Alan Tudyk and their relationship with him.

Like with every Hall H panel, we were treated with some footage, which was later released officially, so don’t be sad if you didn’t make it to the panel or Comic Con. Chris Hardwick revealed the trailer was “fresh out of the oven” as the series finished filming hours prior to the panel. Extra props to the editing team!

The trailer was packed with a lot of the cameos and special appearances that we will see throughout the series (honourable mention to the moment when Gina Torres appeared because the audience went wild!), a lot of humour but also a hint of nostalgia because, you know… Spectrum and Firefly have a lot in common!

Tudyk shared a bit about the conception of this project and how the crowdfunding gave them the freedom they needed and wouldn’t have gotten have they been approved for television (those producers most be hitting their heads on the wall right now!). This also gave them the freedom to make fun of conventions, and believe me: Tudyk knows his way through conventions.

“I started going to conventions right after Firefly was cancelled in 2002”, Tudyk shared.

Honestly, guys: is anyone over that cancellation yet? We will probably never be.

Tudyk also joked that Con Man was a “backdoor way to get on a space show” and re-team with Nathan Fillion. Fine by us, man! There’s not enough Tudyk-Fillion magic in space out there!

One of the things that made my heart warm, was how amazed Tudyk was by the thousands of people who attended the panel. He is one of the most humble people I have ever seen.

Con Man is 120 minutes long in total, which means they basically made a movie. It’s made up of 4 half-hours or 12 ten-minute segments. The original plan was to make a 30-minute episode, but the response from the fans was such that they were able to do four. Oh, and we got the spaceship. Yes!

The audience Q&A was another heartwarming moment and another kick of nostalgia for me. The first person was a cosplayer who, somehow, made a flight suit from Con Man. A flight suit from a series that hasn’t been released yet! I salute this woman, who also told some beautiful stuff to Alan Tudyk (so much that he signed his Hawaiian Wash-style shirt and gave it to her). That was one of my favourite moments form the panel as it was yet another proof of how humble and awesome Alan Tudyk is and how grateful he is to his fans.

During the Q&A, Tudyk shared that one of the most rewarding things about making Con Man was watching the actors take something he wrote and made it funnier than he imagined. The hardest part? Approaching some agents of some actors, as many of them would immediately say “no” to a crowdfunded/web project. He hopes that this project will give a better idea of how the web really is a viable platform.

The panel ended in the most incredible and unexpected way: a proposal, from makeup artist Barry Bishop to visual effects artist Billy Brooks. What a way to end a panel! They had us in tears of happiness. It was truly an amazing panel from beginning to end.

Con Man will be out on Vimeo on September 30th. If you donated to the campaign, you will be able to stream the series for free! If not, you will be able to watch it on Vimeo on Demand. Can’t wait!

Congratulations to the whole cast and crew for a successful panel!

Credit: Con Man
Credit: Con Man

Watch the official trailer for Con Man here.