Salt Lake Comic Con co-founders Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg sit down with Spectrum Media’s Matthew Jacobson in an exclusive interview to discuss the third annual event. Casie Forbes / The Spectrum
Stan Lee, whose role as a cameo performer is now a mainstay in the most successful superhero films to be created, is making his return to Utah in March for the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2017.
Lee is responsible, along with creators Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, for helping bring to life iconic Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil. It’ll be his third – and final – appearance at a Salt Lake Comic Con event.
“We want him to live to be 130, and he probably will,” said FanX co-founder Bryan Brandenburg. “But even Stan Lee has to slow down when he’s approaching 95. … We’re honored he’s coming here for his last tour.”
Brandenburg and FanX co-founder Dan Farr have made it a habit to bring new and interesting guests to their bi-annual events. In addition to Lee, the two also announced at a Jan. 11 press conference that “The Princess Bride” cast members Cary Elwes and Chris Sarandon would be joining the lineup.
This comes on the heels of the news that Wallace Shawn – who played Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” – would also be attending, an announcement made just after Christmas 2016.
Brandenburg promises to take advantage of having the three actors together in one place with a special “The Princess Bride” event.
“There’s not an Amazon.com where you can go drop a Wallace Shawn in your cart, and a Cary Elwes in your cart and then a Chris Sarandon,” he said. “We’re lucky to get all three of them.”
“There’s a possibility,” Brandenburg added, “that there’s maybe going to be more than three.”
Speculations abound, but in a Facebook group dedicated to Salt Lake Comic Con conversation, there’s a major interest in a Mandy Patinkin announcement.
In true FanXperience from, Farr and Brandenburg have reached beyond the realm of comic books to invite pop culture icons to Salt Lake City. Among them are actor Judge Reinhold and singer “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Reinhold is most notably known for his roles in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “The Santa Clause” and “Beverly Hills Cop.”
“I think he’s a great actor,” Brandenburg said. “I’m a huge fan of ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ … I think a lot of people are going to be cosplaying as the banana in the tailpipe!”
Yankovic needs no introduction. His music parodies cross genres and have been a staple for almost every generation since the ’80s.
“(When we) poll and interact with our fans, ‘Weird Al’ keeps coming up,” Brandenburg said. “He’s come up for four years now. We’ve been trying to get him for at least two. Finally the stars aligned for this one. He’s super talented and really a nice guy.”
Also joining the guest lineup are voice actor Tara Strong, who’s brought to life characters like Harley Quinn, Batgirl, “Teen Titans Go!’s” Raven and more; and Adrian Paul, known for his role as Duncan MacLeod in “Highlander: The Series.” Paul will also be hosting his “Sword Experience” at FanX.
“We’re excited to announce these guests and the changes we’ve implemented to make FanX more fan-friendly and affordable,” Farr stated in a news release. “These guests are just the first round of film and TV guest announcements. We’ve got a lot of fun and exciting additions to this year’s FanX and we’re sure our fans will love what we’ve got planned.”
Stay tuned to TheSpectrum.com for new news and commentary about the upcoming Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience.
FanXperience will be March 17-18. For more information and for tickets, go to saltlakecomiccon.com.