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Downtown L.A. Gets a Hero Complex this Weekend

UPDATE: Stan Lee has canceled his Monday appearance. Ticket-holders will apparently be contacted directly for refund information.

If you’ve watched Hero Complex on the Nerdist Channel (and if not, why haven’t you?), you’ve probably found yourself wishing you could hang out with all the iconic genre celebrities that L.A. Times reporter Geoff Boucher gets to chat with. Luckily for you, he is not a stingy man: for the third year in a row, Boucher will be hosting the Hero Complex Film Festival, in which bona-fide geek classics and the new-school contenders for that honor get shown on the big screen with special guests in attendance.

Now located in downtown Los Angeles at the L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, this year’s fest brings together geek icons of old and today, from Nathan Fillion to Stan Lee. And they’re just the ones who’ve been announced; we can anticipate a few surprises along the way, depending upon who’s available on any given night. Last year, I took my now-fiancée – a diehard Star Trek fan – to see The Wrath of Khan on the big screen, which she had previously only seen on home video. Though far from a cinematic-experience purist, that was the night she finally understood the importance of theatrical. Director Nicholas Meyer was the guest at that one, with Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman presenting Abrams’ Trek afterward (sadly, no sequel details were spilled!).

This year I plan on taking her to see Robocop on Saturday for the very first time, with Peter Weller in attendance; it’s a movie I remember sneaking into illegally as a kid, and thinking it was the best thing ever (it still is). A Clockwork Orange, afterward, may not be the best idea for a date movie, but it is a cinematic classic and Malcolm McDowell will introduce it. The night will be capped off by cult-hit-in-the-making Super – the movie to which Nerdist News gave our “Golden Geek” award – with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson.

Things kick off tomorrow with a double feature of Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder version) and Shaun of the Dead, a billing so obvious it’s surprising nobody thought of it before. Directors Snyder and Edgar Wright are showing up, along with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who will debate Snyder on the true nature of the zombie.

Sunday brings the unusual pairing of Wall-E and Serenity, which, aside from both being sci-fi, are probably as different as it gets within the genre: one an animated eco-parable with little dialogue and family appeal, the other an extremely talky cult TV spinoff with space hookers. Wall-E comes with Andrew Stanton and an extended clip from Brave, while Serenity brings Nathan Fillion, star of every dream movie you cast in your own head.

And even though next weekend is the national holiday, Hero Complex went ahead and extended this one, as Monday night will see a Q&A with Stan Lee (UPDATE: Not any more, he canceled), followed by a screening of the first X-Men movie, without which none of the current crop would likely have happened, and you’d probably never have heard of some Australian guy named Hugh Jackman.

If you live in the area, there’s no excuse not to go – you can even take the subway (exit 7th St., then walk downhill a couple blocks on Figueroa). If you don’t, stay tuned to Nerdist, as we plan to run a recap of everything we see and hear.

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