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Stars, showrunners at AsiaPOP Comicon Manila.

Stars and showrunners led the Netflix contingent at the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila.

As a major exhibitor at the 'country's biggest pop culture convention,' the online streaming giant flew in the creators and lead cast of Marvel's Luke Cage and Marvel's Iron Fist, as well as the producers of animated productions Castlevania and Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, to sit in 45-minute panels and meet and greet fans from this side of the world.

Luke Cage creator and executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker and stars Mike Colter and Mustafa Shakir, who portray the title role and the villain Bushmaster, respectively, were scheduled for a fan signing activity yesterday, 2:30 p.m. at the Netflix Booth, followed by the panel at 3:45 p.m.

British actor Finn Jones, who topbills Iron Fist, together with executive producer Raven Metzner, would also sit in the panel at 4:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Takashi Yoshizawa, producer of the first animated film in the Godzilla franchise, and Adi Shankar, creator of the vampire-themed, videogame series-inspired Castlevania, will take questions during the Netflix Loves Anime panel.

Shankar is set to meet fans today at 1 p.m.

Cheo expressed his excitement to bring Luke Cage to the AsiaPop Comicon, which he believes debunks the Hollywood myth that there's no worldwide audience for black talent or black dramatic entertainment.

Luke Cage has been dubbed one of the most important shows, from the time of its Season 1 premiere in 2016, for its social and political relevance with Luke Cage as the first black lead superhero for the Marvel film and television Universe. Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.

He told The STAR in a press junket last Friday, 'It absolutely feels amazing. Here's the thing. Mike and I used to be neighbors in Studio City in Los Angeles. Just from the very beginning of the show, it was me and him. I think I knew that the show was going to be successful but then Season 1 broke Netflix, and kind of blew our minds. And it (dis)proved something that they used to always say that black talent or black content doesn't travel, that's always kind of Hollywood myth and when Luke Cage broke Netflix it really proved that there's a worldwide audience for black dramatic entertainment.'

The American former journo turned TV producer added, 'To come out (here) is just so gratifying. I was literally telling Mustafa, 'Man, a year ago, you auditioned for this part but now we're 7,000 miles over here and everyone knows who you are.' It's mind-blowing! I'm not going to get all shook up 'cause I'm crying (laughs) but it's the coolest thing ever, it really is!'

Jones, who plays Daniel Rand, also known as the Iron Fist, in Marvel's Iron Fist and Marvel's The Defenders, said he's happy to be visiting Manila for the first time.

'It's my first time in Manila but I've spent time in South Korea, Japan, I've been to Singapore, Bali, Lombok (in Indonesia). I just love this side of the world. I enjoy it every time I visit,' said the 30-year-old actor, who most recently starred as Ser Loras in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Raven Metzner, showrunner of the forthcoming Season 2 of Iron Fist, particularly took note of the local crowd's passion for comic books, sci-fi and fantasy lit.

'I think the fans over here are incredibly excited and they're really into it. It's really wonderful. I walked around yesterday, I went to a comic store here at the Mall of Asia and it was awesome to see all the comic books and people excited about it. I went down the floor and some people were walking around excited as well, it was really cool,' he said.

He views his show's participation in the AsiaPOP Comicon as paying homage to the Asian influence on the US TV and film action genre.

'The Asian influence on action shows can't be overstated...Everything changed when American movies started to embrace that style of filmmaking and that's something that I've been a student of,' said Raven, who also executive-produced Fox's Sleepy Hollow, co-created ABC's Six Degrees and served as consulting producer on NBC's Heroes Reborn.

'And so to be here, and to be talking to all of you here at AsiaPOP is, I think, really important for the show because it comes from a long tradition. And it's important that everyone knows that we respect tradition and we're doing everything we can to respect it whenever we can,' he added.

Other major celebrity guests also attended the event including Tye Sheridan, who played mutant Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse and lead character in 2018 film sci-fi adventure film Ready Player One; and Canadian born Osric Chau who played a young Tibetan monk in Roland Emmerich's '2012' for Sony Pictures and as Kevin Tan in CW hit series Supernatural. Chau is currently filming his first independent film project in the Philippines called Empty by Design.

They are joined by comic artists Alex Sinclair, Lan Media, Mike Mckone, Phil Noto, Whilce Portacio, ArtGerm.

Local and international fans as well as cosplay enthusiasts came in and showed their costumes at the Comic-Con event from Star Wars, Batman and Harry Potter movie characters, including the most popular Harley Quinn and Joker cosplay.

Event-goers excitedly posed and took photos at the Netflix Experience Booth such as Riverdale Synopsis, Stranger Things 2 Synopsis and Disenchantment Synopsis.

The crowd also patiently waited in line to get the first-ever Jollibee Funko Pop collectible during the first-day opening of the AsiaPOP Comic-Con.

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018 runs until today at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jul 29, 2018
Words:1102
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