Atlanta Life and Culture

The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.

Updated!: Dragon Con’s stars are aligned for Labor Day weekend

Update Aug. 19: Dragon Con keeps on adding guests. Added to its star list in the last week: Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the "Harry Potter" movies), Manu Bennett (the pale orc in the "Hobbit" movies and the baddie in "Arrow") as well as additional cast members from Syfy's "Warehouse 13."

The convention also announced that the Atlanta Community Food Bank will be its official charity this year. Attendees can bring canned or boxed food items to registration in the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel when they pick up their membership badges.

Update Aug. 13: Just when it appeared that the top of the Dragon Con star attraction list was set, organizers have announced that director Terry Gilliam (“Brazil,” “Twelve Monkeys”) also will appear. The Monty Python comedian has been in the news recently, telling the web site The Wrap that he plans to revive “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” a project legendary for nearly two decades of delays, including flash floods that shut down production in 1999. Gilliam said financing is in place and that he plans to start shooting after Christmas with a new cast to be named (Johnny Depp is no longer attached). Meanwhile, Gilliam’s next film, “The Zero Theorem,” starring Christoph Waltz, will go into limited release starting Sept. 19.

Original post: The wise USS Enterprise Capt. Jean-Luc Picard might take a sip of Earl Grey tea and then issue an order, punctuated with the command, “Engage.”

Dragon Con seems to have taken Picard’s orders seriously with a recently completed galaxy-spanning lineup for the 2014 edition of the sprawling sci-fi, fantasy and pop culture convention over Labor Day weekend. It features a fleet of stars led by none other than the actor who portrayed Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” chrome-domed British thespian Sir Patrick Stewart,

and Karl Urban, the hunky New Zealander who has played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the “Star Trek” movie franchise reboot.

“SirPatStew,” to borrow the Twitter handle for Stewart, Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” movie franchise and a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, and Urban (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Riddick”) have been camped atop Dragon Con’s guest list for weeks. But convention organizers have filled in around them recently with announcements of appearances by the no-longer-a-kid-but-still-boyish “Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio and his “The Outsiders” co-star C. Thomas Howell (“The Amazing Spider-Man”), Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Body of Proof”), Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”), John Ratzenberger (“Cheers,” multiple Pixar character voices) and Adam Baldwin (“Chuck,” “The Last Ship”).

Forming a mini “Karate Kid” reunion, Martin Kove, who played the evil sensei, also will appear.

While actors with sizable long-ago credits enjoy eternal currency with Dragon Con loyalists, this year’s convention, commandeering five downtown hotels from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, also is big on stars with active current TV series, films and/or franchises, including:

James Gunn, co-writer-director of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” red hot after his film broke box office records for an August debut last weekend.

CW’s “Arrow”: Katie Cassidy, Paul Blackthorne and Caity Lotz.

HBO’s “True Blood”: Kristin Bauer van Straten, Nelsan Ellis and Michael McMillian.

ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”: Beverley Elliott, Lee Arenberg, Sean Maguire, Rebecca Mader and Giancarlo Esposito.

TNT’s “Falling Skies”: Connor Jessup, Drew Roy and Mpho Koaho.

Fox’s “The Following”: Shawn Ashmore.

The Syfy channel will be particularly well represented with multiple actors from “Being Human,” “Warehouse 13,” “Lost Girl” and “Defiance.”

Other stars on the horizon: Billy Boyd and Craig Parker (“Lord of the Rings”); Walter Koenig (“Star Trek”); Mary McDonnell (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Major Crimes”); Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”); Julie Benz (“Angel,” “Dexter”); Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”); Jed Brophy, Adam Brown and Dean O’Gorman (“The Hobbit”); and Wesley Eure, Kathy Coleman and Philip Paley (Sid and Marty Krofft’s 1970s cult favorite “Land of the Lost”).

Also, Dragon Con has announced that its swarm-attracting costume parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Aug. 30, will follow the same streetcar-altered route as last year. From a staging spot on West Peachtree Place near West Peachtree Street, the parade will turn north (right) on Spring Street, east (right) on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, south (right) on Peachtree Street, east (left) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north (left) on Peachtree Center Avenue. It will end on Peachtree Center Avenue between John Portman Boulevard and Baker Street, in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Crowds start assembling before 8 a.m. The closest MARTA stations are Civic Center and Peachtree Center. Details:



Dragon Con 2014

Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 in downtown Atlanta. Memberships: $50 for Aug. 30, $40 for Aug. 31, $130 for all four days. After Aug. 15, tickets available only at the door at the same price and also including for Aug. 29 ($40) and Sept. 1 ($30).

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The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.