Murtz On The Scene: Fan Expo Canada 2019 Review








Fan Expo Canada took over Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Centre last weekend for its 25th iteration. The annual horror, comics and gaming extravaganza celebrates the very best of pop culture (both past and present).

While Fan Expo Canada had some high-profile cancellations this year that included last minute bails from Pamela Anderson, Rainn Wilson, Mike Colter, Mary McDonnell, it still managed to secure a one-day appearance from John Travolta which is the most high-profile celebrity to ever appear at the four-day extravaganza.

Stars that were able to make the trip north of the border included:

– John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, The Fanatic, Grease)
– Brendan Fraser (The Mummy)
– Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)
– Zachary Levi (Shazam!)
– Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who)
– Steven Seagal (Under Seige)
– Bruce Campbell (Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!)
– Anthony Starr, Karl Urban, Jack Quaid (The Boys)
– Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez & Elizabeth Berkeley (Saved By The Bell)
– Jonathan Frakes & Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
– Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
– Emmy Raver-Lampman & Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy)
– Laraine Newman (Coneheads)
– Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Welling & Laura Vandervoort (Smallville)
– Summer Glau (Firefly)
– Sean Young & Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner)
– Peter Weller (Robocop)
– Tyler Hoechlin (Supergirl)
– Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings)
– Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys)
– Ke Huy Quan (Indiana Jones)

After spending two days at the four-day convention, here are some of my highlights:

1. Saved By The Bell Panel
While I would have preferred this panel to start at a later time, it was definitely worth waking up for. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkeley were extremely personable. They shared many behind-the-scenes moments from the classic 90s series and seemed to really be embracing the chance to speak with the fans in attendance. I have covered every Fan Expo and celebrity panels are almost always hit and miss. The one was a hit because of how gracious and forthcoming the guests were. The questions asked by fans in attendance were all well-researched. I especially liked the fan who asked Mark-Paul why Zack Morris and Lisa Turtle never continued their relationship (which only lasted for two episodes on the show). Mark-Paul also discussed the episode where Zack explored his “Native American” heritage and admitted that the storyline would likely not have made it to air today due to cultural appropriation concerns.

2. John Travolta Panel
John Travolta’s panel was another Fan Expo Canada 2019 highlight. When the show first announced his appearance, I was admittedly cautious. I just couldn’t picture Travolta actually coming to a fan event like this one.  I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the Pulp Fiction star show up, he was also awesome in every sense of the word. The charming on-screen personna he is known for is clearly something the actor draws from his own personality. He complimented fans on their costumes and questions and answered every question posed. He also talked a lot about his upcoming new movie, The Fanatic (that is produced by Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit). Fans who attended the show the night before were able to get a sneak peek of the film (save for a few technical issues that were quickly resolved) and it was great to see my friend Ana Golja from Degrassi: The Next Generation get a starring role alongside Travolta as well.

3. World Premiere of Evil
Global held an exclusive screening of their new drama Evil for Expo. The new mystery series starring Mike Colter examines the intricacies of the long-standing debate between religion, science and, the occult. After watching it, I can say that I haven’t seen anything like it before. It can best be described as a cross between American Horror Story and Criminal Minds.

Here’s a photo gallery from the event.

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