The Most Exciting Special Guests at FAN EXPO Denver 2024...So Far! | Westword

The Most Exciting Special Guests at FAN EXPO 2024...So Far!

Rainn Wilson and Andy Serkis are among the stars in the lineup.
Quite the collection of top-shelf talent is coming to FAN EXPO Denver 2024.
Quite the collection of top-shelf talent is coming to FAN EXPO Denver 2024. FAN EXPO
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FAN EXPO will return to Denver from Thursday, July 4, through Sunday July 7, just in time for your patriotic cosplay and perhaps capping a day cruising the con with some well-deserved backyard BBQ. The show invites you to "find your family" at the four-day event alongside 100,000-plus fellow fans who likewise love all things nerd-tastic.

But along with all of the wonderful toys and books and art and related merchandise, one of the biggest draws of the event is the opportunity to meet some favorite performers and creatives from the worlds of comics, movies, TV and lot more. The question for most isn't whether there's someone there they'd want to meet or get an autograph from — it's a question of who they're going to prioritize when planning the long weekend.

Take the opportunity to meet your heroes when and where you can. As always, your geek mileage may vary, but here's a solid top ten to start with. Note that reservations for these meet-and-greets are limited, and pre-purchasing your experiences is pretty much mandatory. Autographs and photo ops are also paid for separately.

But most of all, take the opportunity to meet your heroes when and where you can. (Note to FAN EXPO: Bring Mark Hamill to Denver ASAP.) This summer, that place is FAN EXPO Denver.

Keith David (The Thing, They Live, Gargoyles, HALO)
Days appearing: Friday, July 5, through Sunday, July 7
Autograph Price: $50
Photo Op Price: $60/$50 for a selfie

Great googly moogly, is there anything Keith David can't do? He's representing pretty much every category of celebrity at FAN EXPO Denver 2024 with the exception of cosplay, and frankly, we wouldn't be surprised if he kicked ass at that, too. No matter if you're a fan of his film work, his memorable role as Goliath from the cartoon Gargoyles, or his video game voice work in classics like HALO, you'll want to shake this man's hand. Gently, because we're pretty sure he could kill you if he wanted.

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Ashley Eckstein, voice of the animated Ahsoka Tano (and her voice-cameo in the Rise of Skywalker).
Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
Autograph Price: $125/$150 for collectibles
Photo Op Price: $150

Dawson is known for a number of things in the nerd world: She was one of Josie's Pussycats, a citizen of Sin City, a half-alien offspring of Agent Kay in Men in Black II, Marvel's Night Nurse in Daredevil and Defenders; the voice of Batgirl in The LEGO Batman Movie; and the love interest Becky in Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse. But probably nothing tops her starring role in one of the favorites from the Star Wars mythoi: the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano. And here's a twofer from FAN EXPO Denver, for those Ahsoka super-fans: Her voice from the original animated series, Ashley Eckstein, will also be appearing ($125 autograph/$120 photo/$100 selfie). 

Frank Miller (Wolverine, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
(No pre-sales; line-up only)

One of the legends of comics, the inimitable Frank Miller, will appear at Fan Expo in Artist's Alley instead of the Celebrity area, as befitting his stature in the world of four-panel awesomeness. His work is too broad to nutshell, but if you've been aware of comics as a medium over the past forty years, you've been affected by Miller's work. The comics industry owes a debt to Miller and his work; even if you don't want an autograph (and who wouldn't?), it's worth standing in line just to say thanks.

Neil Newbon (Astarion from Baldur's Gate 3)
Days appearing: Thursday, July 4, through Sunday, July 7
Autograph Price: $60/$80 for collectibles
Photo Op Price: $70/$50 for a selfie

Despite an already-impressive body of voice work for game franchises such as various Star Wars and Resident Evil titles, Newbon makes this list by virtue of his giving voice to the elven rogue Astarion in the wildly popular game Baldur's Gate 3. No matter who you played in BG3, you probably took Astarion along — not only for his backstory, but also because his running commentary on the narrative events was always...well, interesting. No information available on how much it might be to have Newbon say "This group is a bunch of weirdos" for you.

Jared Padalecki (Supernatural)
Days appearing: Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5
Autograph Price: $140
Photo Op Price: $160

If you know Padalecki, it's probably from his turn as Sam Winchester from the decade-and-a-half run of Supernatural. Even though the show ended in 2015, its fan base has not noticeably diminished, nor has the rabidity with which they'll snap up merchandise and the like related to the show. Hunting down an autograph is going to be significantly easier than tracking a demon or an evil spirit or a ghost or...well, take your pick of things that go bump in the night. 

Ella Purnell (Fallout)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7
Autograph Price: $100/$120 for large items
Photo Op Price: $120

Here's how quickly things change in the entertainment biz: Last year, Purnell would have been known primarily for her work on the Showtime hit series Yellowjackets. This year? She's one of the headliners for FAN EXPO Denver, thanks to her turn as Vault-Dweller Lucy MacLane on the smash-hit Netflix series Fallout, based on the longtime fan-favorite series of video games. Here's hoping we might see her ghoulish co-star Walton Goggins some year soon.
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Frank Miller at work.
Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Black Panther)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
Autograph Price: $100/$130 for collectibles
Photo Op Price: $110

You might know Andy Serkis's face...or you might not. Serkis has become known primarily for roles that hide him behind a whole lot of CGI and special effects, and he's one of the undisputed masters of physical body acting in today's films. Whether you're a Gollum fan or you love Snoke from the Star Wars sequels or cheered for Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot or cursed the evil Ulysses Klaue from the Marvel movies...well, you get the idea. There are a bunch of reasons to get Serkis's signature.

Antony Starr (The Boys)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
Autograph Price: $80
Photo Op Price: $90

One of the most recent additions to the roster of guest stars is Antony Starr, most notable for his role as the utter gleam-toothed evil Homelander from The Boys. Has anyone ever talked about the fact that the villain of Garth Ennis's Preacher was named Starr, and then when Ennis's absolutely profane The Boys was made into a shocking and successful few seasons of TV, the guy playing the main bad guy was also named Starr? Discuss. 

Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
Autograph Price: $100
Photo Op Price: $115/$100 for a selfie

Sure, Rainn Wilson has lots of other things to his credit than The Office, but any Dwight worth his Schrute knows where the best beets come from. Whether you'd put his stapler in Jell-O or you'd want to be his Monkey and meet him every day at 3 p.m. in the warehouse, you probably want a signed photo — or even a desktop bobblehead! — of this classic character. And if you've understood none of this entry so far...well, you're just not Assistant to the Regional Manager material.

Marisa Tomei (Spider-Man, My Cousin Vinny)
Days appearing: Saturday, July 6
Autograph Price: $100/$120 for collectibles
Photo Op Price: $120

Marisa Tomei has been a Hollywood icon since her Oscar win for 1992's My Cousin Vinny. While the younger set will better remember her as the rather stunning take on Peter Parker's old Aunt May in the recent Spider-Man flicks, many will also recall her guest appearance on Seinfeld...especially those fans who are funny and quirky bald men.

FAN EXPO Denver 2024, Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Thursday, July 4, to Sunday July 7. For tickets and more information, see the event website.
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