When Stephen Colbert moderated the final Lord of the Rings panel last summer at Comic-Con, the ultimate J.R.R. Tolkien fan took what has become a somewhat mandatory stop on a publicity tour and transformed it into an hour-long gush fest, where it was totally acceptable to revel in unabashed enthusiasm for a piece of fiction. Colbert spoke Elvish, revealed a delightful outtake reel and displayed a contagious level of love for the 13-year odyssey.
So it’s no wonder that Lionsgate, in its Comic-Con swan song for The Hunger Games trilogy, would try and up its game in bringing Conan O’Brien in to San Diego to moderate the studio’s panel for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. But will O’Brien display the same kind of uber-fandom devotion that Colbert easily handed out last summer?
His fiery red hair notwithstanding, the 52-year old comedian and talk show host has featured many Hunger Games cast members on his show over the years, including Natalie Dormer, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and, of course, Jennifer Lawrence. During his interview with Hutcherson back in 2012, a.k.a. Peeta Mellark, described all signs devoted fans created for his character during their publicity tour, including the group of girls calling themselves Peetaphiles and one fan who decided Katniss and Peeta should be a couple, under the moniker Peeniss.
So, one thing is for sure: O’Brien will bring the laughs to Hall H during the panel. And what a relief, considering how the final chapter of The Hunger Games trilogy is so bleak.