Maya Dinerstein ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Karl Urban’s panel, though moved from 11am to noon, was the first big panel of Saturday at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. Urban entered the panel escorted by excellent Dredd cosplayers, who diligently stood at the foot of the stage for the entire 45 minutes. Urban, who played Judge Dredd in the recent film, has also played Bones in the Star Trek reboot as well as Eomer in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. An audience member pointed out that he had also worked on Xena: Warrior Princess and that opened the panel up, with Urban discussing how many who worked on Xena also worked on LotR.
Urban also had a more recent Xena connection, in that he told the audience that he thought of Lucy Lawless when filming his most recent TV show, Almost Human. As a lead actor, Urban found it super important to “captain the scenes. Anything can go wrong and you have to be resourceful.” On Xena, Lawless had often encouraged everyone during heavy production days, which Urban found to be inspirational and influential on his lead role in AH.
Urban is disappointed AH was cancelled, as he called the experience “wonderful and collaborative,” mentioning that good amounts of the lines were improv-ed. Had AH, Urban went on to answer, that there was so much potential waiting to be explored. Luckily a lot of that crew will go on to work on Star Trek 3, which is due to start filming early next year and ideally will be released in time for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek TOS release.
The audience learned that Urban has been watching Star Trek since he was a child, and more recently watching it with his son, claiming to have picked up the character through osmosis. His favorite episode is when Khan is introduced and he holds a knife to Bones, and Bones remains unflinching. “Bones is altruistic and caring,” Urban mentioned, “but has the most appalling bedside manner.” Urban also mentioned that he loved when Spock and Bones would debate, one representing logic, the other emotion. Urban went on to describe working on the newer Star Trek’s and how it was often difficult to maintain a straight face around Simon Pegg and Chris Pine.
Urban spent the latter half of the panel detailing many of the pranks pulled on the sets he has worked on, leaving the audience in good cheer.