Stormtroopers outshine Spurlock at his movie premiere

TORONTO - "Oh my God! Oh my God! Stormtroopers!" screamed a fan Saturday arriving for the premiere of Morgan Spurlock's new documentary "Comic Con: Episode IV - A Fan's Hope," barely noticing the acclaimed filmmaker in front of her.

"It's amazing, isn't it?" Spurlock told AFP, taking in stride being eclipsed by the iconic characters from George Lucas' epic Star Wars movies.

"It's actually great to be behind the scenes (for once)."

"Aren't you too short to be a Stormtrooper?" he quipped with one of the models as he posed with them, borrowing a line from the first Star Wars film.

Dozens of fans decked out in their favorite superhero costumes for the premiere were also on hand for the film's unveiling at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Also present: Marvel comics impresario Stan Lee, 88.

Spurlock followed up his spectacular debut documentary "Supersize Me" (2004) and lesser successes "Where In The World is Osama bin Laden? (2008) and "Freakonomics" (2010) with a wink to the world of comics and fantasy films in "Comic Con."

In the film, Spurlock follows fans who make the annual summer pilgrimage to the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, California. "You've got to admire the fans because without them, you're nothing," Lee comments in the film.

The film focuses on the aspirations of a budding illustrator trying to get noticed by publishers and land a job; an amateur costume designer seeking recognition; a long-time comic book dealer hoping to score a big sale to pay off his debts; and a young fan's dramatic proposal to his girlfriend.

Comic-Con veterans who turned their passions into professions such as Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Joss Whedon, Matt Groening, Guillermo del Toro, Harry Knowles, Todd McFarlane and Frank Miller also appear in the movie.

The Comic-Con convention started in 1970 catering to a few hundred comic book collectors, and grew to encompass Hollywood blockbusters, anime, videogames and more.

This year, more than 100,000 attended the event.