The Sidekick premieres at San Diego Comic-Con

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This year, San Diego Comic-Con attendees had the opportunity to attend the premiere screening of The Sidekick, a short film written and starring Rob Benedict and a star-studded cast. In the film, Benedict plays Max McCabe, an aging sidekick with fast hands and a gift for witty one-liners. When Max is unceremoniously dumped by his hero Captain Wonder (played by Ron Livingston) after 18 years of dedicated service, he struggles to find a new hero to take him under his wing and confides in the help of other run-down sidekicks.

The creator and star admitted that the concept of the film was inspired by his turning 40 and the dawning realization that all he knew how to do in life was to be an actor. If he were ever forced to leave acting, he would have no special skills or direction. This lead to the question of what happens when a superhero sidekick like Robin grows up? How would he adapt to the inevitable changes?

The 28-minute film was received well by the premiere audience members at Comic-Con, many of whom were drawn to the film as fans of either Supernatural or Mad TV. Ike Barinholtz, Josh Meyes, and Jordan Peele all make appearances in the film as fellow sidekicks, dressed to varying levels of skin-tight spandex and pantslessness. The chuckle-worthy short comes across as genuine and sincere, exploring an interesting world where superheroes, super villains, and their sidekicks are widespread, despite an apparent lack of real superpowers.

Captain Wonder’s abilities are never discussed or shown, yet he is commended for saving civilians from several disasters. Interesting as well is the idea that sidekicks, both on the sides of good and evil, readily and openly interact with one another when they’re “off the clock,” indicating that their roles in the conflict really do just seem to be a matter of following orders.

Benedict hopes to turn the short into either a television or online series, adamant about the fact that these characters have many more stories to tell. Whether or not we’ll hear more from The Sidekick remains to be seen, but the creators have certainly put together and interesting little concept.

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