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Backstreet Boy, astronaut part of FanX lineup



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SALT LAKE CITY — With one month left to the kickoff of Salt Lake Comic Con's FanX event, the pop culture celebration promising "something for everybody" has expanded its guest lineup to include a Backstreet Boy.

Nick Carter, a member of the five-piece boy band that ruled teen hearts through the '90s, was announced Wednesday as a headlining guest at FanX. The companion event to Salt Lake Comic Con invites fans to geek out about whatever they love, with organizers reimagining the guest list to include icons of all kinds.

"This is about pop culture," co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said. "For the core comic person, there's a lot of stuff, but we also wanted to make it have a broader appeal so that there's something for everybody. … We can offer everything that a comic con has, and then go outside of that and make it fun for other people."

Carter does have a more traditional comic con credential, however. He will be promoting his zombie-Western flick "Dead 7," coming to the SyFy channel later this year. Carter wrote and directed the original post-apocalyptic story, and stars in it with former bandmates Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, and other boy band VIPs.

In addition to the chance to talk about "Dead 7" at the event, Brandenburg noted, "There are a lot of people who love the Backstreet Boys, we're going to take it all."

Buzz Aldrin

The list of FanX stars also includes astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who Brandenburg says is a real-life hero among the fictional heroes generally staring at pop culture conventions.

"When you have science teachers from around the country coming in and saying, 'I hear you guys have a real astronaut, the second guy on the moon, coming to your event,' a lot of these people never would have come to our event before," he said.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale — known for her nerd roles in "Underworld" and "Van Helsing," as well as nonnerd films "Pearl Harbor" and "Serendipity — was also announced this week as a FanX headliner.

Event details

FanX is scheduled for March 24-26 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, a "boutique-style" event to follow the massive Salt Lake Comic Con event, which drew more than 120,000 guests in September.

Other guests coming to FanX include Norman Reedus and Chandler Riggs of "The Walking Dead"; Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi and William Davis, "The X-Files"; George Takei and LeVar Burton, "Star Trek"; Matt Smith, Alex Kingston and Peter Davison, "Doctor Who"; and Peter Facinelli, "Twilight."

McKenzie Romero

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