We’re mere days away from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con and while there might not be as many big studio panels there this year – Marvel is showing off its Cinematic Universe elsewhere and Sony and Paramount are skipping – there will still be plenty to get the crowed hyped. Here are a few of the events we’re anticipating...
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and The Last Witch Hunter
Lionsgate/Summit has been a big draw at the convention for years, ever since Twilight exploded onto the scene and began causing massive lines around the building of the sort rarely seen before. With The Hunger Games wrapping up this year, we’d expect a big send-off for the franchise and maybe some hints of ways the studio is looking to keep it going. We wouldn’t necessarily think movies, but probably other media, the way the Twilight universe has spawned story and filmmaking competitions – fan fiction writ large. As for Witch Hunter, according to the man himself, it'll have to do without Vin Diesel, who is busy filming. It's a bit of a blow for the movie, as his way with a Con crowd is second only to his social media wrangling.
Details: Thursday 12pm, Hall H
Gone are the days when Doctor Who would appear on the Sunday of the convention, in one of the smaller ballrooms. With the Time Lord long established in the States, the series has a big presence this year, with stars Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez taking the dais alongside Steven Moffat and producer Brian Minchin to talk up the next season with Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. Will there be footage screened? We’d bet on at least a sizzle reel, though of course all involved will be wary of too many spoilers. And given that Game Of Thrones’ Maisie Williams is guesting this year, will she show up as a surprise? And in related news, the Sherlock panel happens at 3:45pm the same day, but in Ballroom 20.
Details: Thursday 2:15pm, Hall H
The Walking Dead/Fear The Walking Dead
The original, ratings-busting series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics is joined this year by its spin-off companion series, which is set during zombie outbreak's first days. Kirkman and his fellow producers Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero (who also directs episodes and is the head zombie effects wrangler), showrunner Scott M. Gimple and producer David Alpert will be there to interact with the cast from the current show before Kirkman, Hurd, Nicotero hang around to introduce the actors from the new baby and, with luck, show more footage than the brief clips and trailers we’ve seen already. Given The Walking Dead’s massive success, the spotlight will be on Fear to see whether it can carry the mantle.
Details: Friday 12pm, Hall H
Game Of Thrones
The other huge TV series is back once again in Hall H, celebrating the most recent season and, if previous years’ panels are anything to go by, dropping all the hints they can about the next season. With the series passing the books in terms of story, there will be even more interest in what the cagey producers can say, and the cast from this one are always entertaining, especially since Comic-Con is one of the rare times many of them get to interact properly. And given the events of this year’s finale, we figure at least 73 per cent of the questions will involve the health status of one – spoiler alert! – Jon Snow. Will the Thrones panel claim they know nothing?
Details: Friday 2:30pm, Hall H
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
With the latest instalment of the movies arriving in cinemas this December, we suppose this was inevitable, even given the huge Star Wars Celebration that already happened earlier this year. What we do know is that co-writer/director J.J. Abrams plus co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and producer Kathleen Kennedy will be on hand to bring out special guests. Can they top the introduction of new franchise faces John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley plus the smattering of original cast that the previous fan-friendly gathering had to offer? With Celebration simply debuting a new trailer, we would put good money on a proper clip or reel from the movie. And maybe Abrams reading out the entire script to a rapt audience. Okay, just kidding on that one. And since it appears to be focused on The Force Awakens, there might not be much about Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One, whoever is taking over from Josh Trank on the second stand-alone film or what Rian Johnson has been doing with the next primary entry, but we can hope, right?
Details: Friday 5:40pm, Hall H
Ash Vs. Evil Dead
Sam Raimi might have produced the reboot that arrived a couple of years ago, but this show promises what we really want: more of Bruce Campbell’s Ash fighting with the decaying bastard Deadites. Featuring Raimi kicking things off as a director and the full possibilities of a cable setting to allow for all the mad violence and swearing they might wish to unleash, our fingers are crossed for this proper continuation of the franchise. The panel boasts Raimi, co-producer Rob Tapert and Campbell, who, like Vin Diesel knows how to work a room like this. And Lucy Lawless, part of the cast for the series, is also likely to be a fun draw.
Details: Friday, 6pm Room 6A
Warner Bros./DC Comics
With Marvel limiting itself to its TV presentation this year, 2015 is DC Comics’ big chance to step up on the film front. While the seeds were laid last year with Zack Snyder bringing a tiny snippet of Batman V Superman, now comes the big show: a lot more of the movie is ready for public consumption, so expect the companies to go big with Bats Vs. Supes and a host of cast members showing up to convince us that theirs is the superhero match-up worth watching in 2016. And while it might still be in production, we’d hazard a guess that something will happen in regards to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, even if, with the shoot currently underway in Canada, it’s just a video greeting from the director and his cast. If you have Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and more at your disposal, why wouldn’t you try to use that? Warners will be hoping the anticipation for the DC comics’ titles helps carry over into Pan (which could use some good buzz) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which will also show up
Details: Saturday 10:30am, Hall H
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
Sony’s main studio team might not be bringing anything this time (they focused on the likes of Pixels and Goosebumps last year and despite the latter not arriving the US until October, are choosing not to double dip) but Screen Gems is representing, primarily with this long-gestating genre mash-up adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith’s book. We’ll finally get a proper look at how Jane Austen’s comedy of manners, romance and female empowerment works when crossbred with a zombie invasion, and director Burr Steers is bringing cast members Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston and Matt Smith with him. Wonder which of those will have the biggest Hall H appeal? Hhhm… It’s perhaps no coincidence that Smith will also be sticking around, joined by Natalie Dormer plus director Stefan Ruzowitzky and screenwriter Mike Le, to talk up fantasy horror Patient Zero.
Details: Saturday 12:15pm, Hall H
Director Duncan Jones has been coming to Comic-Con to talk about Warcraft for what seems like decades, though really it’s only been the last couple of years. Still, with the movie finally due in cinemas next summer, this could be something special. ILM has been working feverishly to bring its footage to life, crafting realistic orcs and more, so hopefully Jones will have something big to show. Might we see the first trailer at last? One would certainly wish. And given how the man who made Moon is regarded in genre circles, we’d expect this one to be a big, upbeat panel, likely featuring some of the cast too.
Details: Saturday 2:30pm, Hall H
Guillermo del Toro strides across Comic-Con panels like a colossus, truly one of the people considered a god within Hall H. And this year, he has Tom Hiddleston in his latest film, which could threaten the convention centre’s walls given the cheering and screaming. Expect GDT to put on a heck of a show with footage from his gothic horror and panel featuring as many of his crowd-friendly cast as he can round up. Also appearing on the Legendary panel with Warcraft and Crimson Peak? Krampus, the Christmas-set horror from Trick ‘R Treat’s Michael Dougherty that features Adam Scott, Toni Collette and more.
Details: Saturday 2:30pm, Hall H
A couple of years ago, Bryan Singer rocked the Con with his Days Of Future Past cast, with Fox attaching a surprise panel (surprise in that they waited until the end of The Wolverine’s panel to announce it, but we figured it was coming) with almost everyone from the movie. No such skulduggery is expected for the next mutant outing, Apocalypse, although the line-up will be quite different this year beyond James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult. There has been no official word yet on whether Wolverine is showing up again, but the rumours and evidence are building and with Hugh Jackman set to appear on the Pan panel, the chances of him hanging around for another “announcement” are good. And with the X-Men universe expanding to include Deadpool and Gambit, expect Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool team to show up, especially since there should be actual footage to show. Gambit, meanwhile, is still coming together, but there may well be some sort of coverage. As for Fantastic Four, which could use a buzz boost? It’s entirely possible, and there might even be a screening, depending on whether the movie’s ready to be seen.
Details: Saturday 5:45pm, Hall H