Last year, just before the Comic-Con schedule was announced, I tried to predict some of the big surprises that the studios would spring on us in San Diego. As it turns out, I was actually right about a few of them (the first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer, first look at Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), but there were so many more, like Legendary announcing Godzilla 2 and Kong: Skull Island, Bruce Campbell returning for Ash Vs. Evil Dead and Biz Markie's "Just a Friend" performance. With the con just a few weeks away, the official schedule is starting to roll out, day by day, with some big stuff happening in Hall H. Of course, many studios started announcing their panels weeks ahead of time, but now, the "big picture," as it were, is starting to come together. Although this Con picture is much different than years past.
Several major studios have already announced that they aren't bringing anything to Comic Con this year, such as Marvel Studios (although the TV side will be represented), Sony Pictures (sorry, no Spidey news) and Paramount (Hasta la vista, potential Terminator Genisys sequel updates). Fret not, though, movie lovers, for there will be plenty of movie goodness in Hall H, Ballroom 20, the Hilton Bayfront and other areas in and around the San Diego Convention Center. Fans will get to say farewell to the cast and crew of The Hunger Games franchise with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, while welcoming the long-awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Legendary is also bringing Crimson Peak, Krampus and Warcraft, Screen Gems is coming to SDCC with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Patient Zero, director Kevin Smith will debut the first Yoga Hosers trailer, and there's even a Back to The Future documentary called Back in Time. Oh, yeah, I forgot this tiny little indie called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that will surely blow the doors off of Hall H.
Picking up the slack for all of these newly-absent movie studios (this year is the first since 2011 that Marvel Studios is not presenting) are a slew of TV shows, from fan favorites like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory, to newcomers like Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Damien, Limitless, Fear the Walking Dead, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Scream Queens and countless others. And there's even one project that fits into both movies and TV, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Also, keep in mind, all of these are simply the projects that have been announced, since, as we all know, fans are always treated to tons of surprise projects being announced and special unannounced guests popping up out of the blue, so even the "official schedule" isn't set in stone. With that in mind, we're taking a look at what we already know will be there, while truing to figure out what the studios, filmmakers and cast members will be showing the fans at SDCC. First off, lets begin with the franchise so big they have a whole day in its honor at the Con. (And if you want to check out everything planned, go to the official Comic-Con website).
Disney and LucasFilm already confirmed that producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan and "special guests" will showcase the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with the panel presentation most likely including a new trailer. Sure, there is still plenty we don't know about this movie that kicks off a new trilogy, but since we know it will already be present, it would be quite the welcome surprise to learn more about the first spinoff Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One and Star Wars: Episode VIII, debuting in 2016 and 2017, respectively. My hope is that they bring out the whole cast for Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One and offer a few tidbits about their characters, before Star Wars: Episode VIII writer-director Rian Johnson takes the stage to reveal...Well, anything about Star Wars: Episode VIII. It's also possible that these revelations will be held until Disney's D23 convention later this summer, but hopefully they give fans something about these future films in San Diego. Since Friday is traditionally "Star Wars Day" at Comic-Con, there are a slew of other panels as well. Fans can learn more about all the Star Wars books coming from Del Rey, Hasbro's Star Wars line and Star Wars' inclusion in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition.
Over the past few years, HBO has revealed new cast members for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones at Comic-Con, and this year likely won't be any different. We've already reported on casting breakdowns that reveal more than 20 new characters. But, since the show has caught up with George R.R. Martin's books, no one knows what to expect from Season 6. With that said, Hall H is the perfect place to SPOILER ALERT!!! bring Kit Harington on stage, to confirm his beloved character Jon Snow is returning next season, even though he has said in interviews that he won't be back after his gruesome death in the Season 5 finale. Still, George R.R. Martin teased four years ago, after the fifth book was published, that the Night's Watch commander may not be dead, and with the burning question of his mother's identity still unanswered, many think that Jon Snow will return, somehow. And there is no better place than the Con to make this announcement, in front of nearly 7,000 screaming fans. The resurrection of Jon Snow is just an educated guess as to what they may reveal at this Friday afternoon panel. Now that the show has churned through all of the major story lines in George R.R. Martin's books, fans should start getting used to educated guesses, while learning how to embrace the unexpected.