Oh, it's on!
Beginning Wednesday July 23 with a preview of its massive convention floor, the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con will unleash all sorts of awesomeness on pop-culture fans for four straight days. From movies to TV to comics to video games and everything in between, this is arguably the biggest and most celebrated pop-culture convention in the world, and this year promises a bevy of geeky stuff to obsess over.
First, for those not all that familiar with San Diego Comic-Con, here's an awesome video about what it is and how it began.
Top 5 Comic-Con Quick Tips
1. The official Comic-Con hashtag is #SDCC
3. Want to know everything that's going on at Comic-Con each day? We've got videos for that. Check it out.
4. Are you at Comic-Con and hungry for free movie tickets? Follow @Fandango to find out the location of our daily ticket grabs. (Bonus: Vine star Marcus Johns will host ticket drops on Friday and Saturday.)
5. When will the biggest movie news hit? Well, Saturday, July 26 is currently the most buzzed-about day. It begins with a big Warner Bros. presentation (will we see anything from Batman v Superman?) and ends with a whole bunch of surprises from the folks over at Marvel Studios (The Avengers 2, baby!).
Dig in below with our fun rundown of all the big movies expected to rock the socks off the thousands of fans in attendance.
THURSDAY, July 24
Release Date: November 26, 2014, in 3D
What It's About: Discover the secrets of the most entertaining and mysterious birds in the global espionage game. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private must join forces with chic spy organization the North Wind, led by Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine (voiced by John Malkovich) from taking over the world.
BONUS WATCH: Here's the trailer....
Release Date: March 27, 2015, in 3D
What It's About: When Earth is taken over by the overly confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated while the Boov get busy reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip (Rihanna), manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons). The two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime.
BONUS WATCH: Here's a fun four-minute short film that sets up the characters of Home.
Release Date: August 7, 2015
What It's About: Scholastic’s iconic book series Goosebumps, written by R.L. Stine, has already captured the world’s imagination, selling over 400 million books worldwide. Now it’s coming to the big screen, with Jack Black starring as the author himself and Rob Letterman directing.
At Comic-Con: Jack and Rob will tell you all about how Stine’s monsters are coming to life on the big screen. We'll have an exclusive interview with Jack too, so check our Youtube channel for that on Thursday afternoon.
Release Date: May 15, 2015
What It's About: Video game experts are recruited by the military to help defend the planet from invading aliens who look a lot like 1980s-era video game characters.
At Comic-Con: Director Chris Columbus has a special video announcement about his upcoming film Pixels, starring Adam Sandler (in theaters May 15, 2015) -- you’ll find out how one lucky Comic-Con badge holder might win a chance to be a part of the movie.
BONUS WATCH: Here's the short film Pixels is based on.
Release Date: August 15, 2014
What It's About: Based on the popular novel about a boy who learns from an elder that his shielded, utopian community's happiness is all based on a lie, and the dilemma it creates.
At Comic-Con: The Weinstein Company and Walden Media will premiere exclusive footage from the upcoming film with stars Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, director Phillip Noyce and best-selling author Lois Lowry.
BONUS WATCH: Watch the latest trailer for The Giver.
At Comic-Con: Paramount Pictures will provide an inside look at its upcoming films. Attendees will view exclusive footage presented by special guests and hear the latest news for some of the year’s most anticipated movies.
BONUS INFO: While Paramount has not announced the films it'll be bringing to this year's convention, word on the street has it that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8), Project Almanac (January 30, 2015), the SpongeBob movie (February 6, 2015) and maybe Hercules (July 25) will all have a major presence. Also, cross your fingers for some kind of surprise surrounding Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
BONUS WATCH: The latest Hercules TV spot, featuring Hercules catching a flaming arrow.
BONUS IMAGE: Here's a rad pic of Hercules star Dwayne Johnson rockin' a leather fanny pack back in the '90s.
Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries
At Comic-Con: A candid talk with television's most prolific and beloved showrunners: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Sleepy Hollow, Scorpion), Julie Plec (Vampire Diaries, The Originals), Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, iZombie)—about creativity, inspiration, fan feedback and the future of TV.
BONUS WATCH: Last year's visionaries panel featuring Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Edgar Wright (The World's End)
FRIDAY, July 25
Release Date: November 22
The Buzz: It's one of this year's most anticipated movies, and the first part of a two-part finale for the Hunger Games franchise. Mockingjay - Part 1 will pick up where Catching Fire left off, tracking Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as she begins to lead a rebellion against the all-powerful Capitol.
At Comic-Con: While The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 will not have a panel presentation, cast members will be on hand to debut the film's first official teaser trailer on Friday through a partnership with Samsung Galaxy. For those not at Comic-Con, the trailer will be available in Samsung Experience stores located within your local Best Buy beginning Saturday, July 26.
The following Fox movies will all host panel presentations, which are likely to feature members of the cast, a Q&A session and a preview of never-before-seen footage.
Release Date: August 13, 2014
What It's About: It’s the ultimate buddy-cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly minted “heroes” get tangled in a real-life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
Release Date: September 19, 2014
What It's About: When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.
Release Date: October 17, 2014
What It's About: The Book of Life, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.
BONUS WATCH: Check out the first trailer for The Book of Life.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: October 24, 2014
What It's About: Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a supersecret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultracompetitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
BONUS WATCH: Here's the first trailer for Kingsman: Secret Service.
Release Date: February 27, 2015
What It's About: Based on the top-selling, award-winning video game franchise, Agent 47 is about an elite and genetically engineered assassin, known only by the last two digits – 47 – of a barcode tattooed on the back of his neck. His latest target is a young woman on the run from powerful and clandestine forces. The mission brings startling revelations about the lethal agent and his prey, hurtling them on a collision course with their pasts. And this time, his number may be up.
It wouldn't be Comic-Con without Kevin Smith's annual movie panel....
The Musk of Tusk: An Evening with Kevin Smith
At Comic-Con: After all the movie panels are over, Hall H belongs to a middle-aged man who once worked with BatFleck. Ask ComiKev questions and get ready to say #WalrusYes as Kev premieres the trailer to his first film in three years: the twisted, transformative tale of Tusk. Wrap up a busy Friday with the Clown Prince of Comic-Con.
BONUS: Here's the first poster:
SATURDAY, July 26
The following Warner Bros. movies will all host panel presentations, which are likely to feature members of the cast, a Q&A session and a preview of never-before-seen footage.
Release Date: February 6, 2015
What It's About: The first original science-fiction film from filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski since their game-changing Matrix trilogy is an action-adventure starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. The story will take audiences from the streets of Chicago to the farthest galaxies of space, as Caine (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track down Jupiter Jones (Kunis), a young woman whose genetic signature marks her for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos. Written, directed and produced by the Wachowskis, with producer Grant Hill and many of their longstanding creative collaborators, the film also stars Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton.
BONUS WATCH: Watch a trailer for Jupiter Ascending.
Release Date: May 15, 2015
What It's About: Seminal director George Miller returns to the postapocalyptic universe he created three decades ago with the cultural phenomenon Mad Max. Tom Hardy reinvents Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, Miller’s extraordinary new take on the legendary character for a new generation of fans. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Hugh Keays-Byrne and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Release Date: December 17
What It's About: Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson will unleash the epic final film in The Hobbit trilogy, based on the timeless masterpiece by J.R.R. Tolkien, from New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Bilbo’s journey culminates in a desperate and dangerous choice as darkness converges on the Lonely Mountain, and the races of dwarves, elves and men must decide: unite or be destroyed. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott and James Nesbitt, with Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom.
At Comic-Con: Legendary Pictures presents a panel featuring its upcoming slate of highly anticipated films.
BONUS INFO: Legendary hasn't officially announced its lineup, though films expected to appear include the August release As Above,So Below (August 29), as well as Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak (October 16, 2015) and possibly even Godzilla 2 (TBD).
BONUS WATCH: Here's the trailer for As Above, So Below
Release Date: September 26
What It's About: Focus Features presents The Boxtrolls, a new family-event movie from LAIKA, the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman, that introduces audiences to a new breed of family: the Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright of Game of Thrones) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.
At Comic-Con: Appearing in person are actors Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Elle Fanning; producer and lead animator, LAIKA president and CEO Travis Knight; and directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable.
BONUS WATCH: Here's a cool behind-the-scenes teaser for The Boxtrolls that shows how they bring these unusual characters to life.
Release Date: August 22
At Comic-Con: Dimension Films in association with Aldamisa Entertainment present exclusive footage from the highly anticipated sequel Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For from acclaimed codirectors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. Fans will get to experience the Sin City universe and take part in a special discussion with Rodriguez, Miller and cast.
BONUS: Well, just because...
Fight Club: From Page to Screen and Beyond
At Comic-Con: Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, Haunted), director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network and Gone Girl), Gerald Howard (Doubleday executive editor), and special guests discuss the seminal novel’s journey from book to film and beyond. Moderated by Rick Kleffel (TheAgonyColumn.com).
BONUS WATCH: Fight Club 8-bit cinema...
At Comic-Con: Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige and special guests provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe.
BONUS INFO: Marvel never reveals which movies it's bringing to the convention, but reports suggest Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1), Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015) and Ant-Man (July 17, 2015) will all have a presence. With an additional five new release dates just made public by Marvel Studios, expect more superhero movies (like Doctor Strange and maybe even Guardians of the Galaxy 2) to be officially announced on the Comic-Con stage.
BONUS IMAGES: Here are a bunch of new images from Avengers: Age of Ultron, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. This will be the big finale of Comic-Con's movie portion, so expect lots of spectacle, new footage and more surprises.
Note: Most movie and panel descriptions provided by SDCC, except where BONUS is noted.
Check out our complete Comic-Con coverage at Hero Central!