San Diego Comic-Con is a few short weeks away and it’s time once again to play the guessing game as to which movies will be making an appearance in Hall H this year.
We can probably expect another day dominated by television shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory. All three TV panels were huge last year and it’d only make sense to bring them back.
A few other TV shows that could potentially make the jump into Hall H include Breaking Bad and True Blood. These two shows filled up Ballroom 20 last year and the strong fan base could push them into Hall H.
Ideally, I’d love it if the SDCC schedulers just made one all-TV day and lump these six shows for consecutive panels. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty much a lock for Comic-Con, though whether it makes it into Hall H is another story.
But enough about TV. Let’s jump into the movies that could be hitting the hall this year. Rather than go through them one by one, I’ll group them according to what each studio could potentially bring to the Hall.
2 Guns, Kick-Ass 2, Riddick, 47 Ronin
We could get a Minions clip of some sort since the studio loves marketing those little yellow guys, but the Con is tailor-made for two comic book adaptations that the studio has hitting theaters in August – Kick-Ass 2 and 2 Guns. Jim Carrey and Denzel Washington respectively promoting their films on the Hall H stage! Can you imagine?! Those two almost feel like locks. Riddick also recently dropped a widely popular trailer and it’s possible the studio would ride the massive success of Fast Six into Hall H with Vin Diesel taking the stage.
If the studio actually sticks with its December release date for 47 Ronin, we could get some promotional material for that with a new trailer/poster. There’s an outside shot that the Ron Howard movie Rush starring Chris "Thor" Hemsworth could make an appearance. The rest of Universal’s slate of films through May 2014 are a mix of romantic dramas (About Time, The Best Man Holiday, Endless Love) and comedies (Ride Along and Seth McFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West).
The Wolverine; Percy Jackson; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Runner, Runner; The Counselor; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; X-Men: Days of Future Past
Let’s face it. The Wolverine is going to need as much of a push as it can get and what better place to mount a final surge than in a room filled with 6,000+ people. Granted, the promo for Wolverine will most likely be limited, but Fox doesn’t really have much in the fanboy/sci-fi genre to offer. We could see the studio promo the latest chapter in the Percy Jackson series and perhaps get a sneak peek into Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Turbo will also be opening in theaters that weekend, so we might get a promo push for that film as well.
For whatever reason, the studio also likes pushing Justin Timberlake movies in Hall H so it’s likely we’ll get a look at the Brad Furman thriller Runner, Runner.
There’s an outside chance we could get a teaser for early October horror flick Haunt and the mid-November thriller The Counselor (directed by Ridley Scott and starring Brad Pitt, Michael "Magneto" Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier "Why Hasn’t He Played a Comic Book Villain Yet" Bardem). Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty could also see some love, especially since Fox debuted a trailer at Cinema Con earlier this year.
Let's also not forget X-Men: Days of Future Past, which director Bryan Singer has been keeping us updated on through his Twitter account. Might this panel close with the massive cast appearing onstage a la The Avengers from SDCC 2010?
Elysium, Mortal Instruments, Cloudy 2, Carrie, RoboCop, The Amazing Spider-man 2
Sony has a lot of options and it consistently goes all out for Hall H, booking a three-hour block to showcase its upcoming films. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a foregone conclusion as is Elysium, which the studio has brought to every major convention thus far. Mortal Instruments also seems like a lock given the rabid fan base and Wonder Con presence earlier this year.
The Carrie remake could also turn up here as well, but what would really knock this panel out of the park is a first look at the RoboCop remake which is due in theaters in early February 2014. Depending on the amount of time Sony books, we could also see quick promos for The Smurfs 2, Cloudy 2 and perhaps even 21 Jump Street 2, now known as 22 Jump Street.
Anchorman 2, Jack Ryan, Paranormal Activity 5,TMNT
Paramount doesn’t really have much for this audience and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the studio sit Hall H out. If it does decide to do anything, Anchorman: The Legend Continues would most likely be front and center along with Jack Ryan. Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles reboot seems like a long shot, but we know it has been filming for the past couple weeks, so come Comic-Con time, maybe there’ll be an "exclusive clip" for the audience. The past two Paranormal Activity films have debuted teaser trailers at Comic-Con so it stands to reason the fifth installment will most likely continue that trend. If we’re really lucky, we’ll get a sneak peek at Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers 2 and a "surprise" appearance
Marvel will more than likely anchor the Saturday night pre-Kevin Smith time slot it has held for several years now. Of course we’re going to get looks at Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier along with a Guardians update. A "surprise" appearance by Joss Whedon to help sort out pending Phase Two and Avengers 2 questions could be possible as well. Maybe Edgar Wright will return with a teaser for Ant-Man? Marvel always likes to leave Hall H with a big announcement and so it wouldn't be a surprise to see it publicly lock its Phase Three films to send fanboys in a tizzy into the San Diego night.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 300: Rise of an Empire, Godzilla, Lego: The Movie
Last year, fans already had an idea of what Warner Bros. would be bringing into Hall H well before the schedule was announced. So let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first – The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, 300: Rise of an Empire and Godzilla will most likely be in Hall H. We could get a promo for The Conjuring which opens in theaters on Comic-Con weekend and we’ll probably get something for the Lego movie (probably a trailer).
The studio's comedy We’re the Millers and thriller Getaway show promise and could potentially turn up in the Hall as well as the Hugh Jackman thriller Prisoners. Those three feel like long shots though. I imagine there will be some sort of push for Gravity as well, though I can’t fathom what the crowd reaction would be like if George Clooney appeared onstage. The Seventh Son could get a quick push as well and it would be great if we got a sneak peek at Transcendence and All You Need Is Kill.
Also, we could get a DC Comics-related announcement of some sort, be it the next stand-alone movie or a Justice League announcement.
Ender’s Game, Catching Fire, Divergent, RED 2
If Lionsgate/Summit hosts a panel this year, it’ll be a very bookworm friendly event. Their three big blockbusters hitting theaters – Divergent, Ender’s Game and that one Hunger Games sequel – are likely to be front and center. With Twilight gone, will there now be a line of Mockingjays waiting to get in to Hall H? It’s certainly possible given that star Jennifer Lawrence (she stars as Mystique in X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past) is fanboy friendly (that sounds so wrong). Scheduling was the main reason the first film didn’t have a Hall H appearance and I’d say there’s a good chance of a Catching Fire panel in San Diego this year.
RED 2 will also be arriving in theaters over Comic-Con weekend, so expect some sort of promotional push for that film.
The World’s End
There’s only one film from Focus that taps into this SDCC crowd and it's Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. You might think Focus would skip the Con this year, but given the studio took the effort to promote ParaNorman last year, we could see it sneak in a morning panel with Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in what could potentially be a very entertaining event.
Sin City 2
Last year, the Weinstein Company brought one of the most anticipated films of the year down to Hall H. And while the crowd ate up the Django Unchained panel, there’s an even bigger movie on the Weinstein’s slate this year in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. Between now and Comic-Con time, we’ll probably get a teaser trailer of some sort, but look for the Weinsteins to whet our anticipation with a few clips and maybe a new trailer for the film.
I wouldn’t hold my breath for this one given its cult status, but Film District isn’t afraid to bring artsy, niche films to Hall H. Last year it was Looper and the year before that, Drive. This year hasn’t seen any Film District films appear at Wonder Con or Cinema Con but I’m guessing it’s because Spike Lee is still busy working on his Oldboy remake. By late July, the film will be just about three months away from hitting theaters and the promo machine will begin to swing into motion. There’s more curiosity than anticipation for this film at the moment and it will be interesting to see if Film District takes the gamble and brings the film for 6,000-plus folks inside Hall H to judge.
The To Do List, Last Vegas
We’re gradually seeing CBS Films grow into a legit contender among the mid-majors. The company has two comedies that it could potentially bring to Hall H. Last Vegas might be a bit of a stretch given the age of the stars and the hectic nature of the Con. The spotlight might fall on The To Do List which features fanboy favorites Clark "Agent Coulson" Gregg, Aubrey Plaza, Donald "Childish Gambino" Glover and Rachel Bilson in a fantastically vulgar performance. That being said, we might still be a year or so away from CBS Films playing in the SDCC playground.
Open Road Films
I had originally left Open Road off the potential participants list, but given the star-studded sequel it has hitting theaters in September, it’s certainly plausible to see the studio book an hour and trot out any of the following eye candy from the cast: Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Hudgens. There’s also Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Bandeas, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler and of course Danny Trejo, all definitely NOT eye candy. I’d add Lady Gaga to the list, but that seems like a long shot. Cap this list with director Robert Rodriguez and there's a very good chance Machete Kills could be hitting San Diego this year. In fact, we could get a Rodriguez solo panel similar to 2011 where he'll talk Machete Kills, Sin City 2 and a number of other projects.
Disney will reportedly not be at Hall H this year. The studio is saving its stuff for D23 Expo in August.
So there you have the rundown of all the potential Comic-Con Hall H panels. Which panels are you looking forward to seeing and which films are you most anticipating?