Strap in, fellow nerds: Comic-Con is upon us again. Which means that for the next five days, we can all expect an avalanche of stuff to come out of San Diego trailers and announcements and surprise appearances and the like.
This, remember, is the place where the Avengers assembled for the first time, where Andrew Garfield dropped by in cheap Spider-Man cosplay, where Batman v Superman was officially announced to thunderous cheers.
This year’s movie-centric lineup includes presentations from 20th Century Fox and Netflix on Thursday. Saturday opens with one highly anticipated Hall H panel (Warner Bros.) and ends with another (Marvel Studios). And you can bet Mashable will be there to cover it all.
So with that in mind, here’s what we’re most looking forward to along with our predictions about some of the “surprises” that might be in store.
New looks at new Marvel movies
Any year in which Marvel Studios comes to Comic-Con is a year in which Marvel Studios is a major highlight of Comic-Con. No one, and I mean no one, does Hall H better than this crew.
What exactly they’re bringing to Comic-Con this year remains a mystery, but we have our guesses: new trailers from their next two releases, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, plus another showing of that incredible Avengers: Infinity War footage they showed at D23.
Beyond that, it also seems possible they’ll announce a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date, or get the Captain Marvel hype train going early with a casting reveal, or share a tiny little taste of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
But before all of that, you can almost certainly count on someone making a dramatic in-character entrance at the start of the show. Past years have seen the likes of Loki and Yondu take the stage, and we’re wondering if Josh Brolin’s Thanos or Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might fill that role this year.
A cornucopia of DCEU goodies
Justice League and Aquaman are both confirmed to be part of Warner Bros.’ plans for their Hall H panel this year, which likely means we can look forward to new trailers for both. While the former has dropped a few promos already, the latter has yet to release so much as a gif.
Warner Bros. will surely also spend some time reveling in the smashing success of Wonder Woman bring earplugs to avoid being deafened by crowd when Gal Gadot takes the stage. Come to think of it, this sure would be an opportune time and place to announce a Wonder Woman 2 release date, no?
Moving on, other DCEU films in the cooker include Shazam, The Batman, Suicide Squad 2, The Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, Gotham City Sirens, Nightwing, and Batgirl, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for any updates on those projects as well.
The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One
Ah, but Warner Bros. won’t be devoting all their Hall H time to the DCEU. They’re also trotting out Ready Player One, and frankly, it’s hard to think of a more appropriate venue than Comic-Con to kick of the marketing push for a dystopian sci-fi adventure about a gamer whose special skill is ’80s pop culture trivia.
Especially since Spielberg director of Ready Player One and of several of the childhood classics name-checked in the Ready Player One novel will be on hand for the Q&A. A trailer debut seems plausible, so watch this space.
A Hall H appearance by Harrison Ford … and maybe Mark Hamill?
Warner Bros. unveiled its latest trailer for Blade Runner 2049 earlier this week, so it’s extremely unlikely we’ll get another one this weekend. But they’ve found an even better way to make the panel worthwhile: they’ll be trotting out Harrison Ford to promote the movie in front of the Hall H crowd on Saturday. (Ryan Gosling will be there, too, for you La La Land fans.)
As for Ford’s Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill, his next movie Brigsby Bear is set for a Hall H presentation on Friday. Hamill himself isn’t actually scheduled to appear, mind you but bigger surprises have happened at Comic-Con.
If we sound a little desperate, that’s because the one thing we know for sure won’t be at Comic-Con is Star Wars. Oh, sure, there’ll be Star Wars-related panels about its music and its early years and the like. But there won’t be anything from The Last Jedi or Han Solo. Bummer.
Netflix’s Death Note
As in, the entire thing. Maybe.
Netflix is hosting a Hall H panel to promote two of their upcoming original films, Adam Wingard’s Death Note and David Ayer’s Bright. Expect the first trailer for the latter, and maybe a new one for the former.
The panel will be followed a few hours later by a “secret screening” of one of their upcoming feature films. Although the company hasn’t said what movie they’re showing, our money’s on Death Note mainly because it’s coming out sooner (August 25), but also because Wingard’s last movie, The Blair Witch, drummed up tons of hype at Comic-Con last year. (Never mind that little of that hype translated into actual box office dollars.)
Or, if it’s not Death Note, it’ll probably be Bright. If it’s neither of those, all bets are off.
More Kingsman hype
20th Century Fox has one hourlong Hall H panel at Comic-Con this year, and they’ve chosen to devote it to Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Not a bad idea, considering that the first footage from the last film brought the house down at Comic-Con in 2014. We’re fully expecting a new trailer to drop Thursday, and perhaps along with a few other little reveals about the movie.
The bigger mystery, then, is whether there’ll be any presence at all for Fox’s X-Men movies. There are three coming next year (New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and Dark Phoenix), and you’d think Comic-Con would be a good time for the studio to start building hype. But if the studio has plans, they’re keeping ’em close to the vest for now.