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, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. These three 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.
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 the crap out of those little critters, 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. I mean, Jim Carrey and Denzel Washington respectively promo-ing 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 their 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 straight-up 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
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 them 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 which stars Timberlake, Ben “Daredevil” Affleck, Anthony “Falcon” Mackie and the gorgeous Gemma Arterton.
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 they debuted a trailer at Cinema Con earlier this year.
Elysium, Mortal Instruments, Cloudy 2, Carrie, Robocop, Amazing Spiderman 2
Sony has a lot of options and they consistently go all-out for Hall H, booking a three hour block to showcase their 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 late January 2014. Depending on the amount of time Sony books, we could also see quick promos for The Smurfs 2, Cloudy 2 and 21 Jump Street 2.
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 them sit Hall H out. If they do decide to do anything, Anchorman 2 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 they’ve been filming for the past couple weeks, so come Comic Con time, maybe there’ll be a throw-away clip or something 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 follow suit. If we’re really lucky, we’ll get a sneak peek at Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
Thor, Captain America, Avengers 2 and a “surprise” appearance
Marvel will more than likely anchor the Saturday night pre-Kevin Smith time slot they’ve held for several years now. Of course we’re going to get looks a Thor and Captain America along with a Guardians update. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “surprise” appearance by Joss Whedon to help sort out pending Phase Two and Avengers 2 questions. Maybe Edgar Wright will return with a teaser for Ant-Man? Marvel always likes to leave Hall H with a big announcement and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them publicly lock their Phase Three films to send fanboys in a tizzy into the San Diego night.
Disney: Frozen, Saving Captain Phillips, Need For Speed (if they don’t save them for D23) Don’t expect much from Disney this year. In fact, much as they did in 2011, they may hold their footage and panels for their D23 Expo in Anaheim in August. If Disney shows up, we’re likely to get looks at their animated feature Frozen, the Tom Hanks’ thriller Saving Captain Phillips and their adaptation of the video game Need for Speed. If Disney participates, you can also expect some sort of Star Wars related news bomb to go off inside of the Hall.
Disney will not be at Hall H this year and will indeed save their stuff for D23 in August.
The Hobbit 2, 300: Rise of an Empire, Godzilla, Lego: The Movie, All You Need Is Kill
Last year, fans already had an idea of what WB 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 be in Hall H. We could get a promo for The Conjuring which opens in on theaters Comic Con weekend and we’ll probably get something for the Lego movie (probably a trailer).
Their 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. 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 on stage. The Seventh Son will most likely 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.
Ender’s Game, Catching Fire, Divergent
If Lionsgate/Summit host 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 & 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.
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 they’d skip the Con this year, but given they took the effort to promote ParaNorman last year, we could see them 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 and it will be interesting to see if Film District takes the gamble and brings the film for 6,000+ 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. I think we might still be a year or so away from CBS Films playing in the SDCC playground though.
Open Road Films
I had originally left Open Road off the potential participants list, but given the star-studded sequel they have hitting theaters in September, it’s certainly plausible to see them 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 into the list, but that seems like a long-shot. Cap this list with director Robert Rodriguez and Machete Kills could be hitting San Diego this year.
So there you have the run-down of all the potential Comic-Con Hall H panels. Which panels are you looking forward to seeing and which films are you most anticipating?