17 hot things you MUST see at Comic-Con in San Diego this month

It's T-minus 15 days and counting until this year's San Diego Comic-Con. If only the full schedule were out, so we could map out our battle plan. It seems like there are even fewer firm announcements at this point than there've been in previous years. But as always, the buzz is strong.

Here are 17 events that have either already been confirmed for Comic-Con or are at least really, REALLY likely. Check Comic-Con's official website closer to the convention for the full schedule.


Joss Whedon AND J.J. Abrams together!

The L.A. Times is speculating that Entertainment Weekly is hosting a panel with just two speakers. Those two speakers are J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. Just one of them would be a hot panel for Comic-Con. The producer of Lost and director of the new Star Trek debating issues with the creator of Buffy and writer/director of the Avengers movie. This might break out into factions of Team Joss vs. Team J.J. Either way, what a show!


DC Comics

Thumbnail image for GreenLanternPromoArt2.jpg

Now that Warner Brothers has committed to making a DC comics based tentpole movie every year, it's about time they start showing it to the fans. The New York Times confirms that Green Lantern will be featured. Plus, they should start thinking about announcing who their next hero will be. Maybe a Batman 3 villain or Superman update? Well, whatever they say they're showing, pay attention to Warner Brothers' Hall H schedule and expect some surprises.


New Marvel


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ThorConceptArtLead.jpg

It's certainly about that time for Marvel to show some footage from Thor, which they've completed filming. It may be too early for Captain America but all they'd have to show is a shot of Chris Evans suited up. If Joss Whedon is in town for EW, could he greet his Marvel fans with some Avengers news? Plus, what about this news about small films and short films where they'll introduce less tentpole-y characters? More than one site has repeated the rumor that Ant-Man will be announced. Marvel always has a strong presence at Comic-Con so it's really only a matter of how much they'll show us this year.


Old Marvel

Besides the new Marvel movies, there's also all the old ones they're still making. Hopefully Fox will have some X-Men: First Class announcements. If Sony really wants to make good with the fans, they'll bring Andrew Garfield out to talk about the Spider-Man reboot. Check out those studios' presentations in Hall H. Even if super heroes aren't on their schedule, there could be some surprises.


Guillermo del Toro

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for deltoro_hellboy2teeth_gal.jpg

After leaving The Hobbit after two years of stalled pre-production, Guillermo del Toro promises he'll announce his next movie at San Diego Comic-Con. He's said it probably won't be Mountains of Madness, Frankenstein or Hellboy III just yet, so expect a big surprise. Or maybe it is one of those three and he's just been setting up the announcement. Whatever it is, the name of the project that The Hobbit freed him up to do will be big news.


Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope

Morgan Spurlock will be filming his documentary following seven fans to Comic-Con. Joss Whedon, Stan Lee and Harry Knowles are producing but try to catch Spurlock on the floor filming the genuine, booth-level experience of his documentary subjects. Maybe you can get in the movie by interacting with them. We gotta represent so there's no Hollywood whitewashing of our Con!


ComiTron

See what they did there? They combined "Tron" with "Comic-Con" to make "ComiTron." This will actually be the third year in a row Tron: Legacy will be at Con. First they debuted the awesome teaser trailer. Then they brought the cast last year. This time we'll actually get to see some footage from the movie. Thursday July 22 at 11:15 in Hall H (the big one, so line up early); even Bruce Boxleitner is on the panel, and that's not counting the "surprise guests" they're promising (maybe MCP via satellite?). Patton Oswalt is moderating, so we can count on him to ask the real Tron questions. Check out the interactive Tron booth in aisle #3712 to buy stuff and play the video game too.


From Dusk Til Con

This has been the party to end all Comic-Con parties for the past two years, with live wrestling matches and musical performances. Last year (when the party was known as The Wrath of Con), even Joss Whedon got turned away at the door. This year the party is under new management, sponsored by Starz' Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Perhaps a different vibe, but there's still a tradition to uphold. Put your feelers out for invites for Friday, July 23.


Spartacus Himself

Here's a little real life bravery for you. Spartacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield will join his costars on a panel on Friday, July 23. Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer while the first season aired, and has undergone treatment. Instead of a second season, Starz is working on a prequel, but it's great that Whitfield is well enough to meet the fans. And it's his first Con.


Harry Potter

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HarryPotterDeathlyHallowsTrailer.jpg

Hard to believe that Harry Potter has never actually been to Comic-Con. I have a T-shirt they gave out for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but they've never actually had the cast. Rumor has it that with the Deathly Hallows films wrapping up the series, now is the time to bring the British kids to San Diego. The New York Times confirms Warner Brothers plans to bring the film to Con. Let's hope they bring some wizards too.


Falling Skies

Steven Spielberg. Alien invasion. Weekly series. This won't be on the air until 2011 but TNT is bringing a first look to Comic-Con. Executive Producer Spielberg himself won't be there, but stars Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood are pretty to look at. They'll show us what survival is like after the aliens have taken over. This could be V meets Jericho, but hopefully with the success of 24. TNT presents this panel on Friday, July 23 at 4:45 in room 6A.


Terra Nova

Steven Spielberg. Dinosaurs. Weekly series. So the director of E.T., Close Encounters and Jurassic Park is taking his biggest concepts to TV and we'll get to see both at Comic-Con. Terra Nova has a family travel back to prehistoric times. Producers Brannon Braga (Star Trek) and David Fury (Angel) and director Alex Graves present the first footage from Spielberg's other TV production.


Chuck

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Chuck_JoyofChuck-8.jpg

We keep getting our wish. Chuck is back for a fourth season, against all odds. This really seems like a gift, so let's keep showing our Chuck love on Saturday, July 24 at 10AM in Ballroom 20. All the gang will probably be there: Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez, Yvonne Stahovsky, Adam Baldwin, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Chris Fedak. They've all been there before.


Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

Nothing official from Universal yet, but they have a big movie based on an underground comic book from the director of Shaun of the Dead opening in August. Wouldn't it be silly for them to let Comic-Con go by and not screen Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World? If they screen it that weekend, everyone will be talking for weeks. That's pure word of mouth until August 13, when the film comes out.


The Walking Dead

We're really excited about this weekly zombie series on the Mad Men network, AMC. Looks like they'll be showing something on Friday, July 23 at 11:30. The room is TBD and the talent is TBD but an AMC release promises a preview and panel discussion.


Sucker Punch

Director Zack Snyder confirmed he's planning to bring some footage from his next live-action movie. Warner Brothers will probably cram it in with some hype for his owl cartoon Legend of the Guardians, but Sucker Punch is the Zack Snyder we know and love. His original script is pretty out there. It involves girls in an institution who live fantasy lives as kick-ass fighters, and plot their escape. Some slow motion flying fists and feet will be worth a look in Hall H.


Syfy series

Okay, we know returning cable shows may not be the biggest deal at Comic-Con, but show us a little love if you've got the time. Caprica, Stargate Universe, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Sanctuary will be back with panels for the fans.

Related Stories

Peek inside DC Comics' 1982 style guide that established the look of the Justice League Trent Moore

Back in the early 1980s, DC Comics artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez worked tirelessly to create a “DC Bible,” as it were, to keep the look and feel of all the heroes in line. Now a whole lot of pages have finally made it into the wild.