Comic-Con Preview

If you're expecting to hear news about tiny indie projects and foreign auteurs in the latter half of this week, you may be disappointed. Tomorrow night is the kick-off of San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest such event in the world, and one that, over the years, has become a major part of the marketing calendar for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. While we still wonder about how effective if it is (see our recent piece), and several studios are skipping this year, including Paramount and Universal, there's still some big-name guests and unveilings taking place between Wednesday and Sunday and it'll undoubtedly be the major story of the week, movie-wise.

We'll be covering things from the show floor throughout, but whether you've got your passes ready or you're simply keeping an eye on things from afar, it can be an overwhelming selection, so we've picked out some key highlights of what to expect across SDCC -- who'll be there, what'll be shown, and what announcements we might expect. If you are going, have fun, and if you're not, stay tuned for extensive coverage through Sunday, and either way, read on for our full 2012 Comic-Con preview.

Wednesday July 11th

6:00 p.m., Ballroom 20 - Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings
Wednesday night is Preview night, when fans with four-day passes get a little more time to get their bearings and explore before the madness truly gets underway on Thursday morning. As has become a tradition, Warner Bros Television are using the opportunity to showcase some of their big genre hopes for the upcoming TV season. The big draw, given the audience, is likely to be "Arrow," the CW take on DC Comics hero "Green Arrow," although given that it's from the writers of the "Green Lantern" movie, perhaps fans will be staying away like Kryptonite. Not far behind in terms of anticipation is "Revolution," an NBC show produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Jon Favreau, set in a future where all forms of technology have ceased to exist. We've heard mixed word, but it does star Giancarlo Esposito as a post-apocalyptic despot, so we'd certainly check it out. There's also a pair of mystery shows: Kevin Williamson's "The Following" with Kevin Bacon as an FBI agent trying to track a serial killer (James Purefoy), and the ludicrous-sounding "Cult," about a TV show that's making its followers disappear. Supernatural soap "666 Park Avenue," starring Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams, completes the line-up. And if the idea of watching four hours of back-to-back network pilots isn't that enticing, the shows will also have their own separate screenings with Q&As across the weekend.

Time & Place TBD - "Dredd"
Recent history has seen "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Cowboys & Aliens" premiere at Comic-Con, to not much box-office effect. Lionsgate is hoping that they can reverse the trend by screening comic-book adaptation "Dredd," starring Karl Urban as iconic 2000AD cop Judge Dredd, for fans on opening night. The film had a strong script from "28 Days Later" writer Alex Garland, but a troubled post-production and the arrival of the similarly structured actioner "The Raid" has stolen some of its thunder from the geek crowd, and the first trailer kind of looked liked balls. We'll see if the studio can turn the buzz around. We're not sure about ticketing arrangements, but keep your eyes peeled if you are going tomorrow night.