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Comic-Con '12 Preview: What To Expect From Nerd Bonnaroo This Year

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 10, 2012 at 1:17PM

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.
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Oz The Great And Powerful Poster Header
Thursday July 12th

10:15 a.m., Room 6DE - TheOneRing.net: The Truth About The Hobbit
Peter Jackson will be out in force later in the weekend, but veteran fansite TheOneRing.net have their own semi-unofficial panel to start up the weekend, featuring their embedded reporter from the shoot and a special visual presentation from WETA Workshop. Probably only for serious Tolkein heads, but it's not like Comic-Con will be lacking for them.

11:15 a.m., Indigo Ballroom - DreamWorks Animation
A rather low-key panel for the CGI cartoon giants, this seems promisingly centered on filmmaking, with the blurb focusing on the process rather than sneak peeks, with no titles being revealed in advance. That said, expect this fall's "Rise of the Guardians" to feature heavily, and we wouldn't be surprised if there were first looks of some kind from next year's "The Croods," "Turbo" or "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" as well.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner In 'Breaking Dawn -- Part 2'
12:45 p.m., Hall H - "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2"
Things get undewray in Hall H, the biggest venue, with the look at the latest "Twilight," now sensibly scheduled to allow the tween and mom crowds to depart for other pastures rather than showing things of no interest to them. Expect footage, a Q&A with Bill Condon and his cast, and a whole bunch of screaming.

2:05 p.m., Hall H - Walt Disney Studios
Having skipped last year for their own D23, Disney are back, displaying their two big animations hopes for the fall: "Frankenweenie," which will be presented by Tim Burton, and "Wreck-It Ralph," which will be boosted by appearances from voice actors John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman and director Rich Moore. But the big draw, for us anyway, would be the first chance to take a look at "Oz: The Great and Powerful," the mega-budget James Franco-starring "Wizard of Oz" prequel from director Sam Raimi, who'll be there. It's the studio's now-traditional March blockbuster, and the first signs of whether it'll do "Alice In Wonderland" or "John Carter" numbers should be visible. As far as we're aware, troubled 2013 blockbuster "The Lone Ranger" isn't expected to appear, but don't rule out a surprise appearance.

Hotel Transylvania
3:00 p.m., Indigo Ballroom - "Hotel Transylvania"
Non-Disney animation again being shunted into one of the smaller venues, this is the Adam Sandler-factory Sony CGI cartoon that opens in a few months. We've not been particularly enamored of it so far, but it does mark the feature directorial debut of Genndy Tartakovsky ("Dexter's Laboratory," "Samurai Jack") so it might be a pleasant surprise.

4:00 p.m., Indigo Ballroom - "Wilfred"
FX's cult hit starring Elijah Wood as a man who imagines his dog is his malevolent best friend, is quietly becoming one of the smartest and darkest comedies on TV, and Wood will be there with his co-stars and creative team to discuss the show, as well as preview an upcoming episode.

Sylvester Stallone Yu Nan The Expendables 2
4:30 p.m., Room 24ABC - Masters Of The Web Panel
For inside baseball fans, this is the annual gathering of movie bloggers to talk about the state of both the film industry and the web reporting world, and is normally the cause or culmination of years worth of Twitter fights. "Dredd" star Karl Urban is moderating this year. Hopefully in character.

4:45 p.m., Hall H - "The Expendables 2"
With Lionsgate having safely dispatched Urban away so as not to remind their other big action star of his disastrous take on the same character, Sylvester Stallone will take to the big stage, with footage from the August release, and a who's who of action stars including Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fingers crossed that he'll be announcing a "Cocoon" remake with the same cast.

5:00 p.m., Indigo Ballroom - "Archer"
One of our favorite comedies on the air will follow up network-mate "Wilfred," with pretty much the whole cast, including H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler and Judy Greer, along for the ride. There's meant to be some kind of screening element to the panel too, although we suspect with the show not airing new episodes til next year, it'll be something you've already seen if you're a fan of the show.

Dexter Michael C. Hall
6:00 p.m., Ballroom 20 - "Dexter"
We've never really had much time for serial killer show "Dexter," but it's consistently a ratings beast, and the main cast, including new addition Yvonne Strahovski, will be there to preview the upcoming season, including two minutes from the season premiere. Two minutes? Seriously? Fans of television that hasn't yet been driven into the ground might be tempted by a new trailer for season 2 of Showtime's "Homeland."

6:15 p.m., Hall H - "The Virtual Drive-In"
An admirable chance for smaller, independent genre pictures to get a little Hall H exposure, this panel will see footage from indie-sci-fi "Branded," "psychological noir" "Crave" starring Ron Perlman, and horror "Coldwater."

This article is related to: Comic-Con, Man Of Steel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Pacific Rim, Oz The Great And Powerful, Dredd, Elysium, Total Recall, Looper


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