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

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist 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.
2

Matt Damon Elysium
Friday July 13th

10:00 a.m., Ballroom 20 - "Community"
A TV-centric day kicks off with what should be one of the most interesting panels of the weekend, given that the cast of "Community" have essentially been on lockdown since creator Dan Harmon was fired. Chevy Chase won't be there, so it shouldn't be too outspoken, but most of the rest of the gang will be, and it'll at least be the first indicator of how the show will fare under new leadership.

10:45 a.m., Hall H - "ParaNorman"
The next animated flick to hit is August's "ParaNorman," the promising follow-up to the excellent "Coraline" from Studio Laika, and give how close we are to release (on Aug 17th), there should be some substantial footage shown alongside appearances from cast members including Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

ParaNorman
12:30 p.m., Ballroom 20 - "Firefly 10 Year Anniversary Reunion"
Sure to be one of the most oversubscribed events of the weekend, this sees Hollywood's new golden boy Joss Whedon reunited with the cast of his cult sci-fi Western show to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Even with Whedon's recent success, if you go in expecting a "Serenity 2" announcement, you're likely to be heartbroken, but it should be an entertaining hour regardless.

1:25 p.m., Hall H - "The Walking Dead"
Zombie comic adaptation "The Walking Dead" is now cable's biggest drama series, despite sucking pretty hard for most of its run to date. Last year saw Frank Darabont make his final appearance before being fired, but this year should be less dramatic, although much-anticipated new cast member David Morrissey, playing The Governor, will get his first proper airing along with much of the existing cast and crew.

Game Of Thrones Blackwater The Hound
2:45 p.m., Hall H - "Game of Thrones"
The cult of "Game of Thrones" only gets bigger and bigger over time, but the show will be back among its main constituency after the triumph of season 2, with cast members including Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden set to appear. Production hasn't yet started on Season 3, so there'll be no new footage, but some casting announcements might well take place.

4:05 p.m., Hall H - "Resident Evil: Retribution"
The movies finally return to Hall H, but sadly, it's for a sneak peek of the latest in the we-will-never-understand-the-appeal "Resident Evil" franchise, in the form of fivequel 'Retribution.' This one sees a number of thought-to-be dead cast members, including Michelle Rodriguez returning to the series, and they'll be present, along with some 3D footage from the September release. Or you could just go get some fresh air.

Joseph Gordon Levitt, Looper,
4:35 p.m., Hall H - Sony Pictures
The Screen Gems release will lead right into the panel for parent company Sony, who have some of the most anticipated-by-cinephiles footage of the weekend. We're not sure "Total Recall" is in that category, but we'll be only a few weeks out from release, so they should have something more enticing to show from the Len Wiseman-directed remake than the flat sizzle reel last year. Far more enticing are Rian Johnson's "Looper," which will see the director joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, and the first look anywhere at Neill Blomkamp's mysterious "Elysium." The film stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, and both will be in attendance. The panel is scheduled to be a whopping two hours, so we'd expect major chunks of footage from the near-complete "Total Recall" and "Looper," although clips from "Elysium" are likely to be lighter.

5:30 p.m., Ballroom 20 - Joss Whedon
The favorite son and Comic-Con staple, Joss Whedon returns at the peak of his career, having just made a billion dollars with a little movie called "The Avengers." This Q&A is presented by Dark Horse Comics, so is likely to focus on comics work, but the blurb also promises that it's a chance "to find out what he has in store for us next," so a major announcement may well be made.  

Breaking Bad, Season 5
6:45 p.m., Ballroom 20 - "Breaking Bad"
Not the most obvious fit for a Comic-Con appearance, but an exciting one nonetheless. This won't just see creator Vince Gilligan and his cast appearing, but it'll also see the premiere of the Season 5 opener, "Live Free Or Die," which the rest of us get to see on Sunday night. No spoilers, guys.

7:00 p.m., Room 6BCF - "Blade Runner" 30th Anniversary Celebration
For geeks keen on a bit of film history, this should be one of the highlights of the weekend: a panel, hosted by Paul M. Sammon, who wrote the seminal book on "Blade Runner," and was on-set throughout, on the making of Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic, with a number of cast and crew members on stage with him. Probably not Harrison Ford, though.

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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