Forget "Pacific Rim." If you want to see an over-size monster, check out San Diego's gargantuan Comic-Con, which runs at the blocks-long convention center July 17-21. Don't try to get a badge or hotel now; they sold out months ago.
The city will be overrun with more than a hundred thousand fanboys and girls (127,000 registered in 2012), many of them in costume. Grown from a smaller convention founded in 1970 for ardent comic book collectors who loved meeting the artists and nabbing signatures, the convention has now expanded exponentially as studios and networks seek to promote their wares directly with the fan demo.
Television is even more popular than movies, in case you didn't know, and shows like HBO's "Game of Thrones" have encroached on Hollywood territory in cavernous Hall H, which holds some 6000 people. So far, NBC series "Hannibal" plans a June 18 panel that neither includes star Mads Mikkelsen not has earned Hall H status--yet. Bryan Fuller, David Slade, Martha De Laurtentiis and Hugh Dancy will attend.
UPDATE: Comic-Con has added two days of animation events, running from Saturday July 20 to Sunday July 21. The lineup includes panels on animated TV series development, "Futurama," "The Simpsons," and conversations Cartoon Network, Marvel Television and more. (Read more at Cartoon Brew here.)
EARLIER: Panels are coming from the studios including Twentieth Century Fox (“The Wolverine”), Sony (“RoboCop” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), and Marvel (“Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier").
Also making a splash at 44-year-old Comic-Con will be rebooted indie distributor Picturehouse ("Pan's Labyrinth"), which is not only previewing clips from Nimrod Antal's new 3-D IMAX film "Metallica Through the Never" (platforming on IMAX theaters on September 27 before going wide), but giving away 500 tickets to a live Metallica concert. Picturehouse's Bob and Jeanne Berney have picked a perfect venue for the unveiling of their first release, on which director Antal ("Armored") collaborated closely with Metallica, combining a concert video with a dramatic script written by the band members about a roadie (Dane DeHaan). (More on Picturehouse's plans at the NYT.)
On Thursday, a panel features a discussion of film scores including composer Marco Beltrami ("World War Z," “The Wolverine”) and director Shane Black (“Iron Man 3”).
The so-called seventh studio, Lionsgate, will do a show-and-tell on Saturday, July 20 moderated by ex-EW scribe, now a Fandango personality, David Karger, on the second "Hunger Games" installment, "Catching Fire" (opening November 22, 2013). Expect Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, and the hunks playing her rival swains, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, as well as new heartthrob Sam Claflin ("Snow White and the Huntsman"), who plays Finnick, and director Francis Lawrence, who has taken the reins from Gary Ross. It's no shock that in a January 2013 Fandango poll, fans voted "Catching Fire" "The Most Anticipated 2013 Movie."
Comic-Con was long dominated by the guys until "Twilight" caused Hall H to erupt in screams for Rob Pattinson. Expect girlish squeals again.
Lionsgate will also introduce footage from "I, Frankenstein" (January 24, 2014), with a panel including some of the film's cast, which includes Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski and Bill Nighy. Starting Wednesday, moviegoers can submit questions for Lionsgate panel participants through the Facebook pages of "Catching Fire" and "I, Frankenstein."
Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment will preview would-be hot new YA franchise starter "Divergent" in Hall H on Thursday, July 18. First footage will be shown, along with a panel including cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, director Neil Burger and novelist Veronica Roth. (A full update on the film's cast is here.)
Summit will also preview sci-fi epic "Ender's Game" in Hall H on Thursday, complete with a panel including stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, director Gavin Hood and producer Bob Orci. An elaborate exhibit will also be available to fans, featuring eight rooms "representing the most iconic environments from Ender's world." Check out the three new posters for the film (on the jump). The first poster, released back in March, didn't hit the right chord with us.