There’s plenty of good stuff to see at this year’s Comic-Con. There’s too much good stuff. You could clone yourself seven times and you and your many selves still probably couldn’t see everything worth seeing. I am without a cloning machine (damn you, lazy scientists) and I will be covering only Hall H this year. After the jump, I’ve listed the five panels I’m most interested in seeing in Hall H as well as the five panels I wish I could attend outside of Comic-Con’s biggest room.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK / DRIVE (Thursday, July 21 – 2:00 PM)
I don’t know how good Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive will be (I’ve heard good things about both), but the real highlight here will be the conversation between directors Guillermo del Toro and Nicolas Winding Refn. Del Toro’s one of the most entertaining live speakers I’ve ever seen as he manages to mix warmth with absolutely filthy language. I’ve never seen Refn speak on stage, but I’ve become a fan after seeing the Pusher trilogy and Bronson and it will be fun to see two auteur filmmakers promote their films but doing so by interviewing each other rather than handing it over to a moderator.
PROMETHEUS (Thursday, July 21st as part of 20th Century Fox’s presentation – 3:15 PM)
It’s tough to have a movie this high profile and still no one knows exactly what it is. It’s supposed to be an Alien prequel but not an Alien prequel. This will be our first chance to really get an understanding of the movie and possibly see some footage. You usually have an idea of what you’re getting when you see a panel in Hall but folks in the hall will truly be the first look at this mysterious flick.
KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM (Saturday, July 23rd – 2:15 PM)
Every year, there’s a film that doesn’t have a major pedigree but manages to get a boost from Hall H. It picks up some buzz not because it has major stars or a huge marketing campaign but because fans like what they see. Knights of Badassdom has a great premise: a guy starts LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) but then he and his friends have to fight evil creatures of fantasy lore. This could be the breakthrough film of Hall H.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Friday, July 22nd as part of Sony’s presentation – 4:00 PM)
I was slightly disappointed by the first trailer for the film, but it may work better when you have director Marc Webb and the cast explain what they’re going for beyond “gritty” and “realistic”. Hopefully we’ll also see some footage outside the trailer but because it sits in the shadow of Raimi’s films, Amazing Spider-Man is a movie with something to prove even if it has “Spider-Man” in the title.
TWIXT / HAYWIRE (Saturday, July 23rd – 11:45 AM / Friday, July 22nd as part of Relativity Media’s presentation – 12:15 PM)
I don’t know much about either film but the prospect of seeing Francis Ford Coppola (Twixt) and Steven Soderbergh (Haywire) on stage in Hall H, on a stage where I’ll have to endure Underworld 4 and Breaking Dawn – Part 1, is too exciting to pass up. And like Knights of Badassdom, these two movies have a chance to come out of nowhere and start building some buzz.
Outside of Hall H
AWAKE (Thursday, July 21st – 3:45 PM in Room 6A)
Watch this trailer and then tell me you’re not interested in this show:
GAME OF THRONES (Thursday, July 21st – 3:00 PM in Ballroom 20)
There are many panels that have raised the angry question of “Why the hell isn’t this in Hall H?” This is one of those panels. Game of Thrones had a fantastic debut season, this is exactly the crowd that can appreciate the show, and fans of the book and fans of the show can come together and excitedly ask questions about the future of the book and the show. However, I imagine that there will be fans of the book asking questions that will spoil those who have only seen the show, so the latter group should be cautious.
BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY (Thursday, July 21st – 5:00 PM in Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)
There’s no video game I’m excited for this year more than Batman: Arkham City. It’s one of the few games I write about on the site. Arkham Asylum was not only easily the best Batman game of all-time, it was one of the best Batman anythings of all-time. Not only will folks attending the panel get to learn more about the game, but Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), Paul Dini (writer), and Mark Hamill (voice of The Joker) will be participating on the panel. I’m hoping there’s at least a demo on the Exhibitors’ Floor because I need to go into detective mode and beat the snot out of Gotham’s thugs.
LEGENDARY PICTURES (Friday, July 22nd – 12:45 PM in Room 6BCF)
The only reason I can think of that this panel is in Room 6BCF and not Hall H is because of last-minute scheduling and the Hall H schedule was filled up (and I supposed its verboten to kick a presentation out of Hall H once it’s been scheduled even if it’s obvious that panel will get nowhere near the attendance of another). Legendary’s panel will have pre-production talk for Pacific Rim, Paradise Lost, Mass Effect, and The Seventh Son. The first three would each be worth their own presentation, but all together like this will be a treasure trove of interesting information on some exciting upcoming projects.
THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE LEGEND OF KORRA (Saturday, July 23rd – 4:00 PM in 6BCF)
I became a huge fan of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and I’m excited to see where the new miniseries will go. The Legend of Korra is from Avatar creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko the new series set 70 years later when rebellious teenage girl Korra becomes the new avatar. We haven’t seen much of the show other than the image that was released back in March and I’m how much footage will be part of their “sneak peek”.