Next week, some of the biggest movies and TV shows Hollywood has to offer will head a few hours south to San Diego for Comic-Con 2015, which runs from Thursday, July 9 to Sunday, July 12. Last week, before the official Comic-Con schedule was released, we tried to break down some of the surprises that the studios and networks may have in store for fans, since many of the big events at every Con aren't found on the official schedule. This year will surely be no exception, and several of the studios are even feeding into this, with the lineups for Open Road Films and 20th Century Fox still shrouded in mystery. We can speculate on what movies these studios will showcase until the cows come home, but we won't know for sure what exactly will be on display until everyone has been seated in Hall H for each presentation. Last year, the movie studios gave us a number of surprises, such as the first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer, the first Wonder Woman photo from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the announcement of Godzilla 2 and Kong: Skull Island, Bruce Campbell coming back as Ash for Ash Vs. Evil Dead and Biz Markie's "Just a Friend" performance during The Book of Life panel. One of the biggest surprises, however, is the lack of several major players this year.
It has already been announced that Marvel Studios isn't presenting anything at Comic Con, since Captain America: Civil War is still in the midst of production, along with Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Universal Pictures doesn't have a panel as well, but several of their movies will be on display at the Legendary Pictures presentation, since they distribute all of Legendary's films. This means that fans won't get any updates about Sony's new Spider-Man movie, Paramount's Transformers 5 and Universal's shared monster universe, just to name a few. The 7,000-seat Hall H will be largely occupied by hit TV shows, with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Heroes Reborn and many, many other TV programs holding their panels in Hall H. Does that mean there won't be any movies worth checking out in Hall H and other venues in and around the San Diego Convention Center? Not by a longshot! While SDCC is evolving into a more TV-friendly landscape, movies will never completely be out of the picture, and there are some terrific ones that will be on display this year.
Among the beloved and highly-anticipated movies coming to SDCC this year are the final The Hunger Games movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Legendary's Crimson Peak, Krampus and Warcraft and Screen Gems' Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. These are just the tip of the iceberg, though, with The Weinstein Company presenting The Hateful Eight, and even Syfy getting in the mix with the TV movie Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, set to debut just a few weeks after SDCC. Oh yeah, and there are two behemoths known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that will bring the Con to its knees with, presumably, brand new footage for the most rabid fans on the planet.
So, with all that in mind, we're breaking down the 11 movies you need to see at Comic-Con throughout the four-day convention. Sure, the TV projects have a bigger presence than usual at the Con this year, a trend that will not likely reverse in the years to come, but as long as there is an audience for superhero movies and comic book adaptations, there will be a place for them both at the San Diego Convention. These 11 movies represent the biggest and best that this year's Con has to offer, and their panels should create headlines all around the world. In fact, we'd be surprised if these movies somehow manage to underwhelm the crowd at this year's Comic-Con, but given how anticipated these projects are, it seems highly-unlikely that will happen. Even if you can't make it to San Diego this year, we'll have coverage from these 11 movies and everything else the Con has to offer all throughout the week. If you want to check out the full schedule for the four-day convention, visit the official Comic-Con website, but keep reading to learn more about the 11 biggest movies at SDCC.
Every year, each Friday of the Con is Star Wars Day, but for the first time in a decade, fans actually have a new Star Wars movie to celebrate with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. LucasFilm confirmed last month that producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan will be on hand for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens presentation, along with "special guests" who have yet to be announced. Naturally, it hasn't been confirmed what will actually be shown during the panel, but it will most likely be the third trailer. It's also possible that some of these "surprise guests" could not only be from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but other Star Wars movies as well. Casting is well under way on the first Star Wars spinoff Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, and LucasFilm could bring out the full cast on the Comic-Con stage. It's also possible that Star Wars: Episode VIII writer-director Rian Johnson makes a surprise appearance to reveal anything about his sequel, such as the title, plot, the first cast members, anything, really.
Aside from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is easily the most anticipated movie at SDCC. Sure, Warner Bros. still hasn't officially confirmed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's presence at SDCC, but Jesse Eisenberg essentially did so when he said he would be at the Con. Besides, this will be the third year in a row Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will have some sort of presence at Comic-Con. In 2013, just months after Man of Steel opened in theaters, director Zack Snyder and actor Harry Lennix unveiled the Batman v Superman logo to the screaming Hall H fans, and last year, the director showed off the first footage from the movie, along with our first look at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume. As for this year, hopefully the filmmakers will reveal the first full-length trailer, perhaps showing some of the actual, epic fight between both of these title heroes. We'll find out for sure in just a few short days.
The first big Comic-Con panel of the week is for Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Hall H panel on Thursday, which, barring any big announcements, could be the last Hunger Games franchise panel. Yes, Lionsgate extended the three Suzanne Collins' novels to four movies, as is standard operating procedure in Hollywood these days, but there is still a chance that fans will see more from the dystopian land of Panem after The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hits theaters. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed to investors in February that the studio is "thinking about prequel and sequel possibilities" to continue their blockbuster franchise, which shouldn't come as a surprise given how lucrative these movies are, and the fact that spinoffs and prequels are more popular than ever. Warner Bros. is going back to its lucrative Harry Potter well for the spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which marks the screenwriting debut of author J.K. Rowling. Lionsgate hasn't revealed who will be attending this panel yet, but we'll have to wait and see if they plan on announcing any continuation to the franchise here, or if they just give the final movie a proper send off.
Unfortunately, 20th Century Fox is keeping mum about what they will reveal at SDCC this year, but director Bryan Singer revealed this week that he is "hoping" to bring something from X-Men: Apocalypse, set for release on May 27, 2016. Production has been under way in Montreal for the past few months, so it's possible that they could cut together some sort of early teaser to show the fans, or perhaps reveal new concept art which gives us our first official look at the villainous Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Honestly, practically anything revealed about this movie would likely be far more than anything we already know. At this point, we know it's set in 1983, it will be the last movie in this current trilogy, following X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that's about it. I don't expect any sort of extensive footage shown during the Fox panel, but, at the very least, they could shed new light about where this story is going, and where the franchise will go from here.
20th Century Fox also has not confirmed the inclusion of Deadpool at their Hall H panel, but since it actually comes out a few months before X-Men: Apocalypse, it's probably a safe bet that we'll see the Merc With the Mouth in Hall H. Rob Liefeld, who created the Deadpool character, will also be hiding 24 original sketches of his beloved character all over the San Diego Convention Center and surrounding areas. As for the panel itself, it's possible we could see the first trailer, since principal photography wrapped just over a month ago, but it remains to be seen if Ryan Reynolds and/or any of his co-stars will make the trek to San Diego this year. With Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures skipping the Con this year, it gives both Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox the chance to take the spotlight with their superhero adaptations, and, while Fox may want to keep their panel a secret, one would imagine they just have to shine a spotlight on both Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Quentin Tarantino is bringing his eighth movie, The Hateful Eight, to SDCC, giving fans an exclusive first look at this revenge Western, which wrapped principal photography last month. It isn't known yet if this first look will be a full trailer, or perhaps just an extended scene that has already been cut together in the first few weeks of principal photography. There will also be a Q&A with the cast, but it hasn't been confirmed which members of this immense ensemble cast will be joining QT for the panel. One doesn't often find Westerns embedded within the comic-heavy lineup of SDCC, but anything involving Quentin Tarantino surely draws a crowd, and you can expect Hall H to be jam-packed for a first look at The Hateful Eight, in theaters this Christmas. Personally, I hope the director discusses the infamous script leak, which almost caused this movie never to happen at all, but we'll have to wait and see what the outspoken filmmaker talks about in just a few days' time.
We know that Warcraft will be a part of Legendary Pictures' Hall H panel that also includes Crimson Peak, The Great Wall and Krampus, but, as is par for the course, the studio didn't reveal who will be taking to the Comic-Con stage for this movie. While we still have just under a year until director Duncan Jones' video game adaptation hits theaters in June, principal photography has been wrapped for quite some time, so we could very well get the first trailer in this panel. All we've seen from the movie thus far are a few character posters, so even if a trailer doesn't debut, we could still get a look at some concept art or even some rough footage, without the visual effects. Fans have been waiting quite some time for any sort of sneak peek at Warcraft, so we can only hope that Legendary does right by these eagerly-awaiting fans of the Horde and the Alliance.
Author Jane Austen's work normally doesn't go hand-in-hand with the fanboy-friendly crowd at Comic-Con, but when you throw zombies into the mix, well, that's a different story entirely. Screen Gems has confirmed that stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston, Matt Smith and writer/director Burr Steers will be on hand for this Hall H panel, which will include a first look at the film, most likely the trailer, along with a Q&A session with the aforementioned panelists. Given that there just isn't much known about this adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, based on Jane Austen's original classic Pride and Prejudice, this could turn out to be one of the sleeper hits of the Con. Of course, that all depends on how the audience reacts to the footage, but stranger things have surely happened at SDCC. It will be interesting to see if there are any Jane Austen cosplayers who come out of the woodwork for this Pride and Prejudice and Zombies panel.
Director Guillermo del Toro has not been confirmed to be in attendance at this panel, but given how beloved he is by the SDCC faithful, his appearance at the Crimson Peak panel is almost a foregone conclusion. This haunted house thriller boasts an all-star cast, including Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Doug Jones, so we'll have to wait and see who all shows up for the panel. We've already gotten two trailers for Crimson Peak so far, so it isn't immediately clear what will be put on display in this panel. Perhaps it will be yet another trailer, or an extended scene that nobody has seen yet, but regardless, the Crimson Peak sneak peek should inject some thrills and scares into the Hall H crowd.
This project hasn't been confirmed as a part of Warner Bros.' panel either, but since it hits theaters on August 14, it would be surprising if the studio didn't showcase this adaptation of the hit 1960s TV series. Besides, the film stars Henry Cavill, who will surely be on hand for the studio's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice presentation, so I'm sure they will kill two birds with one stone and present either a new trailer or a never-before-seen clip. It isn't known if Henry Cavill's co-stars Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki or director Guy Ritchie are also making the trek to San Diego as well. Since the movie opens in just under a month, I wouldn't be surprised if the studio announced some sort of secret screening of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that night, for fans in attendance at the panel, but we'll have to wait and see.
Is there a better way to spend a Friday night than with the cast and crew of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!? Probably not. Stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo and David Hasselhoff will be joined by director Anthony C. Ferrante, and writer Thunder Levin to discuss all things Sharknado. Since the sequel airs on Syfy just a few weeks later on July 22, there will surely be some footage shown, be it a trailer or a new clip, along with a Q&A session. It wouldn't be terribly surprising for the cast and crew to already announce Sharknado 4 at this panel, because there doesn't seem to be anything that can stop this franchise from pulling in huge ratings for Syfy every summer.
What do you think of our 11 biggest movies of Comic-Con 2015? Are there any you think should be added to our list? Chime in with your thoughts below, and be sure to stay tuned all next week for our continuous coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2015.