NOTE: This piece is pure speculation based off of available evidence found through out the internet. THIS IS NOT A CONFIRMATION OF PANELS.
Everyone who knows anything about the San Diego Comic-Con knows that one of the biggest draws to the event are the numerous celebrity filled panels discussing up cons films and television projects.
In 2011 we saw the cast of The Avengers take the stage, in 2012 we saw Breaking Bad make its first appearance at the con just in time to promote the first half of its final season, and 2013 we will see __________.
That blank line back there is one of the main reasons that drive an army of people well into six figures deep to plan for months (and years for some) in advance as to how they will get into Southern California for this one week in July. That blank line is the Schrödinger’s cat of the entertainment world in that until Comic-Con passes they will both see everything and see nothing that they want to see.
One of the rising gems of the con is the gaming industry. There are bigger cons and expos dedicated solely to video games held around the world yearlong, the biggest of which in America will be June’s E3. If the rumors of new gaming consoles being announced sometime between this week’s PlayStation event and E3 are to be believed then it is a pretty safe bet that both Sony and Microsoft will use SDCC as another platform to promote what their futures hold but maybe not in panels or even on the show floor.
Microsoft held an off-site lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel last year that was rife with gaming stations and even complimentary refreshments, and Nintendo also had a similar lounging room at the Marriott Marquis & Marina. Regardless if Sony is planning on unveiling the PS4 between now and then they might keep in lockstep with their direct competition and also house their own PS-centric suite that is free to anyone in the area, con badge or no.
One of the staples fans have come to expect at Comic-Con is the unaired television pilot screeners. Often held during the preview night hours and repeated again at various times during the weekend, TV pilots have become a major draw to both fans and industry spectators. In my opinion, the TV panels can benefit the most from trips to the con since the product is usually only about two months away from being released publicly, whereas the film panels could see release years after making an appearance at the convention.
Since pilot season is currently about to kick into gear in Hollywood it is really a gamble of what does and does not get greenlit within the next few weeks, let alone the five months to comic-con. Here are a few of the stronger contenders that might make it.
There is certainly a lot of buzz around the Avengers spin-off show S.H.I.E.L.D. with many fans wondering what it has planned for San Diego. While they may have a screening of the pilot, they also might not have one just because the buzz is so big that they would want it to hit fans at the same time. A panel though is something that would be expected, complete with a sizzle reel.
The CW’s adaption of the British series The Tomorrow People could be one of the series that screen a pilot at the con. The series revolves around a group of people with special powers in the normal world, much like the X-Men and Heroes. Fans should find this series to be an almost cookie-cutter expectation of something that would make its debut at Comic-Con. Another project in the CW’s development is The Selection, a series being dubbed as “Hunger Games-esqe”.
NBC’s Dracula is a series that has been tossed around the Comic-Con rumor/discussion forums as something that might get a big push. We may not see a pilot but we could expect lots of promotion, maybe even a big display outside of the convention center as NBC did for Revolution.
Another project gaining traction is Under The Dome. The series is an adaption of Stephen King’s work and is being brought to the little screen by Steven Spielberg and Brian K Vaughan. CBS gave the series a teaser commercial during it’s broadcast of the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, so it is pretty safe to assume that the network has belief in the project and may push for some more attention at the con.
The more obvious choices for television panels are the longtime con legacies, such as True Blood, Seth Macfarlane’s cartoons, The Simpsons, Archer, The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Dexter/Showtime, and Sons of Anarchy just to name a few. Since Community’s fate is up in the air a panel might be a little iffy at this time, and Spartacus might make an appearance as a goodbye to all of the fans after it’s final season wraps in a few weeks.
Dr Who is seeing its 50th anniversary this year so it would surprise nobody if a panel is scheduled.
The choices for what movies may or may not have panels are a little more clear than anything we may see from the ever changing landscape that is television.
There is without a doubt that the current wave of Marvel films under 20th Century Fox will see a panel. The Wolverine is scheduled for release the week after the con closes so they MIGHT have some sort of special event or screener, but for sure we will see a teaser from X-Men Days of Future Past. The studio has placed comic scribe Mark Millar at the helm of building a cohesive universe similar to what Marvel Films did with the movies it has control over. What better time to highlight all of your plans than by having a grand event at the biggest show of the year? Also, it has been a little too quiet on the Fantastic Four front.
There are faint rumors that the Justice League line-up could be announced at this year’s con despite the current script reportedly being taken back to the drawing board. I want to believe these rumors to be true because Warner Brothers really needs to find a way to step up their superhero properties if they wish to compete in the minds of the fans with the veracity that Marvel has been bringing lately.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be well into production by the time the convention arrives and director Webb seems like the type of guy who would want to show off what he can as often as he can.
One of the masters of Comic-Con is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and there is no doubt we will see a dedicated panel to their upcoming Thor, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy films. We should also expect to have something new thrown into the mix to keep fans buzzing.
2013 will also see a new film from Comic-Con friendly properties such as Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Red 2, 300: Rise of an Empire, Catching Fire, The Hobbit Part 2, Riddick, and Machete Kills. Any of these action films would fit right at home with a Hall H or Ballroom 20 panel.
On the comedy side of things there might be a good chance that Will Ferrell brings a little something from Anchorman: The Legend Continues. Ferrell has made a big spectacle of being at Comic-Con before, and while the Anchorman films might not fit in the way Wolverine would, the merchandise that came out of the first film after its release might make the studio consider dropping this film into the line-up.
These are just a few titles off the top of my head that might make an appearance. Again, this is just guesswork on my end based off of past trends and a little info on current productions. If there is something that you are excited about seeing please feel free to drop a comment.