The film festivals may be where you launch the art house films, but if you've got a major blockbuster in the comic, horror or science fiction genre then there's no other time of year quite like the San Diego Comic Con. Last year saw over 100,000 people cramming the expansive convention centre for the four-day event.
With a little over a week to go, the full schedule has been announced with this year's various panels to include appearances and Q&As with the likes of Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, David Wenham, Rosario Dawson, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Eva Mendes, Kristen Bell, Ali Larter, Anna Sophia Robb, Nick Frost, David Arquette and The Wayans Brothers.
Joining them will be directing and producing luminaries such as Sam Raimi, Alfonso Cuarón, Bryan Singer, Kevin Smith, Richard Kelly, Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Hopkins, Jon Favreau, Edgar Wright, David Goyer, James L. Brooks, Mark Steven Johnson, Zach Snyder, Joel Silver and Stan Winston.
As always there's plenty of sneak peek footage, every year a filmmaker brings along a world first look at footage from films in production with last year both "Superman Returns" and "King Kong" bringing the house down. This year it's expected a scene from "Spider-Man 3" will be the most talked about. With both previous film's Sam Raimi was in attendance at a panel which showed off two key scenes (the lab where Peter gets bitten in the first film, and the Doc Ock operating room gone crazy scene from the second) which were edited and used completed visual effects. Raimi is back this year and it's expected we'll see a similar deal here, along with the unveiling of new artwork showing off the film's villains.
Potential footage debuts from the likes of "300", "Grind House" and possibly "Transformers" will draw much talk as well. Amongst the films getting panels or being shown footage from are: 300, The Ant Bully, The Children of Men, Crank, DOA: Dead or Alive, Fantastic Four 2, Flyboys, Ghost Rider, Grind House, Happy Feet, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Iron Man, Open Season, Pan's Labyrinth, The Reaping, Saw III, Skinwalkers, Snakes on a Plane, Southland Tales, Spider-Man 3, Stardust, Surf's Up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Transformers & The Wicker Man.
Here's a short list of the film and TV related panels and when they're on for those attending who want a quick reference guide. Each panel will consist of footage presentations followed by Q&A with several major members of cast and crew from the films or shows:
12pm: MGM - "Flyboys"
1pm: Sony Animation - Surf's Up, Open Season & Monster House
2pm: Warner Animation - Happy Feet, Ant Bully & TMNT (Ninja Turtles)
3:30pm: Lionsgate - Crank, Skinwalkers & Saw III
5pm: "The Tripper" Panel
6pm: Picturehouse - "Pan's Labyrinth"
11am: Warner Bros. Pictures - The Reaping, Superman Returns, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix & The Wicker Man
12:45pm: 20th Century Fox - Sunshine (?) & Fantastic Four 2 (?)
2:30pm: Paramount Pictures - Stardust & Transformers (?)
3:30pm: Universal Pictures - The Children of Men
4:00pm: New Line Home Video - King Kong Extended DVD
4:30pm: Star Wars Spectacular
5:30pm: New Line Cinema - Snakes on a Plane & The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
12:30pm: NBC's "Heroes" Pilot Screening
3pm: Southland Tales
4pm: DOA: Dead or Alive
6pm: Power of the Dark Crystal
11am: Family Guy/American Dad Panel 12pm: Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror 1pm: Warner Home Video's Superman Through The Ages 2pm: Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 Panel
Hall H 10:30am: Warner Bros. Pictures - 300
11:45pm: Dimension Films - Grind House
1pm: Kevin Smith Panel
2:30pm: The Spirit Movie 3:45pm: Walt Disney Pictures - Narnia & Dead Man's Chest DVDs
5pm: Sony Pictures - Ghost Rider & Spider-Man 3
3:30pm: Marvel Studios - Iron Man, Hulk 2, Ant-Man
10:30am: Lost: Season 3 Panel 12pm: The Simpsons Season 18 Panel--------------------- Sunday
12:30pm: CBS's "Jericho" Pilot Screening
11am: Annual Trailer Park Presentation 12pm: Screen Gems - The Grudge 2 & The Covenant 1pm: Rogue Pictures - Balls of Fury & Hot Fuzz---------------------
For the full schedule, click here. I myself will be attending as usual, if you see me around the traps (usually a bar somewhere in the Gaslight) or at these panels be sure to come up and say hello.