Time to get psyched (and maybe put on a costume), because Comic-Con 2012 starts tomorrow!
As always, we will be bringing you the latest scoop straight from hallowed Hall H and anywhere else news is being made for the next four days—and San Diego is going to be positively buckling this year under the weight of all the eagerly anticipated movies that have chosen Comic-Con as the place to start spilling their secrets.
What are we most excited about? What should you be the most excited about? Well, here are the top 10 storylines we can't wait to follow:
1. OMG, the Final Twilight: Last year it was the penultimate film in the series, Bella and Edward's wedding and bloody birth-scene scoop that had us hanging on Kristen Stewart's every halting word. But this year brings us The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2—and the gang's final appearance at Comic-Con all together! Cue the epic madness. We expect Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner to reflect on the experience as a whole, for R.Pattz and K.Stew to play coy about their off-camera relationship, for newcomer Mackenzie Foy to charm us with precocity and director Bill Condon to treat Hall H to brand-spanking-new footage from the end-of-an-era-marking fifth Twilight film.
2. Marvelous News: While Breaking Dawn Part 2 kicks off the nonstop action Thursday, the Marvel Entertainment panel winds us down on Saturday night. The center of the universe this summer is Iron Man 3 producer Kevin Feige and "special guests"—which in all reasonable likelihood will include Robert Downey Jr. and director Shane Black, plus any or all of the following: Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall and Guy Pearce. Further possibilities include news about various sequels (Thor, Captain America, maybe even The Avengers) and talk of the pending Ant-Man film that Brit Edgar Wright has been working on for some time. He's said to have directed a scene or two that could end up being the designated Iron Man 3 cliffhanger.
3. The Hobbit's Expected Journey: Just one year ago, Peter Jackson positively thrilled the Hall H audience (trust us, we were there, it was delightful) at Steven Spielberg's Tintin panel by making an unexpected appearance during a quick break from shooting his two-part Hobbit epic in New Zealand. Well, Jackson's on the schedule this time, and he's bringing the whole wee gang (or at least a few hobbits and dwarfs) along for the adventure. The teaser released last Christmas has us all riled up for more extensive looks at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
4. One Word—Superman: Henry Cavill was at Comic-Con last year for Immortals and, let's just say, we couldn't help daydreaming about the Brit showing off his musculature in a tight blue suit. Happily, Man of Steel will be front and center at the Warner Bros. panel, and pretty much any footage, photos and scoop from the super secretive set will be welcome.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Back in Business: He said he'd be back. The scandalicious former governor of California is confirmed for The Expendables 2 panel, along with Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews. So, does this mean last year's little illegitimate-child snafu is water under the action-blockbuster bridge? We're going to guess the answer to that is yes—at least for the hour the inimitably charistmatic Austrian is onstage taking questions from rabid fans, anyway.
6. Possible Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan Sightings: It's understandable that the director of the much-ballyhooed The Sixth Sense—who's gone nowhere but down, box-office-wise, since—would want to keep expectations low, er, a low profile ahead of the release of his next film, the sci-fi thriller After Earth, starring Smith and son Jaden. None of the three is scheduled to be at the film's under-the-radar panel in the far cozier Room 6A...but, hey! There could be a twist no one sees coming, right?!
7. Quentin Tarantino Unleashed: The quirky, endlessly quotable director (and stars TBD) is bringing his violent antebellum revenge flick Django Unchained to Hall H—and we suggest you leave the kids at home. And the panel is at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. Who's up for a Bloody Mary?!
8. "The Finest F--king Monsters Ever Committed to Screen": Thank you, Guillermo Del Toro, for making what could be a played-out concept sound brand-new. That's how the swears-loving filmmaker described his monsters-vs.-robots action extravaganza Pacific Rim at least year's Comic-Con—so he better bring some evidence of that this year! And he's free to bring stars Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy panel preview!), Idris Elba and Charlie Day with him, too.
9. Jake Gyllenhaal's Thin Blue Line: The star will be out in support of the cop drama he shaved his head for, End of Watch. While we're not exactly sure why Open Road Films is hyping the film at Comic-Con—there are no superheroes, monsters, robots, aliens, anime, etc.—but who are we to argue? Perhaps the film is a stylized pulp fest (see: Tarantino). Or maybe the studio just wants to ensure there are butts in the seats when they trot out Silent Hill: Revelations 3D. Either way, our butts will be there.
10. This Year's Prometheus: It's hard enough to get Jodie Foster into a movie, let alone get her to Comic-Con. But director Neill Blomkamp got her to do both—and in Hall H she'll be (along with Matt Damon, no less!) repping Blomkamp's Elysium, the South African's much-anticipated follow-up to 2009's District 9. First of all, with a title like Elysium, it's got to be trippy. And, as Ridley Scott did with the cloaked-in-secrecy Prometheus last summer, we're expecting Blomkamp to finally start cluing people in to his vision in front of appreciative sci-fi fans in Hall H.