For the next four days San Diego will be the center of the pop-culture universe as the most powerful people in movies, TV, videogames, and comics descend on the city. All of those endless panels, interviews, and announcements make for a convention so chock full of information, it’ll make you feel like a character in Scanners. That’s why we’ve distilled the endless options down to the five parts of the 44th Comic-Con we’re most looking forward to. You’ll notice sleep is not on the schedule.
Avengers surprises: So many questions remain about Marvel’s Avengers sequel and a few might be answered in the next couple of days. Along with the first made-for-mass-consumption footage of the film, expect to see Marvel spill even more plot details than the recent Entertainment Weekly cover story. The most tantalizing bit still out there is the remaining Marvel superheroine expected to join up for Age of Ultron. Even without that morsel though, the Avengers should be the talk of the Con Saturday night, especially if the whole cast ends up taking the stage. That will be enough star power to put the Tesseract to shame.
Sneak peeks, previews, and first looks: With all eyes on Comic-Con this weekend, there’s no better time for a movie studio to lift the veil on its next major project, even if that just means giving fans a tiny taste of what’s to come. Lionsgate will provide more for those desperate for the next Hunger Games movie: The trailer for Mockingjay — Part 1 will be shown on Friday before blanketing the Internet. Among the films more likely to have a few seconds (or even minutes) to show off are the Terminator: Genesis, Mad Max: Fury Road and Peter Jackson’s final movie in his Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Fight Club: From Page to Screen and Beyond: Fifteen years after they teamed up to give us the gift of Fight Club, director David Fincher and writer Chuck Palahniuk will join forces again for a panel discussing how the movie went from page to screen. As with everyone on a stage at Comic-Con, Palahniuk has something to pitch: His sequel, Fight Club 2, will be released as a 10-issue comic book series next year. Expect a peek at the future of Tyler Durden, along with some revealing stories about how Fincher turned Palahniuk’s vision into a modern cult classic. And hey, there’s a non zero chance that Meat Loaf will show up. That alone makes this panel worth paying attention to.
Slasher flick panel: The holy trinity of first-wave slashers — Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers — are the subject of a panel that intends to probe cinema’s darkest minds. Three forensic psychiatrists and Mark Swift, writer of Freddy vs. Jason and 2009’s Friday the 13th remake, will tackle the important questions about these three fiends, including the most important of all: Who’s the most dangerous? The panel discussion promises to be entertaining, but what we’re really hoping for is a red-headed fan in overalls loudly protesting Chucky’s exclusion.
A rare inside look at the innocent, early days of comics: When the Canadian documentary show Behind the Scene produced a 20-minute peek inside the world of comics in 1978, they had no way of knowing what the industry would become. More than 35 years later the little seen short will be screened for throngs of fans eager to hear from comic legends like Stan Lee and Archie Goodwin and see inside the worlds of DC and Marvel before they became movie-making powerhouses.