Movie and TV studios are set to trot out some of their most highly anticipated properties this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con International, loading up panels with celebrities for the benefit of the hordes of fans and press, who are already starting to descend on the city. This year's events will, as always, range from the obligatory fanboy nostalgia—The X-Files panel, anyone?—to sneak peek presentations and panels for the shiny new franchise hopefuls.
With a crowded line-up, it's hard to know what exactly to look out for, so here's a collection of the events we think are most likely to reveal some exciting tidbits. This is by no means comprehensive list—if you want that, check out the schedules over at Deadline—but instead represents the events we're most interested in, and think you should be too.
Sherlock: Fans of the BBC's excellent modern-day take on Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective stories have been waiting a long time for some resolution to the season two cliffhanger—it finished in America, May 2012. Being the Cumberbitches that we are, we're more than a little eager to see what the panel, featuring co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, will reveal. The next season won't come to America until 2014, after a Downton Abbey-like delay, but at least we might get some little thing to tease or tide us over this week.
Ender's Game and Divergent: Summit Entertainment's panel is a double-dose of big deal. It will feature footage from the studio's two new great Y.A. hopes, Ender's Game and Divergent. The big question at the moment is whether anyone will bring up the recent controversy involving Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card during the Q&A, which Card is conveniently excluded from. Will things get heated or glossed over? On the Divergent side, we may get a taste of just how big a deal this thing — yet another adaptation of a popular dystopian Y.A. book series — is really going to be.
Veronica Mars: A Comic-Con panel apparently featuring "exclusive footage" might help answer the burning question: is this Kickstarter-funded foray into nostalgia going to be a success or just a big old mess? Decide for yourself whether you're paying attention to this one out of genuine excitement or pure schadenfreude.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A lot of new television shows will be peddling their wares at Comic-Con, but it's debatable whether you'll want to see what comes out of the screenings and panels for things like The Blacklist, Intelligence, or the Wonderland-set Once Upon a Time spinoff. That said, you're undoubtedly going to want to see what's revealed at the panel for ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Creator Joss Whedon is expected to be there, as are "surprise guests," but whether the full pilot will be screened remains a mystery. Expect a lot of questions about how the hell Agent Coulson is coming back from the dead after getting impaled in The Avengers. (Spoiler alert?)
Gravity: The big Warner Bros. panel has a lot stuffed into it, and while it might be cool to learn about the Godzilla reboot, we're really more interested in what there is to be said about Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, the potentially amazing (it is Cuarón, after all) Sandra Bullock lost-in-space movie. Is it Oscar-worthy?
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: You know the drill with this one, right? The panel will culminate in a new trailer that everyone will freak out about for a couple days.
20th Century Fox: This studio has been rather vague about what they are bringing to Comic-Con, though Vulture's Kyle Buchanan reports that their big surprise will be a glimpse of X-Men: Days of Future Past, next year's superhero prequel/sequel (depending on your perspective) that stars basically everyone who has ever been in an X-Men movie. (Except for January Jones. Sorry, January.)
Marvel: Ah Marvel, Marvel, Marvel, what money-making movies do you have to brag about this year? Sure, the panel will mostly focus on the upcoming Thor and Captain America sequels, but don't think that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won't surprise with an announcement or two about future projects. Will something be said about Guardians of the Galaxy? Maybe just a Chris Pratt muscle-flexing show? We can only speculate/hope.
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