Over the past few days the official schedule for the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con has been slowly making its way online, setting the stage for what's sure to be the geekiest event of the year for movie fans, TV fans, comic fans and everyone in between. Movies.com will be on the ground at this year's Comic-Con (July 20-24) covering a bunch of the movie-related offerings, making sure to bring back the bits and pieces we know you'll want to read about.
Instead of posting the full schedules for each day, we decided to wait till the end and round up what we feel are the top 10 movie-related panels at this year's convention. You'll see reports from all of these here at Movies.com, with some of them being covered by our Countdown column writers. In addition, we've highlighted the top 3 movie-related panels, just so you're aware of what the hottest, most buzzed-about events will be in San Diego this year. Note that this does not cover special events outside the convention (like the Cowboys & Aliens premiere), or any of the studio displays on the convention floor.
Please feel free to drop a line in the comments section and let us know what you're most interested in at this year's Comic-Con so we make sure to cover it for you. And for complete schedules, see the official Comic-Con website. (Note: Italics are ours; all other panel descriptions come from official site)
*** TOP 3 PANEL*** 1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (11:15-12:15) — Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated next chapter of The Twilight Saga. This is a must see for fans interested in the story's final chapters. You'll see exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 and be treated to a filmmaker and cast Q&A session providing details on the first half of the epic two-part finale. Hall H
***TOP 3 PANEL*** 2. 20th Century Fox Panel (3:15-4:30): The films expected to appear at 20th Century Fox's panel include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Ridley Scott's much-anticipated ALIEN prequel (of sorts) Prometheus, and In Time, the Andrew Niccol-directed sci-fi flick starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Look for footage and cast appearances from each film.
3. Paramount: The Adventures of Tintin (11am, Hall H): Right now we know there's a panel for The Adventures of Tintin, but we don't know what will be featured or who will be there. We expect a good look at footage (in 3D), as well as an appearance from director Steven Spielberg and perhaps a video message from Peter Jackson.
4. Legendary Pictures: Preproduction Preview (12:45pm-1:45)— Legendary Pictures holds its first-ever Comic-Con panel and shares an early look at some of the movies on the company's upcoming film slate. Fans will be able to access Legendary's plans, garner sneak peeks at their movies in preproduction, and hear from filmmakers and cast members from the upcoming Pacific Rim, Seventh Son, Paradise Lost, and Mass Effect. Panel participants include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Guillermo del Toro, Ben Barnes, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Alicia Vikander, Alex Proyas, Sergei Bodrov, Travis Beacham, Mark Protosevich, and Casey Hudson. Room 6BCF
5. DreamWorks: Fright Night (2:45-3:45) — Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), Dave Franco (Charlie St. Cloud), director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) take the dais to give fans a taste of the horrific fun to come in DreamWorks Pictures' 3D reimagining of the classic horror film. Hall H
***TOP 3 PANEL*** 6. Sony (4:00-5:30) — Sony returns to Hall H with a stellar lineup of films and talent, including:
Ghost Rider-Spirit of Vengeance -- After blazing a trail around the globe in the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Columbia Pictures' Ghost Rider-Spirit of Vengeance. Still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter, Blaze is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider again, but it is the only way to protect the boy -- and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Live on stage: directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank) and stars Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth.
30 Minutes or Less -- From Ruben Fleischer, the director of Zombieland, comes the action comedy 30 Minutes or Less. In the movie, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network and Zombieland) is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wannabe criminal masterminds (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). The duo kidnap Nick and force him to rob a bank. With only a few hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship. Talent in attendance includes director Ruben Fleischer and stars Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Michael Peña.
Total Recall -- Welcome to Rekall, the company that with one little implant can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. With the line between fantasy and reality blurred and the fate of his world hanging in the balance, Quaid goes on the run to discover his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic story "I Can Remember It for You Wholesale," this new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman and stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and John Cho, all of whom will be appearing.
The Amazing Spider-Man -- The Amazing Spider-Man is back on the big screen, shot in 3D for the first time, and will be swinging into your neighborhood on July 3, 2012. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen, as well as Sally Field, and directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man's new creative team will be taking a whole new direction in the unfolding saga of everyone's favorite web-slinger. Appearing in person are producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, director Marc Webb, and our own Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy -- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Hall H
7. TWIXT: Francis Ford Coppola and Dan Deacon (11:45-12:45) — Legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and acclaimed musician Dan Deacon present sequences from Coppola's latest film, TWIXT, and involve the audience in a dress rehearsal of the completely unique and innovative way they plan on performing it. Plus a Q&A session. Hall H
8. Relativity Media: Immortals ( 1:00-2:00) — Visionary director Tarsem Singh transports viewers in this epic tale of treachery, vengeance, and destiny in this stylish and visually spectacular 3D action adventure. The brutal and bloodthirsty King Hyperion and his murderous Heraklion (Mickey Rourke) rampage across Greece in search of the long lost Bow of Epirus. With the invincible Bow, the king will be able to overthrow the Gods of Olympus and become the undisputed master of his world. As village after village is obliterated, a stonemason named Theseus vows to avenge his mother, who was killed in one of Hyperion's brutal raids. When Theseus meets the Sybelline Oracle Phaedra, her disturbing visions of the young man's future convince her that he is the key to stopping the destruction. With her help, Theseus assembles a small band of followers and embraces his destiny in a final, desperate battle for the future of humanity. Stars Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz will participate in this panel alongside producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton. Hall H
9. Universal Pictures: Snow White and the Huntsmen (3:30-4:15) — Universal Pictures is bringing the stars and filmmakers of its epic action-adventure film based on the script Snow White and the Huntsman to Comic-Con. Scheduled to appear to discuss their roles in this breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale are Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Oscar winner Charlize Theron (Prometheus),Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). Director Rupert Sanders (Halo 3 campaign) and other filmmakers will also be on hand to reveal exclusive footage. Q&A session to follow. Hall H
10. An Early Evening with Kevin Smith (5:45-7:30) — You know Comic-Con is over for the night on Saturday when the fat man sings. Kevin Smith takes to the Hall H stage for his annual Q& A. Fair warning: he works bluer than Doctor Manhattan (though, unlike Doctor Manhattan, Smith will wear clothes for this performance).Hall H
Here's one more bonus movie-related panel worth checking out for Thursday, Friday and Saturday ...
Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture (6:00-7:00) — EW moderates an in-depth conversation with Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) and Guillermo del Toro (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark), two filmmakers at the forefront of bringing geek culture to the masses and making blockbuster art out of pulp fiction. They will discuss their inspirations, their current work, and how they strive to put a personal stamp on blockbuster entertainment. Plus: How is new technology changing the way stories are produced and viewed? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff "Doc" Jensen. Hall H
Relativity Media: Raven and Haywire (12:15-1:15) — Two fantastic films from Relativity Media debut in this Hall H presentation.
Raven -- The film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis for a string of brutal murders. Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, Luke Evans, and Alice Eve and is directed by James McTeigue.
Haywire (pictured above) -- An electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal. A female covert ops specialist who works in the deadly world of international operatives strikes back after discovering she's been double-crossed by someone close to her in the agency. Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano makes her feature film -- and Comic-Con -- debut, starring and performing her own high-adrenaline stunts. Also appearing is director Stephen Soderbergh. Hall H
Knights of Badassdom (2:15-3:15) — In this humorous fantasy adventure from IndieVest Pictures, Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is a heavy metal rocker who's just gone through a painful breakup with his girlfriend, Beth (Margarita Levieva). His concerned roommates (Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage) kidnap him to their LARP (Live Action Role Playing) gathering, where he enters a realm of fantasy escapism in which pretend knights, elves, and barbarians clash with foam weaponry on a mock battlefield. When Joe's "sorcerer" roommate (Zahn) inadvertently summons a deadly succubus that takes Beth's seductive form, bloody reality crashes down on their fantasy world. Once LARPers start to turn up dead, the make-believe wizards and warriors must become the real-life heroes they have been pretending to be in order to conquer the evil that has been unleashed. The panel will include a Comic-Con exclusive trailer and a discussion/Q&A with stars Ryan Kwanten (HBO'sTrue Blood, Red Hill), Peter Dinklage (HBO's Game of Thrones, Station Agent),Steve Zahn, pending availability (HBO's Tremé, Saving Silverman), Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity, The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Danny Pudi (NBC'sCommunity), Jimmi Simpson, pending availability (A&E's Breakout Kings, Date Night), Margarita Levieva (The Lincoln Lawyer, Adventureland). and director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2). Knights of Badassdom will be released in Spring 2012.Hall H