It begins! The annual San Diego Comic-Con kicks off this evening with the traditional Preview Night and will be continuing through Sunday. We've got plenty of people on site to bring you lots of coverage over the next few days, of course, and we've already written up a look at our most anticipated events, provided you with a podcast discussion of the most anticipated movies and even shared a roundup of what to expect from other sites' coverage in addition to Movies.com's. Now I'm here with another advance treat, The Conversation's sampling of how everyone's preparing and what people are hoping for at this year's big "nerd prom."
In the first part of today's Conversation, check out some confessions from SDCC virgins -- or newbies -- as they wonder what they're in for. In the second part, see why bloggers are expecting surprise appearances from Andrew Garfield, Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio as well and surprise announcements about new Avengers and Justice League movies and Hunger Games sequels. Two of my regular Twitter poll participants graciously chime in at the end with their wishes as well.
All I can add is that I urge everyone, fans and pros alike, to stay safe and have fun. And stay tuned for more COMIC-CONversation roundups throughout the event to see what everyone's saying about everything.
How are people preparing themselves and you for Comic-Con? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
On Wednesday morning I will fly to San Diego to attend Comic-Con for the first time. While I'm there, I will write things and interview famous people so that you can read them. And I already know that I will do many, many things wrong. [...] Almost every horror story that I've ever heard about Comic-Con somehow involves Hall H. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if upon arriving in San Diego, I discover that Hall H doesn't even exist; it's just an urban legend used to fool unsuspecting, naïve, native Midwesterners like myself. "Nah, that's just an old wives' tale," a seemingly-harmless-but-is-hiding-a-deadly-secret local will tell me. "Actually, most of the panels happen in Alleyway G, right over there," he points. I cautiously make my way to Alleyway G, looking for the Django Unchained panel -- only, instead, I am horrified to find the decayed corpse of the 2010 Green Lantern panel. - Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
F**k Hall H. Listen, I'll be spending most of Con in Hall H. But I'm there on business. If I was at Con for pleasure I'd be nowhere near Hall H. While there's an excitement in being the first to see promotional clips and trailers, remember that you're wasting your whole day watching promotional clips and trailers. You're presenting yourself as a captive audience, saying "Please market to me!" There are lots of other great things to do at Comic-Con. - Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
I decided that, as a noob, it was best to experience the convention as a fan and not an industry professional [...] That’s when the idea of wearing a mask came into the picture, to disguise myself and resist the temptation of professional perks [...] I will blend in even under fantastical vestments. So what character would I choose? What hero, outlaw, or monster embodies what I’m trying to achieve this year? It had to be Rorschach. He kept a journal, he documented the strange and the severe, the changing environments around him. Under this face, I will roam the Con. I will take part in nothing to which a regular Joe fan couldn’t easily gain access. If this persona ends up taking over my psyche and I begin pummeling booth thieves and leering creeps snapping pictures of jailbait in Sailor Moon outfits, well, then this experiment will have succeeded. - Brian Salisbury, Film School Rejects
Surprised by how psyched I'm getting for Comic-Con. Last one I attended was in NY in like...1970? '71? - Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain)
Getting my geek T-shirts ready for Comic-Con. It's not who I am underneath, it's the slogans I wear on my chest that define me. - Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt)
I wore a Green Lantern t-shirt on my flight so people would know. - Matt Patches (@misterpatches)
Off to Comic-Con with sarcasm as my only defense. - Sophia Savage (@thesavagesophia)
Here's how to enjoy SDCC vicariously from home. Type "Comic-Con" and "fart" into the search bar at the top of Twitter. Works every time. - Matt Singer (@mattsinger)
Best of luck to everyone going to Comic-Con today. Buy hand sanitiser and water. By Saturday you'll want to mix them and drink it. - Warren Ellis (@warrenellis)
Comic-Con has just notified Con-ners that strollers will not be allowed in programming rooms at this year’s event. Phew! However, this poses a difficult predicament for cosplayers with stroller-sized children: Carry them around in the custom-made Hit-Girl costume/Spider-man leotard you’ve been slaving over for a year now and sacrifice the full effect of your “Loki with handmade scepter” look? Or sacrifice the kid for the wow factor of your elaborate costume? For the sake of hot, screaming infants who may not enjoy the sight of adult-sized villains and Princess Leias everywhere—we beg you to choose your scepter over your children. - Julie Miller, Vanity Fair
What are people expecting or hoping for at this year's Comic-Con? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
When it comes to film panels, two comic book movies take precedence. Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel will be at Comic-Con and we can barely contain our excitement. We’ve seen production photos from both movies, but no live action footage. Could we get our first new Superman and Iron Man trailers this week? - Krystal Clark, Screen Crave
[Andrew] Garfield is no stranger to making surprise appearance at Comic-Con, with his unexpected showing at last year's "Amazing Spider-Man" panel becoming one of the festival's true highlights. And with rumors abounding about which new heroes will join the team's lineup in "The Avengers 2," it's hard not to imagine the actor turning up during Saturday's "Iron Man 3" panel to announce Spidey's involvement in the hugely-anticipated sequel. - Chriss Eggertsen, Hit Fix
While Marvel is acting like its planned SDCC reveal of the various expansions on the setting of their Cinematic continuity is a big secret, everybody pretty much already knows: they're making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The best I'm hoping for? A firm announcement of the team roster. Yeah, I want to know how many ladies are going to be on it, and whether or not we're getting an anthropomorphic alien raccoon in modern cinema. - Susana Polo, The Mary Sue
Ant-Man Preview Footage – It’s been reported that director Edgar Wright has already shot a test reel for Ant-Man. Whether Marvel Studios will share that Ant-Man test reel at Comic-Con is unknown, but since Wright is said to have finished the test reel in June, it does sort of make sense that he was probably getting it ready for Comic-Con. - Scott Johnson, ComicBook.com
With a two-hour panel currently scheduled for Saturday afternoon, it wouldn't surprise us if [Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment ] used the extremely publicity opportunity to announce what's next for the DC heroes on the big screen. Does that mean a director for "Justice League"? (There is already a screenwriter on board). Or, perhaps a surprise announcement moving forward with the long dormant "Flash" movie? Or, god help us, "Green Lantern 2"? We're oh so curious. - Gregory Ellwood, Hit Fix
If DC is feeling super generous, they may also talk a little about plans for the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, though that may be wishful thinking since both scripts are still being drafted. - Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly
With "Catching Fire" filming expected to begin next month, we're hoping [Willow] Shields will shell out some need-to-knows about what's to come — like whether a Finnick Odair has been chosen or whether Jena Malone will indeed be Johanna Mason. We'd also love to hear her thoughts on new director Francis Lawrence's vision for "Catching Fire," whether Hawaii will serve as the filming hotspot for the arena sequences or not and where she thinks "Mockingjay" will be split in two. [...] and we predict that there'll be tons of Katniss costumes on display all over the Con. Bows, braids and cargo pants aplenty! We can picture it already. - Amanda Bell, Next Movie
Not that we won't ever see anything "Twilight"-related at the annual pop-culture convention again after this year, but because "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" is the final film in the franchise and knowing how Summit and the film's cast and crew pull out all the stops for their Comic-Con appearances, we can definitely expect big things from this year's events. [...] I'll take a Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner appearance any day, but the icing on the cake would be if halfway through the panel we get a surprise visit from all the new additions to the cast, like a fun Coven roll call or something. - Kara Warner, MTV News
The Expendables 2 - The movie's going to be a PG-13 suckfest, but with Planet Hollywood gone, when are you going to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger together in a room again? - Pete Vonder Haar, Houston Press
[Leonardo] DiCaprio has never made a Comic-Con appearance before, but is there a better way to debut than having QT at your side? Surely Tarantino has a juicy clip ready highlighting DiCaprio's buzzy role as brutal plantation owner Calvin Candie, and the actor should be there to soak up the crowd's adoration. - Geoff Berkshire, Hit Fix
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?! - Natalie Finn, E!
Trek 2 news is really all I care about. Getting some under the radar stuff would be nice (a la District 9 a few years back) - Andrew Plotkin (@andrewplotkin)
I'd love to see a DARK KNIGHT RISES screening. Looking forward to HALO 4, everything TRANSFORMERS, Quick Draw and WB panel. - Dominic (@Count3D)
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.