SDCC2015: Hall H list of Must See Panels

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San Diego Convention Center (Hall H is the corner of the building that’s pictured above)

San Diego comic-con (SDCC for short) begins in just a couple days and one of the more prominent attractions is the now infamous HALL H.

The 5 day genre entertainment event takes place in the San Diego California convention center.  Hall H is a presentation room that seats roughly 6500 people and is used as the primary place for hosting the most popular presentations throughout the week.  Typically it’s TV/Movie related stuff, but sometimes it’s interviews or one man shows (Kevin Smith used to have a block every year where he did his thing and entertained the fans).

This year will be a lighter than usual year as certain studios have decided to forego the convention all together;  Sony, Paramount, and Marvel most notably.  That said, there’s still quite a bit to look forward to so, let’s run down the panels that we will be keep a close eye on.

FRIDAY

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5:30pm – 6:30pm – Lucas Film Presentation

The cast and crew of Star Wars The Force Awakens (possibly other Star Wars films) will be at the con talking and showing us hopefully a whole new batch of stuff.  They’ve recently premiered an impressive trailer for it at this year’s Star Wars Celebration event, but JJ Abrams is likely to give attendees a bigger taste of what’s in store.  Remember though that Abrams is all about secrets so, don’t expect anything too spoiler filled. I imagine something like a Star Wars cantina scene to show off all the cool practical creatures they’ve built for this new film.  We also might get our first official look at returning characters, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, along with some new characters.

UPDATE: Lucasfilm just announced they won’t be bringing anything new to their panel at SDCC.  That’s pretty shameful of them.

 

SATURDAY

Princess Diana and Bruce Wayne

10:30am – 12:00pm – Warner Bros

The Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice cast and crew are back again and this time they’ve got a ton of new stuff to show.  Look out for Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman in motion. We’ve seen them in stills, but hopefully we can see them in action.  I’m especially interested to see how they’ll be handling Wonder Woman’s fighting style.  If there isn’t at least a little fisticuffs, I’ll be a bit disappointed.  They have the potential to set a new bar for female action stars as they did with our first time seeing Black Widow in action.

This also might be our chance to see Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in the context of the film.  It’s unlikely he’ll be a big role in the film, but like Wonder Woman, they could find some important ways to use these iconic characters in the context of the universe they’re building.

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1:30pm – 2:00pm – Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight

Tarantino will have an entire segment all to himself and will show off what he’s been cooking up with his latest, as he describes it; “I can definitely say that as bleak as our movie is, we are definitely the funniest snow Western ever made. This is funnier than The Great Silence, it’s funnier than Day of the Outlaw… Oh, yeah, funnier than McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

We’re fans of his work (most of it) so, this is a big one for us.  Really looking forward to seeing some of the returning cast, including Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) and Sam Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown) and new cast like Jennifer Jason Leigh who I don’t recall having worked with him before.

Tarantino shot the film on 70mm Ultra Panavision film which means it’ll be an ultra wide screen aspect ratio.  This will be the first time he shows off the film to a broad audience.  I’ve seen leaked images and the film looks absolutely gorgeous.  Can’t wait to see more.

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2:30pm – 3:30pm – Legendary Pictures

The folks at Legendary always bring the goods to SDCC.  They’re one of the few studios that occasionally create footage from scratch for films that have yet to even start shooting as evidenced by the teasers they cut for both Godzilla and it’s sequel in years past, and the new Skull Island monster film.

This year they’ll be showing off Guillermo Del Toro’s latest horror romance CRIMSON PEAK.  They’ll also have Michael Dougherty’s latest KRAMPUS.  Dougherty wrote the first two X-MEN movies with director Bryan Singer and made his directing debut with Trick’R’Treat.  Krampus is the yin to Santa’s yang so, it suggests lots of dead children. No? Maybe.  We’ll see.  The most interesting thing on this panel, however, will be the game-to-movie adaptation of WARCRAFT.  Still from the film is above.  We’re hoping for a creature heavy Game of Thrones for the big screen.

 

5:45pm – 7:30pm – FOX

FOX is cagey about what they’ll be showing, but it’s a sure bet that X-MEN: APOCALYPSE will be on show. Bryan Singer’s follow-up to the X-Men Days Of Future Past.  Apocalypse will be set in the 1980s which means lots of hair product, flaired leggings, and Jubilee!  Can’t wait to see footage for this one.  The 70s setting for the last film really helped that tone and this could have a positive impact again.  Can’t wait to hear the mixtape for this one.

Also sure to be on show is the finally coming soon DEADPOOL.  Ryan Reynolds will play the title character and talk to the camera, a lot.  If they can make it half as funny as the comics, I’m sold.  I predict that someone will kill Negasonic Teenage Warhead (the goth girl in the photo-op with Deadpool). She’s a pre-cog; why can she never avoid her own death.

We’ve seen quite  a bit of of FANTASTIC 4, but don’t be surprised if a scene or two gets shown off for this film that comes out early next month.  It’s even possible FOX might choose to screen this during the convention.  Occasionally studios will do surprise screenings of future films during the con week.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE just had a livestream event with the full cast on display and we have a hunch it will probably have something more to reveal, though since they’ve only just started shooting there might not be anything practical to show. A CGI teaser that sets up that the aliens are coming back would be cool.

Possible FOX appearances might be ASSASSIN’S CREED starring Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) and Marion Cotillard (Inception).  It’s not far enough along, but they might have the cast out to talk about the direction they’re taking with the property. From IMDB, it appears they’ll be following the first film’s story which takes place in medieval times.  UPDATE: Michael K Williams (The Wire) has been added to the cast of Assassin’s Creed.

Though less likely, they could also have the cast up for GAMBIT, the upcoming standalone X-Men film starring Channing Tatum. The film is being directed by Rupert Wyatt who did the Planet of the Apes reboot sequel and the screen story is based on a pitch/treatment by writer Chris Clairmont who actually created the original X-Men character.  No word on if they’ll surprise us with a cameo from Rogue.  Bella Donna anyone? Anyone remember her?

My money is on KUNG FU PANDA 3 getting a proper trailer reveal during SDCC.  I’ve enjoyed the previous two films and like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, I think it’s always welcome when a new film in the series is released.

Final hope for the con would be a glimpse at AVATAR 2.  I have a hunch it won’t be until next year that we get a look at the upcoming sequels, but stranger things have happened.  Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.

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