Once upon a time San Diego’s Comic Con was disregarded as an exercise for people to cosplay, obsess over little-watched cartoons and meet C-list actors from their favourite films. Now, the annual convention is arguably the biggest deal in the entertainment calendar. It’s now where gargantuan studios like Marvel and DC tease their box-office releases, where the casts of TV’s most popular shows including The Walking Dead field questions from the audience panels and, sometimes, you can even meet Luke bloody Skywalker.
Later this week, the event will kick off in sunny Southern California and there’s set to be a huge bunch of brand new trailers, casting reveals and more great info drip-fed on a daily basis. Here's what we can expect from this year's events.
17:45 - 18:30
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be in attendance taking questions about 2016’s most indecent film, Sausage Party. It first debuted at SXSW to rave reviews from fans.
Marvel's Luke Cage
17:45 - 18:45
Marvel superhero Luke Cage was a fan favourite in Netflix’s Jessica Jones, and now the digital streaming channel has given the character ihis very own show. Mike Colter, who plays the titular character, will be in attendance along with other major cast members, so expect lots of new details about the hotly-anticipated show to be revealed from the horse's mouth. A full-length trailer? We’re praying...
The Walking Dead
13:00 - 14:00
On Friday the stars and cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead will take part in a huge panel that could give fans a mouth-watering taster of Season 7. Several of the show’s the main players will be there including Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Steven Yeun (Glenn Rhee), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) plus comic book creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott M. Gimple. At the very least, we can expect some new casting announcements and discussion around that shocking Season 6 finale. Hopefully, though, we could be looking at a new trailer and more clues to who got battered by Negan...
Game Of Thrones
14:15 - 15:15
You can’t have an entertainment convention without the biggest TV show in the world right now. Several cast members will make an appearance, including (SPOILER ALERT) Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and the deceased Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will also be in attendance and hopefully drop some hints where his character’s storyline is heading, alongside showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss - who could spill the beans on the reason for Season 7’s delay and the much-talked about spin-off possibilities.
Batman: Killing Joke
21:00 - 00:00
The 1988 graphic novel of the same name is one of the best selling graphic novels of all time, and Christopher Nolan used it as inspiration for his 2008 film The Dark Knight. A straight up adaptation of the story, focusing on The Joker as Batman’s ultimate nemesis, has never been done on the screen before - so when the film gets its premiere at the convention on Friday, we’re likely to hear soon after whether the long wait has been worth it.
11:30 - 13:30
This two hour extravaganza might be the pick of the whole weekend as the studio previews many of its potential box-office heavyweights. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) will be there and could be bringing a first trailer, Charlie Hunnam who plays the titular character in Guy Ritchie's’ forthcoming King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword will field some questions and so will the stars of Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them - including Eddie Redmayne.
Fan will be most eager to see what emerges from the panel session with the stars of Suicide Squad, including The Joker (Jared Leto), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Wil Smith). The plot for what could be the film of the summer has been kept closely guarded, so expect a few tidbits and plots to be squeezed out of the stars by the eager fans during a brief Q&A.
Massive Star Trek gathering
14:00 - 15:00
With Star Trek: Beyond released worldwide this coming weekend, the stars of the previous instalments in the intergalactic franchise will convene in San Diego to discuss 50 years of Star Trek. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and the Klingon Worf (Michael Dorn) will feature on the panel alongside Bryan Fuller - the TV producer who is bringing the show back to television next year. For Trekkies, this is one to keep an eye on.
Aliens: 30 Years On
15:15 - 16:15
To celebrate the sci-fi classic’s 30th anniversary, star of the film Sigourney Weaver will be joined by director James Cameron and fellow actor Bill Paxton to discuss the film’s legacy three decades on. Discussion around a potential fifth film in the franchise is expected, alongside the confirmed prequel Alien: Convent, which is due next year.
17:30 - 18:45
Unlike Warner Bros., Marvel have kept their cards relatively close to the chest in regards to their screening bundle. No stars or films have been revealed to the public just yet, but fans are speculating that Dr. Strange (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton) and Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (featuring Chris Pratt) will be the focal points of the extravaganza. We already know a fair bit regarding Dr. Strange, but anything about GOTG2 will be a real coup for fans.
10:00 - 11:00
Fans were left a little confused and underwhelmed following the airing of special ‘The Abominable Bride’ on New Year's Day, and no doubt scriptwriters Mark Gattiss and Steven Moffat will address this in their Q&A session. Amanda Abbington who plays Mary Watson will be in attendance too, so there could be a bit of chatter about the fourth series which is due later this year on the BBC.