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Jul 17, 2013

17 Things That Need To Happen At Comic-Con This Year

There is so much going on at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, but here are a few things that really should go down amid the 130,000-plus attendees. (A fan can dream.)

1. We finally see the battle room in Ender's Game.

Summit Entertainment

Ender's Game panel

Thursday, July 18

Scheduled to attend: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, producer Roberto Orci, director Gavin Hood

What we need to see: How Hood will pull off the massive zero-gravity arena where young Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) trains to defeat the alien horde threatening Earth is just one of several major questions hanging over this film. A few others: What will the aliens (aka buggers, aka Formics) look like? How much of a presence will Ender's siblings have in the movie? Will anyone have the stones to ask Harrison Ford about the next Star Wars movie? And, of course, what if anything will be said about the announced boycott of the film due to the anti-same-sex marriage views held by Ender's Game novelist Orson Scott Card?

2. We see Tris rappel off the Hancock building in Divergent.

Jaap Buitendijk

Divergent panel

Thursday, July 18

Scheduled to attend: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen, novelist Veronica Roth, director Neil Burger

What we need to see: Basically, anything from this adaptation of the bestselling YA novel would be welcome. But what will likely rouse the Comic-Con crowd most are the scenes of Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her Dauntless pals' harrowing exploration of a post-apocalyptic Chicago — including watching her leap off the moving El train.

Oh, and sexy times between Tris and Four (Theo James) wouldn't hurt either.

3. Mulder and Scully gently apologize for the last X-Files movie, announce a new kick-ass X-Files movie, and then make out.

20th Century Fox

The X-Files 20th anniversary panel

Thursday, July 18

Scheduled to attend: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, series creator Chris Carter, and writers/producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong

What we need to see: To have all these X-Files alumni on the same stage is a treat in and of itself, but an explanation for the weird and disappointing The X-Files: I Want To Believe would be nice as well.

4. Either we finally learn why Lydia is even on Teen Wolf, or Stiles and Derek finally just get it over with and come out as a couple.

Teen Wolf panel

Thursday, July 18

Scheduled to attend: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, Charlie Carver, Max Carver, executive producer Jeff Davis

What we need to see: Last year, the Teen Wolf panel mostly consisted of an early screening of the latest episode and some playful flirtatious banter among the cast. This year, let's either throw poor Lydia a bone, or dispense with the pretense and give the Sterek shippers what they've wanted for three seasons.

5. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost announce a Spaced feature film.

Laurie Sparham

The World's End panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, director Edgar Wright

What we need to see: Of course, we'll get loads of quippy exchanges between this trio of friends and colleagues, and we'll see a juicy clip or two from the final film in their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). But what would blow the roof off the San Diego Convention Center is the news that the TV series that started it all, Channel 4's Spaced, is finally getting the big screen treatment.

6. We finally get to see what $5,702,153 can buy for a feature film adaptation of a beloved cult TV mystery series — and we learn something substantial about what brings Veronica Mars back to Neptune, Calif.

Twitter: @IMKristenBell

Veronica Mars panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: Kristen Bell, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Krysten Ritter, producer and director Rob Thomas

What we need to see: This is the first time Veronica Mars fans will get to see if all that money donated to the film's record-breaking Kickstarter fundraising campaign has been well spent, so a lot is riding on what footage Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell bring to San Diego — and how much they choose to reveal about the story.

7. The Walking Dead's Daryl comes on stage with his crossbow, just in case the producers think about killing him off.

Frank Ockenfels

The Walking Dead panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Scott Wilson, Chad Coleman, Executive Producers Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero

What we need to see: The revolving door of Walking Dead showrunners is almost par for the course at this point, but some reassurance that the prison won't become the farm would definitely be helpful — and perhaps the presence of Daryl's crossbow could motivate the producers even more. Also: Someone needs to get Danai Gurira (i.e. Michonne) to say more than one sentence at a time, so we can hear what she actually sounds like!

8. Joss Whedon screens the first episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Justin Lubin

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: Joss Whedon, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, and "surprise guests"

What we need to see: The only way to quell the constant drumbeat of questions about how Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) survived, you know, dying in 2012's Marvel's The Avengers is to just show. Us. The. Bloody. Pilot. And then weather a whole new round of questions when the episode inevitably doesn't fully explain how Agent Coulson is still alive.

9. We meet Game of Thrones's Red Viper.

Helen Sloan

Game of Thrones panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: John Bradley, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss

What we need to see: READ NO FURTHER if you haven't finished Season 3 (though why you would be reading this if you're not caught up is a little beyond me): Including Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden in the panel is a lovely gesture to both the actors and fans — and sure to get fans of George R.R. Martin's books talking about Fairley's true fate with the show.

But really, Season 4 will introduce fan-favorite Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne, aka the Red Viper, aka a man who hates the Lannisters as much as (what's left of) the Starks do. The actor playing him, Pedro Pascal (The Good Wife), is not scheduled to appear — but Comic-Con panels are all about surprises.

10. Michael B. Jordan crashes the Amazing Spider-Man 2 panel, and makes out with Andrew Garfield.

Raymond Hall/WireImage / Getty Images

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 panel

Friday, July 19

Scheduled to attend: No one has been announced, but it would be kind of weird if Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, and director Marc Webb didn't show up.

What we need to see: There will be loads of curiosity about Jamie Foxx's performance as Electro, and expect all kinds of artful dodging whenever anyone brings up Gwen Stacy's green coat. But after Andrew Garfield's fantastic comments regarding Spider-Man's sexuality, all I can think about is what that would actually look like.

But maybe that's just me?

11. Godzilla attacks San Diego.

Godzilla panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Again, no announcements, but at the very least, director Gareth Edwards will probably be on hand with producer (and Legendary Pictures head) Thomas Tull. The cast includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston, and it's a decent bet at least a couple of them will also show up.

What we need to see: A test reel for the rebooted version of Godzilla that screened at last year's Comic-Con made the fire-breathing giant lizard look like an enormous — and terrifying — snapping turtle. But this year, convention goers may not need to pack into Hall H to get a good look at the new Godzilla. There have been some strange rumblings over the past week on the internet that "something very big is heading to San Diego" — indicating that Legendary and Warner Bros. have some kind of major publicity-grabbing stunt in mind. Part of me really hopes this means a boat that has been transformed into a giant Godzilla head will be rolling up San Diego Harbor.

12. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock appear in Hall H.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Gravity panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Yet again, no announcements, but director Alfonso Cuarón will be in town for sure.

What we need to see: To promote their long-in-the-works 3-D space thriller, it would be a fabulously odd Hollywood moment if Oscar-winning megastars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock sat in Hall H and answered questions from geeks in Chewbacca costumes. This really needs to happen, everybody.

13. And Tom Cruise appears in Hall H too.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Edge of Tomorrow panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Waddaya know, no announcements here either!

What we need to see: This panel was a last-minute addition, paired with the news that the sci-fi time-travel-y thriller was being retitled from All You Need Is Kill to the less head-scratchy (and also less cool) Edge of Tomorrow. Does the sudden inclusion of this movie mean perhaps stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and director Doug Liman were only just able to clear their schedules to make it?

14. The Originals showrunner Julie Plec announces the whole vampire–werewolf love child plotline was all just a bad dream!

Skip Bolen

The Originals panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, and executive producer Julie Plec

What we need to see: It may be one of the central plot-drivers for this Vampire Diaries spin-off, but for many TVD fans, the one-quarter-vampire–three-quarters-werewolf baby storyline isn't the best.

Barring that fantasy, maybe Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) could just take his shirt off?

15. Finnick shows off his parade costume.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Only a vague listing for "the cast" has been announced, but since it's Hunger Games' first big panel at Comic-Con, it would be a crime against geekdom if Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, newbies Sam Claflin and Jena Malone, and director Francis Lawrence didn't grace Hall H.

What we need to see: We know we'll see the new trailer for sure, but if it doesn't provide a glimpse at what in Suzanne Collins' book is a scandalously revealing costume worn by former Hunger Games winner Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), then perhaps Claflin will just have to walk on stage wearing it.

Also a major burning question: Will the new trailer — or anyone on stage — reveal the major twist that happens halfway through Collins' book? UPDATE: The secret is out via the Hunger Games Facebook page — so the next question is, will we get to see the Quarter Quell arena?

16. Both Magnetos and Professor Xaviers appear on stage at the same time.

X-Men: Days of Future Past panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Not only have there not been any announced participants, but Fox hasn't even confirmed that this movie is coming to Comic-Con at all. Since the studio's panel is scheduled to run for 90 minutes, and since this is the geekiest film on Fox's slate by far, and since director Bryan Singer kind of invented the modern movie Comic-Con panel when he brought the first X-Men movie to the convention back before Comic-Con became a Hollywood marketing boondoggle, it's sort of a no brainer that at least someone from the movie will poke their head on stage.

What we need to see: Thanks to the movie's time twisting storyline, there is every chance Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, and James McAvoy could all join Singer at Comic-Con, and that needs to happen because that would be the best ever.

17. The Guardians of the Galaxy assemble together for the first time.

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios panel

Saturday, July 20

Scheduled to attend: Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is the only confirmed attendee, but Chrises Hemsworth and Evans will almost certainly be on hand to chat up, respectively, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

What we need to see: For the last major panel of the day, a better trailer for the new Thor and a meaty first look at the new Captain America are pretty much mandatory to please the geek masses after three long days of panels, lines, bad food, and more lines. But what would really work up the crowd into a frenzy would be for Feige to introduce the entire cast for 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy — officially the strangest comic book movie cast ever, and that's before we've learned who is playing Rocket Raccoon and living tree creature Groot.

Or, on the other hand, Thor and Captain America could just fight, shirtless, and then Star-Lord (totally jacked Chris Pratt) could break up the fight, also shirtless. That would be fine too.

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