With only a few weeks until this year’s Comic-Con extravaganza, the big studios are rolling out their panel plans, and as we suspected, film studios are not going in pedal to the metal this year. Variety reports that Paramount, Fox, and Relativity are definitely sitting things out, while Universal is iffy. Disney/Marvel sat out last year—they went to their own purpose-built D23 show instead—but will be back. (Perhaps to announce the mystery 2014 movie?) WB is also expected to attend with Superman and (we pray) THE HOBBIT. Elsewhere, it’s all a little sketchy:
Sony and the merged Lionsgate-Summit, meanwhile, are understood to be planning a presence inside the San Diego Convention Center’s biggest space.
Sony teased “Total Recall” last year, and may give Hall H an extended look at the Aug. 3 reboot next month. Although the studio has not confirmed any specific plans, it has several other Comic-Con possibilities in the pipeline, including bike-messenger actioner “Premium Rush” (Aug. 24); Kevin James martial-arts comedy “Here Comes the Boom” (Oct. 12) and the Will Smith post-apocalyptic sci-fier “After Earth” (June 2013), which just wrapped production. Studio is not expected to do anything involving “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which will opens July 3.
In wonderful news for all, the final Twilight film will be represented, so Coleman should get its camping gear sponsorship marketing in place now.
Are studios really cooling on Comic-Con as the be all and end all? As we noted in our above link, the revamped “CinemaCon” theater owner confab now offers studios a chance to showcase their future films to a less flighty, tweety audience. Universal’s sting from the huge, failed campaigns for SCOTT PILGRIM and COWBOYS AND ALIENS must also be lingering in the minds of many. The days when the likes of John Lasseter and Hiyao Miyazaki just blew into town to yap it up may be over…or this may be just another trend that will reverse.
Meanwhile, TV is bigger than ever at Comic-Con. The WB and Fox have already announced their panel lineups with more to come. THR has the list. For the first time, the most popular TV shows—Big Bang Theory and Fringe—will actually be moving into the Valhalla of Hall H. Sheldon Cooper, the floor is yours!
Looking over the list below, there are a lot of things to be learned. Like…there’s a TV show called Sons of Anarchy that’s going into its FIFTH season? OK now.
One really great thing about all of this? A lesser movie presence means the chance of getting your eye poked out in all the excitement is far lower.
THURSDAY, JULY 12
• MAD (Cartoon Network): Producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek in attendance. Room 6DE
• Nikita (The CW): Stars Maggie Q, Shane West and Lyndsy Fonseca join executive producer Craig Silverstein. Room 6BCF
FRIDAY, JULY 13
• Arrow (The CW): Stars including Stephen Amell join producers for a special pilot screening and discussion.Ballroom 20
• Aqua Something You Know Whatever / Squidbillies(Adult Swim): Creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier will participate. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 2-2:45 p.m.
• The Big Bang Theory (CBS): Panelists TBD. Hall H
• Bob’s Burgers (Fox): The first of many series from the “Animation Domination” block, the panel and Q&A will feature H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal.
• Brickleberry (Comedy Central): Not on the Comedy Central lineup until September, the cartoon most notably features the vocal talent of familiar network faces Tosh and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Kaitlin Olson.
• Bones (Fox): EPs Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan join stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, who had to pull out last year, to talk about the pregnancy-sidelined seventh season and the upcoming run of the primetime procedural.
• Black Dynamite (Adult Swim): Executive producer Carl Jones will join Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson,Kym Whitley, Byron Minns,Debra Wilson, Orlando Jones and Cedric Yarbourgh. Moderated by Gary Anthony Williams. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 4-4:45 p.m.
• Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim): Star/executive producer Rob Corddry and executive producer Jonathan Stern join stars Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Megan Mullally, Henry Winkler and Ken Marino. Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Indigo Ballroom
• Cult (The CW): Stars Matt Davis, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tal and Robert Knepper join executive producer Rockne S. O’Bannon. Room 6BCF
• NTSF:SD:SUV:: (National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::) (Adult Swim): Creator and star Paul Scheer, executive producer Jonathan Stern,and co-executive producer Curtis Gwinn join stars Martin Starr, Rebecca Romijn,Brandon Johnson and June Diane Raphael. Rob Corddry moderates. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, noon-12:45 p.m.
• Robot Chicken/Robot Chicken DC Comics Special (Adult Swim): Co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, Tom Root, Matthew Beans and star Breckin Meyer will participate alongside DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns to preview the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 3-3:45p.m.
• 666 Park Avenue (ABC): Stars Terry O’Quinn, Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable join executive producers David Wilcox and Matthew Miller. Room 6BCF
• The Venture Bros.(Adult Swim): Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will discuss their original series and answer fan questions. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 11-11:45 a.m.
SATURDAY, JULY 14
• Family Guy (Fox): The Comic-Con regulars will come with a sneak peek of the upcoming season and an always tweet-worthy Q&A with Seth MacFarlane.
• The Following (Fox): Stars Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy join executive producers Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega. Room 6BCF
• Futurama (Comedy Central): The cast of the revived toon, including Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche will all be in attendance. Futurama-themed attire is encouraged — and will be rewarded.
• Glee (Fox): Stars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz and Naya Rivera will join executive producer Brad Falchuk. Indigo Room at the Hilton, 6-7 p.m.
• Person of Interest (CBS): Stars and creators TBD. Room 6BCF
• Revolution (NBC): Stars Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito and Tracy Spiridakos join creator/executive producer Eric Kripke and director/co-executive producer Jon Favreau.Room 6BCF
• The Simpsons (Fox): 500 episodes into its record-breaking run, the Sunday stalwart returns to SDCC with a substantial tease of the upcoming installment of is annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode.
• The Vampire Diaries (The CW): Stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder and more join executive producers/writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. Ballroom 20
SUNDAY, JULY 15
• The Cleveland Show (Fox): Aiming for some sort of record, MacFarlane joins his third panel of the weekend with a screening of the Family Guy spinoff’s fourth-season premiere.
• DC Nation (Cartoon Network): Panelists TBD. Room 6BCF
• Fringe (Fox): Stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole and John Noble join the show’s executive producers for the panel. Hall H
• Sons of Anarchy (FX): Wrapping up the weekend is the always-entertaining series creator Kurt Sutter, who’s will be joined by castmembers Charlie Hunnam,Katey Sagal,Ron Perlman,Maggie Siff,Kim Coates,Mark Boone Junior,Tommy Flanagan,Theo Rossi,Ryan Hurst andDayton Callie for a discussion of the world of the FX series.
• Supernatural (The CW): Stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, joined by recurring guest stars Misha Collins, Jim Beaver and Mark A. Sheppard, as well as new executive producer Jeremy Carver and consulting producer Ben Edlund. Hall H
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.