SDCC 2019 Preview: Here's What To Expect From San Diego Comic-Con
San Diego Comic-Con happens this week, and it's arguably the biggest event of the year for movies, television, and comic books. Every year, the pop culture extravaganza celebrates it all, and it's a pretty stellar news week, giving fans an insight into what's coming down the road for new TV seasons, upcoming movies, new comic books, and more.
This year, SDCC celebrates its 50th anniversary, as the show began in 1970, when it was originally named Golden State Comic Book Convention, which was run out of the basement of the U.S. Grand Hotel. Now, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego to celebrate everything in pop culture.
While comic books do still play a major part of SDCC, the convention has become an important place for studios to showcase upcoming film and TV releases. Not only are thousands of fans collected in one venue, but the huge interest in the convention amongst fans worldwide means that there is no better place to preview a new trailer or clip, or make an announcement about upcoming movies and shows. We know there's a lot of Marvel-adjacent panels and events to look forward to if you're a fan, although just how much they reveal about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Phase 4 remains to be seen, particularly with D23 around the corner. Before the event, we've learned that Taika Waititi will return for Thor 4, and that the Russo brothers are going on a tour tied to the upcoming home release of their most recent movie, Avengers: Endgame.
So what does 2019 have in store? Some of the SDCC 2019 schedule is still to be officially revealed, but there are plenty of rumors as to what might happen. Disney skipped last year's convention, but there are reports that both Marvel and Star Wars will play a part of the 2019 event. There are many big movies due out later this year, so expect to see some new trailers and clips, plus potential appearances from massive movie stars. And on the TV side, we might well be saying farewell to some long-running shows, as well as getting a first look at much-anticipated new ones. So while we wait for the official announcements, here's our guide to what you can expect from San Diego Comic-Con 2019...
1. Marvel Are Back!
The absence of Marvel in 2018 was noticeable. Sure, DC showcased some of their upcoming movies, but the importance of the MCU to pop-culture over the past decade is undeniable. But Marvel are back this year. The big event takes place on Saturday night in Hall H, which will feature studio boss Kevin Feige providing "an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe." Will this event be when we finally get official announcements for movies such as Black Widow, The Eternals, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3? For the full Marvel schedule, check out GameSpot's guide to Marvel at SDCC.
SDCC hasn't traditionally had a strong horror focus, but the box office power of the genre is hard to ignore. For the last three years, New Line Cinema has hosted ScareDiego, a special preview event that takes place at the start of the weekend to showcase some of its upcoming horror releases. This year ScareDiego takes place on Wednesday July 17, and the focus will be on It: Chapter 2, which arrives in September. While the details of the event are yet to be revealed, trailer, clips, and appearances from the cast and filmmakers of the Stephen King sequel are all a high possibility. It's possible that the studio will also preview another upcoming King adaptation--Doctor Sleep--which releases in October.
3. Game of Thrones Celebration
Game of Thrones is now over, but it doesn't mean we won't get one more SDCC panel. Earlier this month, Deadline reported that the show will be back for a "triumphant celebration" of the show in Hall H. Although responses to the final season were somewhat mixed, Game of Thrones does remain HBO's most successful show of all time, and one of the most discussed series of the past decade. Even if fans weren't all that keen on the way it all finished, there's still eight years of incredible fantasy television to celebrate. If it happens, expect this to be a hugely popular lap-of-honor.
4. Welcome Back to Westworld
Even it HBO do celebrate the end of Game of Thrones, that doesn't mean the network won't also be showcasing some of its upcoming series. Westworld returns in 2020 for its third season, and it's been reported that we'll get a taste at SDCC. According to comicbook.com, cast members and writers of the show will be presenting a new trailer for Season 3. The first teaser was revealed a few weeks ago, and it looks like the show might be heading in a different direction to the previous two seasons, so a Westworld event at SDCC is a very exciting proposition.
5. Skywalker Rises at SDCC
Marvel wasn't the only Disney property to sit out SDCC 2018--we didn't get any Star Wars announcements either. But there are two big Star Wars events happening towards the end of the year--Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters in December, while on the small screen, Disney+ will launch with The Mandalorian. It's worth remembering Disney also showcases its releases at D23, which takes in August, but Making Star Wars reports that The Rise of Skywalker will indeed be featured at SDCC. Director JJ Abrams attended the convention in 2015 for The Force Awakens, so a return for his latest Star Wars movies seem very possible.
6. Awesome Arrow-verse
The CW's roster of DC shows featured heavily at the last few SDCCs, and there's plenty going on in the Arrow-verse right now. The big new show arriving in the fall is Batwoman, which stars Ruby Rose, and there are new seasons due for Supergirl and The Flash, plus the final season of Arrow. There's another Arrow-verse crossover event happening too, titled "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Warner has confirmed that the Arrow-verse will feature at this years event, with a variety of panels and premiere screenings.
7. DC Universe Night
The CW isn't the only place with a wealth of DC shows. The studio's streaming service DC Universe launched last year and this year's SDCC will feature a special Saturday night event dedicated to it. Expect news and previews for the second seasons of Titans and Doom Patrol, and a first look at upcoming animated comedy series Harley Quinn.
8. So Long Supernatural
Arrow isn't the only long-running show to be getting a final season this year. After 14 years and 14 seasons, Supernatural ends in 2019, and it's getting a final panel is scheduled for SDCC. Supernatural has featured at many Comic-Cons in the past, and this year the panel will both preview the upcoming 15th season and look back on the history of the show. In addition, Shoshannah Stern, who plays Eileen Leahy, recently confirmed on Twitter that she will be appearing on a panel with co-star Rachel Miner, who appeared as Meg Masters between 2009 and 2013.
9. Movie Madness
There's loads of big movies heading to screens over the next six months, so expect some of them to feature at SDCC. The Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw arrives a couple of weeks after the convention, so it's possible that Universal might give it a final push. And if star Dwayne Johnson is in attendance, then a first look at December's still-untitled Jumanji sequel is also a possibility. The two biggest action stars of the '80s return to screens in the fall in hugely iconic roles--Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate and Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood--so might SDCC appearances from these legends happen? Other big movies on the way include Will Smith's The Gemini Man, the long-awaited Zombieland: Double Tap, and the Charlie's Angels reboot. They probably won't all feature SDCC, but we're sure to get previews and panels for some.
10. This Is Wrestling: The Joey Ryan Story Screening
The Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival runs alongside the main convention, and is a great showcase of upcoming indie filmmaking talent. One of the highlights of the documentary strand is This Is Wrestling: The Joey Ryan Story. The film focuses on the veteran wrestler but also provides a fascinating overview of the whole scene. And as Chris Hayner pointed out in his review for GameSpot, the film works just as well as for those who know little-to-nothing about the weird world of sports entertainment as for hardcore fans. It screens at SDCC on Thursday July 18.