Hit the jump and get ready to experience Comic Con madness from the comfort of your own home.
1. Guillermo del Toro's Next Movie
Back in June, rumors surfaced that Guillermo del Toro was developing a new spin on Van Helsing, the thorn in Dracula's side. In a letter to the official del Toro fan site, the acclaimed filmmaker revealed that he will announce the next project he will direct at this year's event. Will it be this new Van Helsing project? Something else? The man always has a heap of projects on the go that he produces, writes, and directs, so there's any number of possibilities.
The filmmaker is also offering a teaser trailer for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. This is Katie Holmes' new movie, and I can only hope this is a return to form for the actress who was once one of Hollywood's leading up-and-coming names.
2. The Avengers Cast
As Erik shared earlier this month, Marvel hopes to introduce the cast for Joss Whedon's Avengers at Comic Con. This, of course, depends on what happens with the Hulk casting. Will Mark Ruffalo hop on-stage with green makeup, showing attendees his best Bruce Banner? Is there someone else we'd never expect?
Moreover, just how many people will be there? Of course there's Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, but will we see Whedon alums Nathan Fillion as Ant-Man and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye?
3. Edgar Wright and Ant-Man
With Scott Pilgrim vs. the World pretty much in the bag, will Edgar Wright finally use this opportunity to announce that his next project is Ant-Man? And will Marvel's Kevin Feige parlay that announcement into a big on-stage surprise during the Marvel panel featuring Wright and the actor who is going to play Ant-Man? And will that actor be none other than Nathan Fillion? They've waited long enough, and we know Wright is working on it, so expect most (if not all) of these questions to be answered later this week.
4. Will We Finally See That Alien called Paul?
The internet has been aflutter with set visit reports from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's upcoming alien adventure, Paul, which focuses on two geeks who have a run-in with an alien. The film features a visit to (a faked) Comic Con, but what will happen at the real event? One would hope that fans will finally get their hands on a trailer, but the bigger question is whether that trailer will include a glimpse of the alien. So far, the extra-terrestrial has remained unseen, but with Seth Rogen attending the panel (he voices Paul), let's hope we get a glimpse.
5. Is Christopher Nolan Attending?
If you can believe the rumor mill, Christopher Nolan is attending Comic Con this year. I doubt we'll see him sweep the Bond away from Sam Mendes, but if he's attending, that might mean a big, drool-inducing announcement during the Warner Bros. panel. But an announcement for what? If you remember, he's currently involved with both Batman and Superman, so if he shows up, chances are there is big news to share about one or both of those projects.
6. The Next Round of 3D
This Con should be extremely trailer-heavy event this year. And if it's not trailers, we'll be getting footage or brief teasers, most of which will arrive in 3D. This Con's biggest films will be hitting theaters in 3D -- from the newly announced Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, to The Green Lantern, Drive Angry, Saw 3D, The Green Hornet, and, of course, Tron: Legacy. Will this next round of 3D impress us more than this recent round of duds (we're lookin' at you Clash of the Titans and Alice in Wonderland), or will we fall over ourselves in anticipation of the 3D films coming out over the next two years?
7. J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon
The two geek powerhouses will meet on the same stage when EW presents its annual Visionaries Panel on Thursday afternoon. Will Whedon use this opportunity to confirm his involvement as director on The Avengers? Will Abrams finally admit whether or not he's directing Star Trek 2 and when we should expect it to hit theaters? Look for fans to ask these questions and more (like what's the deal with Super 8?) as two of the biggest Hollywood fanboys collide in what's destined to be this Con's greatest geek-gasm.
8. Peter Jackson Finally Admits That He's Directing The Hobbit
After numerous delays and Guillermo del Toro leaving the project, you'd think Peter Jackson and Co. would want to give fans a little nugget of excitement at Comic Con when it comes to the big two-part adaptation of The Hobbit by officially announcing Jackson as director. There's no specific panel set up for it -- and based on the line-up it would seem like Jackson would have to make that announcement during the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday if he does indeed plan on doing it at the convention center -- though there's also a TheOneRing.Net panel on Thursday (specifically set up to talk about the Hobbit movies), and we all know how fond Jackson is of making announcements through them.
9. Harry Potter Makes His First Trip to Comic Con
Though the series is about to wrap up, this will be young Harry's first trip to Comic Con. Can you believe it? But wait -- although Warner Bros. is having a panel for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one that will show special footage and props, the cast will not be there due to "scheduling conflicts." Will the footage and props be enough to appease fans of the films? Could someone show up anyway? It seems rather surprising that not one alum could venture to San Diego and join in the fun.
10. Finally, Something from The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn?
Due out on December 23rd, 2011, we still haven't seen much at all from this joint-venture between Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. We know Spielberg is the director of part one of this trilogy, and we know the first film has been in post-production for awhile now -- long enough that there should be some sort of teaser available for Comic Con. Problem is ... there's no Paramount panel this year. Weird, right? So unless Paramount and Spielberg plan on doing something special outside the convention, there's really no open spaces where a teaser for The Adventures of Tintin could conceivably premiere (unless, for example, they stuff it into the Megamind panel, though that might be weird). Still, hype for this one is very low on the radar, and it would benefit Paramount to do something for Tintin, even if they debut a simple teaser poster on the convention floor.
As always, Cinematical will be on the ground in San Diego providing extensive coverage from this year's Comic Con convention. Let us know what you're looking forward to most, and we'll be sure to cover it.
Erik Davis also contributed to this report