Comic-Con! It's like a film festival for $200 million blockbusters — if, instead of actually getting to watch movies, you waited in line for hours just see their trailers. Still, the San Diego–set geek mecca remains a prime press opportunity for Hollywood's sci-fi spectaculars and superhero sequels, and when the Con officially kicks off tomorrow and runs into the weekend, Vulture will be there, bringing you back all the good scoops. What movie-related surprises may be in store? Let's run through nine questions that we expect will be answered before Comic-Con concludes.
Will We Meet the Justice League?
The Batfleck vehicle Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice won't be out until 2016, and its superhero-stuffed sorta-sequel, Justice League, is even further away; there will be plenty of future Comic-Cons to tout both projects, and Warner Bros may not want to tip its hand this soon. Nevertheless, the Batman-Superman team-up has been shooting for a little while now, and no one would ding WB for bringing Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and the rest of the movie's rumored superheroes to San Diego while they're all still on the production payroll. The studio has been awfully cagey about confirming all the cameos and cast additions in Dawn of Justice — were they waiting for this weekend to make things official?
Who Will Play Marvel's Newest Hero, Dr. Strange?
As Marvel's franchise players like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans start to reach the end of their multi-film contracts, it's incumbent on the movie studio to start setting the table for new superheroes. Foremost among the newcomers will be the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Dr. Strange, who'll hit the big screen two summers from now under the direction of Sinister's Scott Derrickson … but who will play him? Marvel's been reaching out to actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, and Jared Leto in recent months; if a deal for one of those men closes, expect to meet your new doctor in Hall H on Saturday evening.
Will Audiences Warm to Ant-Man?
Just a month after the well-received blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier had fanboys claiming that Marvel could do no wrong, the studio severely tested their allegiance by booting director Edgar Wright from next year's Ant-Man. After helming films like Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wright is utterly revered by Comic-Con audiences, and he'd been attached to this Marvel project for years; the studio even showed off an Ant-Man test reel a few Cons ago to great acclaim. The search for a helmer to replace Wright was messy and public, but Marvel is still rumored to be bringing new director Peyton Reed and the film's cast (including Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas) to Comic-Con as Ant-Man begins production. A protective contingent of Wright-brained fanboys, though, could give Reed the cold shoulder.
Can Jupiter Ascending Beat Back Its Bad Buzz?
The Wachowskis' expensive new sci-fi flick Jupiter Ascending was supposed to have come out by now, but last month Warner Bros. pushed the film into February 2015, sparking rumors of reshoots. (The official line from the studio is that the special effects weren't yet complete.) The marketing campaign for the weird-looking Jupiter, which stars Channing Tatum as a half-albino wolf-man and Mila Kunis as a secret space queen, had already been earning puzzled, muted reactions from the general populace, so Comic-Con is an important stop on the movie's hoped-for road to redemption.
What Avengers: Age of Ultron Secrets Will Be Spilled?
Entertainment Weekly's recent cover story showed off the titular villain from next summer's Avengers sequel, and plenty more spoiler-ridden stories have been leaking lately. Still, rumor has it that one more Marvel superheroine will appear in the film, and Comic-Con is the perfect place to introduce her. Expect to see some sort of teaser-trailer for Age of Ultron at the very least, and Marvel will no doubt assemble most of the film's countless co-stars for an end-of-presentation photo-op.
Will We See Anything From Interstellar?
Paramount booked a panel to tout Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a few other minor projects, but would the studio show something from Interstellar to an audience hungry for director Christopher Nolan's first film since wrapping the Dark Knight trilogy? Given Nolan's penchant for secrecy, we wouldn't bet on it, though Paramount may surprise the Con audience with something related to its new Terminator film, which has been shooting for months and will be released July 1, 2015 — several weeks before next year's Comic-Con.
Will Legendary Move Forward With Godzilla 2?
Director Gareth Edwards revived the Godzilla franchise this summer with a well-received reboot, but instead of readying the sequel, he decamped to a galaxy far, far away to shepherd a Star Wars spinoff. Legendary Pictures initially issued a statement congratulating Edwards on the gig and implied that it'd wait for the director to become available again before moving forward on Godzilla 2, but can the studio sit on its hands for that long, or will it hire someone else to helm the sequel? We'll know more after Legendary's Saturday morning panel.
How Many New Movies Will Marvel Announce?
Just this week, Marvel planted flags on a passel of release dates that will extend all the way into the year 2019, but is Comic-Con the place to reveal which movies are dated for when? The studio will likely divulge some more info on the sequels to Captain America and Thor (the third Cap adventure is coming in May 2016, while the Thor trilogy-ender is still unannounced and undated), but there are plenty of rumored projects that could fill those other gaps, including Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, The Avengers 3, and the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy.
Will Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Radcliffe Make It Out Alive?
It's hard to believe, given their extensive geek bona-fides, but neither Benedict Cumberbatch nor Daniel Radcliffe has ever made the trek to Comic-Con before. The latter will be in attendance this year for his horror mystery Horns, while the former is there to promote, uh, a voice role in the animated Penguins of Madagascar. Expect to see Cumberbatch at least once more during the weekend, when the panel for the last Hobbit film convenes … and if the Dr. Strange rumors are true, he might pop up during the Marvel panel, too. One thing is for certain, though: You'd better bring earplugs, because unlikely heartthrobs Cumberbatch and Radcliffe are gonna get Hall H shrieking.