[caption id="attachment_186429" align="alignleft" width="300"] Universal[/caption]
True, there are a few more zeroes you could add to that figure when it comes to geek-worthy stuff at the San Diego Comic-Con, but how in the heck could any human being manage to experience it all over the course of only four days?
As the superheroes at the San Diego Convention Center are but mere mortals dressed up in costumes (well, most of them, anyway) and incapable of absorbing such an astonishing number of panels, events, screenings and parties in a mere 80-ish hours, we've honed in on ten specific things to which you can dedicate all that geek energy from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21.
Prepare ye completely and also check out what you definitely won't be seeing at the Con, know your Con history with a look back at the most memorable panels and go pro with the Movie Lover's Ultimate Guide to Comic-Con 2013.
1. 'Ender's Game' and 'Divergent' panel
[caption id="attachment_186422" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Summit[/caption]
The Summit Entertainment panel is bound to get a little tense upon the recent controversy stirred up by "Ender's Game" author Orson Scott Card's outspoken views against gay marriage. Hopefully, the Q&A with Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, producer Roberto Orci and director Gavin Hood will keep the focus on the film itself, which looks to be a rollicking space adventure worthy of starring the guy who played Han Solo (due in theaters Nov. 1).
The panel will continue with the youngster-hero vibe with a look at director Neil Burger's highly anticipated screen adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel, "Divergent," starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen. If any film has a chance at breaking the current YA cinema curse ("Beautiful Creatures" and "The Host" both tanked), it's this one (due in theaters March 21, 2014).
Thursday, 7/18, 3:50 p.m., Hall H
2. 'The World's End' panel
[caption id="attachment_186431" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Universal[/caption]
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright will raise a glass to the third and final installment of the so-called 'Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy,' following "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) and "Hot Fuzz" (2007). "The World's End" is described as "Barmageddon," in which five friends who reunite in an attempt to top the notorious pub crawl they indulged in 20 years earlier end up being humanity's last hope for survival. Hey, all you have to say is "the 'Shaun of the Dead' guys made a new movie" and we're already a little tipsy.
Friday, 7/19, 10 a.m., Hall H
3. 'Kick-Ass 2' and 'Riddick' panel
[caption id="attachment_186428" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Universal[/caption]
Universal's panel is decidedly kick-ass this year (ha!), as we'll be treated to exclusive footage from "Kick-Ass 2," the R-rated comic book flick that star Jim Carrey has suddenly disowned upon the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Horrible real-life events aside, we're still looking forward to the return of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (a much more grown-up Chloe Moretz) as they rain DIY justice upon the wicked.
The panel will also include a look at "Riddick," the third installment in the sci-fi series that no one likes more than its kick-ass star, Vin Diesel, and its writer/director, David Twohy. Hey, when your "Fast and Furious" movies make a zillion dollars at the box office, the studio will sometimes humor you and allow the occasional "pet project."
Friday, 7/19, 12:15 p.m., Hall H
4. Super-Sized Sony panel
[caption id="attachment_186421" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Sony[/caption]
We're just hoping Andrew Garfield once again shows up in a homemade Spider-Man costume to ask a fan question, like he did at "The Amazing Spider-Man" panel in 2011 (even though he's not scheduled to appear, but sure, sure, Sony, sure he's not, wink-wink).
Along with some (hopefully) exclusive footage from next summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the Sony panel will also feature looks at the upcoming "RoboCop" reboot (in theaters Feb. 7, 2014) and this summer's YA extravaganza, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (Aug. 21). Actually, as the second "Mortal Instruments" installment is rumored to be hitting theaters as early as next year, we might even get a little taste of "City of Ashes" as well.
Friday, 7/19, 4:05 p.m., Hall H
5. Dark Horse: Joss Whedon
[caption id="attachment_186427" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Marvel[/caption]
It really wouldn't be Comic-Con without Joss Whedon, and with the mega-success of "Marvel's The Avengers," the mastermind behind such pop art sensations as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Firefly" and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog" is hotter than ever. This chat with Whedon will reveal what he has in store next, which we're sure will include one or two vague tidbits about "Marvel's The Avengers 2," which hits theaters in May 2015. Hey, someone show some class and surprise Joss with a "Much Ado About Nothing" question, will ya?
Friday, 7/19, 6:15 p.m., Ballroom 20
6. The Wild n' Wonderful WB panel
[caption id="attachment_186424" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
This one's so big it's scheduled to last for two and a half hours. Warner Bros., as always, has a lot on its upcoming plate, though none of their many exciting offerings has us as jazzed as the new "Godzilla" (stomping into theaters next year on May 16). "Monsters" director Gareth Edwards is responsible for the return of the almighty Monster King, which now has a lot to live up to thanks to the awesomeness that was "Pacific Rim."
The WB panel will also include a look at "Gravity" (in theaters Oct. 4), the intense sci-fi thriller that makes for director Alfonso Cuaron's first feature since 2006's "Children of Men," and Comic-Con regular Zack Snyder will represent the mighty sequel "300: Rise of an Empire" (in theaters March 7, 2014). You'll also get a look at "The LEGO Movie" (Feb. 7, 2014) and the 18th century fantasy adventure "Seventh Son" (Jan. 17, 2014), which reunites "The Big Lebowski" co-stars Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges (and his now-obligatory beard).
Saturday, 7/20, 10:45 a.m., Hall H
7. 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'I, Frankenstein' panel
[caption id="attachment_186426" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Lionsgate[/caption]
The tasty dessert after the hearty main course that is the Warner Bros. panel, the Lionsgate panel is actually one of the most anticipated events of this year's Con thanks to its presentation of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." One of the holiday season's biggest releases (it hits theaters on Nov. 22), "Catching Fire" continues the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and a rising revolution against the corrupt Capitol. Surprise cast members will be in attendance for a Q&A; you can almost bet on J.Law being there, which should certainly get everyone all riled up.
The Lionsgate panel will also feature an early look at "I, Frankenstein" (in theaters Jan. 24), which stars Aaron Eckhart in a radical modern-day retelling of Mary Shelley's book based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. The Creature (called 'Adam'), shunned by his creator, finds himself in the middle of a centuries-old war between gargoyles (the 'good guys,' sort of) and demons (the 'bad guys,' pretty much all the way). Awesome.
Saturday, 7/20, 1:35 p.m., Hall H
8. Make Mine Marvel panel
[caption id="attachment_186432" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Marvel[/caption]
There are some of you who are already familiar with the Marvel panel at Comic-Con and how it so brilliantly — and maddeningly — indulges in the art of deception. There's always more than meets the eye with this one. This year, the Phast Two installments "Thor: The Dark World" (in theaters Nov. 8) and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (in theaters April 4, 2014) are scheduled to have presentations, but you know there's more than one bonus surprise in store. You can almost count on an announcement as to who Vin Diesel will be playing in a future Marvel film as well as confirmations on at least a couple of Phase Three offerings. As always: Excelsior!
Saturday, 7/20, 6 p.m., Hall H
9. Comic-Con International Masquerade
[caption id="attachment_186423" align="aligncenter" width="500"] GawkerAssets.com[/caption]
Got a cool costume this year? Show it off at the annual Comic-Con Masquerade Ball. Thousands of attendees roll into Ballroom 20 (and rooms 5AB and 6A for overflow) in their elaborate get-ups to celebrate community, creativity and, well, all that is awesome about Comic-Con. You'll find everyone from Spongebob Squarepants to Poison Ivy to a transforming Optimus Prime at the Masquerade, which is considered by many to be the true highlight of the convention. It's a great way to spend the final night of Comic-Con before wrapping things up on the decidedly low-key Sunday — and don't forget your camera!
Saturday, 7/20, 8:30 p.m, Ballroom 20/Room 5AB/Room 6A
10. Cosplay Mania
[caption id="attachment_186425" align="aligncenter" width="500"] NextMovie[/caption]
Speaking of costumes, the Masquerade isn't the only place where you'll find thousands of attendees in all manner of fandom duds. A good percentage of Con-goers spend Comic-Con all dressed up over the entire weekend, which means the convention center — whether in Hall H, the many meeting rooms or just in line for Starbucks — is always chock full of pop culture eye candy. We'll be posting a few of our own Comic-Con cosplay galleries, so be on the lookout!