It's the Super Bowl for "Star Wars" fans, the World Series of wizards and warlocks, and the Golden Globes of geekdom. And 2007's Comic-Con is shaping up to be the biggest one yet.
Imagine an entire city of people dressed as Harry Potter, Bib Fortuna, Batman and Sailor Moon. At its epicenter, so many toys, T-shirts and comics are available that it makes eBay look like a bowling-alley lost-and-found. Somewhere in the massive hall, people will be walking through a replica of the Black Pearl. Nearby, a 40-year-old accountant in King Leonidas' leather codpiece will face the "Sophie's Choice"-like dilemma of attending a Stan Lee autograph signing, a conference promising to reveal secrets from "Indiana Jones 4" or an intimate discussion with Nicolas Cage and his son Weston exploring the minutiae of their favorite comics.
When the world's biggest nerd convention commences in San Diego on Wednesday, Hollywood will once again rule the roost (see "Comic-Con Recap: 'Spider-Man 3' Surprises; Snoop, Samuel L. Reveal Inner Geeks"). For proof, just look at a few of the big-ticket flicks promising news, clips, interviews and/or imagery: "Iron Man," "Get Smart," "The Watchmen," "Sweeney Todd" and sequels to "Saw," "Star Trek," "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Hellboy." Celebrities rubbing elbows with refugees from their mothers' basements will include Jessica Alba, Terrence Howard, Rosario Dawson, Sam Raimi, Edward Norton, J.J. Abrams and Peter Fonda.
An estimated 123,000 people will be in attendance for the 38th annual conference, where they can push their way into massive halls to witness presentations by Paramount, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., New Line, Lionsgate and others. Massive lines are expected at the Friday morning "Star Wars Day" panels, as well as the Starbucks in the Convention Center's lobby, so you might want to pair your Mocha Soy Latte and Boba Fett Mandalorian armor with a pair of Reeboks.
This year's biggest Comic-Con event might just be the "Worldwide DVD Release Event" honoring the movie "300." Warner Bros. has rented out Petco Park (where the San Diego Padres play ball) and invited 5,000 VIPs to wander the field alongside all sorts of Spartan surprises. Director Zack Snyder — just a few hours after he is expected to announce most of his high-wattage cast for the "Watchmen" movie (see Zack Snyder Assures He'll 'Find A Spot' For Gerard Butler In 'Watchmen' ") — is sure to be welcomed back to the Con as a conquering hero.
Wednesday evening will have Paramount unveiling 3-D footage from the highly anticipated "Beowulf" (starring Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins, due in theaters November 16), and Thursday will find New Line screening the slick Clive Owen thriller "Shoot 'Em Up" (see "Clive Owen's 'Shoot 'Em Up' Action Hero Inspired By ... Bugs Bunny?"). Rumors persist that audiences will get their biggest footage glimpses yet at red-hot superhero flicks "Iron Man" (see " 'Iron Man' Set Visit: MTV News Gets First Glimpse Of Stark Office, The Mask"), "The Dark Knight" (see " 'Dark Knight' Script Picks Up Right Where 'Batman Begins' Left Off") and "The Incredible Hulk."
To celebrate the DVD release of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Disney will unveil a 40-foot-long re-creation of Captain Jack's ship, "docked" in the Disney booth atop a rocky structure. Inside will be props from the Brethren Court, previews of new "Pirates" booty and a gallery of never-before-seen photos taken on-set by producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Now we don't want to say that Disney will finally confirm that Johnny Depp is returning for a Jack Sparrow spinoff flick. We don't want to claim that J.J. Abrams will announce that Adrien Brody really is the new Spock, or that Marvel will give fans the name of the new Captain America, or that Keanu Reeves will show up to announce he's Dr. Manhattan. But the coolest thing about Comic-Con is that something of that magnitude could happen at any moment.
Naturally, your intrepid MTV Movies team will be there in full effect. From Wednesday evening to our July 30 wrap-up, be sure to check out Movies on MTV.com and the MTV Movies Blog — and refresh your browser daily, hourly or even every minute by minute. Instead of laser blasters, we'll be wielding microphones, and rather than Salacious Crumb puppets on our shoulders, you'll find TV cameras. Within moments of news breaking, you'll hear it here first — and you don't even have to stand in line behind a bunch of smelly Klingons.
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