San Diego Comic-Con 2016, the mecca of all things nerd, is finally here, officially kicking off Thursday at the San Diego Convention Center and running through Sunday. And whether you’re a casual fan or just finishing the fringe work on your Kylo Ren cosplay cloak, the four-day event schedule can be a bit overwhelming.
So in an effort to simplify things, we’re highlighting the top 5 must-watch events from this year’s convention, and breaking down what you can expect to learn, who you can expect to see and what surprises might be in store for this year’s festivities.
1. Warner Bros. and DC Comics
After taking a backseat to the excitement at Marvel over the past several years, Warner Bros. and DC Comics are back in the hot seat with a host of highly anticipated new projects to show off.
With Suicide Squad’s premiere date just weeks away, fans are practically foaming at the mouth for any last-minute tidbits. But which bad guy – or caped crusader – will be in attendance remains to be seen.
Early looks at The Lego Batman Movie, the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and next year’s Kong: Skull Island are also sure to draw a crowd, with the latter’s former Marvel star and current Taylor Swift boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, confirmed to make an appearance.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, Guy Ritchie will introduce his planned six-part film series, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnan.
2. Marvel and Disney
Comic-Con is the place for all things Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this year is no different. With appearances from Chris Pratt and director James Gunn already on the books, it’s safe to say we can expect plenty of hype for Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Plus, with a full schedule of upcoming projects already on the calendar, Marvel is sure to have plenty of surprises up its sleeve. A new look at the Benedict Cumberbatch Dr. Strange film would certainly be welcome.
As for Disney, fans can expect lots of excitement surrounding the upcoming tale of Pacific-island princess Moana. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who voices Moana’s mentor/demigod, will unfortunately not be making an appearance, but the artists behind the film’s stunning animation will be holding a panel.
After serenading the Cannes Film Festival crowd earlier this year, Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick are teaming up again up to promote their new film Trolls. Based on the frizzy-haired dolls from the ’80s, the DreamsWorks Animation film is hoping to transform the iconic collectibles into major box-office dollars. Expect Timberlake and Kendrick to bust out a few tunes from the upcoming musical.
Also on the slate is the controversial Oliver Stone political thriller Snowden. The director and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars as the whistleblower, are expected to make an appearance, along with much of the supporting class, which includes Shailene Woodley and Zachary Quinto.
4. TV at SDCC
Don’t be distracted by all the flashy movie news, there’s still plenty of must-see TV to look forward to this year.
The cast and creators of last year’s hottest new show, USA’s Mr. Robot, will be on hand for a panel, and AMC hits The Walking Dead and its spin-off Fear the Walking Dead will also be represented in force.
HBO is sure to bring the hype for Comic-Con favorite Game of Thrones, which is rapidly approaching its final season. And the highly anticipated new Starz show American Gods will finally be previewed.
5. Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary
The show that brought sci-fi to the mainstream is turning 50, and what better place to celebrate than Comic-Con?
William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, will join a host of Star Trek alums for a special panel to honor the show’s past and get fans ready for its future. Bryan Fuller, who is executive producing the upcoming 2017 Star Trek TV series, is set to host the panel.