Sure, the beach, barbecues and vacations are nice for the general population, but we pop culture junkies know that the best part of summer is San Diego Comic-Con. All the fun kicks off on July 18, and we're getting ready to head back to the West Coast to keep you in the loop on what you can expect from some of the hottest upcoming movies.
Team NextMovie will be in full effect at Comic-Con 2013, with editors Kevin Polowy and Kase Wickman on the ground to cover panels, snap photos, pop into the MTV live stream and hang out on San Diego roofdecks at night for no particular reason. Kevin is most excited to see Harrison Ford outdo his 2010 handcuffs bit by entering the "Ender's Game" panel fully engulfed in flames (you heard it here and on multiple other blogs first), while Kase is super-psyched to see the cast of "Divergent" jump off of things.
And if you just can't get enough Comic-Con coverage, see what our friends are planning for the biggest pop culture event of the year, and where to go to check it out.
• The Film.com team is, as always, especially excited to get a first look at the original movies that will be highlighted at SDCC. Number 1 on our list is definitely Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," as it's always a pleasure to hear the director provide some insight into his work, and his latest is a film that barely seems possible. As big fans of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," we're also pretty excited to get a better handle on "The LEGO Movie." Phil Lord and Christopher Miller never disappoint, and the sky is the limit with that one. In the more immediate future, we — like all rational humans — are extremely jazzed for Edgar Wright's "The World's End," and were cautiously curious to see what José Padilha is cooking up with his "Robocop" reboot. You can find all of our coverage from our homepage, www.Film.com.
• The team at io9 is thrilled to see Matt Smith coming to Comic-Con one last time before he leaves the lead role as the Doctor in "Doctor Who." With the end of Smith's tenure and the show's 50th anniversary special coming at the end of this year, the "Doctor Who" panel at Comic-Con should be an event that shatters the space-time continuum. We hope we get to see some glimpses of the John Hurt action and Smith and David Tennant together in the TARDIS.
• Kristal Bailey and the team at Screen Invasion are stoked for Comic-Con and all the geeky goodness going on in San Diego this year. A few of the biggest highlights are definitely the upcoming "Divergent" franchise starring Shailene Woodley; fans of "The Hunger Games" will find a lot to like there. And of course, "Catching Fire" should be a popular panel. And while Hall H used to be deigned good enough only for big movies, this year "Dexter" and "Game of Thrones" will get a chance at the big show. That, plus the newbie "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." makes this a very exciting year for TV.
• There are old favorites like Kevin Smith talking hours beyond his allotted time, toasting martinis with Lounge Lizard Boba Fett and making friends in the 9-hour line for Hall H. There's also the massive excitement behind 2013 panels like Terry Gilliam's preview of "The Zero Theorem," playing the "Game of Thrones," toasting "The World's End" with Edgar Wright, hanging out with Women Who "Kick-Ass," suiting up for Marvel's latest, puzzling over Fox's not-yet-announced-slate and having access to some of the best old movie poster prints on the planet. But what's really thrilled us the most for Film School Rejects' 2013 Comic-Con Coverage is the stuff we can't predict. The small moments that will never make it into a printed program. The unpredictable collisions between fans and filmmakers. The superhero-suited surprises and ahead-of-schedule footage shocks that make the trek down to San Diego a genuine event. We'll be poised and ready (but we're secretly hoping for an in-person appearance from Rocket Raccoon).
• The ComicBookMovie.com team is excited to see the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." panel and talk with fan favorite Clark Gregg about his character's return from the dead as Agent Coulson. Of course, he won't spoil his new TV show, but it will be fun to see if we can get anything out of him.
• Don Kaye at MSN Parallel Universe (check out our Comic-Con page here) is looking forward to the Marvel Studios panel this year because, he says, "Marvel really gave us a big finish last year in Hall H with the announcement of its Phase 2 slate of movies, and I'm really hoping that they'll roll out the slate for Phase 3 this time around. Would love to see if movies like 'Doctor Strange' are confirmed. Also excited to see footage from 'Thor: The Dark World' and 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier.'"
• Matt Goldberg from Collider.com will be stationed in Hall H as always, but there's some good stuff this year. In addition to panels for "Gravity," "The Zero Theorem," "The World's End," "The LEGO Movie" and whatever surprises Marvel is planning to unveil, the real gem in Hall H this year is Entertainment Weekly's "The Visionaries" conversation between Edgar Wright, Alfonso Cuaron and Marc Webb. Listening to these three directors talk for an hour is more exciting than almost any exclusive footage other panels may have to offer.
• Alex Billington also returns to cover Comic-Con 2013 at FirstShowing.net for his 8th year in a row. There are a few panels that could surprise everyone and those are always the most exciting, but we're looking forward to the Warner Bros panel on Saturday the most, featuring not only "Godzilla" but Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" as well. It could be a standout year for sci-fi, with "Ender's Game," "Riddick," "The Europa Report" and "The World's End" set for Hall H presentations.
• It's all about Hall H for Rob Keyes and the Screen Rant team. "Dexter" and "Breaking Bad" have panels for their final seasons and our other TV faves include "Game of Thrones" and "Supernatural," along with newcomer "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.." On the film side, we're curious about "RoboCop" but excited to see Andrew Garfield return after his heartwarming entrance speech two years ago. It's Saturday that Screen Rant is most eager for, with hope that Warner Bros. and Legendary may have announcements regarding their future DC projects. That's followed up by Fox showcasing "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and, of course, Marvel Studios, who previously set the bar with epic presentations and surprises over the last several years. We'll be there with a big crew covering it all live -and you can follow along on Screen Rant's Comic-Con page.
• Movies.com, under the leadership of Erik Davis, will be assembling a host of movie geeks to storm the Comic-Con castle in the hopes of making sense of the mass hysteria that is the year's biggest movie news bonanza with features, interviews, news, podcasts, videos and a handful of nerdy, addictive photo galleries.
• Manny Lozano from VeryAware.com is most excited for what Warner Brothers and Legendary will be bringing to the table this year. After last year's panel, which blew audiences away with the "Man of Steel" trailer, "Pacific Rim" and early "Godzilla" footage, which was mostly a "proof of concept" reel than anything else at that point. Manny said, "Now that 'Godzilla' has begun shooting, it'll be interesting to see how Gareth Edwards and company are reviving the original movie monster. The trailer for 'Gravity' was incredibly thrilling and is easily one of my most anticipated films for this fall, so seeing anything else from that would be fantastic. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun 'The LEGO Movie' trailer was, and with a creative team like Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, I'm sure it will defy expectations in the best of ways."