Guide to 2018's San Diego Comic-Con exclusives

Guide to 2018's San Diego Comic-Con exclusives

Doctor Who

Expect big film, TV and gaming announcements galore at the biggest comic convention in the world

San Diego Comic-Con is the closest you can get to a pilgrimage site for the biggest of comic book and film geeks. Every year the giants of the industry fill the now iconic Hall H and Ballroom 20 with thousands upon thousands of fans, all hoping to be the first to get a glimpse of new trailers and exclusive footage, or to hear fresh news about their favourite films, TV series and videogames.

With a programme almost as long as its queues, it can be hard to figure out what might or might not be hitting the internet over the weekend, and even if you are thousands of miles away from the convention itself, you can still validate your uber-fan card by knowing exactly when to expect the goodies.

This article will be updated with the best exclusive footage and trailers released throughout the convention, but, for now, here is a guide to the highlights we are expecting to see!

Film

Audiences will be surprised to know that two of the Comic-Con film giants are giving it a pass this year: Star Wars and Marvel. Star Wars: Episode IX is still in early production, and with all the spin-off movies shelved until further notice, there is not much to reveal from a galaxy far, far away at this point. Marvel, however, seems to be keeping their cards close to their chest. Both Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 have wrapped filming, so teasers would not be impossible, but it seems that after the shattering end of Avengers: Infinity War, we will also be left on a deserted planet watching time go by for the foreseeable future.

The only exception to the Marvel absence is the Sony Pictures panel on Friday, since their releases will not be part of the MCU. Tom Hardy's Venom has split opinions, but the lethal symbiote still has time to sway them right, and some exclusive footage might do just that. The animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, on the other hand, has had fans clamouring for more, since it brings beloved Miles Morales into the Spidey spotlight. A crossover featuring Spider-Men from different universes, this production has been anticipated for years, and 14 December cannot come soon enough.

With some of the big players out of the game, this year gives Warner Brothers the chance to steal the show. The only confirmed reveal so far is the Aquaman trailer, but the slate of films to come from them is not to be diminished, and they are sure to take the opportunity to wow audiences with several surprises. Wonder Woman 1984 brings the cinematic debut of Cheetah (and, it seems, the return of Steve Trevor), and while it is not released until November 2019, with production already underway it is not impossible to get a treat from it. The first official still from Shazam (April 2019) has been released, and teaser footage should not be far behind it. A more likely reveal would be footage from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, since its release is a mere four months away. It will not take a wizard to make this the panel to see on Saturday.

Universal Pictures is also stepping up on Friday with two very anticipated releases: Glass, from M Night Shyamalan, and Halloween, from David Gordon Green. Glass (January) serves as a conclusion to the Unbreakable Trilogy, following Unbreakable and Split, with all the main actors reprising their roles. Halloween (October) takes us back to the original film in the franchise, and serves as a direct sequel, taking place four decades later. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle are returning to their original roles, and we bet there will be screams accompanying any sneak peeks.

Television

There is a very notable absence this year from the Comic-Con floor when it comes to television networks: HBO. Which means no Game of Thrones or Westworld news. As bad as that will seem for some, there are plenty of other releases to make your wait for the new seasons slightly more bearable.

When it comes to new series, there will be exclusive looks at the first episodes of the Charmed and Magnum PI reboots, Nightflyers (sci-fi from George RR Martin, since the fantasy one is a no-show) and Marvel Rising (an animated series bringing Quake, Ms Marvel, Squirrel Girl and Patriot together). Returning series also giving us a sneak peek at what is to come include Better Call Saul (season four), Van Helsing (season three), Marvel's Iron Fist (season two), Krypton (season two), The Gifted (season two) and Riverdale (season three).

For the DC fans, the CW is bringing its entire roster of series: Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. With at least one yearly crossover between them all, you really need to stay updated on the entire universe (much like keeping up with the MCU, but easier).

AMC's Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead have back to back panels in Hall H on Friday, and no chair will be left empty. They have promised sneak previews of what's next, and if they don't deliver they might have to deal with a Lucille or two.

The panel that fans from all over the world will be waiting for on Thursday will be the Doctor Who: BBC America's Official Panel. This will be the first ever panel appearance of the new cast, with 13th Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, being confirmed to appear. She will be the first female Doctor in the history of the series, and expectations are very high. No previews have been promised, but with only a very short teaser out so far for season 11, they surely cannot pass up the opportunity to have Hall H roaring for more.

Gaming

Most people expect news from TV series and films, but the gaming industry also has a place in San Diego, and all the biggest exclusives will take place this Thursday. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Call of Duty: Zombies, we are told to expect 'never-before-seen footage' and 'exciting special announcements' on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, scheduled to hit shelves in October. With no single-player campaign for the first time in the franchise, fans will surely be expecting some good news to keep them excited for the release.

Marvel has some promising games being released this year, the biggest being Marvel's Spider-Man. Exploring a completely new story and a more experienced (read, older) Peter Parker. This will be a PS4 exclusive, in an open-world New York City full of possibilities. The gameplay footage released at E3 last month is looking good, and with the release still almost two months away, another sneak peek is in the cards.

Niantic, the giant behind Pokemon GO, will also have a panel this Thursday. Updates for their existing properties have been announced, but they have been keeping quiet about the game everyone wants to know about: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Promising to use augmented reality in the same style as Pokemon GO to take aspiring Hogwarts students into the wizarding world, we haven't heard much more since its announcement in 2017 (even the late 2018 release date seems to be up in the air). With Jam City's Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery already up and running and garnering fans, Niantic needs a good hook to keep Potterheads interested, and there is no better place for it than San Diego.

At a time fan-favourite games are being remastered (Crash Bandicoot, Spyro), the market has opened up for full remakes of properties (if the movie industry can do it, why not them?). Friday will bring news on the anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake, which sports more than just cleaned up graphics.

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