Last year in my Comic-Con preview, amidst a diminishing film presence in Hall H, I wrote: “…the movie side has totally ceded Sunday to TV. Hell, they’re halfway to ceding Saturday. And Thursday. And at this rate, within five years, probably Friday, too.” Well, it’s been one year, not five, and this year Friday in Hall H is 90% about television. In fact, this is the lightest year yet for film in Hall H, with Sony, Warner Brothers, Universal, and Lionsgate all skipping presentations. It’s so light, in fact, there’s no point going through the schedule day by day—there simply isn’t enough stuff showing up for that. Instead, let’s take a look at what will be on display in Hall H over the next few days, with a few bonus non-Hall H panels thrown in for fun. Also, something to keep an eye on, Chris Hardwick is returning to Hall H this year, moderating The Walking Dead’s panel (all the more reason not to care about The Walking Dead anymore). Let’s see how warm his welcome is, very warm or extremely warm? Don’t forget that room will contain a lot of fanbros who think this whole #MeToo thing went too far.
Marvel returns to Hall H for a post-Endgame victory lap, which includes a spread of panels. On Thursday, they take up the midday slot from 1:30pm to 4:30pm with panels for Marvel Games and Agents of SHIELD. Friday morning it’s all about the making of Endgame with back-to-back morning panels with the screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and the directors, the Russo brothers. Saturday at 5:15pm is the big show, where Kevin Feige is expected to unveil the Phase Four slate. Maybe we’ll see something from Black Widow, which is currently in production, and I am expecting a confirmation of the cast of The Eternals—this could be a huge moment, as we know some of the names to expect already. (I’m not expecting Keanu Reeves, alas.) Also, look out for a “special guest” as part of a thank you event for the fans. My money is on RDJ giving his final farewell in the room that started it all. Hall H has been good to him over the years, it would be a fitting place to close out his tenure as the godfather of the MCU.
HBO is showing off one show a day Thursday through Saturday, starting with His Dark Materials at 4:45pm on Thursday. Lin-Manuel Miranda will be there, and Hall H BETTER APPRECIATE HIM. Friday is Game of Thrones at 5:30pm, and all I ask is that no one berate the cast about the final season during the Q&A. They have nothing to do with the writing, so let’s not be embarrassing and expect them to answer for the story development. Saturday, Westworld III is on display at 1:15pm. Do people really care that much about Westworld?
Netflix has a double slot on Friday beginning at 2:15pm. They’re starting with The Witcher, and I’m looking for a trailer to show us what we can expect from Henry Cavill’s post-Superman career. Then there will be a panel for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, the prequel series for The Dark Crystal. Dark Crystal is a beloved 1980s cult classic, so this ought to go over well, for what will inevitably turn out to be a niche show that Netflix will cancel after two seasons.
The only movie presentation other than Marvel belongs to Paramount, first thing Thursday morning at 11am. They’re showing off Terminator: Dark Fate, which has not looked so convincing thus far. But this panel is promising “talent and filmmakers”, so if that includes James Cameron and Linda Hamilton, it will bring the house down no matter how terrible the movie looks.
CBS All Access is expanding their slate of Star Trek TV shows and will be introducing the expansion pack on Saturday morning at 11:30am. One of the new series is called Star Trek: Picard and will star Sir Patrick Stewart. He is expected in Hall H. You know who’s going to get the biggest roar from the Hall H nerds? Sir Patrick Stewart.
Odds and Ends
One of my personal favorites, Preacher, will be celebrating its final season in Hall H at 7pm on Friday. It is amazing to me that this show exists at all. Outside of Hall H, Brooklyn 99 will be in Room 6BCF on Saturday at 7:45pm, and The Good Place will be in the Indigo Ballroom at noon on the same day. On Friday at 11:30am, Veronica Mars will be up for the new season coming to Hulu. Fan cult favorite cartoon Rick and Morty will be in the Indigo Ballroom at 1 on Friday, so you know where all the worst fans will be that day. Archer, which has reinvented itself as an anthology, will be in the same room at 5pm, hopefully restoring balance to the universe, and the low-key sublime What We Do in the Shadows TV show will be in room 6BCF on Saturday at 6:30pm. Are you watching this? It’s SO GOOD.
Finally, Top Gun, while not slated for Hall H, is expected to have “a presence” this weekend. I suspect Tom Cruise & Co. will do something on site with the Navy, since there is a base in San Diego. It will be Maximum Stunting, whatever it is. Maybe Tom Cruise will parachute into the convention center.
This is a weird year for Comic-Con. It feels like the convention is evolving into its next form, as Hollywood draws down its presence in Hall H and cedes ground back to the comic book nerds. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you prefer true nerdly pursuits over Hollywood flash. I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world if Comic-Con is a little less about the movies, but it is a strange feeling to have watched this cycle from the Hollywood explosion in the early aughts to Twilight mania to now, when most studios can’t be buggered to trek down to San Diego. Just makes me wonder what the next evolution of Comic-Con will be.