2:39pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Comic-Con: 10 Must-See Movie Panels From This Year's Show
The biggest takeaway from the programming schedule for this year's San Diego Comic-Con in terms of movies might be the lack of a Star Wars panel — those hoping for a glimpse at some exclusive footage from Rogue One or Star Wars: Episode VIII will have to contend themselves with live-streaming Star Wars Celebration Europe this weekend instead.
What is available, though, is pretty impressive: Marvel Studios returns after a year off, Warner Bros. takes over Hall H for two hours on Saturday, Luc Besson shows off his new sci-fi fantasy and Star Trek Beyond takes over the Embarcadero Marina for a world premiere. For those wondering what movie-related events should be paid particular attention, here are 10 of the best.
Wednesday, July 20
Star Trek Beyond Premiere
How to get your Comic-Con movie experience started right: Attend the open-air Imax premiere of the latest Star Trek movie, complete with a live performance of Michael Giacchino's score by the San Diego Symphony. As should be expected at a world premiere, cast and crew from the film will be there to experience it with the crowd. Consider the ante raised after last year's Star Wars outside concert. Embarcadero Marina Park South, evening
Thursday, July 21
Even if the prospect of getting the lowdown on Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Edward Snowden biopic explained by the actor himself isn't appealing enough, then here's something that definitely makes this panel a must-see: Oliver Stone making his Comic-Con debut. What will the filmmaker make of the surreal experience? Hall H, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
The public gets to see its first look at Luc Besson's adaptation of the European comic strip, with the director, producer Virginie Besson-Silla and stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in tow to explain just what it is that audiences glimpsed on the big screen. Expect surreal scenes of sci-fi futures unlike what we normally receive in movies, and hope for a trailer. Hall H, 1-2 p.m.
Friday, July 22
Star Wars Publishing
While there's no Star Wars movie panel at Comic-Con this year — well, Star Wars Celebration Europe happens just a few days earlier, after all — those wanting to find out more about a galaxy far, far away can find some clues in this panel focusing on the comic book and prose spinoffs from the movies featuring representatives from Marvel Entertainment and Del Rey. Room 7AB, 11 a.m.-noon
Captain America: Civil War Screenwriting Q&A
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely talk about the process of taking Marvel's 2006 comic book storyline and making it work as a movie a decade later: the highs, the lows and facing such questions as "Do we have Spider-Man to work with or not?" and "Should we use the Black Panther instead?" Fans who want to complain about the outcome of any of the fights, this is where you should be. Horton Grand Theater, 1-2 p.m.
Conversations With Joss Whedon
Whedon returns to Hall H for his annual conversation with the audience, which as always will include whatever happens to be on his mind at the moment he steps out on stage and the subjects brought up by his audience — so don't be surprised if Firefly, Buffy and Dr. Horrible are brought up, as well as the status of Twist, his in-the-works comic book series for Dark Horse. Hall H, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 23
Warner Bros. Pictures
Almost certainly the motherlode of movie panels during the event, this two-hour presentation will likely feature appearances and new footage from Suicide Squad and Justice League in addition to the other big movies the studio has coming out over the next year. It's between this and the Marvel panel later in the day as to which is the most talked-about offering at the entire show. Hall H, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Star Trek Beyond
After the movie's premiere, the entire franchise will be celebrated in a 50th anniversary retrospective hosted by Bryan Fuller, with appearances by William Shatner, Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan and Enterprise's Scott Bakula. Will any of the current movie cast show up as surprise guests? Stranger things have happened … Hall H, 2-3 p.m.
Aliens: 30th Anniversary
Even nuking it from orbit wouldn't have prevented this impressive lineup of talent from James Cameron's 1986 classic — Sigourney Weaver, Gale Anne Hurd, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn and the filmmaker himself — reuniting on stage for an hour of nostalgia and behind-the-scenes stories ahead of a 30th anniversary Blu-ray release in September. Hall H, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
Kevin Feige is the ringmaster for Marvel's return to Comic-Con — the studio took 2015 off, claiming that there was nothing to show audiences — with both Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being teased for reveals, with their directors having all but told social media they'll be there. With Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok also in production, there might even be more to see if Feige feels generous. Hall H, 5:30-6:45 p.m.