With the Double Strike, Comic-Con goes back to basics

With the Double Strike, Comic-Con goes back to basics

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When San Diego Comic-Con launched in 1970, it was a niche convention for about 300 fans. In the decades that have followed, it has obviously become a must-see for Hollywood’s biggest franchises, from the Marvel and DC universes to game of Thrones AND The Lord of the Rings. But after years of film and TV (and top actors) taking center stage and propelling the event to new heights, 2023 will be the least star-studded Comic-Con in more than a decade.

This week, SAG-AFTRA announced the actors will join the writers guild during pickets, as Hollywood faces yet another shutdown amid a historic double strike. Already, most major Hollywood majors, including Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, Netflix and HBO, have opted to skip Comic-Con this year, due to previous strike uncertainty and financial stress. on studio travel budgets.

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With actors now confirmed to be out for the count, the convention lineup takes another hit with a slew of previously announced now canceled panels, including Legendary, who was secretly planning to bring Dune: second part. Also deleted: Panels for TV shows like Amazon’s Wheel of timeFreevee’s Jury duty and ABC Abbott Elementary.

This year also marks the first time since 2011 that at least one of the two biggest comic book and film franchises — Marvel and DC — won’t hold court in the 6,500-seat Hall H.

“This is obviously an unusual year,” says Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer. “But that didn’t lessen the anticipation for Comic-Con.”

Indeed, the badges have sold out months before the event as attendees vie for tickets long before the panels are even announced. While Hall H stops from Marvel or DC spawned the biggest titles, only a small fraction of the estimated 150,000 attendees each year ever set foot in that space, which requires camping in line overnight to enter. In other words, many worshipers are opting for smaller panels and the chance to show off their best cosplay.

Some major presentations will continue without actors, including that of Paramount Animation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (July 20, 11:30), which may feature a presentation by director Jeff Rowe.

Star Trek: The Animated Series

Star Trek: The Animated Series will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Paramount Collection/Courtesy of Everett

After the Oscar-winning success of RRRthe big budget Project K (July 20, 1:00pm) hopes to build on this momentum by becoming the first Indian project to hit Hall H. Collider will also host a panel in Room H “Directors on Directing” (July 21, 11 am) with directors such as Deadpool 2by David Leitch Haunted houseby Justin Simien e Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s Gareth Edwards, which should show footage from The creator.

As for TV, panels still on the agenda include a two-and-a-half-hour look at AMC Walking Dead franchise (July 21, 1:00 pm) ea Star Trek presentation (July 22, 1:30 p.m.) for that universe’s three Paramount+ shows.

FX will be promoting the fifth season of What do we do in the shadows (July 20, 4:30pm) and Peacock will showcase his new Anthony Mackie action-comedy series Twisted metal (July 20, 3.15pm). Despite him canceling theirs The wheel of time panel, Prime Video will continue to promote the series starring Steven Yeun Invincible, with a panel (July 21, 5:45pm) and a screening of the second season (July 21, 10pm). Starz also plans to present her John Wick spin-off series, The Continental (July 21, 3 pm).

The Continental, prequel to John Wick.

The Continentala prequel to John Wick.

Katalin Vermes/Starz Entertainment

Months after co-creator and star Justin Roiland was fired from Adult Swim Rick and Morti and of Hulu Solar opposites(July 21, 2pm and 3pm), although Roiland is not scheduled.

Some of these panels may have received modest attention in years past, but now they have a chance to make it big this year, including films not made by companies that are part of the SAG-AFTRA deal. Notes an actor-director, who’s bringing shooting for a new film into this year’s unusual landscape, “I could do anything.”

This story first appeared in the July 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to register now.