Getty Images/Kevin Winter
San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.
Dr. Strange? More Like Dr. Nope Sure, there are other panels happening at Comic-Con this year, but all anyone really cares about are the new films and casts that Marvel is set to unveil on Saturday. And since Dr. Strange just happens to be one of those films and Benedict Cumberbatch is rumored to be the frontrunner for the role, MTV just happened to ask him to reveal whether he will indeed be playing the super-powered sorcerer. His answer? “As far as I’m aware, even if that was the case, it couldn’t work out because I’m doing a little play called ‘Hamlet’ in London, so I don’t think I could even if that was in the cards. It sounds like a fantastic project. It’s a shame if I miss out, but who knows?” So, it’s not an outright “no,” but it seems like Marvel might have to look elsewhere for their Dr. Strange.
There’s No Stan Lee Cameo This Time A living legend in the comic book world, Stan Lee has basically become the face of Comic-Con, attending all but a select few since its inception over forty years ago. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to add 2014 to the absentee list; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee has cancelled his appearance after losing his voice to a bad bout of laryngitis, and he certainly can’t command a convention center without a voice. Don’t get too upset, though: his cameo in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy has already been filmed, so no illness will keep you from seeing him then.
A 24 Movie May Be In the Works The key word there is “maybe.” According to Deadline, star Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer/director John Cassar mentioned during the 24 panel that officially kicked off this year’s con that they were “still talking” about a movie now that the series’ reboot has been so successful. Of course, that didn’t stop fans from freaking out about the mere possibility of it, but Comic-Con’s a place for overwhelming enthusiasm. They could announce another Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film and people would be excited.
Twenty Hours to Cumberbatch Waiting in absurdly long lines are a time-honored tradition of Comic-Con, but some of them are redefining the word “dedication,” like the ones who lined up to see Cumberbatch on the Dreamworks Animation panel a whole 20 hours early (via CinemaBlend). That’s right: they waited almost an entire day to watch Cumberbatch talk about voicing a cartoon wolf in the new Penguins of Madagascar movie. Not Sherlock, not The Hobbit, not Star Trek. Penguins.
Na na na na na na na… Batsuit! If you thought the set picture of Ben Affleck in the latest incarnation of the Batsuit was too dark to actually see anything – seriously, has Zach Snyder ever met a shadow he didn’t feel the need to add in? – then DC has answered your prayers. The studio unveiled Affleck’s redesigned cape and cowl for Comic-Con visitors to compare against the ones in the comics live and in-person, and /Film has plenty of pictures for those of us who prefer to critique costume choices from our own homes.
Avengers Assemble (Literally) In anticipation of their no doubt world-shattering panel this weekend, Marvel has released several exclusive posters for the Avengers: Age of Ultron featuring concept art from the film. But like Beyonce’s visual album, all of the individually exciting parts come together to make an even more exciting whole. In this case, it’s a bigger group image that sees the team fighting side-by-side. The Dissolve has already started putting it together for you, so as long as you find that last corner piece, you should be all set.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
Glee star Kevin Mchale was shocked when he took part in the U.K.'s racy adult game show Celebrity Juice because he thought he had signed up for an X Factor-style talent contest. The U.S. actor was approached last year (13) to host a British panel show but he was unaware of the term and assumed he was being offered a judging role on a high-profile singing competition.
However, he was left stunned when producers of the new programme landed him a spot on Celebrity Juice as an introduction to the format - and he was confronted with fellow guests telling lewd anecdotes and saucy, foul-mouthed jokes.
McHale tells British TV show This Morning, "They called me (and said), 'Do you want to do a panel show?' and I was, like, 'What is that? No.' To me it's like, oh is that sitting behind a panel and judging, like on The X Factor or something? I was like, sure, I can criticise people.
"I happened to be here (in the U.K.) last summer and I met up with some of them and they told me their ideas and they were so nice and funny and hilarious I was like, 'I will do whatever you guys want me to do.' They put me on Celebrity Juice so I could see it and I think that was a great introduction to the panel world!"
McHale's new show, Virtually Famous, pits two teams against each other to score points with their knowledge of online viral content and social media news. It is due to air in the U.K. from next week (beg28Jul14).
Woody Allen was thrilled when Oscar winner Colin Firth signed on to star as a cynical illusionist in his new film Magic In The Moonlight - because he wrote the part of Stanley with the British actor in mind.
The filmmaker admits Firth's casting was especially sweet because he has failed to land so many of the world's top actors for his film projects. He explains, "The guys are great but they are hard to get, they are always busy. I have called (Robert) De Niro, I've spoken on the phone to Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson."
"Nicholson was going to do Hannah And Her Sisters. I wasn't thinking of Michael Caine at the time as I wasn't thinking of an English guy. It would never have occurred to me."
But when he started writing his latest project, he couldn't get past the thought of casting another Englishman, adding, "I was thinking of him as I was writing the movie and we were determined to have him, but he was scheduled to do another project."
"Fortunately for us, at the last minute his other project was postponed. Colin was the perfect person to play this because it requires a certain savoir faire (social grace). You want an elegant, good-looking person who can do the wit and can have that attitude without him getting on your nerves; someone you would like to watch for the whole movie."
Allen reveals the idea of casting Emma Stone opposite Firth came to him as he was working out: "I'm on my treadmill in the morning and I'm surfing through (TV channels) to kill the time and suddenly I would see these post-adolescent movies and think, 'Who's that girl? She's beautiful and she's very good'."
"I mentioned her name to Juliet Taylor, who casts for me, and she said, 'Yes, she's not just a pretty face. She's a very good actress'. She's very intelligent to chat with. She did such a good job she's in the (next) movie I'm doing now."
And it seems Allen is slowly getting his way when it comes to working with the world's top actors: "Now I am working with Joaquin Phoenix, a great actor, and Sean Penn... I would love to work with Kevin Spacey."
Acting couple Dichen Lachman and Maximilian Osinski are engaged to wed. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Osinski recently proposed to his girlfriend of three years and they are planning to exchange vows next year (15), reports Eonline.com.
Lachman's former Dollhouse co-star and onscreen love interest, Enver Gjokaj, is rumoured to be among the groomsmen at the ceremony after previously also working with Osinski on Dennis Quaid film The Express and Kevin Bacon's Taking Chances.
Animal rights campaigners have offered to make a $6,000 (£3,529) donation to Kevin Spacey's theatre company if he swaps meat for vegan food at an upcoming fundraising barbecue.
The American Beauty star is holding a raffle for the chance to eat barbecued ribs with him on the set of his online drama series House of Cards, with proceeds going to the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and London's The Old Vic Theatre Company, where Spacey works as artistic director.
However, staff at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have promised to make a $6,000 donation if Spacey goes vegetarian for the event.
In a letter to the star, a PETA representative writes, "We believe that you care about animal welfare and about the environment, so in light of all the information available today about cruelty in slaughterhouses and the detrimental effect of greenhouse gasses produced by animal-based agriculture, PETA is respectfully asking that the prize dinner feature delicious 'Fib Ribs' or Field Roast vegan offerings instead of ribs so that the theatre will not benefit at the expense of other vital social interests."
Tennis legend John Mcenroe has vowed to support his troubled son after he was arrested and charged with drug offences. Kevin McEnroe, 27, whose mother is actress Tatum O'Neal, was detained by police in New York City on Tuesday night (15Jul14) after he was allegedly caught making a drug transaction.
He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance before being released without bail, and now his famous father has pledged his support.
A statement from McEnroe reads, "The entire McEnroe family is extremely upset with regard to recent developments about Kevin McEnroe. This is a private matter and his entire family will do everything we can to support Kevin as he works through his issues at this very difficult time."
O'Neal has also publicly backed her son. The actress, who has suffered addiction issues in the past, posted a number of family snaps on her Twitter.com page after the arrest, and added a picture of herself with Kevin alongside the message, "Addiction is a disease. Not a moral issue. Support, empathy, love."
Actress Tatum O'Neal took to Twitter.com to express her upset after her son with tennis legend John Mcenroe was arrested on drug charges. Kevin McEnroe was detained by police in New York City on Tuesday night (15Jul14) after he was allegedly caught making a drug transaction.
The 27 year old was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and released without bail after his arraignment on Wednesday afternoon (16Jul14).
O'Neal, who has battled her own drug problems in the past, has since taken to the social networking website to comment on the incident. She tweeted an icon of two hands clasped together in prayer, adding, "Hard day no filter... some days are better than... (sic)."
The son of Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal and tennis great John Mcenroe is facing drug charges following an arrest in New York City on Tuesday night (15Jul14). Police officers reportedly caught Kevin McEnroe appearing to make a drug transaction with another person and they were both taken into custody.
The 27 year old was allegedly found in possession of six envelopes of cocaine, 20 painkillers, 20 morphine pills and one anxiety pill, according to the New York Daily News.
Both suspects have since been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
McEnroe, the eldest of the former couple's three children, is due to be arraigned in court on Wednesday afternoon (16Jul14).
Former child star O'Neal has a long history with drug addiction issues, but is said to have kicked her habit after a 2008 arrest for cocaine possession.
The daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal even served as her embattled half-brother Redmond's sober buddy in 2010 as she helped him get clean after multiple drug arrests.
He became a free man in October, 2012 after successfully completing a year-long court-ordered stint in rehab, resulting in the suspension of his jail sentence for a 2011 arrest for heroin and firearms possession.