Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
San Diego Comic-Con is nerd culture's second Christmas, and every year the annual ode to all things geek gets bigger and better, with film studios jostling each other for the biggest moment of the weekend. This year, the con's legendary Hall H will likely be the home of some game-changing reveals, dizzying sizzle reels, and exclusive trailers that may just be worth the dozen or so hours of waiting on line to get in. Here's a look at what we're expecting from the big film studio panels at Comic-Con:
Jupiter Ascending: The Wachowskis' latest, Jupiter Ascending, was supposed to make landfall this summer but was delayed just a few weeks away from its expected release date and sent to February — which is basically Hollywood's graveyard for lackluster films. This year's con has to be all about assuaging fears and ensuring fans that the film isn't a complete disaster. Showing a lengthy, eye-popping sequence from the film would be a great way to keep expectant fans at ease.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: As it turns the bend toward the final film in the franchise, The Hobbit series is pretty much in cruise control. We know what to expect from Peter Jackson's last hurrah in the Tolkien-verse but flames can still be fanned. We're hoping for some new footage for the upcoming film and more, since Jackson will be in attendance.
Mad Max: Fury Road: We've seen some dusty set photos from this post-apocalyptic epic, and the cast looks appropriately dirty and world weary, but what we really want to see is some footage. Since the film is set to release next May, a trailer of some sort is surely imminent.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice: Curiously absent from the list of films showing at the Warner Bros. panel, Dawn of Justice is the biggest question mark of the con. Can Warner Bros. really walk into Hall H without a bit of Batman up their sleeves? We're gonna go with no. We're betting the studio is saving something huge for a giant payload of hype to end their conference with. If not, then Marvel has already won Comic-Con - if you believe in the notion of winning these sorts of things. Considering we've already seen glimpses of Affleck kitted out in the Bat Suit and the new Bat Mobile, we're gonna need something pretty cool.
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Marvel's Avengers sequel is bar-none the biggest film at the con, and since the film has been shooting for months at this point, and the cast is descending on San Diego for the event, there's definitely going to be something big showing. If not, expect San Diego to be scorched to the earth in the ensuing fan rage.
Ant-Man: After losing longtime director Edgar Wright and a very worrying scramble to find a suitable replacement, Ant-Man, formerly Marvel's most promising film, is looking worse for wear. Some fans even swore off the film entirely the second Wright was jettisoned from the project. Some serious damage control is on the bill this year. The studio needs to show something tangible, like a costume or some early footage, to get the hype machine rolling again.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Since Guardians is so close to release, some Hall H faithful are expecting a screening of the film. We're doubtful that Marvel will preview the entire movie, but we are expecting to see a lengthy preview of the film. Perhaps something like the 17 minutes of the finished film shown to journalists earlier this month.
Everything Else: Sure, Marvel is king of the mountain now, but keeping that title means keeping everyone happy in the near and distant future. Marvel should add a couple more pin-drops to their map of Phase 3, and announce some anticipated films like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, but also dish about upcoming projects like Thor 3 and Doctor Strange.
20th Century Fox
X-Men: Apocalypse: Since Days of Future Past just dropped earlier this summer, we're not expecting a whole lot on the X-Men side of things, but the studio would be remiss if they didn't at least hint at something X-Men related, especially given the great post-credit sequence at the end of the last film.Fantastic Four: With its oddball casting, Fantastic Four might be the most heavily scrutinized superhero film to appear at the con. Since shooting has already begun, Fox needs to prove to fans that they know what they're doing. Some test footage from the project would be great.
Everything Else: Everyone's making huge, interconnected franchises these days, and we wonder if Fox will put it's own hat in the ring. Even though their list of properties is pretty scant, the promise of a sprawling blockbuster universe might be too appealing to resist. Can there be a X-Men/Fantastic Four meet-up? Stranger things have happened. Otherwise, also expect additional news and clips from Let's Be Cops, The Maze Runner, The Book of Life, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and hopefully, a first trailer for Hitman: Agent 47.
ParamountTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The film is basically out at this point, so there really isn't much to do besides add some last minute fuel to the hype machine. The film does have its share of detractors due to Michael Bay's involvement and a mixed reaction to the new turtle designs. An early screening to Comic-Con attendees might win the film some brownie points with fans.
Interstellar: This is one instance where less is most certainly more. Christopher Nolan's mysterious space adventure is probably the year's biggest question mark, and that's the way things should be. Universal should keep its cards close to its vest and let the enigmatic nature of the project be its own marketing tool. The Nolan pedigree will likely brig in a big audience. A new trailer would be fine, but lets keep the plot points to a minimum.
A Noel Gallagher interview inspired Metallica star Lars Ulrich to quit cocaine. The rocker, a longtime Oasis fan, began to realise his drug of choice was no longer cool when Gallagher opened up about his decision to quit a decade ago - and he vowed to stop using on the spot.
Ulrich tells Britain's The Mirror, "In the early days, I'd always get drunk way faster than the other guys and I realised that if there was a little bit of cocaine involved I could stay up longer, instead of ending up face down in the corner, passed out three hours before the party ended.
"I loved the social elements of cocaine. I loved the danger of it. Then, about 10 years ago, I read an interview with Noel Gallagher, in which he said, 'I just stopped doing cocaine'. I thought that was really cool. It felt so fresh, so honest, so pure - I love that side of him. I've never had an addictive personality, so I woke up one day and said, 'Enough'."
Not so much the party animal these days, the drummer, who is the face of Danish beer companies Carlsberg and Gammel Dansk, admits he's not actually a big beer drinker.
Speaking before Metallica's recent Glastonbury headlining slot, he said, "Afterwards, yes, I'll have a drink. Champagne, maybe tequila, vodka. I like clear drinks; I don't really do beer."
Police were called to Justin Bieber's home in Beverly Hills, California on six separate occasions over the weekend (19-20Jul14) amid noise complaints and other disturbances. Local authorities received four individual calls from disgruntled neighbours concerning loud music and partying on the roof top of the superstar's new luxury apartment on Saturday night (19Jul14) and in the early hours of Sunday morning (20Jul14), but Bieber was not cited for the visits as he promised to keep the noise down each time officers turned up on his doorstep.
Police also had to return to the neighbourhood to investigate two other incidents, involving complaints about fans and paparazzi, according to TMZ.com.
Cops are no stranger to Bieber's pad - they were also called to investigate other noise complaints from angry neighbours last month (Jun14), when the Baby hitmaker hosted a star-studded bash with guests including boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr., rapper Tyga, singer/actor Tyrese and American football star Johnny Manziel.
Bieber moved out of his last property in Calabasas, California earlier this year (14) following a string of run-ins with locals, who accused the 20 year old of being a nuisance by speeding his sports cars around the gated community, throwing wild parties and even pelting a nearby home with eggs. The egging incident recently landed him a conviction for vandalism. He was sentenced to five days of community service and 12 weeks of anger management counselling, and ordered to pay restitution.
Hollywood director Ron Howard is to shoot a new movie about The Beatles. The documentary will trace the Fab Four's career from their early days performing in their native Liverpool, England to their final official concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1966.
The band's surviving members, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, are onboard as producers along with John Lennon and George Harrison's widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
Howard says of the project, "My 10th birthday was all about me getting a Beatle wig. While my knowledge isn't encyclopaedic, I'm a lifelong fan and I'm fascinated by what they've meant."
The film is slated to hit movie theatres in late 2015.
Sir Paul McCartney has dusted off his first ever guitar for his new Early Days video. The legendary star played the Zenith Model 17, which he reportedly bought in 1956 when he was 14, on the Beatles' first trip to Hamburg, Germany, and he composed his first song, I Lost My Little Girl, on it. Now he has picked up the instrument again for the new promo, which also features a cameo from actor Johnny Depp, who also appeared in McCartney's star-studded Queenie Eye video.
Country star Leann Rimes is embracing the Christmas spirit early by unveiling plans for a new holiday album trilogy. The Blue singer reveals she will release One Christmas later this year (14) and follow it up with two more instalments in 2015 and 2016.
The first festive project will feature her renditions of Silent Night and White Christmas, among other traditional songs, and will be promoted with an accompanying tour.
Rimes announced the live dates in a bizarre YouTube.com video clip, which features the singer on a beach in a bikini, surrounded by three elves who attempt to cover her up.
In a press release, she writes, "I love everything about the holidays and want to share the magic and joy of the season with my fans. I look forward to playing some of my favourite Christmas classics for music lovers in an intimate, cozy setting."
The One Christmas tour will kick off in Vermont on 5 December (14) and wrap up in Michigan days before the festive holiday.
The album will be Rimes' first themed project since her holiday debut What a Wonderful World in 2004.
Queen star Brian May has paid tribute to the band's first manager following his death at the age of 74. Norman Sheffield, who managed the rockers during the early days of their career, passed away in Cornwall, England on 20 June (14) after a battle with cancer.
He began his career as a musician with his band The Hunters, performing with Sir Cliff Richard in the late 1950s, and he later opened the Trident recording studios in London where hits including David Bowie's Space Oddity and The Beatles' Hey Jude were brought to life.
Sheffield took on management duties for Queen in 1972 and remained with the band until 1975, but later reunited with them when one of his companies was asked to produce their iconic Bohemian Rhapsody video.
The band's guitarist May has now offered up a tribute in memory of the man who helped shape Queen's music career.
In a post on his website, May writes, "Sad to report the passing of Queen's first manager, Norman Sheffield. We had our differences of course, but, in the Grand Scheme of Things, all the water had long since flowed under the bridge. Our sincere condolences to his family. RIP Norman."
Sir Paul McCartney has recruited actor/musician Johnny Depp to co-star in his new music video.
The promo for Early Days begins with the Beatles legend playing his acoustic guitar in a room alone, before more and more blues musicians, including Depp, appear alongside him.
Director Vincent Haycock claims the short film is a tribute to the beginnings of McCartney's relationship with his late songwriting partner and bandmate John Lennon. He says, "Their story at its core is a universal one, two young kids who bond over their passion for music and form a band and friendship. This video is about them, and every band, and every kid who has suffered the ups and downs of starting a band, whether or not they became successful."
Haycock reveals McCartney and Depp weren't the only big stars onset - rocker Patti Smith dropped by during filming, too. He adds, "Paul's scene was incredibly fun to create. It was just him, some blues players and Johnny Depp jamming on set all day. Patti Smith also turned up on set and hung out, which made the crew very happy!"
"There was a time in my life when I lived probably a bit more on the primal level. And it was amazing. All of a sudden I had money in my bank account. I hadn't had a break in a long time. And I went a little... nuts. I deserved to go a little bit nuts. And I had the time of my life." Singer Adam Levine enjoyed taking advantage of his rock star lifestyle in the early days of his career.
"50 years ago we were doing makeup tests for Spock ears. Counting down to first day of shooting. Really time warp". Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy recalls his early days working on the cult sci-fi series.