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Here are the 50 must-see panels at Comic-Con International 2018

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
The trophy-collecting Predator escapes a government facility in Shane Black’s reboot of the franchise. (Photo: Kimberly French/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

The 2018 edition of Comic-Con International kicks off next week in sunny San Diego, Calif., and, as usual, the convention offers a cornucopia of panels and events for fans of every persuasion. Looking through the official program schedule, even the most hardcore geek’s eyes might glaze over at the hundreds of offerings in store. That’s why Yahoo Entertainment read through the entire schedule for you and picked the 50 film and TV panels that have us most excited. Take a peek at our list below, and we’ll see you in line in San Diego.

Day 1: Thursday, July 19

From the Bridge 

Star Trek legend Nichelle Nichols makes her final Comic-Con appearance as part of the crew behind this new documentary about the evolving nature of science fiction and fandom. Joining her onstage are the film’s director, Spencer F. Lee, as well as Greg Grunberg, who knows a thing or two about fandom due to his long friendship and collaboration with geek icon J.J. Abrams. (10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Ballroom 20)

The Predator (20th Century Fox)

In 1987, Shane Black battled the titular intergalactic bounty hunter alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jump ahead 31 years and he’s unleashing the Predator on a whole new cast — including Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, and Sterling K. Brown — as the writer/director of the latest franchise reboot. Hear from Black and the cast as they share stories from the set and reveal whether or not this Predator falls into the director’s Christmas movie canon. (10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Hall H)


 

Charmed (the CW)

One of the defining shows of the WB era of TV gets a CW reboot with an all-new cast of witches. Stars Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, and Madeleine Mantock will be making their Charmed SDCC debut; look for them to use their combined charms to win over skeptical fans. (11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Ballroom 20)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars — 10th-Anniversary Panel

Ten years ago, Dave Filoni single-handedly redeemed Attack of the Clones with this six-season animated yarn that introduced such popular characters as Ahsoka Tano and Savage Opress into the Star Wars canon. In case you’re doubting the importance of The Clone Wars to the franchise, this series is the reason why that character returned in Solo: A Star Wars Story. (11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Room 6BCF)

Doctor Who (BBC America)

It’s a new day for the sci-fi institution, and what better way to celebrate than with a new Doctor? Jodie Whittaker becomes the 13th Tardis traveler, and the first woman to wield the sonic screwdriver. Behind the camera, Chris Chibnall trades the gritty drama of Broadchurch for the crazy adventures of Gallifrey’s best-known Time Lord. Be there to see the first of what will hopefully be many SDCC appearances for Whittaker, not to mention exclusive peeks at the new season. (11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Hall H)

Jodie Whittaker takes center stage as the first female Doctor alongside Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill in the latest season of Doctor Who. (Photo: BBC America)

 

2001: A Space Odyssey 50th Anniversary Panel (Warner Bros.)

It’s been 50 years since Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal outer space spectacle changed sci-fi cinema forever. Anchored by representatives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and the Arthur C. Clarke Society, this panel will cover the making of the film, as well as the painstaking work involved in its 4K remaster, which will hit shelves on Oct. 30. (12:30 – 1:30 p.m, Room 6A)

The Toys That Made Us (Netflix)

If you grew up in the ’80s and your He-Man action figures were on a first-name basis with your Autobots, then The Toys That Made Us should be your next Netflix binge … if you haven’t mainlined it already. The creators of the series will lead a discussion about classic toys, and when and in what form we’ll see a Season 2. (1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Room 5AB)

DC: Geoff Johns (DC Entertainment)

As one of the main movers and shakers in the DC Extended Universe (not to mention the galaxy of heroes that fight crime on the CW) before stepping down earlier this year, writer and producer Geoff Johns almost certainly has a lot of stories to tell about where DC Entertainment has been and where it — and he — are going next.  (2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Room 6DE)

So Say We All: 40 Years of Battlestar Galactica

The good ship Galactica took its maiden flight in September 1978, launching a franchise that spanned one short-lived season, an equally short-lived sequel series, and an acclaimed 2004 reboot that changed sci-fi TV in so many ways. The authors of a new oral history, Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, discuss Battlestar‘s four-decade history and how the Cylons might return again. (2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Room 5AB)

The Cylons attack in the 1978 version of Battlestar Galactica. (Photo: Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Nightflyers (Syfy)

Game of Thrones will be history after next season, so it makes sense that Westeros’s creator, George R.R. Martin, is looking to the future … literally. Based on the author’s own 1980 novella, this new series fast-forwards to 2093, when a group of scientists exploring the farthest reaches of space discover that there’s a hostile entity already in their midst. Doug Liman is among the executive producers, and Gretchen Mol heads up the ensemble cast. (3:00 – 3:50 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

AMC’s Better Call Saul (AMC)

The wait is over: Jimmy McGill will be back on our screens on Aug. 6, and Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, and Giancarlo Esposito are on hand to celebrate his overdue return. Who knows? Maybe this will be the year when Jimmy fully becomes the slimy Saul we know and love from Breaking Bad. And speaking of Breaking Bad… (3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Hall H)

Breaking Bad 10th Anniversary Celebration

Hell year, Mr. White! The Breaking Bad gang is back together to mark the 10th anniversary of the show’s premiere. Odenkirk and Esposito hang around after their Better Call Saul session to reunite with Dean Norris, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, and, of course, Bryan Cranston. This will be the panel that knocks … you out. (4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Hall H)

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad, which celebrates its 10th anniversary. (Photo: Ursula Coyote/AMC)

Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years, Visual Development

Marvel Studios may not be hosting one of its popular Hall H galas this year, but you can still visit the Marvel Cinematic Universe, courtesy of the company’s visual development team — the folks responsible for the different lands and realms you’ve spent time in over the past decade. Get a rare look at the concept art for every major Marvel movie, from Iron Man to Infinity War. (5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Room 25ABC)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: The Final Curtain Call (the CW)

Rachel Bloom brings down the curtain on her cult musical series with a special live performance and glimpses of what’s ahead for the fourth and final season. Quick: What number comes after a buttload of cats? (5:45 – 6:30 p.m., Room 6A)

Assassination Nation Panel With Cast and the Russo Brothers (Neon and AGBO)

Using some of that Infinity War muscle, the Russo brothers teamed up with upstart distributor Neon to acquire and release this buzzy Sundance picture set in a parallel universe where small towns become war zones after an apocalyptic computer hack. The Russos will lend their star power to a panel that also features Assassination Nation writer/director Sam Levinson and stars Suki Waterhouse and Bill “Pennywise” Skarsgård (It). (5:45 6:45 p.m., Hall H)

NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)

Because fans demanded it, Andy Samberg’s cop comedy received a reprieve from the cancellation gods, with NBC picking up the series after Fox said sayonara. Expect these officers to receive a hero’s welcome when they arrive in San Diego. (7:00 – 8:00 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Day 2: Friday, July 20

Marvel’s Black Panther Costume Designer Ruth Carter: Designing the Costumes of Wakanda

Get a guided tour of Wakanda’s eye-catching fashions courtesy of celebrated costume designer Ruth Carter, who spoke with Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year. She’ll be joined by several of her Black Panther colleagues to talk about the inspiration behind the film’s distinct — and already influential — Afrofuturistic look. (Noon – 1:00 p.m., Room 9)

AMC’s The Walking Dead (AMC)

Change is a-comin’ to AMC’s long-running zombie series as star Andrew Lincoln prepares for his exit. The actor’s fellow zombie warriors — including Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus, who is set to become the de facto series lead — will be on hand to bid him a restful afterlife. (12:15 – 1:15 p.m., Hall H)

Andrew Lincoln enters his last days as the star of The Walking Dead. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Hulu’s World Premiere Screening of Castle Rock (Hulu)

Instead of adapting one specific Stephen King tome, this J.J. Abrams-produced series uses the author’s favorite fictional stomping grounds of Castle Rock, Maine, as the inspiration for a sprawling horror saga that incorporates some familiar storylines and characters. Stars Sissy Spacek and Melanie Lynskey join the Castle Rock executive producers for what should be a memorable tour of this small town where strange, scary events are an everyday occurrence. (12:45 – 2 p.m., Ballroom 20)

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)

After a decade-long absence, the Star Trek franchise returned to television — well, Internet-enabled television, anyway — in the form of Discovery, a darker, grittier Trek for a darker, grittier time. Despite a few bumps along the way, the show’s first season boldly charted a new course for Trek and ended with a humdinger of a final shot that has us all sorts of excited for Season 2. Showrunner Alex Kurtzman and Discovery’s bridge crew — including Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones — will tease what lies ahead as the titular ship continues to patrol the final final frontier. (1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Hall H)

The Queen of Outer Space 60th Birthday Bash

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s 1958 cult favorite is 60 years young, and film critic Leonard Maltin is throwing the mother of all birthday parties. Maltin is joined by podcasters and vintage movie fans George Feltenstein, D.W. Ferranti, and Matt Patterson to discuss both The Queen of Outer Space and the tradition of kooky ’50s sci-fi features that it emerged from. (3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Room 5AB)

Happy 60th birthday to the “Queen of Outer Space,” Zsa Zsa Gabor. (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)

Amazon Prime Video Showcase

If The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was your introduction to Amazon Prime’s original offerings, the streaming service would like you to know that it has so much more to offer. The producers/showrunners behind such series as Jack Ryan, Good Omens, The Tick, and Amazon’s latest acquisition, The Expanse, will all be on hand to share exclusive clips and tell you why their show is the one you should binge on first. (3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Ballroom 20)

Universal Pictures’ Glass and Halloween (Universal)

It only took 18 years, but M. Night Shyamalan’s long-awaited Unbreakable sequel is a reality at last. At press time, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson had yet to be confirmed as guests, but we’re anticipating that Shyamalan pulls off a last-minute plot twist and persuades the duo to show up. Universal is pairing Glass with its upcoming reboot of the Halloween franchise, featuring the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, that one-woman Michael Myers fighting machine. (3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Hall H)


Bumblebee (Paramount)

Fight like a butterfly, transform like a (bumble)bee. The most popular Autobot not named Optimus Prime scores his own spinoff adventure that takes place in the ’80s — well before the Michael Bay era of Transformers begins. Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight and Hailee Steinfeld will be on hand to discuss how Bumblebee points to where the franchise is headed next. (5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Hall H)


 

The Passage (Fox)

Justin Cronin’s bestselling trilogy is part Stephen King-inspired vampire yarn and part Cormac McCarthy postapocalyptic road story. With such a sprawling narrative, it’s no surprise that the books are headed to television rather than movie theaters. The author himself will be part of a panel that also includes star Mark-Paul Gosselaar and executive producers Liz Heldens and Jason Ensler. (6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Room 6A)

Sony Pictures Panel — Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)

The X-Men and the Fantastic Four are on the verge of rejoining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Spider-Man and his amazing friends are sticking with Sony for the foreseeable future. With Tom Holland off shooting the Homecoming sequel, Far From Home, the studio is bringing two movies that seek to expand the Spider-Verse: the live-action Venom movie starring Tom Hardy as the wall crawler’s fanged nemesis and an animated Miles Morales adventure that’s already wowing fans with its cutting-edge cartoon visuals. (6:15 – 7:15 p.m., Hall H)


Frankenstein Rarities: 200th Anniversary Edition

How often do you get to celebrate someone’s 200th birthday? Mary Shelley’s modern, monstrous Prometheus first appeared in print in 1818, and his story has been told and retold in virtually every medium ever since. This anniversary panel is a celebration of all things Frankenstein, with a special emphasis on the definitive Boris Karloff version. (6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Room 26AB)

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (Syfy)

Ian Ziering and Tara Reid slay their last shark as the Sharknado franchise comes to an overdue conclusion. The stars will be joined by some of the celebrities who have been swept up in previous sharknados — we’re seriously hoping for a George R.R. Martin sighting. (7:00 – 8:00 p.m., Room 6BCF)

Day 3: Saturday, June 21

Warner Brothers Theatrical

With Disney sitting out Comic-Con, the Hall H stage will be dominated by Warner Bros. and its always-changing DC Extended Universe. To that end, expect appearances from Justice League teammates Aquaman and Wonder Woman, whose new solo adventures are due in theaters in December 2018 and November 2019, respectively. Beyond comic books, there may also be updates on The Lego Movie 2 and the new Conjuring spinoff, The Nun. (10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Hall H)


 

Black Lightning Special Video Presentation and Q&A (the CW)

The CW’s newest — and arguably best — DC-affiliated superhero serial takes a freshman season victory lap with the titular costumed avenger (Cress Williams) and his onscreen daughters, Thunder (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) front and center. Expect a timely and topical discussion about Season 1 and what social issues the show will tackle in Year 2. (11:00 11:45 a.m., Ballroom 20)

NBC’s The Good Place (NBC)

Forking awesome! Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, and the rest of the cast of NBC’s stellar comedy series are bound for Comic-Con. Their presence will make an already good place a greater place. (11:00 11:50 a.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

This Is Your Life, Jonny Quest (Warner Archive Collection)

Thanks to his cameo in the record-setting animated hit, Incredibles 2, Jonny Quest is back on the pop culture radar in a big way. Warner Archive — owner of young Jonny’s many animated adventures — takes a stroll down memory lane all the way back to his original ’60s cartoon incarnation. (11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m., Room 5AB)

The Simpsons (Fox)

Springfield’s first family may be an annual fixture at Comic-Con, but it’s not every year that a series is on the cusp of its 30th season. Simpsons creator Matt Groening discusses that milestone alongside Al Jean, David Silverman, and Tress “Crazy Cat Lady” MacNeille. (Noon – 12:45 p.m., Ballroom 20)

Krypton (Syfy)

Superman’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) may have successfully saved the past in Syfy’s prequel series, but now his super-descendant’s future is seriously jeopardized. Here’s your chance to share your theories on how he gets out of that pickle with Krypton’s cast and crew. (Noon – 12:50 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Cameron Cuffe and Ian McElhinney in the Season 1 finale of Krypton. (Photo: Steffan Hill/Syfy)

Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures

The titans of ’70s children’s television share stories from their storied careers and preview the upcoming live tour of their Nickelodeon series, Mutt & Stuff. (2:00 3:00 p.m., Room 23ABC)

The Gifted (Fox)

We’re in between X-Men movies at the moment, but The Gifted provides weekly doses of Marvel’s merry mutants. Season 2 returns in the fall, and stars Stephen Moyer, Jamie Chung, and Skyler Samuels provide a heads-up on why you should be excited. (2:30 – 3:15 p.m., Ballroom 20)

RZA: Movies, Music, and Martial Arts

The hip-hop legend-turned-filmmaker holds court for the Comic-Con launch of his latest film, Cut Throat City, starring Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, and Shameik Moore. If we’re lucky, maybe he’ll throw out a Wu-Tang verse or two. (2:45 – 3:45 p.m., Hall H)

Explore the Wonders of the Universe With Cosmos: Possible Worlds (Fox and National Geographic)

We’re able to forgive Seth MacFarlane for almost anything — yes, even Ted 2 — because he put his money where his mouth is and helped bring science back to network television. The second season of Cosmos once again features rock star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson exploring life’s biggest questions about evolution, the universe, and everything in between. (3:00 3:50 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

The CW Superhero Shows (the CW)

Settle into Ballroom 20 for a literal parade of superheroes as the CW stages back-to-back-to-back-to-back panels for its core four DC Universe shows. The marathon kicks off with Supergirl, followed by Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, before concluding in appropriately speedy fashion with The Flash. (3:30 6:30 p.m., Ballroom 20)

The CW’s army of DC-derived superheroes will be invading SDCC. (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)

The Orville (Fox)

Seth MacFarlane’s Star Trek-inspired space opera built a solid fanbase episode by episode during its freshman season. Now, he and his crew provide those fans with information on The Orville‘s next batch of close encounters with alien kind. (4:00 4:50 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Batman: The Animated Series on Blu-ray (Warner Bros.)

Look, we love The Dark Knight as much as the next Batman fan. But if you’re asking us to pick the definitive interpretation of Gotham City’s champion outside of the comic books, it has to be the early-’90s animated incarnation created by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski and brought to life by voice director Andrea Romano and actor Kevin Conroy, all of whom will be on hand to discuss this seminal show. And now their Batman looks better than ever thanks to Warner’s Blu-ray remastering, available in a handsome boxed set in the fall. (4:15 – 5:15 p.m., Room 6DE)

Deadpool 2 Panel (20th Century Fox)

Hours before an exclusive late-night sneak peek at the Deadpool 2 extended cut, the cast of the blockbuster sequel assembles in Hall H for more foul-mouthed tomfoolery and jokes at Hugh Jackman’s expense. (5:15 – 6:15 p.m., Hall H)

The Purge: From Film to Television (USA Network)

Jason Blum has already conquered the horror movie market through hits like Get Out and the Purge franchise. Now, he’s bringing The Purge to television with a 10-episode series that picks up a decade after the recent hit prequel, The First Purge. Just make sure that when you invite someone over for “Purge Night,” they understand that they’re just going to be watching The Purge — not participating in it. (5:15 6:15 p.m., Room 6BCF)

An Evening With Kevin Smith

The celebrated filmmaker and ace talker celebrates his own near-death and resurrection after surviving a heart attack earlier this year. Ask him anything … provided you can get a word in edgewise. (6:458:15 p.m., Hall H)

The Magicians (Syfy)

And for their next trick, Syfy will make the cast of The Magicians appear in the flesh in San Diego. Top hat and tails not included. (7:00 7:50 p.m., Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Day 4: Sunday, July 22

Supernatural Special Video Presentation and Q&A (the CW)

Nothing in this life is certain but death, taxes, and Supernatural always being on the air. The spooky series will air its 300th episode during its upcoming 14th season, and the cast and crew are coming to Comic-Con to get an already excited fanbase even more hot and bothered. (10:30 11:30 a.m., Hall H)

K.J. Apa as Archie and Camila Mendes as Veronica in Riverdale. (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Riverdale Special Video Presentation and Q&A (the CW)

#Bughead or #Varchie? Pick your side in the great Riverdale ’ship war as Archie and the gang enter Hall H armed with Season 2 anecdotes and Season 3 footage. (11:45 a.m. 12:45 p.m., Hall H)

Mayans M.C. Discussion and Q&A (FX)

The Sons of Anarchy are gone — long live the Mayans M.C. Kurt Sutter previews his new biker series alongside series stars J.D. Pardo and Edward James Olmos. (1:00 2:00 p.m., Hall H)

Legion Discussion and Q&A (FX)

If you’re still wondering what the heck happened in Legion‘s second season … well, notoriously tight-lipped Noah Hawley probably won’t explain it all for you. But he will entertain your questions and theories and may even “accidentally” let some information slip about Season 3. (2:15 3:15 p.m., Hall H)

X-Men: The Animated Series Celebrates 25 Years

Batman: The Animated Series is still the gold standard of superhero cartoons, but this ’90s-era X-Men show easily earns the silver thanks to its largely faithful character renderings and adaptations of comic book storylines. Kickstarter to get this series its own anniversary Blu-ray release. (3:00 – 4:00 p.m., Room 7AB)

Comic-Con International runs from June 18 to 22 in San Diego, Calif.

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