Just about all of the biggest movies and TV shows for the year or so ahead descended on San Diego over the weekend for the 2014 Comic-Con, unleashing a whirlwind of news, trailers, and teases for what’s to come. So much happens that it’s easy — if not next to impossible — not to miss some, so below we’ve rounded up everything you need to know, watch, and read to take in this year’s convention.
The biggest news
Marvel didn't have to do much to be the star of this year's Comic-Con… and, unfortunately, it really didn't. Fans were treated to a first look at Avengers: Age of Ultron, but everyone else just got two new movie announcements: that it's working on a second Guardians of the Galaxy for 2017, and that some of our favorite actors from Lost and House of Cards have joined Ant-Man.
Marvel won on the big screen, so DC is trying to take over the small one. Over the weekend, DC previewed its three big upcoming TV shows: The Flash may look and feel like a CW show, but it has a lot of potential; Constantine is off to a fine start, but it's still struggling with defining its titular antihero; and Gotham sets up a big world, but it still needs to make sure that we’ll want to spend some time there.
Director Zack Snyder surprised Comic-Con crowds this weekend by teasing a short clip of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. While that clip may not have left Hall H, everyone else still got a first glimpse at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman — and it looks pretty darn amazing.
The monster movie is making a comeback. After its success with gigantic fighting creatures in Pacific Rim and Godzilla, Legendary Pictures is moving on to Godzilla 2 (with even more monsters) and Skull Island, a film about King Kong's monstrous home.
Fight Club 2
Given how much people love Fight Club, it's surprising that it took so long to make a sequel for it. But one is finally coming from writer Chuck Palahniuk in the form of a graphic novel, and this week we got a first look at what to expect. Don't worry: Tyler Durden is still around.
Get excited for
Christopher Nolan surprised fans at Comic-Con when he showed up to talk about just how huge his upcoming film Interstellar will be. Nolan says that the scope of Interstellar will be the grandest of any of his movies to date — and that's saying a lot from the director behind Inception and The Dark Knight.
Community was saved from near-certain death and is getting a sixth season online, but that season is probably going to arrive a little late for fall semester. Yahoo promised that Community would return this fall, but at Comic-Con, series creator Dan Harmon said that we should really be looking out around Christmas. Oh, and he threw out an idea for what that mythical movie could look like.
Spider-Man won't be coming back to movie theaters until 2018, but the Spider-Man universe will be. Six big villains will team up for a Sinister Six film in 2016, and it’s going to be directed by the writer of Cloverfield.
Good news for Browncoats: the entire cast of Firefly is reprising their roles for Firefly Online. There's no launch date for the game just yet, but you can already watch a trailer for it featuring a brief cameo from none other than Nathan Fillion's Mal.
Edgar Wright's next films
We all would have loved to see Edgar Wright appear on the Marvel stage this weekend to talk Ant-Man, but unfortunately, Wright split from the project at basically the very last second. On the bright side, we're now learning what Wright has lined up next, and it involves comedy (naturally) and still has some bugs.
The classic Evil Dead series might just return. Sam Raimi revealed this weekend that he's working on turning it into a TV show, and that series lead Bruce Campbell would be its star. There aren't a lot of details beyond that — including how close it is to actually getting made — but it's still enough to get us excited.
The most exciting trailers you can watch
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max is easily the trailer to beat coming out of Comic-Con. The movie looks absolutely insane: it's described as pretty much a non-stop chase sequence by its director, and its reliance on practical effects makes it all look downright gorgeous. Count us excited.
The first trailer for the final installment of The Hobbit went online Monday, just a couple days after fans at Hall H got to take an early look at it. The trailer is appropriately action-packed for the film's subtitle — The Battle of the Five Armies — and shows just to what end Middle-earth will be embroiled in conflict throughout this final film.
Kevin Smith's horror film Tusk is weird in all the right ways. It's funny, creepy, and involves a guy being surgically turned into a walrus. You're going to want to watch this trailer to truly understand just what Smith's been up to.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games’ presence at Comic-Con was an odd one. The trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 was there, but it was only ever played on a tablet, and never up on a big screen for audiences to cheer for. Either way, it’s finally escaped the convention’s halls and gone online. It’s the first trailer for the film to feature actual footage from it, and it doesn’t promise a bright outlook for Katniss and the rebellion.
Talk of a Halo television series or movie has gone on for pretty much as long as Halo has been a phenomenon, and this year it's finally being made a reality. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, the series Halo: Nightfall follows a character who is expected to later play a large role in Halo 5 when it's released next year. We're just months out from the series' November 11th release date, and now there's finally a trailer to show us what Halo looks like live.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones may not be ready to share a trailer for its next season just yet, but it has shared a blooper reel from the last one. Given how (deadly) serious the show usually is, watching someone forget their line on the Iron Throne is a fun change of pace.
Batman's hometown is in a bad place when we find it at the start of Gotham, and a new trailer released during Comic-Con shows just how much its villainous inhabitants will have going on. The upcoming crime drama is perhaps DC's most high-profile attempt to take over TV, and this trailer is worth a watch to see if you’ll be as won over as DC hopes.
Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald Moore is behind the upcoming series Outlander, and that's more than enough to get our attention. A new trailer for the series shows just how epic of a tale Moore's latest will be, spanning time to tell a single woman's story.
Atari’s legendary E.T. game
Among the biggest legends in video game history is a claim that Atari once made an ET video game that was so bad that it decided to dump a whole load of them into a landfill back in the early ‘80s. Well, it turns out that the legend is true, and an upcoming documentary on Xbox has now unearthed the cache of games.
Daniel Radcliffe appears to be overtaken by the devil or some other force of evil in this twisted adaptation of Joe Hill's Horns. A new trailer for it debuted during Comic-Con, and it finally gets around to actually showing off Radcliffe's strange new growths.
And the most exciting clips that you can't watch
Batman v. Superman
Easily the most exciting clip shown at Comic-Con this weekend was a first teaser for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unfortunately, the clip isn't online, but reports describe it as showing Batman activating the Bat-signal to illuminate Superman up in the sky, at which point both heroes stare one another down with glowing eyes.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
We're less than a year away from Marvel's second Avengers film, and it finally gave fans a first look at the movie during its Comic-Con panel. The clip shown began with members of the Avengers each attempting to pick up Thor's hammer (without success), only to have Ultron smash in moments later, wrecking some serious havoc. It makes the film look like it could be surprisingly dark — and very exciting.
Ant-Man doesn't start filming for another two weeks, but early test footage screened exclusively for Marvel's Comic-Con panel was enough to get everyone in the audience excited. Most importantly: it showed a first look at Paul Rudd's Ant-Man taking off on a flying ant — and it looked very good.
The experiences and sights
Waiting in line
Here's what a ticket to Comic-Con really gets you: the chance to wait in line for hours and hours on end for the possibility of getting to sit through the biggest geek culture event of the year. This year, those lines were worse than ever, and even veteran Comic-Con attendees weren't prepared.
One of the best parts of Comic-Con is that sometimes one of your favorite celebrities just shows up in the same room as you. Our own Casey Newton describes how incredible it was to have The Rock appear — and how much he and the rest of the crowd just totally lost it.
Oculus Rift + Pacific Rim
Pretty much everything is more fun when you add an Oculus Rift into the mix, and Pacific Rim's gigantic Jaeger robots are no exception. At Comic-Con, Legendary Pictures set up a virtual-reality demo that let players see what it would be like to pilot the massive mechs.
Talking Sharknado 2
Sharknado is absolutely ridiculous, and the writer behind it knows that as well as anyone. We caught up with him at Comic-Con to find out how he's approaching the movie's improbable sequel and just how the ludicrous series came to be in the first place.
Batman + fashion
Batman's costume changes pretty much every time that we see him turn up in a new series, but it never really gets any more stylish. At Comic-Con, designers and celebrities presented hip remixes of of the Bat-suit that cover it into everything from floral prints to Lego bricks.
Marvel announced just two weeks ago that Thor would soon be a woman, and support for the decision was seen across the Comic-Con floor. We asked a number of the cosplayers to pose for us to see how they’re imagining the hero’s new look.
Walk around Comic-Con, and it won't be long before you run into the unexpected. Case in point: Hot Wheels blew one of its cars up to full size and designed it to look like Darth Vader's helmet.
Movie posters usually aren't cool. They're usually generic ads designed to appeal to as many people as possible, but at Comic-Con, posters can be smart pieces of art again. We rounded up some of our favorites from the convention, including a massive Avengers image from Marvel.