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San Diego Comic-Con goes digital, but heavy hitters from Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. may be absent

San Diego Comic-Con goes digital, but heavy hitters from Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. may be absent

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DC Comics has its own convention one month later

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Visitors at Comic-Con poster
Dünzl\ullstein bild via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people won’t be descending upon San Diego this summer for the annual Comic-Con International gathering, but the festival is still going ahead as a virtual event with a lineup that includes some heavy hitters.

It’s a good year for streamers. Amazon, FX, HBO, Hulu, and ViacomCBS are just some of the networks and studios that have announced they’ll have a presence during the convention. For San Diego Comic-Con’s first virtual conference, that means panels will stream online for anyone to watch. The obvious pro in this scenario: seeing panels isn’t restricted to people with Comic-Con passes that are prepared to wait for hours in the sun to get into Hall H.

Each network and studio is bringing along some of their biggest titles, including three Star Trek titles, His Dark Materials and Lovecraft Country from HBO, Archer and What We Do in the Shadows from FX, and The Boys and Upload from Amazon. Other studios are likely to join, but haven’t announced their plans yet.

Amazon, FX, HBO, Hulu, and ViacomCBS are just some of the networks and studios participating

What’s less clear is whether two of San Diego Comic-Con’s biggest attendees will participate this year: Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. films. Deadline reported on Wednesday that Marvel Studios will be “sitting on the sidelines this year,” although some Marvel productions will appear.

Disney Plus will have a presence at the convention, the company previously announced. Marvel 616, a documentary series that “explores how Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters and creators exist within the ‘world outside your window,’” according to Disney, will have a special panel. Based on what Deadline is reporting and Disney’s own list of Disney Plus panels, don’t expect anything from Loki, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Could Disney host its own Studios event, one that could include Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, its live-action division and animated? I mean, sure, in the sense that anything is possible, but Disney hasn’t hinted at this being a thing it’s working toward. What seems more likely is that Disney, which has had several films face major delays because of COVID-19, will wait until next year for a physical San Diego Comic-Con and its own biennial D23 convention scheduled for next year.

DC, on the other hand, is hosting its own major convention. FanDome kicks off on August 22nd for 24 hours and will feature a number of big announcements and trailer drops that usually accompany the brand’s appearance in Hall H at Comic-Con. WarnerMedia’s note of what’s coming to Comic-Con mentions HBO, HBO Max, and TBS, but neither Warner Bros. nor DC Comics is mentioned. That means it’s unclear if movies like Dune will get time, but it seems unlikely. The Verge has reached out for more information.

“Warner Bros. and DC have been — and will continue to be — longtime partners and supporters of San Diego Comic-Con,” a spokesperson for DC and Warner Bros. said in a statement to The Wrap. “We are excited to participate in this year’s Comic-Con@Home with 23 virtual panels across Warner Bros. Television, Home Entertainment, Kids, Young Adults and DC publishing.”

DC Comics and WarnerMedia are bringing a ton of people involved in some of its most anticipated projects for interviews and discussions, including Aquaman, The Batman, Batwoman, Black Adam, Black Lightning, DC Super Hero GirlsLegends of Tomorrow, Stargirl, Doom Patrol, The Flash, Harley Quinn, the Snyder Cut of Justice LeagueLucifer, Pennyworth, Shazam!, The Suicide Squad, Supergirl, Superman & Lois, Teen Titans Go!, Titans, Watchmen, Young Justice: Outsider, and Wonder Woman 1984.

So what does a virtual Comic-Con look like? Well, there are still panels that people can watch. They’ll play on YouTube, so all you need to do is click on the link from San Diego Comic-Con’s website where the schedule is posted. A full schedule and announced panels is available on the site.

Comic-Con@Home runs from July 22nd through July 26th.

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