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Comic-Con 2019: what to expect from this year's festival


It's that time of year again when both the forces of Hollywood and the general public descend on San Diego for geek mecca Comic-Con.

Running from Thursday 18th to Monday 22nd July, the 2019 Comic-Con festival is set to bring with it a host of exclusives and exciting franchise reveals. Here are just some of the things you can expect.

Marvel phase four announcement

Avengers: Endgame concluded the Infinity Saga and Spider-Man: Far From Home wraps up phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). So what does phase four hold?

Certain key titles we already know about, including Scarlett Johansson's solo Black Widow movie, Eternals starring Angelina Jolie, James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Taika Waititi's return in Thor 4. Other than that, it's something of a blank slate.

However, that's all set to change on Saturday 20th July at 5.15pm PT, when Marvel Studios take over Hall H for their official phase four announcement. (Hall H is considered sacred ground at Comic-Con, the place where the biggest revelations are unleashed to a packed crowd.)

If you UK fans are bold enough, you could stay up until 1.15am GMT – it's sure to be worth it, however, with attending Marvel President Kevin Feige (plus 'surprise panellists') set to reveal some juicy franchise details throughout a 90 minute presentation.

Marvel Studios skipped Comic-Con in 2015 and 2018, so there's clearly a hunger for inspiration, particularly given the franchise is at its most important crossroads in years.

Key dates spanning 2019 to 2021 have already been revealed for unnamed phase four Marvel titles – no doubt each of those dates will officially have movies assigned to them.

Rumour has it that man of the moment Keanu Reeves will make an appearance – is this confirmation of his much-discussed role within the MCU? Feige has said Reeves is considered for every movie but nothing has been confirmed yet, so if this were to be announced in front of the Hall H crowd, it would cause a sensation.

That said, given the Disney D23 Expo gets underway in August, maybe Marvel will hold back the biggest shocks until that time? Whatever happens, Hall H on Saturday is where the MCU potentially evolves into something even more grandiose.

Also don't miss Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely in Hall H at 6pm GMT on Friday.

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far From Home

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Disney are dominating this year's Comic-Con with both their slate of Marvel titles and the reveal of a red Sith Trooper from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker panel. Although there's no Star Wars panel this year, it's bound to cause a stir.

Red Sith Trooper from Star Wars:; The Rise of Skywalker

Director J.J. Abrams resolves the decades-long Skywalker saga in this, the concluding chapter of the new Star Wars trilogy, which mixes up the likes of Daisy Ridley's Rey and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren with a final appearance from Carrie Fisher's Leia and Ian McDiarmid as a not-quite-dead Palpatine.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released on 17th December.

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

IT: Chapter Two

Back in 2017, ghoulishly entertaining Stephen King adaptation IT was released, going on to become the most financially successful horror movie of all time. Director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman are back for IT: Chapter Two (released 7th September), which dramatises the battle between the older Losers Club members and the dreaded Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).

James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are among the actors embodying the older, wiser, but no less haunted Losers, and rumour has it the movie will play a part in festival offshoot ScareDiego. This horror-centric panel might is set to bring with it Muschetti and members of the cast, plus a couple of minutes of new footage, although specific details are thin on the ground.

Muschietti has himself teased Pennywise's arrival at ScareDiego on Instagram (it's said to be happening on Wednesday), so prepare to be scared...

Andy Muschietti teases Pennywise's return in It: Chapter 2 trailer

Terminator: Dark Fate

The Terminator franchise continues to lumber ahead with the unstoppable force of a T-800 cyborg, and sixth instalment Terminator: Dark Fate is headed to Comic-Con 2019.

Director Tim Miller (of Deadpool fame), plus producer James Cameron and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton (who haven't been paired on-screen together since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day), are all set to appear.

New cast members Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes and Gabriel Luna will also be appearing – the panel gets underway on Thursday at 7pm GMT.

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate

The Russo brothers

One might think, after the Herculean efforts of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, that directors Joe and Anthony Russo would be putting their feet up.

Far from it: they're hitting up Comic-Con with a reveal of their brand new studio AGBO, plus details of their Chadwick Boseman-starring thriller 21 Bridges, the Chris Hemsworth-fronted Dhaka and the currently-in-development Cherry starring Tom Holland.

The Russos will be present and correct on Friday at 7pm GMT.

What are you most excited about seeing at this year's Comic-Con? Let us know @Cineworld.