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Five Things We Want Revealed at Comic-Con 2012

Ladies and geeks, Comic-Con is upon us yet again. As the convention floor opens this evening to give everyone a sneak peak at the fun to come, we have been meticulous examining the panels and presentations schedule for Hall H this year and the showing is pretty good. Although there's nothing this year from DreamWorks, Universal or Paramount (so no Star Trek 2 stuff, sadly), Sony, Disney, Warner Bros and others are in full force.

So, what can we look forward to? Comic-Con tends to pack a few surprises, some that are poorly hidden (the first-ever assembling of The Avengers two years ago) and others that we don't see coming. What could they be? Rather, what would we prefer they be? Check out what we're hoping for this year below and let us know what you're looking forward to reading about from Comic-Con 2012.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2 announcements

Word spread quickly the last couple weeks that Marvel Studio's next non-sequel superhero film will be Guardians of the Galaxy, but nothing has been made official. The expectation has always been that Comic-Con will be the stage for the announcement. Consequently, that should come with a companion mention of a release date for The Avengers 2, which we'd be willing to bet will be May 1, 2015.

Still, that's not enough. How does Marvel plan to prep the general public for Guardians of the Galaxy? There are so many more heroes, most of which no one outside of comic fans has ever heard of. It also takes place in another galaxy, so how is that supposed to work? It would be great to get a sense of the concept behind the film, or the story that Marvel is so clearly sold on, and possibly even the announcement of a director they believe can bring it to life. Speaking of a director, Joss Whedon's involvement in The Avengers 2?

4. Lots of visuals from Oz the Great and Powerful

Disney has played its modern re-imagining of the Land of Oz very close to the chest. We saw this low-quality shot of an Italian character poster featuring star James Franco a few weeks ago, as well as a teaser poster that says nothing more than "yup, this is a movie that takes place in Oz." No film to date has tried to revisit Oz for the mainstream, and the imagery from The Wizard of Oz is some of the most iconic in film history, held near and dear by many. How did Sam Raimi interpret it? Disney's D23 Expo isn't happening this year, so Comic-Con should feature some substantial reveals. Perhaps we'll even get a peak at Lone Ranger.

3. Footage and/or trailers Pacific Rim and Man of Steel and some more plot details

Given Guillermo del Toro's reputation for pleasing the masses at Comic-Con, last year we hoped to see a little bit of what he had in store for his monsters vs. mechas film, Pacific Rim. We've seen some first images, one of Idris Elba and another of stars Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi, as well as a Comic-Con poster, but if the monsters (Kaiju) and the giant robots (Jaegers) are the centerpiece of the aesthetic, we best see some of them.

You'd be a fool not to place money on a Man of Steel teaser playing before The Dark Knight Rises next Friday, but aside from del Toro and Jon Favreau, few love the Comic-Con faithful as much as Zack Snyder. All we've gotten are a few nice publicity-type shots of the new Superman costume on star Henry Cavill, but the official synopsis has been especially vague. How will Superman's origins be handled? How does General Zod (Michael Shannon) figure in?

2. Assurance that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey looks good

At CinemaCon back in April, Peter Jackson treated fans to a bit of his "Hobbit" films, footage that was filmed at a frame rate of 48 fps. Jackson and James Cameron are among those who advocate for films to be shot at this higher frame rate (all films are made at 24 fps). This enhances the nuace of the movement in a film, and consequently it looks very real, as if you're watching it on a stage. This sounds exciting, but when you've spent your whole life watching movies at 24 fps, it can be jarring — so real that it looks fake and unprofessional. Such was the reaction of the viewers at CinemaCon, though to be fair they only saw several minutes, definitely not enough time to adjust to the higher rate.

The effect is similar to the many HDTVs on the market that have higher frame rates and give you the option of using a motion interpolation feature. If you've ever watched a TV show at a buddies on their HDTV and wondered why it looks so weird, that's basically the same effect. The only different is that the "The Hobbit" was filmed that way, whereas the TV creates artificial frames and adds them to the picture. There's no word on whether Jackson will show the 48 fps footage, as he might avoid it to curb the reaction from CinemaCon.

1. Some official word on Edgar Wright's Ant-Man

This is some seriously wishful thinking, because Wright will not be at Comic-Con this year, but Marvel Studio will be and we know that Ant-Man is closer than ever, with Wright even filming a test reel last month to try out his concept. It doesn't look like miniature Avenger will be hitting the screen prior to The Avengers 2, but some kind of concrete announcement after years of Wright and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige's teasing would be such a relief. Hank Pym might be the perfect compliment to The Avengers 2 as the studio's second film in 2015.


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