Comic-Con 2011: Who’s in, who’s out, who’s bluffing

Caitlin Walters dressed in cosplay for Comic-Con 2011 Preview Night on July 20.

Comic-Con, the annual mecca of pop culture, returns to San Diego this weekend — with more than 130,000 fans flooding the city to celebrate the comics, movies, TV shows and stars they love. What’s surprising this year, though, is who won’t be there. Despite releases slated next year for two of the world’s biggest superheroes, Batman and Superman, there won’t be panels for “The Dark Knight Rises” or “The Man of Steel.”

And as for Marvel Entertainment’s hero-packed “The Avengers,” the studio insists there’s nothing planned for the star-studded 2012 summer tent-pole. Captain America (Chris Evans); and the movie’s director, Joss Whedon, will reportedly be in attendance for other reasons.

Some studios and directors, including Warner Bros. and Disney, have claimed they’ll be sitting out the convention, suggesting the massive festival’s power might be waning. “It’s getting harder and harder to stand out amid the din,” director Andrew Stanton (next year’s “John Carter of Mars”) told the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog recently. But Morgan Spurlock, who is completing a documentary about the convention, isn’t buying it. “They say that every year,” Spurlock tells Metro. “It’s one of those things like, ‘No, we’re not going to go this year, we’re not going to go.’ And then suddenly one studio jumps in and says yes, and the next thing you know two more climb on board.”

He’s not wrong, either: Disney has reversed course, declaring that they’re bringing the Dreamworks horror-fest “Fright Night” and stars Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin to Comic-Con for a Friday panel, and Warner Bros. will be screening footage of its upcoming “Final Destination 5.”


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