With less than two weeks before the curtain is lifted on the biggest celebration of comic books and pop culture in the U.S., fanboys and fangirls are marking their calendars in anticipation of the major events and hot panels at Comic-Con International 2015.
Early attendees can expect a debut visit from the actor behind “Doctor Who’s” latest incarnation, a farewell bow by the “Hunger Games” movie franchise, a revamped “Thunderbirds” and sneak peek at the highly-anticipated “Star Wars:Â The Force Awakens.”
Running July 8 through July 12 at the San Diego Convention Center, the official schedule has been released for Wednesday (preview night July 8), Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday evening gives earlybirds the annual chance check out a slightly less crowded convention floor and to take in screenings of the latest network television offerings, including “Supergirl” (CBS), “Lucifer” (Fox) and “Blindspot” (NBC).
Thursday, the first full day of events and programming, will have William Shatner read from the novel “The Autobiography of James T. Kirk”; the “Peanuts” 65th Anniversary Panel; the latest information on “Street Fighter V” game; a final look at the “Hunger Games” movie franchise when “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” panel hits Hall H (the biggest convention venue); Peter Capaldiâ€“the new “Doctor Who” leadâ€“makes his Comic-Con debut; 1960s marionettes get a CGI update in the new “Thunderbirds Are Go” series reveal; and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be on hand for the world premiere of the new film “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery!“
Friday sees the return to Comic-Con of “The Walking Dead” with cast members Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green in attendance. Also from the zombie realm, Friday features the debut of the AMCÂ spin-off series “Fear the Walking Dead.”Â ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) will celebrate 40 years of behind-the-scenes magic-making, ahead of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”/Lucasfilm panel featuring director J.J. Abrams, studio president Kathleen Kennedy and no doubt some very special secret guests. Fans of a galaxy far, far away better be prepared to queue patiently for a long, long time to get into this presentation.
Also on Friday is the “Game of Thrones” panel moderated by “Late Night’s” Seth Meyers; the 50th anniversary celebration panel for “Lost in Space”; a glimpse at the new USAÂ series “Colony”; the return of cult BBCÂ America series “Orphan Black”; and the biting comedy of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” with stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and David Hasselhoff.Â