San Diego Comic Con: What to expect from this year’s virtual edition

SDCC looks a bit different this year – but not to worry, we’ve got your back on where to go, what to expect and who to see at the biggest event in the geek calendar. Get the coffee ready!

Today is the biggest day in the geek event calendar – San Diego Comic Con! Taking place between Thursday 23 July and Sunday 26 July, this year will be vastly different to the average SDCC due to the pandemic – the programme is a little smaller but it’s also far more accessible. Yes, for the first time the SDCC will be available to everyone who has access to YouTube! No need for a badge or ticket, everything will be available for free – welcome to SDCC@Home!

This is four days of pure geekdom and the programme is still vast – to help out, we’ve compiled a quick guide on some of the biggest events right here! We’ve even changed the time zone to help out those who will be on the coffee here in the UK…

Thursday 23 July

10.00 (18.00 BST): Star Trek Universe Panel

Start your con off right with an impressively star-studded panel with the writers and actors from Star Trek universe. Covering Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard and the new animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, the panel will also give a glimpse of what’s ahead in the ever-expanding franchise.

11.00 (19.00 BST): Alien Superstar with Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver

Hollywood legend Henry Winkler and children’s book veteran Lin Oliver discuss their bestselling book Alien Superstar and its forthcoming sequel, Lights, Camera, Danger: Alien Superstar 2.

12.00 (20.00 BST): Truth Seekers

Join Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, James Serafinowicz and Nat Saunders as they discuss their new supernatural horror-comedy, Truth Seekers, which is about a team of part-time paranormal investigators who team up to uncover and film ghost sightings across the UK.

13.00 (21.00 BST) – His Dark Materials

The executive producers and cast members of HBO/BBC’s His Dark Materials will be on hand to discuss the hit Philip Pullman adaptation.

14.00 (22.00 BST) – The New Mutants

With more twists and turns that any comic book, The New Mutants movie has been on one hell of a ride! What can we expect now the release date’s been pushed back again? This panel includes writer/director Josh Boone and the cast of the movie, including Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga.

What’s going on with The New Mutants?

14.00 (22.00 BST): Upload

If the drama of The New Mutants is too much for you, you could instead join the brilliant Greg Daniels – creator, executive producer and director of Amazon Prime’s Upload, as well as stars Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Kevin Bigley, Allegra Edwards and Zainab Johnson.

15.00 (23.00 BST) – The Boys Season Two

The first season of The Boys was spectacular in all its bloody glory and if the teaser trailer for the second season is anything to go by, then we can expect more of the same and then some! Executive producer Eric Kripke and stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, and Aya Cash will give a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming series.

Friday 24 July

10.00 (18.00 BST) Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass – An Action Hero Career Retrospective

Start your Friday morning the way it was intended – with a healthy dose of badassery. Charlize Theron will be reflecting on portraying over two decades of action heroes and will discuss the evolution of the modern female action hero, the roles that inspired her and what drives her to constantly push her limits with fight training.

The Old Guard
Charlize Theron in Netflix’s latest action The Old Guard. Photo Credit: AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX ©2020

10.00 (18.00 BST) DC@Home Day One

Alternatively, why not head over to see what DC is up to with its first panel, which promises to give you the inside scoop on what to expect from DC’s finest. DC talent to appear includes Vita Ayala, Morgan Beem, Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Grace Ellis, Mitch Gerads, Clayton Henry, Mikel Janin, Tom King, Jim Lee, Ryan Sook, Maggie Stiefvater, Mariko Tamaki, Tom Taylor, Ram V, and Brittney Williams.

11.00 (19.00 BST) – Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

The relationship between Jack Kirby and Stan Lee resulted in the creation of the Marvel Silver Age and one of the most contentious issues in comics scholarship. This panel will discuss Lee and Kirby’s shared history and attempt to shed more light on the complicated dynamic that produced some of the greatest characters in comics.

11.00 (19.00 BST) – Marvel Comics: The Next Big Thing

Speaking of Marvel, its editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski will also be on hand to break down all the latest and greatest coming from the House of Ideas with some of Marvel’s most epic creators including Tom Brevoort, Al Ewing, and Dan Slott.

12.00 (20.00 BST): AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead

It’s a bit of a zombie afternoon (evening) at the SDCC on Friday, starting with a panel on Fear The Walking Dead for the series’ upcoming sixth season, premiering later this year. The panel including the series showrunners and executive producers, and the cast.

12.00 (20.00 BST): Zombies and coronavirus: Planning for the next big outbreak

For a more practical zombie panel, author Max Brooks (World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide, Devolution) will be joined by a plethora of biodefense experts to discuss how we could prepare for what comes next in the realm of infectious disease.

13.00 (21.00 BST): Harryhausen 100: Into the Ray Harryhausen Archive

This year would have been legendary animator Ray Harryhausen’s 100th birthday. To mark this occasion, the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation present an exclusive look into the incredible collection which was gathered over a lifetime of creativity

This year marks 100 years of Ray Harryhausen.

13.00 (21.00): AMC’s The Walking Dead

We’re back in The Walking Dead world with a panel spotlighting ‘A Certain Doom’ which will air as a standalone episode later this year.

14.00 (22.00): AMC’s The Walking Dead: The World Beyond

Need more zombie action? This panel covers The Walking Dead: World Beyond – the third series in The Walking Dead Universe and will include TWDU chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner and executive producer Matt Negrete and cast members Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Hal Cumpston, Nicholas Cantu, Nico Tortorella, Julia Ormond, and Joe Holt.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is the latest show in the franchise.

14.00 (22.00): I Am Not Okay With This

Alternatively, attendees can take a more lighthearted approach and join cartoonist Charles Forsman (I Am Not Okay With This, The End of the F***ing World), director Jonathan Entwistle (I Am Not Okay With This, The End of the F***ing World), and actor Wyatt Oleff (It, I Am Not Okay With This) to trace the evolution of the excellent series.

15.00 (23.00): First Look at Hulu’s Helstrom

Helstrom showrunner Paul Zbyszewski and its cast Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Elizabeth Marvel, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, and Alain Uy will be giving us a sneak-peek look and conversation around bringing this terror-filled comic to life as Hulu’s next horror series.

17.00 (01.00 BST) – Archer@home

Worth staying up for! Join the voice cast of Archer – Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, and Lucky Yates, plus executive producer Casey Willis – for a lively discussion and the reveal of not-to-be-missed details about the new season!

17.00 (01.00 BST) –  The Living Dead: Celebrating the Legacy of George Romero

Daniel Kraus, co-author, with Guillermo del Toro, of The Shape of Water (and a lifelong Romero fan), was asked by Romero’s widow Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, to complete The Living Dead novel which will be released in August. This will give us a sneak peek into the book, as well as a discussion into the legacy of George A. Romero.

18.00 (02.00) TV Fan Favourites

If you really are a night owl (UK folks), you can check out this annual gathering of TV stars. This year’s line-up includes Hale Appleman (The Magicians), Lindsey Morgan and Richard Harmon (The 100), Robbie Amell (Upload), Kennedy McMann (Nancy Drew), Alex Newell (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard), Harvey Guillen (What We Do in the Shadows), Chris Chalk (Perry Mason), and Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale, Katy Keene).

Saturday 25 July

11.00 (19.00 BST): DC@Home Day Two

Start your morning with another check-in with those DC folk. Those scheduled to appear include Greg Capullo, Cecil Castellucci, Katana Collins, Kami Garcia, Jorge Jimenez, Daniel Warren Johnson, Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Sean Gordon Murphy, Bruno Redondo, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Brad Walker.

11.00 (19.00 BST): The Art of Adapting Comics to the Screen: David S. Goyer Q&A

The writer of comic book film and TV adaptations including Blade, Batman Begins, Constantine (TV), and Man of Steel, David S. Goyer discusses his creative writing process and what it took to bring these beloved characters and tales from the page to the screen.

12.00 (20.00 BST): Constantine: 15th Anniversary reunion

Can you believe it’s been 15 years since Constantine?! Keanu Reeves, director Francis Lawrence, and producer Akiva Goldsman reunite to reflect on the making of the 2005 DC Comics adaptation.

13.00 (21.00 BST) Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper 

Director Scott Cooper and horror maestro Guillermo del Toro tease their upcoming Searchlight Pictures creepy creature horror movie Antlers.

Scott Cooper (left) and Guillermo del Toro discuss their horror movie, Antlers.

14.00 (22.00 BST): For All Mankind

Cast members Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour, Wrenn Schmidt, Sonya Walger, and Krys Marshall gather for a conversation looking back on Season One of the Apple TV+ drama For All Mankind.

14.00 (22.00): Edgar Rice Burroughs 

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic body of work speaks for itself. This panel is set to announce a universe of thrilling Edgar Rice Burroughs projects, including the Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Library; the forthcoming novel John Carter of Mars: Gods of the Forgotten; and comic books from American Mythology Productions as well as exciting developments in the world of film, TV, and animation.

15.00 (23.00 BST): Bill And Ted Face The Music

Excellent! Cast Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler, director Dean Parisot alongside writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson gather for a panel on the third movie about the Wyld Stallyns – moderated by Kevin Smith no less!

Join the awesome twosome as they discuss their latest excellent adventure.

16.00 (24.00 BST): HBO’s Lovecraft Country

To say we’ve been looking forward to the new drama series Lovecraft Country is an understatement! It follows the journeys of Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia and his Uncle George across 1950s Jim Crow America as they overcome the racist terrors and terrifying monsters ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft novel. This panel includes cast members, Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Michael Kenneth Williams, Aunjanue Ellis, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, and Courtney B. Vance.

17.00 (01.00 BST): What We Do In The Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows is one of the funniest TV series out there right now – join its cast Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Kayvan Novak, Mark Proksch, and Harvey Guillén to discuss the series with special guest host, Haley Joel Osment.

Sunday 26 July

10.00 (18.00 BST): First TMNT 30th Anniversary

Though Sunday is usually a bit of a wind-down day at the SDCC, there are still some exciting panels to tune into! Why not celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie with guests producer Kim Dawson, and writer and ex-offico producer Bobby Herbeck?!

11.00 (19.00 BST): Next

Grab a sneak peek at the opening scene of Next which is about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence. Panelists will include creator and executive producer Manny Coto, John Slattery, Fernanda Andrade, Michael Mosley, Jason Butler Harner, and Eve Harlow.

12.00 (20.00 BST): The 100

Find out what’s in store this final season of The 100 with stars Marie Avgeropoulos, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon, Tasya Teles, Shannon Kook, JR Bourne, Shelby Flannery, and creator/executive producer Jason Rothenberg.

13.00 (21.00 BST): Red Dwarf: The Promised Land

Smegging hell! Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Robert Llewellyn and Doug Naylor discuss all things Red Dwarf.

The Red Dwarf crew discuss their latest adventure The Promised Land.

14.00 (22.00 BST): A conversation with Nathan Fillion

The legend that is Nathan Fillion discusses his career. With special appearances by Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Mekia Cox, Molly Quinn, Seamus Dever, and Jon Huertas.

Well there you have it folks! As ever, the SDCC schedule is wide-ranging, covering plenty of topics. To create your own personal programme, head on over to the San Diego Comic-Con@Home website. See you there!