Mission Impossible 4, Star Wars 3D, Underworld 4, Amazing Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes and more films to preview at San Diego Comic-Con 2011

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Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Questions abound for San Diego Comic-Con 2011. Will Tom Cruise show up to promote Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol? Could Will Smith stop by to talk about the troubles on Men in Black 3? Will Zoe Saldana bring some exclusive footage from Colombiana and the Star Trek sequel? We already know legendary director Francis Ford Coppola will make his Comic-Con return this year, previewing footage from his horror film Twixt. Now Heat Vision has broken news that a gaggle of films will indeed be planting flags at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, contrary to rumors that they were looking to sit this year out. To start with, to support Captain America: The First Avenger – which opens July 22nd, right in the middle of Comic-Con’s July 20-24 run – Marvel and Paramount are planning a military salute that involves star Chris Evans and soldiers stationed in San Diego. Evans would also attend the Con to do to signings at the Marvel booth. Additionally, there are murmurs of a special Comic-Con screening of the film. Rumors also suggest that Marvel’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will its way to the Con, as well.

The rest of this list comes with a warning that it’s expected to change over the next two weeks.

Dreamworks is expected to bring the film Fright Night (Releasing on August 19, 2011) to the Con, possibly with Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin. Less likely (but still possible) to preview are Disney’s John Carter (Releasing March 9, 2012) from filmmaker Andrew Stanton, and starring Taylor Kitsch, and Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (Releasing, May 4, 2012) from Marvel. DreamWorks’ Real Steel (October 7, 2011) could also bring down some fighting robots.

Fox is likely to preview Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5, 2011), but apparently without star James Franco, who’s shooting the movie Cherry. They may also present Andrew Niccol’s sci-fi film In Time (October 28, 2011), which stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Alex Pettyfer, and Olivia Wilde). The studio has stated it won’t be bringing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22, 2012) to San Diego this year. Though they have footage already, we believe them.

Fox’s less-likely, but still possible presentations include George Lucas’ 3D conversion of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (February 10, 2012) and Ridley Scott’s super-secret film Prometheus (June 8, 2012), co-written by Damon Lindelof, seem like sure things for this crowd and could sneak in. Lucas definitely needs the goodwill, and the shrouded-in-mystery Scott project is primed for a nice tease to pump up curiosity (he just plugged it a bit at CineEurope). James Cameron could also preview 15 minutes of his 3D conversion of Titantic (April 6, 2012), which he recently did at CineEurope.

Lionsgate will showcase its upcoming films Conan the Barbarian (August 19, 2011) from director Marcus Nispel, Warrior (September 9, 2011) from director Gavin O’Connor and Abduction (September 23, 2011) from director John Singleton. Taylor Lautner will be on hand to talk Singleton’s Abduction, as well as Twilight. Dominic Cooper will also be in San Diego to plug his violent Sundance drama The Devil’s Double (July 29, 2011). Boaz Yakin’s Safe (October 28, 2011), which stars Jason Statham, could be there, along with Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods, which Lionsgate picked up from MGM a few months ago. There’s also a slight chance The Hunger Games (March 23, 2012), starring Jennifer Lawrence, could make an appearance.

In addition to the Captain America: The First Avenger ( July 22, 2011) patriotic preview, Paramount will present a preview of Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (December 23, 2011), which will have a big presence.

Also expected from the Studio: The Martin Scorsese-directed animated adaptation Hugo Cabret (November 23, 2011); Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (December 16, 2011) from director Brad Bird and producer J.J. Abrams; Abrams’ Star Trek sequel (June 29, 2012); and Jon Chu directing G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes (August 10, 2012). Also possible are the low-budget horror films Area 51 and Paranormal Activity 3 (October 21, 2011).

Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld 4: New Dawn
Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld 4: New Dawn

Sony will rain spider webs all over San Diego Comic-Con 2011, when director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man (Due for release July 3, 2012) hits Hall H. Also look for Attack the Block (July 29, 2011) from writer-director Joe Cornish. Underworld: New Dawn (January 20, 2012), which sees the return of Kate Beckinsale to the role of Selene, and the previously mentioned Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (February 17, 2012), are highly-likely to be making appearances. It’s being reported that 30 Minutes or Less (August 12, 2011) from Ruben Fleischer also has potential because it stars Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari, but based on the release date and the many other tent poles on deck, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Toss-ups from Sony include: Colombiana (August 26, 2011), from director Olivier Megaton and writer-producer Luc Besson, and starring Zoe Saldana (which also puts her in the Hall H house for the Star Trek sequel); and Men in Black 3 (May 25, 2012), which could bring Will Smith to the Con, which would be huge. According to the report, Total Recall (August 3, 2012) from director Len Wiseman and Elysium (March 1, 2013) from Neill Blomkamp will be previewed at next year’s event.

Universal is expected to present Cowboys & Aliens (July 29, 2011), with Jon Favreau, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Daniel Craig. Its premiere will take place Saturday night of the Con.

The films that didn’t make the cut are: Dream House (September 30, 2011); Tower Heist (November 4, 2011) from director Brett Ratner, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy; Universal’s remake of The Thing (October 14, 2011) from director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.; and the Peter Berg-directed Battleship (May 18, 2012).

There could be dueling Snow White movies in full effect this year. The Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1, 2012) could drop in, even though it doesn’t start shooting until mid-August. Stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemworth all have major Con-cred, and the studio needs to get its version stuck in fans’ heads to distinguish it from Relativity’s forthcoming Snow White project (March 16, 2012). And Relativity’s version just started shooting in Montreal and could decide to show up with some surprise footage.

Universal’s Ronin adaptation shot all Spring, so it’s always possible that film, and star Keanu Reeves, could make a surprise appearance.

Warner Bros. will preview New Line’s Final Destination 5 (August 12, 2011) and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (November 4, 2011). Guillermo Del Toro and his cast will chat about Pacific Rim (July 12, 2013), while Jeff Bridges previews Seventh Son & director Alex Proyas and star Bradley Cooper present Paradise Lost. And finally, screenwriter Mark Protosevich will discuss Mass Effect at a Legendary Pictures panel.

Warner Bros. potentials also include Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (December 16, 2011), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (January 27, 2012), and Clash of the Titans 2 (March 30, 2012). There are mixed on whether director Christopher Nolan will bring The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012). Apparently, the filmmaker likes to keep tight control over how his films are promoted.

MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14, 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 13, 2013) from Peter Jackson are said to be too far out to make appearances. However, Jackson could show up via video or in person since he’s such a large part of Paramount’s Tintin, as well. And while it would be provocative to see something teased from Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (May 11, 2012) and Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer (June 15, 2012), neither are expected at this point.

Other films potentially on the docket include: Open Road Films’ Killer Elite (September 23, 2011); FilmDistrict’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (August 26, 2011) and Lockout (February 24, 2012); Dimension Films’ Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (August 19, 2011), Apollo 18 (September 2, 2011), Piranha 3DD (November 23, 2011) and The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes (January 27, 2012); Relativity’s Shark Night 3D (September 2, 2011), Immortals (November 11, 2011) and Haywire (January 20, 2012); Rogue’s The Raven (March 9, 2012); Summit Entertainment’s The Three Musketeers (October 14, 2011), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (November 18, 2011) and The Darkest Hour (December 23, 2011); and Magnet Releasing’s Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (September 30, 2011).