Comic-Con San Diego may still be the mother of all comic book conventions, but it's also become an increasingly important event to Hollywood movie studios in terms of starting the buzz machines in motion for many of their most high-profile releases. Given the convention's inherent geek factor, where better to debut footage from the latest Marvel comic or fantasy epic making its way to the big screen? While years past have seen unveilings that range from Star Wars to Spider-Man to Pirates of the Caribbean, this year's offerings may not be as obvious, but they're not any less enticing. Here are 12 burning questions we're hoping to answer as the panels begin and the footage starts rolling.
Do Robert Downey Jr. and Edward Norton have the right stuff to play superheroes?
They're both outright incredible actors: Downey Jr. the quick-witted master of cynicism, Norton one of the most intense thesps since Brando. But how will they fare in capes and tights (figuratively speaking)? We'll see when Marvel unveils footage of Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Norton as the Incredible Hulk.
Will the new Indiana Jones finally get a proper title?
Sure, The Fourth Installment of Indiana Jones is catchy and all – and quite descriptive! -- but it's kind of a mouthful. Give us a nice juicy moniker ... and it better not be Attack of the Clones. Footage of seasoned adventurer Harrison Ford and confirmation that Shia LaBeouf is indeed playing his son wouldn't hurt, either.
Can Prince Caspian rock on without Aslan?
Disney promises the second chapter of The Chronicles of Narnia will be even heavier on the fantastical creatures, and we believe them. But we'll miss good ole Aslan, not to mention all the great "Jesus is a lion" jokes. And considering the story takes place 1300 years later (in NST), Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy) has long since kicked the bucket. Just as he was becoming a star, too!
Will "Cloverfield" make a surprise appearance?
After the web hysteria that followed Paramount's brilliantly executed "unknown trailer" strategy for the Untitled JJ Abrams project otherwise known as Cloverfield and/or 01.18.08, we're fiending for more... more information, really. Don't even show us anything, just tell us what the hell is going on. Considering Abrams will be in attendance, and Paramount promises "a few surprises," we're feeling good about our prospects.
Will Emile Hirsch "Speed" out of the gates?
We have all the confidence in the world in Emile Hirsch, but it's still hard to picture him as Speed Racer, and not only because he's neither Japanese nor hand-drawn in late-'60s-era anime. Maybe we're just fearful of helmet hair. Either way, with the Wachowski brothers behind this one, just a single action sequence would do us right.