More than 100,000 fans are gathering in San Diego for Comic-Con, a four day celebration of popular culture.
The event, which many attend in costume, is a showcase for highly anticipated film and TV projects.
Fans are expecting to see the first footage of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the 2018 blockbuster.
There will also be panels for a new Lord of the Rings TV series and Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon.
The trailer for House of the Dragon is already trending online, showing – perhaps not surprisingly – dragons breathing fire and leaving a trail of havoc.
The 10-part series, which stars Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy as members of the conflict-ridden Targaryen family, is due for release on HBO in August.
Anticipation for this year’s convention is particularly high because this will be the first time since 2019 that the event has been held in person, because of the impact of the Covid pandemic.
This year’s highlights
San Diego Comic-Con is being held over four days from Thursday 21 July – Sunday 24 July.
The most high profile events are traditionally held in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Centre..
This year, the Hall – which seats 5,000 – will host discussion panels and show exclusive footage from a number of different projects.
Thursday will see an event dedicated to forthcoming fantasy movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, with fans hoping for an appearance from stars including Chris Pine and Regé-Jean Page.
Pine is best known for his role as Captain Kirk in the rebooted 2009 film. The actor who originated the role, William Shatner, will appear on stage to discuss his life and career later that day.
Friday will begin with a 90-minute panel for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a prequel TV series set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.
The day will also see Matrix and John Wick star Keanu Reeves taking to the stage to discuss his BRZRKR comic book series.
Saturday is almost always Comic-Con’s biggest day. And this year, it will have panels on forthcoming movies including action adventure film Black Adam, starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, HBO TV series House of the Dragon, and Netflix’s Sandman based on Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed graphic novel.
The biggest event is expected to be the panel from Marvel. The film and TV studio hasn’t announced which future projects it will be showcasing.
However, it is expected to show the first footage from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the follow up to 2018’s Oscar-winning Black Panther, as well as possibly Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.
There will also be a host of smaller panels and events, as well as signing sessions and merchandise stalls.
Over the years, San Diego Comic-Con has become the biggest event of its kind in the world. Many of cinema’s highest grossing films have been launched here.
It’s where the Avengers were first brought together during a 2010 panel, nearly two years ahead of the film’s release of the first Avengers movie.
And in 2019, Tom Cruise made a surprise appearance to show fans at the convention early footage of Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun.