Find out what to expect from the annual geekfest and how to stay on top of the news from San Diego

By Mary Sollosi
July 20, 2016 at 01:08 PM EDT
Clay Enos; Darren Michaels; Marvel

Comic-Con is almost upon us! This weekend, the stars and creative teams behind your favorite TV shows and some of the most anticipated movies will converge on the San Diego Convention Center for the annual convention, where they’ll drop major scoops and give behind-the-scenes insight into the hottest projects in Hollywood. Read on for all the Comic-Con who, what, when, and where — and to find out how you can follow the action from home!

When is Comic-Con?

The 2016 San Diego International Comic-Con begins Thursday, July 21, and lasts through Sunday, July 24. Wednesday, July 20, is a special preview night open only to four-day (including preview night) badge-holders, industry professionals, and members of the press. For those who don’t have access to the Wednesday night presentation, there’s EW’s Comic-Con preview double issue, on newsstands now!

Will any of the big studios not be at Comic-Con this year?

Paramount, Sony, and Marvel Studios’ film division all skipped Comic-Con last year, and 20th Century Fox is following suit for 2016 — so attendees won’t be seeing any Deadpool or X-Men. The studio has opted not to give a movie presentation this year (though it will be presenting TV shows), reportedly due to concerns over piracy. Last year, fans promptly leaked Fox’s Deadpool sneak peek footage, and Warner Bros. got burned when its supposedly SDCC-exclusive Suicide Squad trailer hit the internet; these and similar incidents have apparently made the studios increasingly reticent with their geek properties.

So what can we expect to see, movie-wise?

Marvel and Warner Bros. will be giving the full Hall H movie presentations that the convention is known for — so that means Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 on the Marvel front, as well as Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Suicide Squad, among other properties, from Warner Bros. Check out the full SDCC movie panel schedule here.

In addition to the big studio presentations, Paramount will debut Star Trek Beyond — the first film to ever have an open-air IMAX world premiere — and fans can look forward to screenings of horror films The Woods, and Don’t Breathe. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Aliens on July 18, the convention will also host a reunion in Hall H (with Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron), and Star Trek will have a huge presence at the fest, with a whole host of events and exhibits celebrating 50 years of the iconic franchise.

Will my favorite TV shows be there?

A ton of TV shows will be there, so chances are good that your favorites are among them! Get ready for Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead, and The Vampire Diaries; Teen Wolf and Arrow. Supergirl, Scream Queens, Once Upon a Time will all be there, too — not to mention the Prison Break revival! You can also look forward to sneak peeks at some highly anticipated new shows, like Riverdale and American Gods. Check out the full schedule of TV panels here.

What about comics, games, and other non-film-and-TV stuff?

Worry not, comic fans! Comic-Con may have a lot of movie and TV coverage, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Looking ahead to some of the comics that will feature at the annual fest, check out our exclusive first look of Curse Words, our coverage of The Walking Dead comic, and our preview of the new Archie Comics reboot Betty & Veronica.

Can I watch events live from Comic-Con if I’m not there myself?

This year, for the first time ever, you can! SDCC launched Comic-Con HQ this summer, a new streaming platform that will give fans access to both Comic-Con panels and original programming. Beta is now open, and you can check out the service with a free trial now.

I don’t have a Comic-Con HQ account and I won’t be in attendance. How can I follow what’s going on?!

If you couldn’t make the trip to SoCal but you want to keep up with everything coming out of the convention, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll be posting coverage, including exclusive videos of some of your favorite stars, all weekend. Keep checking our Comic-Con hub for all the latest from San Diego!