By EW Staff
July 19, 2018 at 06:38 PM EDT
Credit: Karl Walter/REX/Shutterstock (2); Everett Collection

The notorious nerd nirvana that is Comic-Con is finally here! Over 130,000 people are expected to swamp San Diego this week for the annual con, at which all kinds of outlets ranging from gargantuan movie studios to smaller publishers will be showcasing their geekiest upcoming movie projects, TV ventures, and comic-book properties.

At this point, Comic-Con has gotten so big that it’s even hard for those on the ground in San Diego to keep track of everything going on.

Fortunately for pop culture junkies of all persuasions, EW will be fanning out to cover as much as possible and bringing our readers the highlights from each day starting Thursday, July 19. With the BBC bringing a Doctor Who panel to Hall H right as the long-running sci-fi series hands the TARDIS over to Jodie Whittaker‘s groundbreaking 13th Doctor, and Shane Black occupying that same legendary venue alongside the cast of The Predator for a separate panel earlier in the day, we’re expecting this year’s Comic-Con to kick things off with a BANG! (Along with a POW! and a WHAM! thrown in for good measure.)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Disney announced it’s bringing back The Clone Wars animated Star Wars series

For years, fans have been tweeting “#SaveCloneWars” at Star Wars animation chief Dave Filoni. And at the 10th-anniversary panel hosted by The Clone Wars, Filoni received a standing ovation when he announced “#CloneWarsSaved.” The series that chronicles the battle stories of Jedi knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and rogue Force warrior Ahsoka Tano will return with 12 new episodes on the upcoming Disney streaming service.

Footage featuring Predator-on-Predator action was unveiled

Comic-Con’s Hall H schedule kicked off in action-packed fashion Thursday morning with the panel for science fiction reboot The Predator, whose guests included director Shane Black, and cast members Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane, and Trevante Rhodes. The highlight? Footage which showed a “normal”-sized Predator being beaten by a much larger version. Read on for more details.

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman confirmed Andrew Lincoln’s exit

Nearly two months after it was first reported that Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman made news of the star’s exit official during an interview for IMDB with filmmaker Kevin Smith.

Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The first Doctor Who trailer for season 11 was revealed

At the Doctor Who panel, BBC America debuted the first teaser footage for the new season, featuring Jodie Whittaker along with costars Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole — and promising “new friends, new worlds, new times.”

Doctor Who alum John Barrowman gave Jodie Whittaker his stamp of approval

Speaking of Doctor Who, John Barrowman took the stage for his own panel, Anything Goes With John Barrowman!, as only John Barrowman can — in a custom bedazzled Captain America outfit, complete with a twirly cape and glittery high heels. (He dubbed the look “Captina Americana.”) The Doctor Who and Arrowverse alum sang, danced, and told embarrassing stories about getting his appendix out and flirting with the EMTs on painkillers.

But he also got serious for a moment when a fan asked him why he’s excited that Jodie Whittaker is taking over the title role on Doctor Who, becoming the first woman to play the part.

“I’m ready for her,” Barrowman told the audience. “I think it’s great. I think it’s about time… She’s strong, and she’s strong-willed, and she’s going to lead other people. That’s the thing about Doctor Who: We fall in love with the characters as we step into the TARDIS with them,” he added. “She is going to take us on some incredible journeys.

TLC’s Chilli learned how to hiss like a mermaid at the Siren panel

Bristol Cove got a special visitor Thursday when TLC’s Chilli moderated the panel for Freeform’s Siren. The singer is the show’s self-professed No. 1 fan, and she grilled EPs Emily Whitesell and Eric Wald on what viewers could expect in season 2. Later, the Siren cast dropped by the EW Video Studio at the Hard Rock Hotel, where they opened up about the longest underwater take ever! See what they had to say in the video below.

DC announced it’s recruited two popular writers for new Green Lantern and Aquaman comics

It’s been a few years since readers have gotten a new superhero story from Grant Morrison, one of the most prolific and acclaimed comic writers of the 21st century. That’s set to change in November, when Morrison will launch a DC comic alongside artist Liam Sharp: The Green Lantern, featuring classic character Hal Jordan. It was also announced at Comic-Con that Kelly Sue DeConnick will be writing Aquaman, with art by Robson Rocha, just in time for the much-anticipated movie starring Jason Momoa.

DC also announced it’s launching a new Shazam! ongoing comic series later this year

The Shazam! series will focus on the superhero of the same name (once known as Captain Marvel), who is really a young boy named Billy Batson, capable of transforming into a powerful adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!”

Shazam! Vol. 1 CR: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Charmed brought girl power to San Diego

After their “world premiere” screening of the pilot episode — which included a Time’s Up rally, several scenes about consent, and an epic POTUS call-out — the cast (Madeleine Mantock, Sarah Jeffery, and Melonie Diaz) and producers (Jennie Snyder Urman and Jessica O’Toole) of The CW’s revival of Charmed (premiering Oct. 14) spoke about why 2018 was the time to bring back the beloved ‘90s series about three witch sisters.

“The original was so much about female empowerment and sisterhood and strong women taking over the world, and I feel like that’s what we need right now,” said Urman. “So it felt like a good time to get back to that and to show women kicking ass.” And Urman’s Jane the Virgin pedigree was not lost on her new cast. Diaz, who plays time-controlling sister Mel, said, “I’m such a Jane the Virgin fan and it was such a game-changer for television. It was the first time that I saw people that looked like me, that felt like me, and I was like, okay, these are the people who can take [Charmed] and modernize it and make it real and funny.”

Mantock ended with a message for fans of the original: “We come in peace! I think the original was so wonderful, and they really were trailblazers and we could not be here without them. But I think there’s something here for the old fans, and I think you’ll really like it.”

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles unveiled an action-packed trailer

The trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series emerged from the sewer just in time for the show’s Comic-Con panel. Debuting Sept. 17, the Nickelodeon 2-D animated action-comedy — which centers on four crime-fighting turtle brothers with emerging ninja powers and reimagines some TMNT dynamics — will see the quartet “encounter absurd mutants and battle bizarre villains, each with their own motivations” and “discover a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City.”

During the panel, Kat Graham, who portrays April O’Neil on the show, came out dressed as her character and addressed the significance of being cast as the first African-American April. “I hadn’t realized the depth of playing the first African-American April O’Neil,” she said. “Even though it’s a cartoon, I wanted to inspire the girls watching this.”

Sundance Now and Shudder have acquired A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches has found a distributor in the U.S.! The eight-episode series starring Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode will be available on Sundance Now and Shudder. Stay tuned for a premiere date.

There was a Vampire Diaries reunion at the Tell Me a Story panel

EW’s editor in chief Henry Goldblatt moderated the Tell Me a Story panel, which reunited its creator Kevin Williamson back together with the show’s star Paul Wesley. (In case you didn’t know, the two men previously worked together on The Vampire Diaries.) To find out more about their new show, which is a modern reimagining of classic fairy tales, check out EW’s interview with the Tell Me a Story gang below.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creators talked series finale plans (and a Patton Oswalt return)

Since Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s premiere, co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna have been vocal about their four-year plan for the series. And with the fourth and final season fast-approaching, they hit San Diego Comic-Con to talk about what’s coming next for Rebecca Bunch. Speaking to the series finale plan, Brosh McKenna said, “The last scene has always been the same. Generally, directionally, we knew what every chapter of the four was going to be.” As for where season 4 will pick up in terms of Rebecca’s journey, Bloom added, “This season is all about putting together the pieces. The show is about inner happiness and how you can externalize that in your actions and that’s what she’s learning about in season 4.”

When asked if this is really the end for the series, Bloom said, “It’s a finite story we’re telling. It’s meant to be a very specific period in a woman’s life.” Although Bloom says they’re open to more touring opportunities, she said, “As far as the story, we’re telling a 62-hour movie.” (The show will hit 62 episodes by the time it ends.)

Additionally, Brosh McKenna revealed that Patton Oswalt will reprise his role on the show in the second episode of season 4…and this time, he will sing!

Aaron Paul brought his baby out in a hazmat suit at the Breaking Bad reunion

Weeks after reuniting on the cover of EW, the cast of Breaking Bad held a 10-year reunion panel at Comic-Con, and when the cast was being introduced by moderator and Breaking Bad alum Bill Burr, a new member of the family emerged in a familiar outfit.

Aaron Paul came out with his newborn daughter, who might have been the convention’s youngest cosplayer as she donned a miniature version of the hazmat suit her daddy’s character wore while cooking meth on the show.

'Breaking Bad' TV show panel, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 19 Jul 2018

The second season return date for Marvel’s Iron Fist was announced

Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the Immortal Iron Fist, Protector of K’un-Lun, Sworn Enemy of the Hand, Bearer of Not-a-Dragon-Tattoo, and Hater of Shoes, has an official return date: Friday, Sept. 7.

At Marvel-Netflix’s sole San Diego Comic-Con panel this year, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb announced the street-level superhero’s second season return date, and introduced fans inside Ballroom 20 to the series’ new showrunner, M. Raven Metzner (Sleepy Hollow), as well as a bevy of reveals about what’s to come. Notably, new cast member Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) joins as Typhoid Mary, an iconic Marvel supervillain who Eve explains is not only “very very violent, but the reason I took the role is because I got to play someone with multiple personalities.”

Fans were also treated to clips featuring Iron Fist’s yellow mask (or rather, two masks, as Danny bloodily fights Sacha Dhawan’s Davos in a flashback scene that drew the loudest cheers), Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick) — a.k.a. The Daughters of the Dragon — teaming up together again after partnering up briefly in The Defenders and Luke Cage season 2, and Davos in the present sporting a glowing fist (!) of his own. All six clips rolled during the panel highlighted the series’ action, and Loeb made sure to point out the new season’s emphasis on more dramatic fight scenes. Stunt coordinator and panelist Clayton Barber (Black Panther) said he wanted to guide some “punk rock” into the drama’s martial arts sequences. “He was meticulous in making sure that all of the fights you see this season are all of us,” Jones added, gesturing to the cast. “They’re all us.”

Mr. Mercedes teased a twisted second season

Audience Network’s series based on Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy comes back on Aug. 22, and EP Jack Bender, along with key members of the cast, teased a seriously disturbing season 2 in a Thursday evening panel moderated by EW’s Anthony Breznican.

“When Stephen King first sent me the galleys [of the novels], it was not only the detective genre, which he hadn’t written. But it’s also about the monsters inside of us, not just the monsters outside of us — which he does a breathtaking job of doing, time and time again — but this is about the monsters inside of us, which I think is an important thing to look at,” Bender said before making a light reference to political figures with monsters inside of them.

Mr. MercedesHarry Treadaway and Brendan Gleeson
Credit: AT+T AUDIENCE Network

Fans of the books will notice that, while first season dealt with the events of the first book, the show skips over the second book and sticks more closely to the plot of the third one in its second season. “Part of the problem of really following the architecture of [the second] book was that our heroes don’t really come into it until halfway into the book, [but] the writers and I found a way to bring up elements from the third book into our second season,” Bender promised. “There’s no question that our show, this season, gets into what I’ll call more Stephen King-dom — which is a great place to be.”