(L-R) Actors Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, and Ian Somerhalder (credit: Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)

(L-R) Actors Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, and Ian Somerhalder (credit: Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)

(CBS NEWS) – Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., is no longer just for comic book “geeks.” The 44th annual event, which officially begins Thursday, is 130,000-attendees-strong and is sure to be a star-studded affair this year, with several celebrities expected to attend.

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“It’s now so big it’s in the hotels in the area. There’s also the party scene at night,” Variety senior editor Marc Graser said about the upcoming four-day event.

“It’s really about gathering around a property that fans love and getting to see a new poster, a new trailer and the first footage,” said Graser, who noted he will be holed up in Hall H (the largest hall at the San Diego Convention Center), taking in the new trailers, posters, footage and everything in between this week.

Comic-Con has come a long way since its birth as a small comic book and art convention in 1970, drawing just 300 visitors. And as the number of attendees grows each year, so, too, does the demographical layout.

“When ‘Twilight’ started coming out, that changed the makeup of the Comic-Con audience,” said Graser. “Suddenly you saw more women there. It was noticeable…And they’ve been coming back ever since.”

Although Thursday marks the official start of Comic-Con, there are quite a few events planned in the days leading up to it. Legendary Entertainment is hosting a party Tuesday night to hype the new “Godzilla” movie, for example.

Then the real fun begins, with previews for the upcoming “RoboCop” reboot, along with footage from follow-ups to “Thor,” “Captain America,” ”The Amazing Spider-Man,” ”Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” ”The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

But it’s not just the film industry; TV will play a major role, too. “TV has really taken over the show. Every TV show you can imagine is going to be there,” said Graser. Comic-Con will feature casts, producers and creators of “The Walking Dead,” ”Game of Thrones,” ”True Blood,” The Vampire Diaries,” “Once Upon a Time,” “The Originals” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Almost Human” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“Definitely keep an eye out for ‘Godzilla,'” added Graser. “That’s going to be a really big one. It’s really all the superhero stuff. The video games they have a big presence this year — anything that fans love is going to be represented. DC Entertainment is going to have a huge presence there because of the 70th anniversary, which is going to be good timing because of ‘Man of Steel’ and all of the comic books it has coming out… Marvel may announce one of the movies they dated already, but that they haven’t released the title of — they’ve done that in the past.”

The Bay Area’s own Metallica will be on hand on Friday to perform a set, coinciding with the release of its 3D film, “Through the Never.” The band will also debut the new theatrical trailer along with exclusive footage from the movie.

Whether it’s good old-fashioned comic books or the latest new film trailer, Comic-Con is poised to generate a lot of buzz.

Read more at CBSNews.com

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Nikita returns to San Diego at 11:30am for its final Comic-Con appearance with series stars Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible 3), Shane West (ER), Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass), Aaron Stanford (X-Men: The Last Stand), Melinda Clarke (The O.C.), Devon Sawa (Final Destination), and Noah Bean (Damages) joining executive producer Craig Silverstein (Bones). This farewell panel looks back on three seasons of action-packed drama and teases the final six episodes of the final season. Nikita: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 1. From Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, the fourth season of Nikita will air midseason on The CW.

The100Almost a hundred years after mankind nearly destroyed itself with nuclear war, a group of survivors living on a space station called the Ark take the first step to recolonize Earth, as 100 juvenile delinquents are released to the surface of the planet to determine if it is once again inhabitable. Facing uncertainty, and with the survival of the human race in their hands, these teenagers must learn to survive on this wildly changed planet. The 100 makes its Comic-Con debut at 12:45pm with a screening of the complete pilot episode, followed by a Q&A with series stars Eliza Taylor (Australia’s Neighbours), Thomas McDonell (Suburgatory), Marie Avgeropoulos (Cult), with Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), as well as executive producers Matthew Miller (Human Target) and Jason Rothenberg (upcoming Twilight Zone feature). From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television,The 100 premieres midseason on The CW.


The OriginalsFrom the executive producer of The CW’s #1 series and Comic-Con fan favorite The Vampire Diaries comes The Originals, a sexy new drama centering on the Original Family and the dangerous vampire/werewolf hybrid, Klaus, who returns to the magical melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans-a town he helped build centuries ago-where he is reunited with his diabolical former protégé, Marcel, a charismatic vampire who has total control over the human and supernatural inhabitants of the Crescent City. At 1:00pm. join executive producer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries) and series stars Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries), Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries), and Charles Michael Davis (Switched at Birth) for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with My So- Called Company, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, The Originals will air Tuesdays 8/7c on The CW this fall.

The Vampire DiariesMaking their fang-tastic fifth appearance at Comic-Con, the cast and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries vamp it up at 4:30pm in San Diego! Series stars Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Paul Wesley (Roll Bounce), Ian Somerhalder (Lost), Candice Accola (Juno), and Kat Graham (Honey 2) join executive producers/writers Julie Plec (The Originals, Kyle XY) and Caroline Dries (Melrose Place) on stage for a video screening and Q&A session. The CW’s #1 series returns in the fall for its fifth season, promising twists, turns and-of course-(love) triangles in this new chapter for our heroes, post-graduation. From Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment, and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW, and The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and UltraViolet in September.

Arrow airs on The CW (credit: The CW)

Arrow airs on The CW (credit: The CW)

After failing to foil Malcolm Merlyn’s undertaking, Oliver Queen and team look to get back on track by crossing another name off the list: Comic-Con 2013. Arrow series stars Stephen Amell (Hung), Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place), David Ramsey (Dexter), Emily Bett Rickards (Flicka: Country Pride), and Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf) — with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern), Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone), and Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe)-will take aim at San Diego with a special video presentation and panel discussion at 5:15pm, previewing the show’s upcoming and much-buzzed-about second season, which will center on Oliver’s transformation from vigilante to hero. Arrow: The Complete First Season will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet on September 17. Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels published by DC Comics, Arrow is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series returns for a second season this fall, airing Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

The Tomorrow People(5:55pm) Sure, teleporting into San Diego remedies many stresses associated with Comic-Con, and knowing fans’ questions before they are ever asked would certainly seem to give them a leg up, but that doesn’t mean The Tomorrow People are any less excited about their inaugural visit to the world’s premier fan convention. Series stars Robbie Amell (1600 Penn), Peyton List (Mad Men), and Mark Pellegrino (Lost), along with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern), Phil Klemmer (Chuck), and Danny Cannon (Nikita), will be on hand for a special pilot screening, followed by a Q&A to discuss this story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions, FremantleMedia, Warner Bros. Television, and CBS Television Studios, The Tomorrow People will air Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW this fall.


Remember the TitansAt 10:00am, join series stars Jared Padalecki (Friday the 13th [2009]), Jensen Ackles (My Bloody Valentine 3D), Misha Collins (Ringer), and Mark A. Sheppard (Battlestar Galactica), along with executive producer Jeremy Carver (U.S. version of Being Human) return to Hall H to answer questions from the audience about what’s in store for the ninth season of this exciting series. Fans will also be treated to an exclusive video presentation featuring series highlights, as well as a portion of the special features from the upcoming Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season DVD and Blu-ray release, in stores September 10. The ninth season of Supernatural will premiere this fall in its new Tuesday nighttime period at 9/8c on The CW. The series is produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television.

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