Studios are known for amping up publicity for their upcoming films, especially when those films are sequels to previous blockbusters, by parading their stars and premiering never-before-seen footage at Comic-Con International: San Diego each year. But this year, the lineup of stars at Comic-Con suggests the trend may be coming to a quick and unexplained end.
According to a report from HitFix, three of 2014/2015's most anticipated films will not have panels at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer, including the first part of the final film in the “Hunger Games” franchise, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1;” the second “Divergent” installment, “Insurgent;” and Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated “Jurassic Park 4/Jurassic World."
“Considering they made the trip for both the first film and ‘Catching Fire,’ it's somewhat odd,” Hitflix said about the lack of appearances at the event by “Hunger Games” stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. “The studio has stuck with their model of big events at Cannes and Comic-Con up until now.”
While Lawrence’s die-hard followers may be shocked to learn they won’t be able to get a glimpse of the Oscar-winner later at Comic-Con this month, fans of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series and its star, Shailene Woodley, are also in for a major disappointment.
Although the studio behind the second installment in the franchise claims it will be an “even bigger hit” and make more than the first film's $269 million worldwide box office gross, there will be no “Insurgent” panel at Comic-Con this year. “Not having new box office superstar Shailene Woodley work her magic in San Diego this summer seems like a mistake,” HitFix said.
Due to be released in June 2015, Spielberg’s newest installment in the "Jurassic Park" series, “Jurassic Park 4/Jurassic World,” will also be absent from this year’s convention.
Others noticeably absent from the lineup include Seth Rogen and James Franco for their controversial comedy “The Interview” and a panel for Paul McGuigan’s drama “Frankenstein” (starring Daniel Radcliffe).
Comic-Con kicks off July 24 in San Diego and runs through the 27.