ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

In just two days, San Diego Comic-Con 2015 is upon us. Everyone knows that the biggest event is always Saturday's Hall H panels. And while fans and press alike will be camped out overnight to snag a spot in the hallowed hall, there are still some amazing events happening around the convention hall and offsite that you might not know about and definitely need to check out.

1.) Sinister Sightings Sweepstakes

One of the Sinister Sightings (Courtesy: Focus)
One of the Sinister Sightings (Courtesy: Focus)

In the last few years, the horror genre has been getting in on the Comic-Con action in a big way, bringing its brand of innovative, interactive marketing to the fans. One of the coolest offsite events is courtesy of Focus Features' Sinister 2. Want a VIP trip for two to L.A.'s Six Flags Fright Fest this year? Then keep your eyes peeled and camera phone ready, because there will be three unsettling-as-hell "Sinister Sightings" that will be projected on surfaces all throughout the Gaslamp District at night. If you see one, snap a photo and share it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag . You can read the official rules here, but it sounds like it's going to be a fun - and creepy - urban treasure hunt to spot the projections.

Sinister Sightings will be projected every night from 8pm-1am from Thursday night on for the duration of SDCC.

2.) Conan O'Brien Hosts His First Panel

Conan O'Brien/Twitter
Conan O'Brien/Twitter

You probably already know that Conan O'Brien will be taking his show on the road from SDCC for the first time ever. But what you may not know is that he's also moderating his first panel at the convention, and it's none other than Lionsgate's Thursday panel in Hall H for both [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866), The Last Witch Hunter, and American Ultra. No idea how Conan O'Brien got involved with this, but it's safe to say that it will be one of the most hilariously self-deprecating panels of the entire convention. Failing that, just imagine how much fun it will be to see him riff with Jennifer Lawrence and Vin Diesel in the same panel. Fan dream come true.

The Lionsgate panel is Thursday from 12-1:15pm in Hall H.

3.) Deadpool Comes to Comic-Con

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Last year, just as SDCC was ending, the proof-of-concept video heard 'round the world leaked, and fans were suddenly given a glimpse of the beautiful, bloody potential of what a Deadpool movie could be. One of the most passionate fanbases for one of the most beloved and quirky characters in all of comic book-dom was fired up, and before long, the movie was officially a go. Since then, star Ryan Reynolds has been killing it on Twitter, along with the movie's official account. And while the Deadpool presentation will be just a part of 20th Century Fox's overall panel, if the film holds true to its tone so far, expect it to be the most anticipated - and bonkers - movie presentation of the entire convention. All due respect to [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) and [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), but Deadpool is the comic book movie panel I'm anticipating the most. Fingers crossed Ryan Reynolds shows up in costume and throws tacos to the crowd.

The 20th Century Fox presentation is Saturday from 5:45-7:30pm in Hall H.

4.) EW's Annual Women Who Kick Ass! Panel


This year, those of us at Moviepilot HQ are very excited to announce a Comic-Con partnership with Entertainment Weekly where we plan to bring fans even closer to the action than ever before. EW has consistently dominated the Comic-Con scene with its coverage, starting with its panels. Every year, some of the most popular guests at SDCC are the ass-kicking, genre-redefining actresses who tackle fan favorite roles. And for the past few years, Entertainment Weekly has been paying homage to these fierce women by giving them their own panel. This year, some of the biggest names in TV will be talking about "the power and privilege of playing women who redefine the rules and refuse to yield," including Hayley Atwell, Kathy Bates, Gal Godot, and Gwendoline Christie. If you're down with the female revolution starting in film and TV lately, this panel is absolutely one you need to attend.

The Entertainment Weekly Presents Women Who Kick Ass! panel is Saturday from 3:45-4:35pm in Hall H.

5.) FX Fearless Arena

FX/The Strain
FX/The Strain

If you're a fan of any of FX's shows, be prepared to have your mind blown, because FX is preparing to completely take over the Hilton Bayfront Park next to the convention center for the entirety of SDCC. Seriously, the entire thing. With their "FX Fearless Arena" fan experience, FX is building a giant amusement park that will include checking in to the American Horror Story hotel, wandering The Bastard Executioner's medieval forest, getting trapped in a giant Fargo snow globe, surviving The Strain's live action virtual reality world, and more. Plus, they're giving away a ton of swag throughout the duration of the experience, so even if you miss out on being one of the first 2,500 pre-registered to stop by and get a giant tote bag, rest assured there will still be plenty of goodies for you to get as you crawl around the sprawling exhibition.

FX Fearless Arena will run from Thursday-Sunday at the Hilton Bayfront Park.

6.) Assassin's Creed Obstacle Course


If you, like me, have ever eyeballed a building and wondered how long it would take Altair, Desmond, or Ezio to scale it, then you want to make sure to stop by the MLK Promenade next to the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel and try your hand at the Assassin's Creed Obstacle Course. Ubisoft is bringing back its wildly popular experience in all its parkour glory for the second year, and it should be even better than last year's event. This year's course is modeled after the upcoming Assassin's Creed Syndicate, so you can expect to leap, climb, and most likely fall your way through the seedy underbelly of Victorian London during the Industrial Revolution. And did I mention they're bringing a replica of Big Ben? They're bringing a replica of Big Ben. Just do me a favor and don't send me the bill when you break your ankle.

The Assassin's Creed Obstacle Course will run Thursday-Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sunday from 10am-5pm.

7.) The Walking Dead Escape

While we're on the subject of obstacle courses, how about getting through one when you're being chased by walkers? Another SDCC tradition that has gained so much popularity that people pay to watch it, The Walking Dead Escape is a physical challenge where attendees must run for their lives through Petco Park in the middle of a walker infestation. This course runs throughout Petco Park -- sending you up three levels, then back down, and then over physical hurdles that range from basic cones to full-sized cars that you must leap over or bound around, all while avoiding a swarm of the undead who seem to grow in number around every corner. I'd be caught in about 47 seconds flat, but maybe you'll fare better.

The Walking Dead Escape runs Friday and Saturday night from 6-10pm. You can buy tickets here.

8.) Nerd HQ

Zachary Levi’s much-beloved Nerd HQ is back again, serving as a con-away-from-con for anyone who might get tired of Hall H. With a no-badge-required policy, Nerd HQ will be dishing out old school arcade games, photo ops, celebrity signings, and intimate panels called Conversations for a Cause that cost $22 each to get into - but! - all proceeds go to Operation Smile. Nerd HQ also hosts nightly gatherings with music, drinks, games and more. Celebrities are constantly roaming in and out of Nerd HQ, too, so if you missed your favorite stars in the convention hall, stick around Nerd HQ for a while and you're bound to catch them.

Nerd HQ will run throughout the duration of SDCC at The New Children's Museum. The full Conversations for a Cause guest speaker schedule can be found here.

9.) American Ultra Top Secret Promotion


Now, let me start by saying I don't know all the details to this one yet. What I can tell you is that this morning, a courier came to our office and handed me a manila envelope with the words "American Ultra" stamped on it and nothing else. No mailing address. No return address. Very mysterious. When we opened it up, it had a few cool (and definitely surprising) items in it, but the most important was this:

I went to the site mentioned it that document and received a message: "Prepare to be activated." Activated for what? That's classified information, I'm afraid. But I downloaded the Blippar app and scanned the picture on the flip side of the scanned document:

When I did that, a very cool, interactive AR scene popped up on my phone. Tilt your phone and it reveals the option to get a calendar reminder or watch an exclusive clip from the film. Pretty damn clever - if I were a rogue secret agent in 2015, I'd probably hide a secret file in a mobile app, too. No worries if you don't manage to snag one of the top secret fliers being handed out in downtown San Diego during SDCC: scanning the above picture will also pull up the app so you can view the clip now.

Then get your American Ultra sleeper agent on and complete the rest of your mission upon activation to earn your spoils. From what I'm thinking, it will be highly worth it.

The American Ultra top secret program will be activated precisely at 12am on Friday, July 10th in downtown San Diego.

Did I miss any alternative events that you guys are really looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!


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