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San Diego Comic-Con moves ahead without its usual star power

<i>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images</i><br/>(From left) Kevin Feige
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
(From left) Kevin Feige

By Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

(CNN) — The time has come for the comic book-loving, cosplay-clad San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) attendees to flock to sunny southern California for the 2023 convention – but this year is looking just a tad different.

The con comes as Hollywood is at a standstill with the industry’s unionized actors and writers on strike after negotiations with the major studios and streamers on new contracts fell apart.

With these strikes, there are rules that members have to follow – including being prohibited from participating in promotional events and conventions, according to SAG-AFTRA’s FAQ page – and the effect of these rules will certainly be felt this weekend at the celebrated fan convention.

The Wrap reported in June that Marvel Studios is bowing out of presenting a panel or any of their usual Hall H fanfare this year (Hall H is the 6,500-seat convention hall that hosts the biggest and buzziest panels). Marvel’s panels are usually the most anticipated, and con-goers would have perhaps gotten a first look this summer at the studio’s upcoming projects including “The Marvels,” “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” and “Deadpool 3.”

James Gunn, the newly minted co-CEO of the Warner Bros.-owned DC Studios, replied to a commenter earlier this month on his Instagram page saying that he won’t be at Comic-Con this year either, adding “but probably next year.” So, it looks like there won’t be any big Warner Bros. or DC Studios Hall H presentation this year, either. (CNN and DC Studios are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Last month, it was widely reported that other studios such as Universal Pictures, Lucasfilm, Legendary Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Netflix are following suit by opting out of this year’s SDCC.

Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis, however, confirmed in an Instagram post last week that she’ll be in San Diego this weekend, this time as an author of her graphic novel “Mother Nature,” and is slated to participate in a discussion for “Mother Nature” on Friday.

SAG-AFTRA announced on Thursday that the union’s national executive director, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, will be participating in a panel discussion on Saturday about artificial intelligence, a contentious topic that became a large part of why the writers and actors went on strike.

Crabtree-Ireland will be joined by a handful of voice actors to discuss “the hazards and opportunities AI presents, how the union is approaching the issue, the laws surrounding this new technology, and its role in the strike,” according to the announcement.

Ultimately, the lack of big panels, buzzy parties and a who’s-who of celebrities running around San Diego’s Gaslamp quarter may come as a bit of a relief for SDCC loyalists who will face less crowds, shorter lines and more access to limited edition items found in the aisles of the sprawling exhibit hall.

Attendees will also have a plethora of non-celebrity related panels and workshops to jump into throughout the weekend, and the incredible cosplay that was undoubtedly worked on all year long can finally be shown off.

San Diego Comic-Con kicks off on Thursday and will run through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Entertainment

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