Sam Raimi will commence exploratory work this week on a new instalment in his iconic Evil Dead series, the director told Comic-Con attendees.

Speaking after he unveiled footage from his upcoming horror release Drag Me To Hell, a back-to-roots exercise following the grand scale of the Spider-Man franchise, Raimi said he and his brother Ivan would start to flesh out a script this week.

Ivan Raimi co-wrote Drag Me To Hell, which on early evidence looks like it's shaping up to be a morality tale with plenty of shocks in the vein of Evil Dead. Alison Lohman, Justin Long, and Bonnie Aarons star and Universal has set a May 29 2009 release date.

This year's Comic-Con was light on announcements as many studios chose to parade a slate of near-complete or at least fully cast projects including: OddLot/Lionsgate's The Spirit; Sony's comedy Pineapple Express; Summit Entertainment's vampire saga Twilight; The Weinstein Company's Zack And Miri Make A Porno; Walt Disney Animation Studio's 3D family romp Bolt; Fox's video game adaptation Max Payne; and a host of 2009 releases including Lakeshore/Screen Gems' genre prequel Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, Warner Bros' Watchmen, Disney/Pixar's Up and LucasFilm's animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars through Warner Bros.

Warner Bros screened fresh footage of The Halcyon Company's action prequel Terminator: Salvation, which is roughly half-way through production in New Mexico and scheduled to open on May 22. Christian Bale was absent on publicity duty for The Dark Knight in Japan, however director McG hosted a lively panel of co-stars Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Anton Yelchin and Moon Bloodgood.

When asked whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise his role as the lethal T-800 robot McG declined to answer and kept attendees guessing when he stressed the T-800 'is indeed part of the mythology of Terminator.' As previously announced, the Austrian bodybuilder Roland Kickinger, who has played Schwarzenegger in an A&E biopic, will play a T-800 in the upcoming film. Sony Pictures Releasing International holds international rights.

Notable by its absence was any sort of presentation for J J Abrams' upcoming Star Trek feature for Paramount. The film is set to open on May 8 2009 and stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, a cast regular from the hit TV series Heroes who was unveiled as the young Spock at this event last year.

Hollywood's heavy presence at Comic-Con means the annual jamboree is regarded not just as a promotional platform but a project incubator. Early discussions on adaptations and original pitches abound and more concrete announcements are expected in the days ahead.

One such project is Scream writer Kevin Williamson's comic book Book Of Raven, which William Morris Agency was poised to set up at Devil's Due Publishing with an eye to developing a horror feature.