Sean takes a look back at the five things that stood out the most from this year’s Comic-Con.
One day, I’ll make it out to San Diego to experience Comic-Con International: San Diego. One day, that is. But until then, I’ll continue to follow new developments, photos, and trailers that come out of one of the biggest annual conventions in the world on Twitter on my phone or on my computer in an air-conditioned room.
This year’s convention seemed to be less exciting than previous years, but that still doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot happening at most of the panels. After watching stories from Comic-Con develop over the weekend, here are the five biggest things I took from this year’s four-day pop culture extravaganza.
1. Fox was the Biggest Loser at Comic-Con
20th Century Fox showed footage of the highly-anticipated Kingsman sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but what was notably absent from the studio? Their three X-Men properties scheduled to come out in 2018, including X-Men: New Mutants, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Deadpool 2. No cast videos from the set, clips/sizzle reels, or artwork from any of these three upcoming comic book movies? Fox must still be spooked by the 2015 convention when footage from Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse leaked online.
2. Nobody has a Bigger Presence at Comic-Con than Peak TV
“Peak TV” continues to draw in more viewers, dominate the social media landscape, and take a small bite out of box office numbers, thanks to shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Twin Peaks, and Preacher, all of which had big panels at this year’s convention. (I could mention many more, but that would require an article solely dedicated to Peak TV at Comic-Con.) Not only that, but a few of them had big presences outside the panels. HBO’s Westworld had an impressive Experience Center, which allowed guests to see the infamous point of entry, the place where guests select their weapons and outfits before entering the amusement park.
3. Warner Brothers Still has No Idea What They’re Doing with their DC Comics Properties
WB teased numerous projects in development via a sizzle reel, including Shazam!, Suicide Squad 2, The Batman, Justice League Dark, Batgirl, Green Lantern Corps, The Flash: Flashpoint, and Wonder Woman II. But where was the Harley Quinn-centered Gotham City Sirens, the Chris McKay-directed Nightwing, or the Dwayne Johnson-starring Black Adam in this sizzle reel?
And after WB showed off early footage of next year’s Aquaman and a great four-minute trailer for Justice League, what else? Nothing.
It’s puzzling, to be quite honest, that WB didn’t announce any casting or anything related to these teased projects considering the momentum the studio had coming into this panel. Wonder Woman had just surpassed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at the box office (domestically) to become the biggest movie of the summer, yet we couldn’t get an announcement that the woman behind it, Patty Jenkins, was coming back to direct the teased sequel?
While Wonder Woman is a big win for WB and their DC properties, we still have no idea where they’re going with their cinematic universe. I guess we’ll know in November after the release of Justice League, the studio’s riskiest movie yet.
4. Marvel Studios is Still the King of Con
Marvel Studios came in swinging, like always, and came away as the victors at Comic-Con, thanks to presentations for their upcoming movies Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War.
A new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was unveiled and it looked like something out of left field compared to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, on the flipside it looks so fresh and entertaining and is the first Thor movie people are actually getting excited about (myself included). While footage from the Black Panther panel won’t be appearing online anytime soon, it brought people to their feet and was arguably the best presentation out of any movie shown at this year’s Comic-Con. And finally, Marvel Studios showed an early look at Avengers: Infinity War – the movie, which this 10-year cinematic universe has been building up to. Like Black Panther, the rest of the world won’t get to see this footage until sometime this fall.
And on top of that, Marvel Studios dished out details and artwork from the Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel, which will take place in the 90s, feature a Nick Fury with two eyes, and have some of the most famous Marvel villains–the Skrulls.
5. Netflix is Coming
If there is one disruptor in all of Hollywood that is the equivalent of the White Walkers in HBO’s Game of Thrones, it’s Netflix. And this year, they made sure everyone at Comic-Con knew that.
Netflix is beginning to churn out its own original movies and they showed off two at this year’s Comic-Con, including Death Note (arriving on the streaming service next month) and Bright, the Will Smith-led sci-fi fantasy cop movie that Netflix paid $100M for and will release around Christmas time.
On the TV side of things, Netflix showed convention attendees Friday night the first episode of Marvel’s The Defenders, which brings together Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist from their own Netflix shows. Saturday, though, was the biggest day for the streaming giant, as thousands descended on Hall H and were treated to the first showing of the fantastic, thrilling trailer for the upcoming new season of Stranger Things, the streaming service’s crown jewel.
With big budget movies like Bright and original shows with so much buzz like The Defenders and Stranger Things, to go along with recruiting A-list talent like Will Smith, Brad Pitt earlier this year for War Machine, and Sandra Bullock for an upcoming big budget movie, Netflix is slowly taking over everything. The signs have been there that Netflix was coming and it won’t be long until they’re here for everything you want to watch.