It’s that time of the year again, folks! San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is upon us and once again California’s favourite convention centre has become the proverbial Jerusalem to the world of geekdom everywhere. It’s that special time for cosplayers to strut their stuff, media panels to engage with their fans and grown-ass adults to buy some limited edition figurines. But most importantly, it is a key moment for major studios to unveil to the world what they have in store for us. Some of the biggest film and TV series reveals were made at SDCC’s. The Avengers, Batman v. Superman and The Dark Knight just to name a few. But it’s not all comic book films, these announcements can range from popular series reboots to new geeky properties that’ll be heading our way. This year is no different. If you haven’t gotten all caught up with the news at SDCC, don’t worry about it cause we’ve got you covered. So get your calendars out and ready to be cautiously optimistic because here are ten of the most exciting reveals made this year at Comic Con!
All the way back since September 2017, director James Wan promised a vision of Aquaman as “Star Wars underwater”. Boasting unique water physics, cool Atlantean weapons and interesting new characters in the DCEU or should I say Worlds of DC (yes it’s weird but it’s what they’re officially calling the franchise). At Con, we finally got a chance to see Mamoa in action with an official trailer for Aquaman released. And I have got to say that I am pumped to see what DC is doing here. The film seems to be drawing heavy inspirations from one of the best Aquaman story arcs, “Throne of Atlantis. In the arc, we see Arthur Curry return to Atlantis to claim his birthright from his half brother Orm, all while preventing an all out war with the surface world.
In the trailer, we get to see Orm in all of his self-righteous glory, played by Patrick Wilson, duelling with Momoa’s Aquaman for the right the rule and menacingly declaring war on the surface world. We also get a good look one of Aquaman’s most iconic villain, Black Manta. It certainly looks like DC has upped the scale here with oceanic battles between shark-mounted cavalry and warbred sea monsters galore. Could this be DC’s answer to Marvel’s Black Panther? Only time will tell. Aquaman will be making a splash at your local theatre on 20 December 2018.
Finally, a little ray of sunshine in the ever dark and brooding world of DC. Or should I say a flash of lightning? Last weekend, Warner Bros’ released a full-length trailer for Worlds of DC’s Shazam. For the uninitiated, Shazam is a superhero who inherits his power from a wizard that allows Billy Batson, a young boy to become a full grown magical adult who wields the powers of six gods. But only if Billy yells the word “SHAZAM”. The trailer here seems to be faithful to the light and fun tone that fans of the comics have come to know and love.
The kid part of Shazam is played by the relatively obscure teen actor Asher Angel while Zachary Levi, known for his work in the TV series Chuck, will be playing Batson’s adult counterpart. Shazam is sure to add to DC’s growing magical universe, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman having mythical elements in their respective films. Though, not necessarily as world ending as its more serious peers. The trailer has Shazam up to all sorts of antics from trying out his new powers on camera to using his lightning powers to charge people’s phones, to making off with a bounty of snacks after foiling a convenient shop robbery. Who says the adults are the only ones with all the power? Well, technically he is sort of a man-child hybrid…but still! Shazam will be zapping into theatres in April 2019.
Since the death of Futurama and deteriorating quality of The Simpsons, fans of both series have been looking for something to replace that Bender-shape hole in our hearts. Thank the great Atheismo though cause this year at SDCC, creator Matt Groening has announced his new medieval cartoon series, Disenchantment. Moving away from the suburban insanity of Springfield and the sci-fi silliness of New New York, Groening’s new show takes place in the magical world of Dreamland. We follow the misadventures of one alcoholic princess Bean alongside her elf friend, Elfo and a demon name Luci as she seeks to get away from the life her father King Zog has planned for her.
Based on the trailer, it seems Groening and team will be taking a jab at spoofing popular fantasy tropes and the genre itself. The series will be distributed through Netflix, meaning the many creative restrictions that studios in the past have placed on Groening will lifted. I for one can’t wait to see how the man will push the envelope with Disenchantment. Groening’s shows have always been known for their memorable characters, impeccable comic timing and sizzling social commentary. Look out Rick and Morty, the king is back! You can check the first ten episodes Disenchantment on Netflix on the August 17.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass trailer
DC and Marvel better make way cause here comes the Shyamalanverse. In this day and age, comic book films are the status quo with at least 4 coming out every year. But perhaps famous twist director M.Night Shyamalan may be the one to shake things up in the genre. In 2016, we had our collective minds blown when we found that the film Split was in the same universe as another one of Shyamalan’s films, Unbreakable. Only at the end did moviegoers realize that we’re only watching a psychological thriller, we were watching a supervillain origin story! Oh Shyamalan, you and your twists.
At SDCC, Universal Studios finally gave us our first look into the Shyamalanverse with a trailer for their new film Glass. Picking up after the events of Split, the trailer sees the former security guard, David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) from Unbreakable go against the deranged, multi-personality manipulating Kevin Wendell Crumb from Split. All while the mysterious Mr Glass (performed by Samuel L. Jackson) controls events from behind the scenes. Glass’ uniquely realistic take on superhumans has us excited to see how the comic book film genre can be explored through the lens of the horror-thriller genre. The film also isn’t afraid to play around with ambiguity for the sake of asking interesting questions. Are these three men truly comic book superhumans or are they just ordinary people who have tapped into extraordinary parts of themselves? Find out in January 2019.
Godzilla: King of Monsters trailer
Kaijus are making a comeback baby! God knows we need it after the disappointing sequel to Del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Last Saturday, Warner Bros. dropped a brand spanking new trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Set to be a sequel of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla and at the end of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, the film sees the gargantuan Godzilla meeting up with some familiar friends and foes from the monster’s long history. So far the confirmed appearances in the trailer are the pterodactyl-esque fire breather Rodan, the majestic butterfly behemoth Mothra and the demonic three headed dragon, King Ghidorah. The specifics on the relationship between the four kaijus are unclear at the moment. Though historically Godzilla has teamed up with Mothra and Rodan to take down King Ghidorah.
The trailer also prominently features Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell and Vera Farmiga as Dr Emma Russell. Mother and daughter must help the enigmatic agency known as Monarch find a way to resolve the conflict between the beasts while keeping humanity still on the chess board when all is said and done. The trailer paints the film in an almost wondrous sort of way, depicting the beasts as sentient forces of nature in lieu of mindless beasts. Let’s hope this sombre and clear-minded approach the film is taking to its rich subject matter includes a lot of giant monster ass-whooping as well. Godzilla: King of Monsters comes roaring in March 2019.
The Dragon Prince teaser trailer
It’s been four years since the final episode of The Legend of Korra and the last time we’ve experienced the element bending mystics of the four elements. The Avatar TV series has become a landmark in the world of animated shows. It’s tasteful and brilliant use of Eastern cultures and folklore and its colourfully complex cast of characters had touched a generation. Now however, the head writer and director of the renowned series heads to the West with a trailer for a brand new Netflix animated series, The Dragon Prince. The show revolves around two human princes and an elfin assassin going on an adventure to bring peace to a kingdom at war.
With elves, knights, dragons and magic, The Dragon Prince promises high flying fantasy adventure with a more traditionally European mythos. Though the themes of the show do feel somewhat reminiscent of Avatar’s, namely the idea of a group of friends bringing balance to a world at war. This time around, the animation is done via computer animation instead of the traditional 2D animated styles the team has done in the past. An early review by IGN has already declared the series a rousing success with 9.0 out of 10. For the rest of us however, we’ll have to wait till it drops on September 14. Boy is it an exciting time to be a Netflix subscriber.
Clone Wars Season 7 trailer
While Rebels had earned its place in the hearts of some diehard Clone Wars fans and newcomers alike, much closure was needed since the latter’s cancellation in 2013. So you can imagine fans’ reactions this year at SDCC when they saw the trailer for Clone Wars Season 7. It opened with a row of Clone Trooper helmets lined on the ground before blown up as the screen cuts to a line reading “A war was left unfinished. Until now.” Serving as a prequel to the events of Revenge of the Sith, Clone Wars filled fans of the franchise in on the war that we never got to see after Attack of the Clones.
What made the series so special was the care and attention that went into chronicling the lives of the clone troopers. If the trailer is anything to go on, season 7 will once again be honoring that spirit. We also see Anakin reuniting with his old apprentice Ahsoka, who departed from her master at the end of Season 5. There’s so much potential for this season with so many questions that series has yet to answer. One thing that I’ll be happy to report is that there will be a war between the Mandalorians and Clone Troopers. Will we see Maul return though this season? I guess we’ll have to find when the first 12 episodes are made exclusively available on Disney Streaming Service next fall.
Some updates on the Joker
Not to be confused with the Leto version from Suicide Squad, we’ll be getting a Joker origin film under the label of DC’s alternate lineup of films, DC Dark/Black, starring Joaquin Phoenix. One thing to note is that while DC is currently developing six films starring the Joker (yes, count ‘em six), Joaquin’s Joker is part of the main canon. In fact, the film is set in the 1980’s and will the story revolving around how a failed comedian becomes the infamous clown prince of crime. The details that have released about the film reveals very little about the clown’s archenemy or plan. Rather it offers strange details about his dying mother and how he meets a single mother. Also apparently his real name is Arthur Fleck.
Warner Bros. is certainly taking a gamble here, in their attempt of offering a newer and bolder films that aren’t necessarily tied to down to larger franchises. At SDCC, comic book writer and DC aficionado implore fans to give the film a chance and that we should be open to the concept of multiple Joker films. This daring new take on comic book films will be making its way to theatres in October 2019. Only then will we know if DC’s unorthodox method of filmmaking is secretly brilliant or just plain mad. Either way, we can’t wait to find out.
Wonder Woman 1984 (comic con only footage)
When Wonder Woman came out in 2017, it was a runaway hit for Warner Bros. who desperately needed a win after Batman v. Superman. Diana of Themyscira, played by the charismatic Gal Gadot, seemed to have saved the DC cinematic universe. Once more, the Amazonian will be called upon in an upcoming sequel to Wonder Woman known as Wonder Woman 1984 (WW 1984). The audience at SDCC had the rare opportunity of watching exclusive footage of WW 1984. The footage apparently included Diana in her full gear, saving the day at the mall by apprehending two gunmen with her trusty lasso of truth.
Surprisingly, Chris Pine will be once again reprising his role as Steve Trevor, a World War 1 pilot who seemingly died in the first film. The film is set in the Cold War, pitting the warrior princess against the might of the Soviet Union. She will also be battling her iconic feline fiend Cheetah played by Kristen Wiig. How the avatar of the Cheetah God will come into play with the global conflict in WW 1984 is still unknown. What we do know for sure is that it WW 1984 will be in theatres around November 2019. Boy, DC sure has been awfully busy of late!
Young Justice: Outsiders trailer
For many of us, Young Justice was the Justice League Unlimited of the 2010’s. That is until it was cancelled in 2013. Set in a universe populated with all of our favourite comic book characters, the two seasons of Young Justice followed the adventures of Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Martian Girl and Superboy as they did battle with a cabal powerful supervillains, alien race and even the freaking Justice League. Warner Bros. hearing the cries of fans everywhere answered the call and in 2016 began production on a third season to show, Young Justice: Outsiders. This year at SDCC, we finally got a trailer to that long anticipated season.
This time around, we see the team on a mission to uncover a secret metahuman trafficking ring, that has been abducting the youth of the fictional country Markovia. In the trailer, we see the New God Orion making an appearance. It is suspected that his appearance is linked to the ending of season 2 when the immortal Vandal Savage is seen making a deal with Darkseid. Strangely, We have yet to see the Outsiders make an appearance in the trailer safe for one of its founding members, Metamorpho. New Gods! New teams! A new season! All set to be released early 2019 on DC’s exclusive streaming service DC Universe.
There you have it, ten of our most anticipated films and TV series that were announced at SDCC 2018. We’ll back again with another list come 2019. Same time, different year.
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