Pop culture extravaganza
We round up our favourite announcements from last week’s Comic-Con International.
IS it just us or were the announcements and revelations coming out from this year’s Comic-Con International at San Diego (SDCC) a little, well, underwhelming?
Sure, we had the usual DC vs Marvel battle at the Con’s biggest space, Hall H, as the two superhero franchise giants once more showcased some of their biggest upcoming movies.
But with the likes of Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm being relatively low-key this year, there was a distinct lack of earthshattering announcements this year.
Still, Comic-Con being Comic-Con, there were still plenty for us pop culture fanboys to get excited about. Here are some of the more notable ones:
Comic-Con has been the domain of the big movie studios of late, but this year saw a shift in power of sorts.
This marks the year television took over Comic-Con, with shows from Warner TV (Supergirl, Gotham, The Flash, Arrow etc), HBO’s Game Of Thrones and Westworld, and of course, The Walking Dead commanding just as much attention as the superheroes and blockbusters.
At this year’s Comic-Con, however, it was Netflix who came out with guns blazing, with new trailers for the highly-anticipated Stranger Things Season 2, Star Trek: Discovery (starring Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh!) and Marvel’s The Defenders.
The network also premiered original film Death Note (an adaptation of the Japanese manga/anime) and also showed off big-budgeted original film Bright, directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad), and starring Will Smith as a cop in a world where humans co-exist with supernatural beings like fairies, trolls and elves.
When the first Justice League trailer was released earlier this year, our anticipation level was somewhere between wow to meh. It looked great, sure, but there didn’t seem to be much ... soul to it.
Last Saturday, a new trailer was released and this one looks a lot more promising.
There’s more colour and light, more Wonder Woman (all thanks to her having the biggest box-office haul of any DC film so far), and more banter as well.
We get to see villain Steppenwolf for the first time, and more of Aquaman and Cyborg too.
Still, it’s Ezra Miller’s The Flash who gets the coolest scenes and the best lines in the trailer.
Consider our anticipation level upgraded to wow.
Since Disney had already pulled out their big guns like Star Wars and Pixar projects at their D23 Expo two weeks ago, it was up to Marvel Studios to end Comic-Con with their usual big bang.
With Thor: Ragnarok coming out this November, it was no surprise that much of the Hall H panel’s focus was on that film.
A new trailer was shown, featuring more dastardly Hela (Cate Blanchett) evil-ness, a team-up featuring Thor, Hulk, Valkyrie and Loki (yay!), some amusing chit-chat between Thor and Hulk (yes, Hulk talks!), and best of all, Hulk in the process of smashing major Thor villain Surtur!
Other films that got the Hall H treatment were Captain Marvel (a first look at Brie Larsson in costume, as well as the revelation that the Skrulls will be the villains in this one) and Black Panther, for which an exclusive trailer was also shown to attendees (we’ll probably have to wait a while to see that online).
Oh, and there’s the little announcement that Catwoman, we mean, Michelle Pfeiffer will be playing Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a. the original Wasp, in Ant-Man And The Wasp.
As for news on Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel showed the same trailer they debuted at D23, as well as a new poster which shows off a bearded Captain America and a blonde Black Widow.
Compared to previous years when it almost brought the roof of Hall H down when the Batman V Superman movie was announced, Warner Bros’ panel this year didn’t quite raise the same level of hype.
Besides the DC films
(Aquaman, Justice League ),WB also highlighted two upcoming films – Blade Runner 2049, and the Steven Spielberg-helmed
Ready Player One.
The latter is the one that really got us excited.
Based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same title, it is set in a virtual reality world called the Oasis, where players search for an Easter egg that will give them an enormous fortune left by Oasis’s founder.
And since the founder was a child of the 1980s, Oasis is choke-full of references to that decade and more – ranging from the Delorean from Back To The Future, Tron, Freddy Krueger and even The Iron Giant from Brad Bird’s 1999 movie.
With pop culture icons like The Iron Giant popping up in the virtual reality world of the Oasis, Spielberg’s Ready Player One looks like it is going to be a real nostalgic trip.
Marvel debuts a new poster for Avengers: Infinity War at Comic-Con. Cap is definitely rocking that beard. — Photos: Handouts