Pop cul­ture ex­trav­a­ganza

We round up our favourite an­nounce­ments from last week’s Comic-Con In­ter­na­tional.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By MICHAEL CHEANG en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

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:

Net­flix nexus

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.

DC dizzi­ness

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.

Mar­vel magic

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.

Eight­ies nos­tal­gia

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

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