COMIC-CON

Eleven movies it was worth stay­ing in Hall H for at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con

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We brave the San Diego nerd-funk to bring you the lat­est movie news.

There’s so much to do at San Diego Comic-Con that you could cre­ate ap­prox­i­mately 34 clones of your­self and still not see it all. But one of the high­lights is al­ways the Hall H pan­els, where Hol­ly­wood comes to show its wares, so we took ad­van­tage of the most sav­age air con­di­tion­ing in the city to check out the big-screen high­lights of this year’s Con…

Dc mOVies

With Mar­vel ab­sent, it was left to DC to de­liver the su­per­hero goods, and it didn’t dis­ap­point. The big­gest sur­prise came in the form of Won­der Woman 1984, with Patty Jenk­ins, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine bring­ing fresh footage from next year’s se­quel ex­clu­sively to Hall H af­ter just three-and-a-half weeks of filming. The brief glimpse fea­tured Won­ders us­ing her lasso of truth to save a young girl from two armed goons in an ’80s shop­ping mall, be­fore sprint­ing down the street at su­per speed. Plot de­tails were thin on the ground, but Jenk­ins did ex­plain the rad­i­cal new set­ting, rea­son­ing, “It re­ally was mankind at its best and worst… so there was no bet­ter time to see Won­der Woman in a pe­riod of time that’s re­ally us at our most ex­treme.” Colour us ex­tremely ex­cited. Next up: Shazam!, one of the Con’s big­gest treats. Star­ring Chuck’s Zachary Levi as the al­ter-ego of Billy Bat­son, a 14-year-old who can turn into a Su­per­man-strong hero by ut­ter­ing the tit­u­lar magic word, the first trailer re­vealed a film with warmth, hu­mour and heart – el­e­ments largely ab­sent from the DCEU to date. “Sto­ries like this are al­ways nec­es­sary, sto­ries that are full of hope and op­ti­mism and wish ful­fil­ment,” said Levi, who has bulked up since his Buy More days. Helmed by David F Sand­berg (Lights Out), Shazam! has a premise we can all re­late to. “Not only does he be­come an adult,” Sand­berg ex­plained. “But he learns what it’s like to be a su­per­hero.” He­roes, it seems, come in all shapes and sizes. Fi­nally, af­ter ap­pear­ances in Bat­man V Su­per­man and Jus­tice League, Ja­son Mo­moa brought a first look at Aqua­man to Comic-Con along­side direc­tor James Wan. The trailer es­tab­lished an en­tic­ing un­der­wa­ter world, with Wan de­scrib­ing the film as not your “tra­di­tional su­per­hero movie”, but one that “plays more like a science-fic­tion fan­tasy film”. Even more ex­cit­ing was five min­utes of ex­clu­sive footage, in­clud­ing Arthur and Am­ber Heard’s Mera ex­plor­ing a lost At­lantean tomb for his trident, Black Manta purs­ing the pair across the rooftops of a Mediter­ranean town and a glimpse of Aqua­man in a comic-book-faith­ful gold and green cos­tume. As co-star Pa­trick Wil­son de­clared, “[DC] put all their faith in James, and he re­ally de­liv­ered.” Af­ter some stum­bles, DC might just be back on track. 14 De­cem­ber 2018 (Aqua­man) 5 April 2019 (Shazam!) 15 Novem­ber 2019 (Won­der Woman)

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MON­STERS

Wher­ever you stand on Gareth Ed­wards’s

Godzilla (2014), we can all agree there wasn’t enough Big G. Michael Dougherty’s se­quel changes all that by pit­ting the atomic lizard against a trea­sure trove of Toho ti­tans, in­clud­ing Ro­dan and King Ghi­do­rah. There’s also Mothra, a winged god­dess with a “re­ally in­ter­est­ing con­nec­tion” to 14-year-old Madi­son Rus­sell, ac­cord­ing to Mil­lie Bobby Brown (aka Stranger Things’ Eleven). But who needs hu­mans when such an epic multi-mon­ster show­down is on the cards? “I didn’t grow up see­ing them as gi­ant mon­sters that trash cities; I was ob­sessed with the mythol­ogy of it too,” says Dougherty. “I thought this was an op­por­tu­nity to make a movie that showed all our sto­ries about sea mon­sters and dragons aren’t myth, they’re his­tory.” The first sci­ence­fac­tion mon­ster movie? You heard it here first. ETA 31 may 2019

FAN­TAS­TIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDEL­WALD

If the first Fan­tas­tic Beasts merely dipped its toe into the best-known as­pects of the Pot­ter-verse, se­quel The Crimes Of Grindel­wald is dou­bling down on JK Rowl­ing’s Wiz­ard­ing World with a re­turn trip to Hog­warts fea­tur­ing the mag­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment’s le­gendary fu­ture head­mas­ter. “You’ve got to re­mem­ber the Dum­ble­dore we all know and love is al­most 100 years older,” said Law, the 45-year-old dubbed “hot” Dum­ble­dore by cer­tain quar­ters. “He’s still mis­chievous, he has a way of in­flu­enc­ing peo­ple, and he’s got se­crets.” There’s also the small mat­ter of Johnny Depp’s Grindel­wald, the dark wizard Ed­die Red­mayne’s beast-buddy Newt Sca­man­der is tasked with hunt­ing down, who put the fear of God into Hall H with an in-char­ac­ter ap­pear­ance. “There’s a lot at stake, it’s very much a ‘whose side are you on story’,” Law con­tin­ued. “The depths and the dark­ness in this story are pos­si­bly the dark­est that this world has plumbed be­fore.” 16 Novem­ber 2018

VenOm

Mar­vel Stu­dios may have been miss­ing in ac­tion, but that doesn’t mean Mar­vel movies were com­pletely ab­sent from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Lead­ing the charge was Venom, the Spidey-verse an­ti­hero, and soon-to-be star of his own solo feature, whose Hall H panel re­vealed the film’s comic book in­spi­ra­tions (“We stay pretty close to the Lethal Pro­tec­tor,” said star Tom Hardy), its pri­mary vil­lain (host-hop­ping sym­biote Riot) and its se­quel prospects (“We’re def­i­nitely plan­ning a huge world with this Venom story,” said direc­tor Ruben Fleis­cher). The panel also ad­dressed the spi­der-shaped ele­phant in the room: will Tom Hol­land’s web-slinger swing by? “I think we an all agree it would be pretty amaz­ing to see Spi­der-Man and Venom face off in a film,” said Fleis­cher, con­firm­ing or deny­ing pre­cisely noth­ing. “I have to think the stu­dio’s think­ing the same way and, at some point down the road, they’re go­ing to run across each other’s paths.” Our Spidey Sense is tin­gling… ETA 5 Oc­to­ber 2018

HaL­LOWeen

“You can’t kill the Boogey­man,” we were told in the orig­i­nal Hal­loween 40 years ago, and that’s cer­tainly true of Michael My­ers. Luck­ily, his neme­sis Lau­rie Strode is also re­mark­ably re­silient – de­spite the fact she died in 2002’s Hal­loween: Res­ur­rec­tion, she’s back in a fol­low-up that boasts the in­volve­ment of one John Car­pen­ter.

“She has car­ried the PTSD of some­one who’s been at­tacked ran­domly,” star Jamie Lee-Cur­tis told Hall H. “The nar­ra­tive of my life is not that vic­tim and this is a woman who’s been wait­ing 40 years to face the per­son she knows is com­ing back.”

The panel took an emo­tional turn dur­ing the au­di­ence Q&A when a fan re­vealed that Hal­loween had saved his life when an in­truder en­tered his house.

“That kind of emo­tion is real,” said Cur­tis. “We come to a movie to get scared… but it has to be based in a re­al­ity and some­thing you can be­lieve in. The re­al­ity of life is what makes step­ping into a role 40 years later easy.” ETA 19 Oc­to­ber 2018

tHe LegO mOVie 2: tHe sec­OnD part

Back in 2014, ev­ery­thing was awe­some. A lot can change in four years. “Bricks­burg has be­come Apoclypse-burg. It’s a heck­ish place to live,” said Lego Movie 2 co-writer Chris Miller. Amid the on­go­ing Du­plo in­va­sion, mys­te­ri­ous space trav­eller Sweet May­hem abducts Em­met’s friends, forc­ing the hap­less minifig on an in­ter­ga­lac­tic mis­sion to save them. Thank­fully, Em­met has as­sis­tance in the shape of Rex Danger­vest – a “gal­axy-de­fend­ing ar­chae­ol­o­gist, cow­boy, rap­tor trainer”, and typ­i­cally ir­rev­er­ent send-up of Chris Pratt’s own Juras­sic World char­ac­ter Owen Grady. But it isn’t all belly laughs. Just as the first film had a poignant mes­sage about cre­ativ­ity ver­sus con­form­ity at its heart, The Sec­ond Part is putting hu­mour and emo­tion on equal foot­ing. “We wanted to tell a story about comb­ing two dif­fer­ent imag­i­na­tions,” said co-writer Phil Lord. “And that it’s like go­ing to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent uni­verse. Look, it’s a metaphor, you guys.” Rest as­sured, ev­ery­thing is awe­some once again. ETA 8 Fe­bru­ary 2019

Post­pon­ing their “who’s the bet­ter Chris?” ar­gu­ment for a nice photo. The best thing about Shazam: his light-up chest.

Giv­ing Godzilla a nose­bleed was harder than it looked. Aqua­man was the cham­pion of the wave ma­chine.

Their at­tempts to ‘act nat­u­ral’ weren’t very con­vinc­ing.

Michael My­ers: getting way too old for this shit.

Venom seemed chill about hav­ing a knife stuck in his eye.

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