This past weekend one of the biggest conglomeration of nerds, geeks, pop culture enthusiasts, comic book buffs, and cosplay champions took place at the annual Comic Con International in San Diego, Calif.
Coming into SDCC 2013, there was a lot of hype and suspense surrounding the big two of the comic book world, Marvel and DC, and what big reveals they would be bringing to the convention. The two franchises definitely did not disappoint with the announcement of new solo movies for some of the most iconic superheroes in their respective universes, and sequels for already established blockbusters.
First out of the gate, Marvel updated fans on the progress of previously revealed movies, such as “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014). On Saturday, a panel for GOTG included nearly all of the members of the cast, including Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Zoe Saldana (Gamora). The first film footage of GOTG was also premiered, and was described by a fan at SDCC on comicbookmovie.com as having “plenty of laughs and action.” Props for the movie were also on display, including Star-Lord’s helmet, Drax’s knives, and the Nova Corpsmen suits.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which will be based off the 1980s comic arc of the same name, will take place after 2011’s “X-Men: First Class.” It will also feature characters and actors from the first X-Men trilogy, including Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Halle Berry (Storm), and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine). The DOFP panel also revealed new mutants that will be appearing in the film, including Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, and fan favorite Bishop, played by Omar Sy. When asked if Deadpool would be making an appearance in DOFP, Director Bryan Singer said he will not be in this movie, but there is a possibility he will appear in future X-Men movies.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” panel was a fun one, featuring Andrew Garfield dressed in full wall-crawler attire, and it also featured one of the coolest villain intro videos ever, featuring Jamie Foxx as Electro. Director Marc Webb, along with Garfield, Foxx, and Dane DeHaan, who will be playing Harry Osborn, were in attendance to answer fans’ questions. Footage of the film was premiered at the panel as well.
The biggest surprise of the convention for Marvel fans, however, came from Director Joss Whedon and his plans for the upcoming Avengers sequel. Whedon revealed the title of the sequel as “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” dispelling all rumors of the Mad Titan Thanos appearing in the film. The inclusion of Ultron as the main villain is odd, since Joss Whedon has also confirmed that Ultron’s creator, Hank Pym (Ant-Man/Giant Man) will not be appearing in the sequel. Whedon has said that the movie will be an origin story of Ultron and will not follow the events of the recent comic arc of the same name.
DC also had a lot to reveal at SDCC, announcing both a solo Flash movie set for 2016 and a Justice League movie set for 2017. Neither movie seems to have a writer or director set as of yet, and are both in the very early stages of development.
But arguably the biggest announcement of the entire convention was that of a Batman/Superman movie, helmed by Zack Snyder and set for a 2015 release. Originally, Snyder had revealed there were already plans for a Man of Steel sequel, but no one seemed to have predicted the sequel would include the Dark Knight. The biggest challenge for this movie will be finding a suitable replacement for Batman, following the success of Christian Bale’s portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s insanely popular Dark Knight Trilogy. There’s no word yet if the new Bruce Wayne has been selected, but here’s hoping whoever is selected will be able to fulfill the title of the World’s Finest.
With these new solo movie announcements, it seems as if Warner Bros. and DC are choosing to take the route of Marvel and introduce a plethora of solo franchises before bringing them all together for one big blockbuster movie.
As far as scoreboards go, I have to side with Marvel for taking SDCC to town with all their huge announcements and film footage, but DC definitely had the biggest announcement of the convention. With “Star Wars VII,” “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man,” “Batman/Superman,” and “Jurassic Park IV” all coming out in 2015, you can bet it’s going to be a great year for blockbuster movies.