ADAM OFFERS UP A PEEK AT A HANDFUL OF MUST-SEE 2017 SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON PRESENTATIONS!
Article by Adam Mast
San Diego Comic-Con is upon us! You’ve already seen articles about it from my partners in crime–Dan Bringhurst and Christian Navarrete– so I thought I’d get in on the action and offer up a little look at the 5 presentations I’m most excited for. These particular panels are being held in legendary Hall H and as expected, the majority of them are film-related.
Before getting to the list, it should be noted that there’s been a shift at the Con in the last few years. Television has become the dominant force in Hall H and in fact, there are only a few film studios on hand this year to share the goods in the Con’s biggest ballroom (No panel for THE LAST JEDI— Oh, the humanity!), but that’s okay, because there’s still plenty to get excited about at the convention this year.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the 5 presentations I’m most looking forward to at Comic-Con 2017;
Listen…Nobody brings the showmanship to Comic-Con International quite like the legendary studio that is Warner Brothers! I mean these guys put on an epic show! Of course, all the stars and amazing sound and visual quality don’t mean anything if you don’t have the right product to brag about, and Warner Brothers are certainly showing off some truly exciting stuff this year. We can expect a lot of surprises throughout this epic 2-hour presentation, but WB will be focusing on 3 titles specifically;
READY PLAYER ONE
That’s right! Steven Spielberg is expected to be on hand at Comic-Con for the first time since 2011’s THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN presentation. This is, no doubt, the biggest draw at the entire Con for me this year because I love me some Steven Spielberg! The Beard will be present to talk about his latest big screen venture, an adaptation of Ernest Cline‘s uber-popular novel, “Ready Player One.” Fans have yet to see a lick of footage from this movie meaning that this is going to be quite the epic exclusive.
And with any luck, perhaps during the Q & A, a courageous fan will muster up the courage to probe Spielberg for info on 2019’s new INDIANA JONES installment. Maybe that fan will be me! After all, I did work up the nerve to ask the celebrated director a question back in 2011. It was daunting to be sure–if you dare to ask a dumb question in Hall H, the 7,000 geek strong crowd is sure to eat you alive– but it ended up being the thrill of a lifetime for this lifelong Spielberg fan.
I fully expect the READY PLAYER ONE portion of the WB panel to be a presentation for the ages.
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Hot on the heals of a stunning brand new trailer, Warner Brothers is set to deliver more BLADE RUNNER 2049 greatness at Comic-Con! With any luck, attendees will be treated to new footage from the highly anticipated sequel. Will that footage be unveiled by way of a featurette or an actual sequence from the movie? That’s anybody’s guess. All I know is that whatever the studio has up its sleeve, it’s going to be spectacular. It’s also safe to say that Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Denis Villeneuve will be on hand to dish on what is looking to be quite a breathtaking vision of the future. It should also be noted that WB will be hosting an offsite BLADE RUNNER 2049 VR Experience at the Con this year!
No Warner Brothers Comic-Con shindig would be complete without a look at DC Entertainment. The question is, what is the mood going to be like during this portion of the presentation. Due to an unforeseen family tragedy, director Zack Snyder decided to step away from JUSTICE LEAGUE. WB brought in Joss Whedon to oversee reshoots and the overall completion of this highly anticipated all-star DC superhero opus. Will Snyder be in attendance? Will Whedon be on hand? No telling at this point, but it’s safe to say that members of the cast will be there and you can count on the studio dropping some epic new footage as well.
As is the case with Warner Brothers, Marvel Studios always brings the showmanship in a big way, and their panel at Comic-Con 2017 should be a little extra special because this increasingly popular studio is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary! Buzz out of Marvel’s recent D23 Expo presentation was through the roof but the primary focus at that Disney get together was AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
While it’s safe to say that Con attendees will be treated to the same INFINITY WAR footage that dropped at D23, fans can also expect exclusive new clips from THOR: RAGNAROK and BLACK PANTHER! There’s plenty of other cinematic goodies on Marvel’s horizon too, including ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and CAPTAIN MARVEL. And there’s also the little matter of Marvel’s massive PHASE IV slate.
Given that this is essentially going to be a big Marvel 10th anniversary party, I suspect the studio will be bringing a ton of special guests (hopefully, THOR: RAGNAROK director Taika Waititi and BLACK PANTHER director Ryan Coogler will be among them) and unloading plenty of big surprises!
“STRANGER THINGS” SEASON 2
Netflix has a huge presence at Comic-Con this year and this streaming service is totally worthy of it!
This nostalgia-laced throwback to the likes of 80s era Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King (with a little “X-Files” thrown in for good measure) took the world by storm when it debuted last year. For my money, this addictive series was everything J.J. Abrams‘ well-intentioned SUPER 8 aspired to be. This show was so popular, in fact, that it just bagged a handful of much-deserved Emmy nominations including one for Best Series and acting nods for David Harbour and young Millie Bobby Brown.
Expectations are sky high for Season 2, which is set to debut on October 27th! Perfect timing as the second season takes place during Halloween leaving room for even more John Carpenter-inspired winks.
Really though, “Stranger Things” is all about cast chemistry and it’ll be a pure joy spending more time with these engaging characters.
As for the “Stranger Things” panel itself, attendees can expect new footage from the upcoming season and hopefully, we’ll get answers to these thought provoking questions;
What will the focal point of Season 2 be? In what form will Eleven return? What’s up with the lack of love for Barb? And most importantly, what weird antics might Winona Ryder engage in once she hits the stage for the cast and crew Q & A?!
20TH CENTURY FOX
With plenty of the big studios sitting the Con out this year (I’m looking at you, Disney, Universal, Sony, Paramount, and Lucasfilm), this leaves the floodgates wide open to the studios who’ve decided to show off the goods to eager fans. One of these studios is 20th Century Fox. Fox will use its one hour block to showcase KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. Director Matthew Vaughn and “Kingsman” comic creator Mark Millar once again join forces to deliver a cheeky, high octane take on the spy and espionage thriller. The majority of the cast and crew is expected to attend, and you can bet Vaughn and his team will drop some new footage. And with THE GOLDEN CIRCLE only a couple of months from release, perhaps Fox will drop the gauntlet and host a surprise off-site screening of the film. You never can tell.
With KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE expected to be the centerpiece of this presentation, that doesn’t leave much time for anything else, but Fox has a pretty big slate and I’d be really surprised if they didn’t give us a brief taste of DEADPOOL 2.
Beyond that, Fox Searchlight has THE SHAPE OF WATER from the great Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro always brings the house down at Comic-Con! He’d be a most welcome addition to the party. Furthermore, the breathtaking trailer for this movie just debuted with WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, but it has yet to make its online premiere. Hall H would be a great place to see it.
Having said all of that, what I’d most like to see during this presentation, even if only a tiny taste, is a peek at Shane Black‘s THE PREDATOR which is currently in production for an August 2018 release. News on this movie has been relatively quiet as of late, but it has a great cast, an iconic central character, and a genius writer/director at the helm. Come on, Fox! Give us some PREDATOR!
David Lynch at Comic-Con? Yes, please!!
Fittingly, this “Twin Peaks” presentation is being referred to as “A Damn Good Panel.” How great is that!
Now, admittedly I have yet to see a new episode of the series (I know, I have no excuse!) but I have seen the original episodes as well as TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, plus I consider myself quite the David Lynch fan, in general! In particular, I love ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET, WILD AT HEART, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, and THE STRAIGHT STORY, and I count Lynch’s THE ELEPHANT MAN among the greatest movies ever made!
This panel is all about “Twin Peaks” though, and with any luck, this presentation will be every bit as wild, quirky, and surreal as the show that inspired it!
*Sidenote: As a bonus, Lynch and crew will drop an advance screening of “Twin Peaks” Episode 11 at the Con!
Of course, Hall H is just the tip of the Comic-Con iceberg! There are literally 100’s of panels and events happening throughout the convention center over the course of five exciting days. Amongst them;
GHOSTBUSTERS 101, A LOOK AT “WONDERSTRUCK,” A LOOK AT “BRIGSBY BEAR,” 1987: THE GREATEST GEEK YEAR EVER, SHOUT AND SCREAM FACTORY, SCREEN JUNKIES/HONEST TRAILERS, REINVENTING HORROR, THE VISUAL ARTISTS BEHIND “WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES,” NERDIST WITH CHRIS HARDWICK, WOMEN WHO KICK ASS: CHARLIZE THERON EDITION, and an advance screening of “ATOMIC BLONDE.”
And the list goes on and on and on…
On a final note, the best part of Comic-Con is simply hanging around and talking to like-minded individuals and there certainly won’t be any shortage of that at the Con this year.
Be sure to watch for our daily updates from San Diego Comic-Con as we experience this epic event first hand!
2017 Comic-Con International runs from July 19th-July 23rd in San Diego, CA. For a look at the entire programming lineup, CLICK HERE!