Tuesday, 26 July 2016

SDCC 2016 Roundup

The gigantic pop culture event that is San Diego Comic Con has wrapped for another year, leaving a deep pool of trailers, posters and revelations for fans of film, TV and general geekdom to pour over. 

It can be easy to miss something amongst the frenetic headlines and excitable Tweets so I've done the best I can to compile the big stories from the weekend in this nifty little roundup. Which news story from SDCC 2016 has got you most excited? Let's chat in the comments section down below!

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Larson dropped the news of her
Marvel casting with this cheeky tweet
Marvel debuted exclusive footage for both Spider-man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as well as showing off really awesome title treatments for Guardians, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnorok and Captain Marvel. They're all pretty cool, but Guardians has to be the best. That retro 80's vibe is seriously cool. Some concept art also confirmed that the Vulture is set to appear as the villain in Spider-man whilst the casting of Danai Gurira (Michonne from The Walking Dead) in Black Panther was confirmed.

A longer trailer for Doctor Strange gave us a better look at Benedict Cumberbatch's swirling costume, whilst the kaleidoscopic cityscapes that outdo Inception featured heavily in the action. The more stuff we see from this film, the better it looks.

However, the biggest headline from Marvel was that Oscar winner Brie Larson has been cast as Carol Danvers a.k.a Captain Marvel! It's a huge announcement as it starts to put together the building blocks of their first solo female superhero film. No word on who will be directing at the moment, but Larson is a popular choice and I've got no doubt in my mind that she is going to absolutely kill it.

Marvel's Netflix Shows

Marvel also laid out plans for their extensive array of Netflix shows that are set to debut in the next year or so. We already knew that Luke Cage was arriving this September (a trailer set to Wu-Tang gave us a first sneak peek - check it out below), but Marvel also detailed that Daredevil Season 3 will feature alongside Iron Fist in 2017. Once they're done, all three characters (and Jessica Jones!) will join forces for The Defenders, a shorter miniseries later in the year. The arrival date of Jessica Jones Season 2 is still TBA, but at this point 2018 is looking more likely.

DC Cinematic Universe

Wisdom and wonderment interweave
in the first poster for Wonder Woman
Another year, another huge push from DC to generate interest in their struggling cinematic universe. Let's break it down because it was definitely contrasting fortunes from my perspective.

First off, Suicide Squad. It comes out in a matter of weeks, but DC still felt the need to unfurl an even longer trailer than before. The movie looks awesome, but did we really have to see more? Still, I'm excited for this one.

Next up, Wonder Woman. The teaser poster (right) for Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman solo film is incredible. That's what this DCCU needs - colour. A sense of vibrancy and adventure. Give whoever put that poster together a pay rise. We also got a teaser trailer that introduced the dynamic between Diana and her beau Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). I'm liking the look of this film a lot - and not just because the historical setting is very reminiscent of The First Avenger. Well, maybe just a little. But also because it looks like fun! It looks like brighter territory for a series that insofar has been gloomy and grimdark.

On the flipside, I'm really not feeling the vibe of Justice League. The White Stripes track didn't meld well with the muted palette; it still feels like DC are just throwing shit at the wall to see what will stick. The dynamic between Batman and Wonder Woman looks interesting whilst Ezra Miller's version of The Flash looks like the real selling point right now. Aquaman? Eh, I've never been a fan of Momoa's casting. He just doesn't look like a bloke who has a name like Arthur Curry if you ask me...

The Killing Joke adaptation received its world premiere at SDCC, rocking the boat with a perplexing panel where screenwriter Brian Azzarello lost his cool after criticism from the audience. You can read more about my thoughts on the latest DC animated movie right here.

Trailers, trailers, trailers!

Prepare to go ape - King Kong
makes a comeback in Kong: Skull Island
The excitement wasn't confined to just Marvel and DC; Legendary Pictures brought a poster and teaser trailer for their big 2017 summer blockbuster, Kong: Skull Island. The film is set during the Vietnam War and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson and John Goodman. The film looks interesting, even if my initial reaction was tinged with slight annoyance that it looks like Legendary still have their hearts set on introducing a gigantic King Kong so that he can later go toe-to-toe with Godzilla.

I'm sure that sounds great on paper - but do we really need more crossover films or versus movies? What would the plot of a King Kong vs. Godzilla film even look like? Sigh.

A trailer for Guy Ritchie's new King Arthur movie (subtitled The Legend of the Sword) was unveiled. It looks terrible. It's not often that a trailer genuinely makes me recoil in horror, but this new King Arthur movie encapsulates everything that I hate about these newfangled dark reimaginings of classic characters. It looks like The Legend of Tarzan, but much, much worse.

Speaking of Tarzan, Warner Brothers also showed us an extended look at David Yates' next movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Look, I like Harry Potter. No, I LOVE Harry Potter. Those books (and movies) are incredibly important to me. This new movie looks just okay. I don't dig the cast (Colin Farrell? Ugh) and the American setting feels distinctly un-Potter to me. I'm going to reserve judgement for now, but Fantastic Beasts is gonna have to be damn good to win me over at this point.

In other TV news...

The CW dropped trailers for Arrow Season 5, The Flash Season 3 and Legends of Tomorrow Season 2. Flash looks great (Flashpoint confirmed!), Arrow some serious upheaval and I couldn't care less about Legends. The first season didn't grab me and I can't see myself returning to give it another stab anytime soon.

The first trailer for Season 4 of the BBC's Sherlock was screened whilst HBO did their usual thing and debuted a gag reel for the most recent season of Game of Thrones. Lastly, The Walking Dead teased their Season 7 premiere. They're very constrained with what they can showing following that dreadful cliffhanger but that final reveal - King Ezekiel of the Kingdom and his pet tiger Shiva - have rekindled my interest again.

Was there something major that I missed? Let me know all your SDCC related thoughts in the comments section below.

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