San Diego Comic-Con is upon us!
Today’s the first official day of the four-day presentation that takes control of San Diego, to the delight of millions of genre fans around the world. Most of us either want to be here to experience all the cosplay, celebrity sightings, and nerd news in person at the San Diego Convention Center, or we’re glued to our screens to see all the action from back home.
Studios bring most of their blockbuster film panels to the notorious Hall H, the convention’s biggest room. Stars and directors talk about their projects to thousands of adoring fans, and reporters gobble up the news.
Here are two things you can expect from Saturday’s Hall H panel when it comes to movies.
1. A Confident Fox Studios Presentation
Fox skipped Hall H last year, so fans didn’t get to see any promotion for X-Men: Apocalypse or Fantastic Four, but Fox is showing up this year to rectify that, presumably because they have more faith in their content this time. Last summer, X-Men: Apocalypse’s director, Bryan Singer, had a potentially career-ending sex abuse scandal to deal with, so both he and Fox were probably uncomfortable parading him out before a possibly judgmental public (that’s why Singer sat out promotion for his previous X-Men film, Days of Future Past). Apocalypse was also way too early in development for Fox to have anything to show off so early. As for Fantastic Four, the film had been dogged by mountains of bad press from the beginning. People knew very little about the movie’s plot or tone, and they were uneasy about some of the casting choices. Twenty-something Miles Teller was playing superhero scientist Mr. Fantastic, who’s a seasoned older man in comics with gray streaks in his hair, and African-American Michael B. Jordan was playing the Human Torch, whose comic book counterpart is Caucasian. Negative buzz was fierce, but much of it went away after an intriguing teaser trailer circulated online that seemed to promise that a thoughtful sci-fi thriller was on its way. People have warmed to Fantastic Four a bit, and charges against Singer were dropped, so things may be on the upswing for the Fox films.
2. Warner Bros. Unveils the Justice League–with the Suicide Squad and Friends (We Hope)
Both Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad are eagerly anticipated films, but until recently, Warner Bros. hadn’t shown much footage or many images from either production because it was too early. In 2014, Dawn of Justice’s director, Zack Snyder, brought out Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), and unveiled a few production photos, but that was about it. And David Ayer’s Suicide Squad hadn’t even started filming yet. Fast forward to today, and we’ve seen one Dawn of Justice teaser, and we know that Jason Momoa’s playing Aquaman, and Ezra Miller may appear in the film as the Flash. Suicide Squad began filming this year, and the studio’s been generous with production photos and stills, and that notorious Jared Leto as Joker magazine photo shoot. Saturday’s the perfect chance for Warner’s to trot out all or most of their cinematic Justice League and Suicide Squad–along with more footage from both films–and the crowd will go wild. Batman v. Superman in particular’s faced a lot of cynicism from critics and fans alike, but a plentiful Hall H showing could reverse some or all of that sentiment, especially if the footage is well-received.