San Diego Comic Con isn’t just about comics. What makes it so big is the inclusion of studios bringing their next big blockbusters to the con to get some extra exposure. With that said, a handful of movies caught my eye that I wanted to give some impressions on. So, read on for our SDCC ’12 Movie Round Up!
First stop for us will be Marvel Studios. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, they are planning on a Guardians of the Galaxy movie featuring some of Marvel’s more obscure cosmic characters. Well, it’s more than just a rumor now as the above image gives us a date we can mark on our calendars! I’ve already said my peace about this movie and how much I think it could work as a mid-level success – if the mood and attitude is right.
Of course, there’s those other guys who made up some team of heroes called something like “The Avengers” or something? Anyway, I guess there have been other movies that led into that Avengers bomb? Nah, just kidding. Get ready for 2013 because Iron Man 3 is going to kick things off on the first weekend of May. The shining centerpiece at the Marvel booth this year was their collection of Iron Man armors and a new, mostly golden, suit. I’m not sure how I 100% feel about the lesser red on the new armor, but I will definitely say that the new armor looks sleeker.
Eyeing a November 18th release date in 2013 is a Thor sequel subtitled “The Dark World”. During Spike TV’s Friday coverage, it was confirmed that Zachary Levi (of Chuck fame) will be joining the Asgardian cast as Fandral the Dashing. If you ask me, I say he’d fit the part and his sense of humor should play well with the other Warriors Three. What does that mean for the other actors in the original movie? Not sure, but if I had to make some early guesses about the meaning of the subtitle, I don’t expect Thor to be doing much of anything on Earth. I have feeling we’ll be exploring more of the Nine Realms and really bringing in that much bigger world for the Asgardians.
Now, moving into the Spring of 2014, we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the follow up to the star-spangled Avenger’s 2011 movie. It would appear, by the subtitle, that with the first movie’s nod to the early days of Captain America from his Golden Age comics days, his sequel will pay much more homage to Ed Brubaker’s wonderful modern run. They left Bucky’s doom in the first movie nice and vague, despite each character making a not-untrue-assumption that he died. Now, it definitely looks like we’ll see Bucky return as the programmed, heartless, assassin “The Winter Soldier” (Whoops… Spoiler alert – Bucky’s still alive). With as good as the first go around was, I’m definitely ready for more Captain America movie action.
Finally, Marvel released a teaser image for the long-in-development movie Ant-Man. I would think we would see this in early 2015, if not the Summer. We know that Edgar Wright (of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim fame) has been attached to this project for years. Fans of Wright’s know that he isn’t one who likes to work on more than one project at a time, opting to completely wrap up the production, post-production, and marketing of a movie before going on to the next. With the news of Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it was finally reported that Wright had been working on test footage for this movie. Could this be the movie that directly leads into The Avengers 2? Hank Pym is one of the founding members of the team and with this likely to be released beyond 2014, one would think this will be the last Marvel Studios movie before an Avengers sequel. However, I’m not ruling out the possibility for it to be the first movie after an Avengers sequel either. If there’s anyway to score Nathan Fillion to play Hank, I wouldn’t be happier.
Warner Bros. had some DC movie news too. Yeah, remember that DC can make movies too? Anyway, with The Dark Knight Rises only a week away, it’s time to look to July 2013 for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Snyder told convention attendees about his goals for his Superman reboot and showed some footage that seemed to go over quite well. He talked about the challenge of making a Superman movie. He stated that he needed to find a way to make Superman less of the big blue boy scout placed on a pedestal beyond our reach. He came to the conclusion that he wanted to make this movie around the idea of what it would be like for us to be Superman. Personally, I love that approach. If he pulls this off, we might be in for a real treat.
I should add before we move away from the comic book movies that nothing more has been reported on any substantial level about Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s pursuit of a Justice League franchise as Marvel did with the Avengers. I doubt we will find anymore substantial info on this until after Man of Steel is released.
Disney didn’t allow Comic Con to pass with only Marvel Studios making some presentations. They brought some footage and held a panel for their 2013 Oz: The Great and Powerful movie. It’s based on one of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books and serves as a sort of prequel (at least in plot) to the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz. To talk about the film, Spider-Man alumni Sam Raimi was on hand with stars Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis. The movie also stars James Franco and Rachel Weisz and the footage shown not only looked like what we saw in the original classic, complete with yellow brick road and Emerald City, but looked like a stunning fantasy movie. Whether or not this is a standalone movie or will be the start of a new Oz series isn’t clear yet.
Raimi wasn’t the only comic book movie alumni to make a big splash at Comic Con this year. Guillermo del Toro also brought his newest movie, Pacific Rim, to talk about it. I can already tell you, I’ll be buying tickets for this flick. You have a world in which big monsters (kaiju if you will) are roaming about. To protect themselves, humans now pilot giant robots (mechs if you will) to take them down. Holy crud… This is going to be amazing. Giant monsters fighting each other. Giant robots fighting giant monsters. Probably giant robots fighting other giant robots. Wow. I cannot wait. There were some pictures released to the world as well. See below for the human soldiers preparing to go off to fight some monsters.
Not to be outdone by del Toro, the big movie moment for everyone who attended came at the Legendary presentation on Saturday. The head of Legendary made no prior announcement, opting for some teaser/test footage to say it all. We got to see a smashed city with destruction and suffering all around. Through the smoke we see a gigantic monster trudging its way through the wreckage. The trailer ended with one of the most famous monster cries ever – the roar of Godzilla.
I know, you might still have that really bad taste in your mouth from the disastrous 1998 Godzilla movie, but this, from all I could find out about it, will likely blast that abomination into nothingness. When director Gareth Edwards came out to talk more about it, he did warn the crowd that what they saw isn’t actual film footage of any kind. It was a lot of the test footage and won’t be used in the final product. He did, however, want to show the fans what they have been able to do in preparation to get Godzilla made and released in 2014 (which happens to be the big guy’s 60th birthday – by the release date of the original Gojira in Japan). I cannot wait to see more from this and actually get to see a proper Godzilla on the big screen. Also, isn’t it kinda funny how, for so long, we’ve tried to distance ourselves from giant monsters and robots and such only for now for it the giant monster/robot era is back with Pacific Rim dealing with giant monsters and having the humans get in giant mechanical suits. It’s a very good time for fans of giant monsters!
So… That just about does it for this check in to San Diego Comic Con 2012. Lines for movie tickets to the potential blockbusters start behind me!