SPECIAL Movie Report: Recapping Comic-Con 2018

Despite heavy hitters like Star Wars and Marvel not appearing at this year’s Comic-Con, the annual event still stormed the industry this week with plenty of movie news.

DC

This year’s Comic-Con was practically dominated by Warner Bros., with its partner DC putting out plenty of material during its presentation.

One of the major panels was for Aquaman, where cast and crew were invited on stage and a trailer debuted.

According to Screen Rant, during the panel, Director James Wan said “I wanted our film to be more unique. So my movie plays more like a science fiction fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie.”

Aquaman
The cast and director of “Aquaman” appear on stage. Courtesy DC Film Hub.

Along with “Aquaman,” the Warner Bros. segment also had time for fellow DC superhero Wonder Woman.

In another presentation, Director Patty Jenkins and performers Chris Pine and Gal Gadot appeared together on stage to talk about the upcoming “Wonder Woman 1984” and show some exclusive footage.

wonderwoman
Jenkins, Pine and Gadot on stage for the new “Wonder Woman” film. Courtesy Total Film.

In the footage Ethan Anderton of Slash Film reports that Wonder Woman, played again by Gadot, tries to stop two armed gunmen in a mall. She breaks both of their guns and lassos them together. The footage is a very brightly colored sequence.

While on stage, Jenkins said the character Steve Trevor will be back, but didn’t reveal how. The character, played by Pine, supposedly died at the conclusion of the original movie.

According to Total Film, Gadot said during the panel that ‘it’s not a sequel, it’s its own story.” Jenkins added that “we can make a whole new movie about something pure and strong.”

The next movie getting screentime with ties to DC was “Shazam!” As part of the presentation, a new trailer was released:

During the panel, “Shazam!” Director David Sandberg said that more than 100 people were auditioned for the lead role. However, according to Borys Kit of Heat Vision Blog, Zachary Levi was best at capturing the quality. “He feels like a big kid. He’s very enthusiastic. Others would play him like, ‘Oh, I’m dumber now.'”

shazam2
The “Shazam!” panel at Comic-Con. Courtesy The JoBlo Movie Network.

 

Warner Bros.

Outside of the DC films, Warner Bros. highlighted three other upcoming pictures. They included “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “The LEGO Movie” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald.

For “Fantastic Beasts,” a new trailer was released and Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler appeared on stage. The panel also had a special appearance by Johnny Depp, who came on stage in costume during the panel.

Warner Bros. also released a new trailer for “Godzilla” and featured cast members Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Thomas Middleditch as panelists. “King of the Monsters” is scheduled to hit theaters on May 31, 2019.

For “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” Warner Bros. brought out Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Stephanie Beatrice out onto the stage, along with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The Lego sequel is set for release Feb. 8, 2019.

Universal 

One of the presentations that stole the show at this year’s convention was for “Glass,” the upcoming film by M. Night Shyamalan from Universal. The movie is the third in Shyamalan’s de facto trilogy, following “Unbreakable” from 2000 and “Split” from 2016.

The movie will bring together performers from the two previous pictures, including Golden Globe winner Bruce Willis, British Academy nominee James McAvoy and  Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson. It also brings Emmy winner Sarah Paulson as a newcomer.

Shyamalan writes and directs this film, which appears to pit the protagonist of “Unbreakable” against the antagonist of “Split,” with the infamous Mr. Glass (Jackson) in the middle. On top of the much-anticipated battle, the film also looks to explore the psychology of all three main characters.

During the panel, Willis, Jackson, Paulson and Shyamalan were on stage to premiere the trailer and answer audience questions, the LA Times reports.

panelglass
Shyamalan, Jackson and Willis at the Universal Pictures panel. Courtesy Getty Images-Kevin Winter

Check out the new poster and trailer released Friday at the convention.

glass.jpg

Sony Pictures

A film based around one of Spider-man’s iconic enemies was the star of Sony Pictures’ panel. The film is “Venom” and stars Tom Hardy as the titular character, also known as Eddie Brock. The movie, set for an Oct. 5 release, is directed by Ruben Fleischer.

While on stage during the panel, Hardy said “I don’t want to upset anyone, but I think he’s the coolest Marvel superhero there is. I just like the way he looks, first and foremost,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

Along with cast and crew statements, the panel also showcased an exclusive trailer with a number of stunts and action sequences, EW reports.

'Venom' film panel, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 20 Jul 2018
Fleischer, Ahmed and Hardy on stage at Comic-Con. Courtesy Variety-REX-Shutterstock-Karl Walter.

On top of the new footage, the panel also revealed the movie’s villain, named Riot. EW reports that Riot is a parasite that can leap from person to person. The villain will be played by Riz Ahmed.

Sony also released more information on “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Instead of the Peter Parker Spider-Man most people are familiar with, this film will feature Miles Morales as the webslinger.

Director Phil Lord, who was at the panel, said that the story takes place in an alternate dimension. As a result, audiences will see multiple versions of the Spider-Man character. That film will get released Dec. 14.

Universal-Blumhouse

During Universal-Blumhouse’s panel Friday, the studio highlighted the upcoming “Halloween” film, which has Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her iconic role from the original.

At the panel for the movie, Curtis and filmmaker David Gordon Green discussed how Curtis’ character is not only focused on the past.

Halloween
‘Halloween’ cast at Comic-Con. Courtesy Den Of Geek

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Curtis said “she is saying, ‘I am not my trauma.’ She’s been waiting 40 years to have this person who she knows is coming and to say, ‘I am going to take back the legacy, I am going to take back my narrative.'”

Along with the statements from the cast and crew as well as a subsequent Q & A, fans at ComicCon were also able to watch some frightening footage from the picture.

The flick is slated for a Oct. 19 release.

20th Century Fox

Fox, which had its panel Thursday, had a main focus on the upcoming “Predator” film.

Just a quick tally for context, here’s the series so far:

  • “Predator” – 1987.
  • “Predator 2” – 1990.
  • “Alien vs Predator” – 2004.
  • “Alien vs Predator: Requiem” – 2007.
  • “Predators” – 2010.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the panel included a video featuring cast discussion about what action characters could fight a predator. That was followed by footage from the picture.

In its reporting, Deadline states that in this film, there’s a Predator who is actually hunted by another, Super Predator.

Along with the footage, the panel also included appearances by writer/director Shane Black, as well as cast members Olivia Munn, Sterling Brown, Trevante Rhodes and Keegan-Michael Key.

'The Predator' film panel, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 19 Jul 2018
Cast members Sterling Brown, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane and Keegan Michael Key on stage. Courtesy Broadimage/Shutterstock.

In an IGN article, Black said that the team featured in this film will be the “modern equivalent of the group from the first movie.”

The movie is set for a September release.

New Line Cinema

Festivities started off Wednesday night with the Scare-Diego event, helmed by New Line Cinema.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the presentation was dedicated to upcoming horror films, including “IT: Chapter Two,” “The Curse of La Llorona” and “The Nun.”

Additionally, LA Times reported that New Line announced a third film in the “Annabelle” series at the convention. The picture will be directed by “Annabelle” and “It” writer Gary Dauberman.

As part of the panel, Wan said the movie will be like “‘A Night at the Museum’ with Annabelle.” LA Times reports that the movie is expected for release next summer.

“The Curse of La Llorona” is also set for next year, with a release on April 19. The picture is based on a Spanish folk story of the Weeping Woman. In its article, the LA Times states that the movie will be set in the 1970s.

Lall
Members of “La Llorona” cast, including Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz, Linda Cardellini, as well as director Michael Chaves at Comic-Con, with moderator Grae Drake. Courtesy Los Angeles Times.

To hype up the sequel to “It,” New Line also showcased a behind-the-scenes video.

The picture closest to release is “The Nun,” set for an opening on Sept. 7. LA Times reported that the movie will tie into “The Conjuring 2.”

Paramount

Taking place Friday was a panel from Paramount focused exclusively on the upcoming “Transformers” prequel “Bumblebee.” According to Deadline Hollywood, it was an event filled with 80s touches, such as the song “The Touch” being played. The song was originally featured in the animated “Transformers” movie.

bumble

Unlike other “Transformers” films, which were largely helmed by Michael Bay, “Bumblebee” is under the direction of two-time Oscar nominee Travis Knight. Knight is known for his film “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

Deadline reports that Knight, along with cast members Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg and John Cena, appeared on stage for the panel and talked about their roles in the movie. They also revealed some of the plot.

“We find out who he (Bumblbee) was before he met us, why he becomes the character he becomes. It’s a way to look at Transformers like we never have before,” Knight said, according to Deadline.

The panel also had a surprise moment when Peter Cullen, the voice of legendary Transformers character Optimus Prime, showed up on stage for the Q & A segment.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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