Geeks of all stripes, unite!
San Diego Comic-Con welcomes around 140,000 fans, geeks, and gamers through its doors each year. That's roughly equivalent to a major city's population made entirely of cosplayers and fanboys. From its humble beginnings in 1970, this enormous celebration of the pop culture has grown to become the crown jewel for all the biggest news in entertainment, from major movie announcements to the latest book deals.
Some of the key players may have been absent in 2014 (no Doctor Who on the main stage for the first time in years, for instance) and much of the games content was just reheated E3 leftovers. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to delight sci-fi and fantasy fans. Even in a calm year you need a round-up to keep track of all the biggest news, so here are the highlights of the show, from Game Of Thrones to Batman and beyond...
Marvel brings the Avengers, along with a few friends
In keeping with its Saturday night tradition at Comic-Con, Marvel Studios brought the house down with its panel in Hall H. Sadly, this years offering was a slight disappointment compared to years previous. Sure, the House of Ideas brought along every principal player from Avengers: Age Of Ultron (with the exception of Scarlett Johansson and Joss Whedon), introduced the Ant-Man cast, and showed impressive footage from both movies, but the panel was rather short on genuine revelations.
Attendees did at least learn that Evangeline Lilly will be playing original Ant-Man Hank Pyms daughter Hope, and that Corey Stoll will play Darren Cross/Yellowjacket in the Ant-Man film. Fans also found out that Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is set for release in July 2017, a gutsy move given that the first film has yet to be released. Alas, that's pretty much it for Marvel films, as heroes like Doctor Strange and Black Panther were notable in their absence. Oh well, there's always next year.
Sam Raimi is producing The Last of Us film, along with an Evil Dead TV series
Sam Raimi may be most known as the director of a trilogy of Spider-Man films, but more and more he's returning to his horror roots. Gamers in particular should be happy to hear Raimi's producing a movie adaptation of The Last Of Us. The game's writer/co-director Neil Druckmann is working on the script with an impressive amount of creative freedom, and Raimi and team confirmed they've met with Game Of Thrones' Maisie Williams. Is she being lined up to play Ellie?
Raimi had another a groovy surprise in Hall H on Friday when he revealed he's working on an Evil Dead TV series. There's not much more to go on other than that at the moment, aside from the fact he's teaming up with a pair of regular collaborators: brother Ivan and Ash himself, Bruce Campbell. Seems like someone must have used the Necronomicon to get that series to return.
Godzilla will return soon (along with a few friends)
Monsters invaded the massive Hall H on Saturday afternoon as Legendary Pictures took the opportunity to unleash the beasts. People expected the team behind Godzilla to appear, but the biggest surprise came in the shape of a gorilla, as King Kong came stomping out of the undergrowth to reveal that he'll be back on the big screen in Skull Island. Kong's return is due in theaters November 2016, with a director yet to be announced.
The nuclear lizard was represented on Saturday as well, as Godzilla wrangler Gareth Edwards beamed in via video, confirming he'll direct the sequel when he's done on his Star Wars stand alone movie. He says his big lizard chum will be taking on Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah in the follow-up--finally 'Zilla will be facing some big names instead of the nondescript bugs seen in this year's reboot.
Superman and Batman prepare for battle in Dawn Of Justice
There's nearly two years to wait before Batman and Superman slug it out in theaters via Dawn Of Justice. But that long wait wasn't enough to keep Comic-Con fave Zack Snyder away from Hall H on Saturday, and the director even brought some super friends along to meet their public: a Man of Steel (Henry Cavill), a Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck) and a Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)--most years, this would have been the highest profile superhero team-up of the day, but most years don't have an Avengers sequel.
Snyder showed off the first footage from the movie, with Bats decked out in an armoured suit (much like the one from Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns), and apparently getting ready to duke it out with Supes. He also revealed what Gal Godot's take on Wonder Woman will look like--just don't tell Xena about it.
The 1960s Batman TV series is FINALLY coming to Blu-ray/DVD
Holy home entertainment, Batman! After almost half a century of legal wrangling, the beloved, campy, Adam West Batman series will finally be officially released. Burt Ward, Adam West and Julie Newmar got the royal treatment at Comic-Con, including a Thursday press panel where Ward talked at length about the many perilous situations the show put him in. While West had a stunt double, Ward didn't often have that luxury, getting sent to the ER on six different occasions.
Ward also humorously reminisced about dangling within leaping range of those tigers in Catwoman's first episode, while the rest of the cast and crew were safely in a steel cage. "I was hanging about 14 feet above the tigers and I asked the trainers how high can they jump, and was told 'about 19 or 20 feet.'" They even hung meat next to him to get the tigers riled! You can remind yourself of that and the many other devilish deathtraps faced by the dynamic duo when the long overdue DVD and Blu-ray release happens November 11.
Outcast is the next TV series from the creator of The Walking Dead
Have you asked yourself, "How is Robert Kirkman ever going to follow The Walking Dead?" the answer is now "with Outcast." There was plenty of chat about the famous zombies during Comic-Con, but this was also where the writer launched his new comic/TV crossover project, promising to do for demons what he's already done for the undead. "Demons are the new zombies," says Kirkman. "They're much cooler. The thing is, zombies are not real and they're never going to be. But there IS this phenomenon of 'demonic possession'..."
The series will follow a young man, Kyle Barnes, who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. As an adult he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of all life on earth. Yikes. "One of the reasons why The Walking Dead is so successful is that if you're flipping through channels and see it, the show looks like nothing else on television," says exec producer David Alpert, speaking exclusively to international press on Friday morning. "What we're going to do is strive for something that feels cinematic. The comic is really distinctive and with the TV show too you'll see it and go, 'That's Outcast!'" No cast and release date have not yet been revealed, but you'll hear about it soon enough.
The bloodshed continues in Game of Thrones' fifth season
The makers of Game Of Thrones are notoriously tight-lipped about things to come, but they did use their wildly popular Hall H panel to supply intel about nine new cast members in season five. Send out the ravens!
With Prince Oberyn Martell's homeland of Dorne set to become a key new location, we'll be introduced to some of his family: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Alexander Siddig will play his big brother Doran, Toby Sebastian his nephew Trystane, and Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, and Keisha Castle-Hughes his illegitimate daughters, Nymeria, Tyene, and Obara Sand (respectively). Cersei's daughter Myrcella, exiled in Dorne since season two, is recast as Nell Tiger Free, while DeObia Oparei will play Areo Hotah and Enzo Cilenti will play Yezzan. Finally, Brazil star Jonathan Pryce has signed up to play religious leader High Sparrow. Expect the show to return next spring.
M. Night Shyamalan comes to TV with Wayward Pines
M. Night Shyamalan wants you to know that there is a solution to his mysterious 10-part miniseries Wayward Pines. "This is no Lost," he says, promising clear answers in his adaptation of the book trilogy by Blake Crouch. It stars Matt Dillon as a secret serviceman searching for missing federal agents.After a car crash, he ends up in the small town of Wayward Pines from which he seems mysteriously unable to leave
The first episode of the series was screened at Comic-Con to mixed reactions, but with a supporting cast that includes Melissa Leo, Toby Jones, Carla Gugino, and Terrence Howard and a vibe that's part Twin Peaks part The Prisoner, this could grow into a series everybody talks about.
Agent CarterAgent Carter takes the Marvel universe back to the 1950s
ABC's Agent Carter show, starring the spy played by Hayley Atwell in the Captain America movies and set just after WWII, will boast among its directors Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger) and the Russo brothers (Welcome to Collinwood, Captain America: The Winter Soldier). That's some pretty big behind-the-scenes muscle for the 10-episode period companion to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D..
The pilot episode is directed by Marvel Studios co-president himself, Louis DEsposito, who made the Agent Carter one-shot that started the ball rolling. "It's a dream come true," Atwell told us in Friday's press meetings. "I had such a great experience doing the first two films and I loved working with the Marvel filmmakers so this was a wonderful extension of that."
Christopher Nolan drops some clues about Interstellar
The surprise film in Paramount's Hall H panel at Comic-Con 2014 was Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, and a personal appearance by Comic-Con virgin Matthew McConaughey. The movie star described Nolan as a director whose "reach always exceeds his grasp," and then went on to introduce the next massive surprise guest... Nolan himself, also making his Comic-Con debut (yes, he somehow skipped all those years while directing Batman).
While keeping plot details under wraps, the pair did speak freely about the influences on the film--Star Wars, and particularly 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film that Nolan admired as a child. Nolan joked that he wouldn't reveal all of the films that inspired him, "because when you watch it, you'll see everything I've ripped off!" He then showed an exclusive look at the next Interstellar trailer, not due to be been released publicly for some time. The new trailer features lots of space action, including the space-suited McConaughey and Anne Hathaway traversing icy planets. "Its by far the most ambitious film that Mr. Nolans directed," McConaughey told the crowd.
Star Wars: Rebels takes the series back to its roots
J.J. Abrams and his Star Wars: Episode VII may have been otherwise engaged this year, but there was still some Comic-Con action from that galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm and Disney debuted footage from the new animated series, Star Wars: Rebels, a show set five years before A New Hope. "We all felt like there was a chapter before A New Hope that was unexplored," executive producer Simon Kinberg told the Rebels panel.
"We all loved the tone and the essence of the original movies, so we wanted to create a show that had that in it and was a precursor to those films. It would be the origin of the Rebel Alliance--that gave us a lot of freedom in terms of Sith, Jedi and Force abilities, and to do a lot of things that even the movies haven't done yet." Star Wars: Rebels will start broadcasting on DisneyXD in October.
See you next year, San Diego
Is there any other big news from Comic-Con worth mentioning? Did you announce a Kickstarter that got overlooked, or have a documentary on YouTube people should've heard of? Share that news with the world right now in the comments!