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Warner Bros. unveils Wonder Woman, Justice League and more! (Comic Con 2016)

07.23.2016

One of the most anticipated panels at Comic Con 2016, Warner Bros. unveiled a healthy slate of goods at their Hall H panel, including JUSTICE LEAGUE, WONDER WOMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, KING ARTHUR: THE LEGEND OF THE SWORD, and FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. It was a damn good show, even if nothing major was revealed in terms of new projects. We may not have HEARD about anything new and cool, but we sure as hell SAW a lot of cool shit and that's a-okay. WB dropped trailers for the majority of the films they showcased online, which are all embedded throughout, along with some details, pics, and commentary. Let's dig in.

OPENING: As per usual, WB opened up with a DCEU featurette that had interview snippets from the major players in the burgeoning universe, including Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Zack Snyder, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, James Wan, Rick Famuyiwa, all talking about their excitement and roles in the DCEU. Mostly the same stuff we've seen in the previous CW specials, but they ended it with a flash of their upcoming projects, which including JUSTICE LEAGUE, WONDER WOMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE FLASH, CYBORG, AQUAMAN, as well as the newly added BATMAN solo film and GREEN LANTERN CORPS.

So, the news there is just a reiteration of projects that are still on the books and the new BATMAN film. No mention of any new projects developing, including the Harley Quinn spinoff. So, no new movement on the next evolution of the DCEU, but then again, they're just getting started anyway, so it's understandable that they wouldn't want to flood us with a barrage of new projects when they're still trying to establish what's already on their plate.

Ben Affleck, Patty Jenkins, James Wan, and Rick Famuyiwa were brought on stage and introduced as the current "architects of the DCEU". Each were asked about their respective roles on the films they're making and the usual comments were echoed about being honored and happy to be a part of them. At one point Wan yelled out "Fucking Aquaman!" which got a lot of cheers as well as being told to watch his mouth by host Conan O'Brien.

Affleck was asked what it was like being a part of Batman and taking on the role as well as a solo film and he replied that he felt "inspired and terrified" taking over the role and that it was like taking over a great long-running play with a lot of great iterations and performances. Batman is "one of the most iconinc and fascinating characters ever created," Affleck said. "I’m deeply honored and thrilled to be able to do it."

JUSTICE LEAGUE

The cast of JUSTICE LEAGUE took the stage, Ben Affleck leading the pack, followed by Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, and, lastly, Henry Cavill. Snyder said he didn't want to spoil anything, but that it wouldn't be JUSTICE LEAGUE without Superman. There wasn't anything really discussed, but, hey, how about another look at that badass trailer eh?

WONDER WOMAN

Director Patty Jenkins took the stage and introduced the cast of WONDER WOMAN, including Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, and Wondy herself, Gal Gadot. Jenkins talked for a bit about the film, which she's been waiting her whole life to direct. Jenkins was pretty philosophical about the character and her approach to the superhero genre, emphasizing the qualities that hero's exhibit and how they help us deal with the bad things happening in the world, including what's happening now. "The world needs forgiveness," she said, then added that being a hero "is being loving and amazing and incredible at the same time." Jenkins sounds passionate about the film and after seeing the trailer it's evident that she's got the chops to make it something special and with much more heart and soul to it than we might expect.

SUICIDE SQUAD

Director David Ayer took the stage, again proclaiming that "DC owns this [Hall H] shit!" and bringing out the entire cast of SUICIDE SQUAD, including Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Karen Fukuhara, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Jay Hernandez, and, surprisingly, Scott Eastwood, who I don't think would be sitting there if he was just another military henchman type. Will Smith said that he was intrigued by the project initially as Ayer described it as "Bad fighting evil" to the actor to convince him to join the film.

Smith then went on to talk about the Jared Leto/Joker "rat" story. We've heard it before, but Smith's delivery made it all the more fun. Smith said he was in his trailer with Margot Robbie when there was a knock at the door. He opened the door and said there was a burly guy with a box that said, "That's a gift from Mr. J." Smith figured it was just a fun little thing Leto was doing to get into the part, "Oh, I get it, Jared is, like, taking it real serious.” Then, Robbie opened the box and jumped back as there was a live rat inside. Smith says, "I know I'm playing Deadshot, but if I had pearls on, I would’ve clutched ‘em." Pretty funny stuff, but Smith said Leto's approach brought them all together.  "Jared really kicked everybody into another level by doing those things."

Ayer elaborated on Leto's on set antics, saying that Leto was "the hammer that made the sword sharp" when building the team dynamic of SUICIDE SQUAD. Very cool.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

Will Arnett and director Chris McKay took the stage to introduce the next animated LEGO film, but were preceeded by a fun little animated version of the panel that had Arnett's Batman introducing the characters of the film, who each took a seat at the panel, including Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Robin (Michael Cera), Batgirl (Rosario Dawson), and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). It was a fun little bit to introduce the panel and then both Arnett and McKay sat down and talked a bit about the film.

The style and tone are all very similar to THE LEGO MOVIE, but there's still a bit more going on in the film, including a father-son type thing with Robin and a true struggle for the blocky Dark Knight. "This isn’t just about Batman beating the enemy, but beating his own enemies as well," said Arnett, who voices the titular character yet again. We saw a new trailer for the film, which highlights that same LEGO MOVIE humor, including a sequence of Robin choosing his costume (the Robin costume originally being a Reggae Batman outfit) and the origin of how he lost his pants. There isn't much to say beyond that. It looks every bit as fun and goofy as THE LEGO MOVIE, so there's every bit of incentive to see it based on that.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts took the stage (rocking a killer beard) and introduced his cast for the new King Kong film, including John Goodman, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Hawkins, and Jason Mitchell. Vogt-Roberts talked about the legacy of Kong and the pressure of adding a new chapter to that story and was excited about the 70's jungle setting, because "what's not cool about choppers and napalm?" The film was shot in real locations around the world, including Kua Loa Ranch in Hawaii and Vietnam. Vogt-Roberts was adamant about using real locations for his actors, to really get them in the zone and to respect audiences who can easily spot when it feels like it's not taking place in a real environment.

Hiddleston, who arrived on stage to panty-dropping applause, gave some insight into his character in the film, saying he's a former British SAS agent that leads the expedition on the island. Brie Larson made clear that she is an anti-war photographer on the expedition, while Samuel L. Jackson is a colonel leading the helicopter crew that takes them in. John Goodman's character is a bit of a mystery, but it's obvious from the trailer that he's got a deeper connection to what's happening in the film.

Outside of the film, an audience member asked what the cast likes to geek out on, with John Goodman saying he likes to watch reruns of Roseanne, while Brie Larson said she loves Netflix's Stranger Things and Game of Thrones. As if we needed more reasons to love her, right?

KING ARTHUR: THE LEGEND OF THE SWORD

We haven't seen anything from Guy Ritchie's take on King Arthur until today (minus a few pictures) and while he wasn't able to introduce the footage himself, Charlie Hunnam took the stage to do the honors. They played the trailer first, which really impressed me as I didn't anticipate the magic element to be so prevelant as it's not Ritchie's usual style. It's got some great fantasy elements in there, with mystical creatures that could be out of a Frazetta painting, while still infused with Ritchie's gonzo, frenetic style. I've always dug Ritchie's work and this feels like a stop forward for him and a bit out of his comfort zone. Could be something great.

Hunnam was a playful sport on the panel, and there wasn't much time to talk too much about the film, but it was evident that this is meant to be a different look at Arthur's tale, without the usual trimmings. It's an origin story of a reluctant hero, rather than one that has a man chasing his destiny. "He gets convinced that it’s a destiny he can’t deny," says Hunnam, but it definitely takes some doing to get him there.

And, for the ladies, it looks like he spends a good amount of time with his shirt off. I don't think we'll hear any complaints. In fact, Conan asked how he could get a body like Hunnam, to which Hunnam said he'd have to stop eating anything that tastes good and work out until you lose the will to live. Can't wait for his workout book!

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

The last panel was for the Harry Potter prequel/spinoff from director David Yates and author J.K. Rowling, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. Yates introduced Eddie Redmayne who ran out on stage with a wand and attempted to use the lumos spell to turn on lights in Hall H. He then decided he needed help and started handing out wands to attendees. And then, wands were suddenly being handed out to EVERYONE (myself included) and we all took part in "lighting up" Hall H. It was a fun interactive thing for Hall H and gave everybody a little swag to take home.

They then brought out more of the cast, including Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, and Ezra Miller. Yates said, "We have a whole array of beasts that Eddie Redmayne watches over in his suitcase," when asked about what we'd be seeing in the film, saying there were "ape-like" creatures, "serpent" creatures and all manner of others, many of which I simply can't remember or pronounce as my Potterverse nerdom has a limit (and I've read all the books and seen all the films).
The cast was asked how they felt about coming into the Harry Potter world after the major phenomenon of the original films, and Miller summed it up nicely, saying, "It’s like getting your Hogwarts robe too late, but at least you’re getting it." They also talked about Colleen Atwood, who does the costume design, and how amazing she is at her job (obviously), with Miller saying "She’s the ultimate gangster," who can simply look at you and know your perfect size and fit.

Then, Colin Farrell, being Colin Farrell, made it weird, saying that Atwood even designed "period underwear" for the film, relating to the time period (we're hoping). Miller said he was currently wearing a pair that he stole from the set and Conan saw that as a cue to end the panel. Probably for the best. But, period underwear and all, it was a good panel and we still got a nice, spiffy new trailer out of it.

And that's it for WB! Tons of new trailers, all (or most) of which dropped online after each reveal in Hall H, so it looks like everyone can go (or stay) home and be happy.

 

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