One of the biggest and most surprising announcements out of San Diego Comic-Con this year was the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a seventh and final season. The Clone Wars was canceled in 2013 after five seasons (a sixth abbreviated season was released on Netflix after cancellation). The Clone Wars animated series was arguably the biggest thing to happen in the Star Wars Universe between the prequel and sequel trilogies. It did a lot of expansion of the roles and stories introduced and left unexplained in the prequel trilogy and probably helped to salvage (or mitigate the damage of) those movies for a large portion of the fanbase. While many of SWCW’s plotlines continued into Star Wars: Rebels, many of the series most important questions were left unanswered. Now that Rebels has finished, SW animation guru Dave Filoni will have the chance to go back and properly finish out Clone Wars. Disney will be premiering a new streaming service next year and 12 final episodes of The Clone Wars are expected to premiere there sometime in 2019.
Aquaman has been one of my favorite DCEU incarnations, regardless of the quality of the films he’s thus far appeared in. December brings us DCEU Issue #6 and Aquaman’s solo film debut. James Wan will direct Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Randall Park and others in an underseas epic. The first trailer for Aquaman was the finale of WB’s San Diego Comic-Con film panel (which means I may now go eat a sandwich and stop hitting “refresh”). Of the two DCEU trailers WB brought to Comic-Con…Shazam looked better than I had hoped and Aquaman…was rough. Visually stunning in parts, but there is some wince-inducing stuff in this. It is the first look, but it’s also a film that’s basically done. We shall see. Aquaman swims into theaters on December 21, 2018.
From CBR’s notes on the panel:
Aquaman closed out the panel with an epic entrance by Jason Mamoa. The cast and director James Wan took the stage.
“One of the big things I wanted to do was create a superhero world we’d never seen before,” Wan said, “This might in some ways play more like a sci-fi/fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie which I think you’ll see in the trailer.”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confessed that despite getting the role of Black Manta, he didn’t know how to swim. “I secretly went down to the hotel pool when we were filming with a kick board and taught myself how to swim in the mornings and evenings,” he laughed, “but then in the end I ended up not really having to do that much swimming.
The DCEU will have one film this year (Aquaman) and three next year (Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984). After the failure of Justice League last year, WB has put a lot of effort into getting their uneven film universe back on track. Captain Marvel and Aquaman are an unlikely one-two punch back to being on track, but they’re also characters that have no film history and little pop culture footprint. The first look at Shazam is really promising and seems to validate the casting of Zachary Levi (Chuck) in the role. Full synopsis from Coming Soon below. Shazam will hit theaters in April 2019.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
The cast includes Asher Angel (Andi Mack) as Billy Batson, Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) as The Wizard, and Mark Strong (Kingsman) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. The film also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (IT) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (This is Us); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (Hawaii Five-0). Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead) and Marta Milans (Killer Women) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez.
WB’s film panel at Comic-Con continued Saturday with the first look at one of summer’s 2019’s big films. Godzilla: King of the Monsters continues the story of Monarch begun in Godzilla and last year’s Kong: Skull Island. Notes below from the panel from CBR as well as the official film synopsis from Coming Soon.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters took the stage proclaiming “Long Live the King” with a quick look at footage.
“I’m still a kid playing with Godzilla toys, they’re just bigger more expensive Godzilla toys,” said director Michael Dougherty.
Millie Bobbie Brown hadn’t seen any Godzilla movies prior to her casting, but once she got her role in the film she “dove in, I had too, I had too.”
Dougherty confirmed that he set a sound system up on set to allow him to play the monster’s roars for the actors in their scenes since they would predominantly be acting against CGI and visual effects.
“We’ve got the crown jewels of the Toho Monster kingdom in this movie. Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and a few more surprises along the way,” Dougherty confirmed.
“You’ll finally hear Godzilla classic’s classic themes, and possibly some other themes,” Dougherty said, “with composer Bear McCreary.”
Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus), the Godzilla sequel stars Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Conjuring films), and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), both reprising their Godzilla roles, plus Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Manchester by the Sea), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) in her feature film debut, Bradley Whitford (Get Out), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness), and Zhang Ziyi (Memoirs of a Geisha, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Dougherty directs from a script he wrote with Zach Shields. The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull, with Barry H. Waldman, Zach Shields, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers and Alexandra Mendes co-producing for Legendary.
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the sequel is set to stomp into theaters on May 31, 2019
After an uneven summer of sequel madness, it’s good to look forward to franchises that rarely-if ever-disappoint. The Wizarding World is back this fall with its 10th film installment and the second in the Fantastic Beasts cycle. The second trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was unveiled at Comic-Con today and it’s absolutely eye-popping. In addition to the continuing adventures of Newt and company, Potterheads will enjoy Easter eggs like Dumbledore as DADA professor, Nicholas Flamel, and The Mirror of Erised. Check out CBR’s notes from Warner Brother’s panel discussion of the film below.
Jude Law confirmed that this movie will be a “who’s side are you on story,” where the “wizards within the Wizarding World will be asked whose side they’re on. The depths and the darkness of this story are some of the darkest this franchise has gone.” Ezra Miller chimed in “Definitely” in confirmation.
Law continued with his take on Dumbledore, “I love the fact that people keep calling him ‘young Dumbledore,” because I’m 45,” he laughed. “…There’s a long way to go between this Dumbledore and the one we see here. David Yates our director really let me free to establish him on my own here, but I hope he’ll have some familiar traits. He’s still mischievous and…he still has this ability to manipulate people.”
The panel was then surprise interrupted by Johnny Depp appearing in full costume, in character as Grindelwald giving an ominous speech. “It has been said that I hate the muggles, the no-mag, the can’t-spells, I do not hate them,” Depp said in character, giving fans an insight into Grindelwald’s personality. Depp immediately left the stage after his performance.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is being directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, and produced by David Heyman. The film Opens in theaters November 16, 2018.