So yeah, Comic-Con happened last week, and as usual we got a handful of brief glimpses of what to expect from the cinematic world of geek over the next 12 months or so. For all you super hero and fantasy addicts we’ve put together this short roundup of some of the trailers and films we are most excited about.
All of the macho chest bumping aside though the most exciting thing about Comic-Con this year was the announcement that Brie Larson has been cast as Captain Marvel… which we’re pretty hyped for… it’s a shame we’ll have to wait until 2020 to finally see her in a solo outing, but we live in hope she’ll crop up before then.
So to the trailers:
The one thing you can never accuse Marvel of is sticking to type and playing it safe. Since the success of Avengers Assemble the studio has continued to push the brackets of their releases by furrowing into the back catalogues of their source materials and adapting some lesser known heroes to the big screen… and it has worked! The success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant- Man have led them to plan a series of daring solo outings which will see the likes of Captain Marvel, The Inhumans and now Doctor Strange make their big screen debuts.
This trailer looks like nothing we have seen from the Marvel universe before, as it introduces the magical multiverse in which Doctor Strange does battle with a myriad of freakishly imbued foes. The fact that our reality is just one of the playing fields for events to unfold on, gives the story many paths to run into. It looks like Doctor Strange will also be the one to take over from Thor in The Avengers line up as the main players shift from Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk and into Doctor Strange, Spiderman, Captain Marvel and Ant-Man. It looks mythical, bizarre and enthralling. Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect casting choice for the role too.
It’s hard to forget with all the Marvel shenanigans going on that DC are launching their very own extended universe of multiple heroes. However, they’ve gone for the big bang approach and are just chucking all their main players out in one go. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman all got large amounts of screen time in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year to mixed results but Warner Brothers and director Zack Snyder are ploughing ahead with their vision for the DC World with this follow on film. In it we will get good looks at The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg and maybe even a tease of The Green Lantern. They’re clearly going for the “go big or go home” approach with this film. And they may be right to do so, the DC Heroes are far more ingrained into the public conscience than say someone like Ant Man is. DC also doesn’t have a wealth of adaptable back page characters to mine for future films so it makes sense for them to get all of their marketable properties out into the world as they play catch up with Marvel. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but two films in they are stumbling a little bit, their hope will surely be that the imminent Suicide Squad gives their brand a much needed kick up the arse. This looks like more of the same really, and not that exciting.
I’m sorry, I was rooting for this character all the way through Dawn of Justice but Wonder Woman’s solo outing slated for next year looks pretty tepid. If you ignore the fact that they’ve set the film in World War One, which draws huge comparisons to Captain America: The First Avenger. It all just looks and feels a little bit flat.
If you address the film’s setting, Wonder Woman is an immortal warrior from another planet so why did they pick 1914-1918 as the perfect time for her introduction? World War One was hardly a conflict of good vs. evil. We fought the Germans in that war but it was a war over resources and an escalating arms race (Britain was defending it’s own right to have a Colony and America backed us up) which is a bit peculiar. Captain America fought Nazis and that made sense, this film feels like it’s trying to demonise a race of people who at this point in history had no links to fascism. Unless they chuck an evil alien in there and make him German, yeah that’s probably what they’ll do.
Gal Godot is perfect for the role so hopefully we can forgive the makers of this one for playing fast and loose with history in the hope that she can drive the film forwards and make it worthwhile and stand up with other female fronted blockbusters like The Force Awakens or Ghostbusters. Although I enjoy Chris Pine’s William Shatner impression in the Star Trek films, I did sigh a little bit when I heard he was the love interest. Why does Wonder Woman need a love interest these days anyway, it’d be refreshing if she could just be left alone to be a super hero.
I’m done with super heroes now by the way, just in case you were getting a bit tired of that theme…
Kong: Skull Island
I’ll hold my hands up now and say that I’m really fucking excited for this one. King Kong is one of my all time favourite characters from cinema, so whenever a new iteration comes round the corner I’m sure to get all worked up about it. This new film is set in Vietnam shortly after the end of The Vietnam War, so it’s drawing an excellent message out from the start about persecution and new kinds of warfare being tested on innocent people (or creatures… see what they did there). Where this new version of Kong differs from the others is the pure scale of the monster himself, this is the biggest Kong we have seen on screen yet. Which has been done all with the purpose of this new film leading into the Kong v. Godzilla movie which is due to be released in 2020. A shared universe of Hollywood’s greatest monsters you say… yeah, we’re mega over-excited too. Great cast as well…
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie’s Hollywood renaissance has been something of a quiet miracle, while he hasn’t dazzled in the way other British directors like Christopher Nolan or Matthew Vaughn have since they took similar career paths, he has however managed to provide some muted thrills. His exact skill is lending his directorial eye to existing properties and looking at them from a fresh new angle. Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows and The Man From U.N.C.L.E are all excellent takes on familiar and well loved characters. So I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with King Arthur, especially as he is teaming up here with ex-Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam. The trailer below does underwhelm slightly, it looks like it is playing to both the realist and fantasy crowds and some of the visual effects do look slightly terrible. It’s hard to get large scale fantasy right on screen, especially in our post-Lord of the Rings world, this is apparently the first in a six part epic of films that will tell the whole tale of King Arthur from prior to his coronation to death, which could span nearly 12 years on screen. It will be on the strength of this film however that the rest of the series is built on so it needs to get off to a strong start. It’s up for debate at present, and it looks like it could be a stinker.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
I thought the world had gotten bored of Harry Potter, but how wrong I was! J.K Rowling has managed to reel us all back in this year; first off with her new Potter story The Cursed Child which was performed on stage and released as a script book and she’ll round off her mini resurgence with her debut screenplay adapted from her short story Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them just before Christmas. The latter does look like it could be an interesting take. Similar to how Rogue One will take a look at The Star Wars universe from an alternative angle, Fantastic Beasts is set 70 years before the events of the Potter novels and transports us across the pond to New York. Eddie Redmayne is a good choice for an awkward British magician on the hunt for magical creatures, and like the film above, it’s the planned first installment in a new franchise of movies. They might be being a bit presumptuous with this one…
The Defenders, Luke Cage and Iron Fist
Ok, so we came back around to super heroes again… but these ones are on TV so it’s different… sort of. Next year we are due to see, via Netflix of course, The Defenders who are the small screen version of The Avengers made up of; Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist… there’s also a good chance The Punisher could hook up with them as well after he emerged the victor from Daredevil Season 2. Before the whole gang get’s together though we are set to see Luke Cage Season 1 before the year is out, and then next year also Season 1 of Iron Fist. These grittier darker Marvel properties are almost as popular as the films themselves, and will be interesting to see where they go from now as they begin to become more complex and intertwined.
And with that we’re done with our round up!