San Diego Comic-Con has become about so much more than comics in recent years, as many movies and TV studios use the annual event as a platform to promote their upcoming projects. This year’s event was no different, with Marvel and DC in particular showcasing a ton of their movie and TV lineups for the next year or so. Actually attending Comic-Con is a bewildering, claustrophobic event given how massive and overcrowded it’s become and it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost as bad just trying to keep up with all the announcements that get reported over the event’s four day period. While the following list certainly doesn’t cover every cool thing that happened, these are the 20 best trailers, announcements, and other big news stories to come out of SDCC 2016.
20. New Pokemon Go Announcements
It’s actually kind of surprising that Pokemon Go had as big of a presence at Comic-Con as it did, as even though the game is insanely popular, it’s only been out for about three weeks at this point. Nintendo/Niantic’s new mobile app had its own panel and everything, where the developers revealed what their plans for the next year or so are. In short, Pokemon Go will be getting a whole bunch of new Pokemon, the ability to trade with other players, the introduction of Pokemon Centers, and Pokestop Customization. This was definitely the right time to make this sort of announcement, as players will likely start falling off quick if the game’s current endgame problems aren’t addressed soon.
19. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Coming To Netflix
Mystery Science Theater 3000 had a strong presence at this year’s Comic-Con. Among the many enticing revelations about what fans can expect from the long-awaited revival of the beloved cult series (you can read more about the specifics of those revelations here) was the exciting announcement that the series will stream new episodes to Netflix subscribers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. Unfortunately, no footage was shown or firm release date given (the show is still expected to arrive sometime later this year or in early 2017), but the fact that MST3K will be readily available to a huge subscriber base is sure to not hurt its chances of success whenever it does arrive!
18. New Lego Batman Trailer
Although we’ve known about the Lego Batman Movie for awhile now, a new trailer is always welcome And what a trailer this is! With many criticizing the overly dark and serious tone of Batman v Superman earlier this year, the Lego Batman Movie’s ability to poke fun at the Dark Knight (and Robin too!) is refreshing. It also helps that this movie looks absolutely hilarious; Will Arnett is in top form as the voice of Batman (hardly surprising given his scene-stealing performance in The Lego Movie), but it looks like it may just be Michael Cera’s Robin that steals the show. “Come on Batman, let’s get groovin!” February 2017 can’t get here soon enough …
17. Hulk’s Armor in Thor: Ragnarok Revealed
It’s been rumored for awhile now that Thor: Ragnarok would contain elements of the Planet Hulk storyline, but it wasn’t until this past weekend that anything was confirmed. Footage of Hulk in gladiator armor was shown, confirming that Marvel is indeed borrowing aspects of one of the character’s greatest comic stories. This may be a bit of a letdown for Hulk fans who would rather have a full Planet Hulk movie, but at least we know that Thor: Ragnarok is going to be just a little more awesome now thanks to the addition of Gladiator Hulk.
16. Ghost Rider In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Marvel is ready to make us all forget about those Nicolas Cage films, as the company announced that Ghost Rider will officially be making his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe later this year … although perhaps not in the way many fans expected or would have wanted. Ghost Rider will be making his way to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season, which quashes those rumors from earlier this year that Marvel was developing a Netflix show for the character. What may be even more surprising though is that Ghost Rider won’t be riding his fiery motorcycle this time out; instead, Marvel will be adapting a different version of the character named Robbie Reyes who cruises around in a car known as the Hell-Charger, a 1969 Dodge Charger that is, of course, on fire. Hey, at least this might convince a few people to start watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!
15. Iron Fist/The Defenders Teasers
We’re grouping these two together because while it was exciting to see both upcoming Marvel TV shows make an appearance at Comic-Con, very little was shown of either. Iron Fist fared a bit better than The Defenders, as we got a brief teaser that actually showed footage from the in-development Netflix series. The trailer shows a bit of Danny Rand’s origins, as well as a shot of actor Finn Jones, who is playing the title role. The Defenders trailer was the definition of a teaser as it showed no actual new footage; the only noteworthy part was the brief voice over from Stick (Scott Glen): “You think the four of you can save New York? You can’t even save yourselves.” Hey, better than nothing right? (Cringe-worthy Nirvana theme notwithstanding).
14. Star Trek Discovery Revealed
Last year, we found out that Bryan Fuller — the showrunner behind beloved cult series such as Hannibal and Pushing Daisies — was developing a new Star Trek TV show. Information has been pretty scarce ever since, but we finally learned more about it at this year’s SDCC, including the show’s title — Star Trek: Discovery. Discovery is also the name of the ship (sorry, no Enterprise this time out) and although we didn’t learn much more than this, Fuller talked a lot about his plans for the show’s tone and creative direction during the panel, revealing that Discovery will follow in the footsteps of the progressive, optimistic sci-fi storytelling of Gene Roddenberry’s original creation. “Starships are not built with cynicism. They are not built with hate. They are built with science,” Fuller said during the panel. Between this and the surprisingly good feature film Star Trek Beyond, it’s looking like Star Trek is finding its footing again.
13. Daredevil Season 3 Confirmed
The very first SDCC panel for Marvel’s Netflix shows was a barnburner, to the point where Marvel had so much to show off that confirmation of a third season for Daredevil was casually dropped Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada in the middle of the Luke Cage portion of the panel. No return date or any other Daredevil-related information was revealed, but you kind of have to respect Marvel’s confidence that they can announce a new season of a popular show out of nowhere.
12. First Trailer For X-Men Spin-off ‘Legion’
Marvel’s reach truly knows no bounds these days, as they’re even going after the prestige drama market now in the form of Legion, an X-Men spin-off being developed for FX, with Fargo’s Noah Hawley attached as producer. Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame stars as David Haller, A.K.A. Legion, an extremely powerful mutant with all kinds of sanity problems. Legion looks totally weird and darkly humorous, and seems like a pretty big departure for Marvel. It’s scheduled to arrive in 2017 and right now, we’re totally on board.
11. Rihanna’s Role In Next Season Of Bates Motel
Bates Motel is one of those shows that has been flying under the radar for a few years now, but it’s looking like it’s pulling out all the stops for its fifth and final season. The show seems to be transitioning from Psycho prequel to Psycho remake territory, as it was announced at SDCC that pop star Rihanna will be playing the iconic role of Marion Crane. Crane, of course, is the character played by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original, and the focal point of one of the greatest twists in cinematic history. Viewers were stunned when Leigh, the most popular star in the film, was killed off in the first 20 minutes during the infamous shower scene, and it’s looking like we’ll be seeing something similar happen with Rihanna in Bates Motel. That’s one heck of a way to cap off a final season!
10. Spider-Man: Homecoming Footage
Marvel showcased footage of next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming at SDCC and although it hasn’t yet been released online, the footage was an absolute hit with those in attendance. While the footage’s big revelation is that the Vulture will be the film’s central villain, it’s the focus on Peter Parker’s high school experience that is drawing the most attention. We see Peter attend a few classes and hang out with his friends, with Devin Faraci from Birth.Movies.Death claiming that it all feels like an episode of Freaks and Geeks. If that’s not reason enough to get excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming, we’re not sure what is.
9. Kurt Russell’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Role Revealed
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was the main attraction of Marvel’s Hall H presentation on Saturday, with a whole bunch of things revealed about the upcoming film. The biggest of the bunch was confirmation that Kurt Russell will be playing Star Lord’s dad, Ego the Living Planet. No, Kurt Russell won’t be playing a literal planet, but rather the biological avatar that Ego creates in order to explore the universe (and of course, impregnate Star Lord’s mom).
In true Guardians of the Galaxy style, there’s even a scene that tackles this development head one, with Drax asking Ego if he made himself a penis, to which Russell’s Ego replies, “Yes Drax, I have a penis.” Another highlight worth mentioning is a jailbreak scene involving Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot, which is reportedly as awesome as it sounds. Hopefully Marvel releases the trailer they showed off soon, but in the meantime, you can see what Kurt Russell’s outfit will look like in the film.
8. A ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Trailer That Actually Shows The Beasts
The first couple of trailers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were nothing to write home about, as they showed too much of human star Eddie Redmayne and not enough of either the titular fantastic beasts or where we might find them. Fortunately, the trailer Warner Bros showed off at SDCC is a vast improvement, capturing the spirit of the Harry Potter films much better than the previous trailers and most importantly, showing off a bunch of magical creatures! Considering it’s been five years now since the last Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts looks like it will be able to fill that void admirably, if not quite completely.
7. A New Blair Witch Movie
One of the biggest surprises to come out of this year’s SDCC had nothing to do with superhero movies, but rather the return of a modern horror classic. Adam Wingard’s latest movie is called The Woods, but it turns out that this was all a fake-out and that Wingard’s film is actually a Blair Witch movie simply called Blair Witch. Lionsgate shocked those in attendance by revealing both a new poster and trailer for the film, which will focus on the little brother of Heather from the 1999 original. The film comes out September 16 and if successful, perhaps we’ll be seeing more fake-out marketing campaigns like this in the future, which could end up being really awesome or really annoying. Anyway, here’s the trailer:
6. The Kong: Skull Island Trailer
It’s a bit difficult to get excited about yet another King Kong reboot but after the fantastic trailer shown off at SDCC, it just might be time to welcome the great beast back into our lives again. It helps that the film has an absolutely stellar cast, with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman being just a few of the big names attached to this thing, which judging by the trailer is very much going for an Apocalypse Now feel. Kong: Skull Island wasn’t even on our radar before SDCC, but now it’s one of our most anticipated films of 2017. Gareth Edwards stumbled with his Godzilla reboot a few years ago, so let’s just hope that Kong: Skull Island director Jordan-Vogt Roberts can pull this off.
5. New Doctor Strange Trailer
It was a foregone conclusion that we would be seeing more of Doctor Strange at Comic-Con this year and Marvel did not disappoint. This new trailer shows off a lot more than the teaser released earlier this year, as we not only get to see Benedict Cumberbatch in action as the Sorcerer Supreme, but also a few glimpses (with dialogue!) of Mads Mikkelsen’s villain Kaecilus. Doctor Strange still looks like Marvel’s outright weirdest film to date, with all sorts of Inception-like mind-bending going on. While it certainly isn’t a gamble for a studio with as much clout as Marvel, it’s still hard to say whether it they’ll be able to pull it off.
Still, Cumberbatch remains a great choice for the part and with the combined talents of Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, and Chiwetel Ejofor involved, even if Doctor Strange is a trainwreck, it will be one worth watching.
4. Luke Cage Trailer
Luke Cage took center stage during Marvel’s Netflix presentation, with a badass new trailer to go alongside it. It’s still a little too brief, but any trailer that features Wu-Tang Clan and a guy getting wrapped in a car door is one we can get behind. It’s still a bit difficult to gauge how Luke Cage will differentiate itself from past Marvel Netflix series, particularly Daredevil, as the hallway fight showcased here feels a lot like the one we saw in that show’s most recent season. Still, we’ve already seen that Mike Colter is a perfect fit for the character and with its focus on combating gang violence in Harlem, Luke Cage could very well be Marvel’s most important and political show to date. That’s something we won’t be able to help but watch.
3. Captain Marvel Revealed
Although it had been heavily rumored, Marvel finally confirmed at SDCC that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel. an all-around fantastic choice. Larson is a major talent, with an Oscar-winning performance under her belt in last year’s Room and she’s also no stranger to genre work, having a brief but memorable role in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Not only that, but Larson is young and one of the most respected actresses in the game right now, making her an excellent choice to star in Marvel’s very first film in its Cinematic Universe to feature a female lead. Hopefully we’ll get to see her in costume soon, but for now, this announcement photo will do just fine:
2. Justice League Footage
To be honest, we weren’t expecting Warner Bros to have anything to show off at Comic-Con for Justice League other than some set photos and costuming, but to the surprise of many, director Zack Snyder revealed actual footage for the upcoming superhero crossover. Not only that, but what was shown actually looks pretty good! The footage focuses mainly on Bruce Wayne/Batman’s (Ben Affleck) attempts to recruit the other members of the Justice League, with the highlight being his humorous interaction with Ezra Miller’s Barry Aleen/The Flash. No, that’s not a typo. Justice League has actual jokes in it!
The entire DC movie presentation (well, besides all of that Killing Joke controversy) shows that the DC brain trust has been paying attention to the negative feedback they received for Batman v Superman and are trying to adjust accordingly. Justice League still looks very much like a Snyder film, but in the best way possible, as it seems like he’s been reigned in a bit, but not at the cost of his unique filmmaking style. Even if you hated Batman v Superman, it’s hard not to look at Justice League and see a film that’s trying its best to make up for that film’s many failures.
1. Wonder Woman Trailer
There was already positive buzz for Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman heading into Comic-Con this year, but after the incredible trailer showed off at DC’s Movie presentation, there is little doubt that this film is going to be something special. Some might complain that the film’s premise feels a bit too similar to Captain America: The First Avenger with the World War setting (although that’s pretty inaccurate considering Wonder Woman takes place during WWI, not WWII), but even when taking those complaints into consideration, there’s still a lot to like here.
For one, this trailer shuts the door on the Gal Gadot debate, as she absolutely looks and plays the part here, and she’s helped along by a stellar cast that includes Chris Pine and Robin Wright. Most importantly, Wonder Woman looks like it not only understands the character and why she’s such an important cultural icon, but it also looks like a fun movie that’s not afraid to tell a joke here and there. It may have taken far too long for a Wonder Woman movie to get made, but this trailer makes it look like it will have been more than worth the wait.