As I walked to the Hall H line on Friday night, I was still hopefully optimistic to be able to get in to the one panel I’d been dying with anticipation to see, Warner Brothers. This was mainly due to the fact that Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is less than 2 years away, and there were some heavy rumors that came out regarding the DC Cinematic universe in the prior weeks before the Con. These included a potential release slate for WB for the next 8 years with titles such as Shazam, Man of Steel 2, The Flash and Green Lantern movie, as well as actors quite heavily hinting at characters they are playing such as Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and The Rock as Shazam. With all these rumors floating around Warner Brothers and their DC lineup, announcements were surely to come in Hall H Saturday morning at the Con.
Shortly after 10am, Eddie Ibrahim, Director of Programming at Comic Con took the stage to make his announcements and unveil the huge panoramic screens for Warner Brothers panel. I thought that this could only bode well for what was the come. Hall H’s darling moderator, Chris Hardwick took the stage a minute later to announce “Let’s just get this started!” I had never been more excited before a panel in Hall H. This was going to be my time, my heroes coming to the big screen all moderated by one of my favorite Comic Con and nerd personalities, Chris Hardwick (bonus points for him dressing as Marty McFly).
After Hardwick’s introduction, the Batman v Superman logo flashed on all the screens and the crowd went nuts. Zack Snyder came out on stage and talked about how they were just filming last night and “It’s going amazingly well, I couldn’t be happier.” After about 2 minutes on stage of just being excited and briefly ambiguously talking about Batman v Superman, he showed us the first clip:
The footage shows Batman’s arm pulling a tarp off the Bat-signal and turning it on amidst a steady downpour. As it pans out, we see our first look at Batman in his armored Batsuit with his eyes lit up. As Batman raises his head to look up at the signal, we see Superman floating in the middle of the signal. His eyes begin glowing red, staring down at Batman as Batman looks back.
The clip was extremely short and yet amazingly epic and everything I wanted it to be. I craved more and couldn’t wait to hear what Zack Snyder had to say next. Snyder then brought out and introduced his three stars, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot. The crowd was putty in the palm of Mr. Snyder’s hands. Without handing the mic off to any of his stars or mentioning any plot points of the movie, Snyder then asked the audience, “Who wants to see the clip again?” and said they have to get back to filming. As they showed the clip again, the 3 stars and their director left the stage again and by 10:14 in the morning, Chris Hardwick and the Warner Brothers Panel was moving onto the next WB property, Jupiter Ascending.
What just happened? 15 and a half hours of camping outside in the cold on the sidewalk, with little to no sleep, and I get a 30 second clip shown twice? “This can’t be it,” I thought to myself foolishly. “There has to be more. They must be waiting to make the huge list of announcements until later in the panel.” It wasn’t so hard to believe, Warner Brothers had 2 hours slotted for hall H and there was no way they would spend about 10 minutes on their entire DC properties, let alone not really say anything about it, but with each passing minute, I knew these hopes appeared more and more false.
How could they do this to me? How could they do this to us as a crowd? We waited so long to see and hear was DC was going to do (to be fair a lot of people there were probably more excited for The Hobbit or other panels, especially Marvel) and we didn’t even hear a “Hi,” or “Howdy,” from Affleck, Cavill or Gadot. They came out on stage for 2 minutes to wave and walk off.
Don’t get me wrong, the clip they showed from Batman v Superman was incredible. It was exactly the look and feel that I want from a Batman v Superman movie (even if it was only 30 seconds). I just can’t believe that Warner Brothers didn’t capitalize on their allotment of time and overall, I feel like it was a massive misstep for Warner Brothers in terms of marketing for their superhero movies they’re planning on making.
Instead they spent less than 15 minutes talking about any of their DC properties and spent the rest of the time promoting Mad Max: Fury Road, which looks incredible by the way, Jupiter Ascending, which was originally supposed to be released in July and got pushed back to next February, and then spent an hour and 15 minutes on the Hobbit, a movie that is the 3rd installment in a trilogy and already has a massive built in audience who would most likely go see the final chapter of the saga regardless. The panels were all wonderful and quite enjoyable, particularly with Stephen Colbert moderating the Hobbit panel, but shouldn’t Warner Brothers use their 2 hours at the Nerd Mecca of the World to promote and try to establish hype about movies that people don’t know much about or Warner Brothers wants to help insure the fanbase will support ideas, you know, such as future, upcoming superhero movies.
Warner Brothers owns the rights to the DC comics properties and they haven’t exactly kept quiet about the fact that they want to build a cinematic universe with these characters, much the way that Marvel has done over the past decade. It’s also no secret that they are well behind Marvel in regards to establishing a universe. Marvel had 4 individual movies that lead up to the Avengers movie, and then a slew of sequels plus another new property (Guardians of the Galaxy) all coming before Avengers 2. While on the other hand, Warner Brothers is rushing to get Batman v Superman completed for its 2016 release so they can build up to the Justice League movie release shortly after.
With this in mind, it would make sense that Warner Brothers has some big plans for their super heroes. So what are they? Why did Warner Brothers not make a single large announcement about any of their movies or titles? Jason Mamoa has been heavily rumored as Aquaman for the past month as he dances and skirts around questions in a J.J. Abram’s like fashion. Even more interesting is what happened in the days leading up to Comic Con, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Tweeted:
“There’s a character out there that we’re going to announce soon,” Johnson said. “He has the power of Superman. And it’s not the Green Lantern by the way. Believe me – Jon Stewart – he is a character who I wanted to play, but there was already a version of Green Lantern, and so now we’ve gone in a slightly different direction. But this character has the power of Superman. He can throw down…Just say the word. That’s all I’m going to say.”
This heavily suggests that he’s going to be playing the character of Shazam. On top of all of this, Warner Brothers has officially announced that Ray Fisher will be playing Victor Stone/Cyborg in the Batman v Superman movie. With all of this information and all of the rumors flying around where was any of this in Hall H?
Not only did Warner Brothers not bring anything extra or try to spark excitement about their other Super Hero properties, but they didn’t really do all that much for Batman v Superman. Snyder, Affleck, Cavill and Gadot were on stage for all of 5 minutes to wave and show a 30 second clip. Snyder didn’t even talk about the movie, mention what it’s about, let along any small, meaningless minute plot points.
If Snyder is to be believed and they were shooting the previous night and are heading back to shoot, what was the point of any of the cast being there? They weren’t asked any questions, they didn’t even say a single word. Not a single word. Even if they wouldn’t have talked about the movie at all (which they didn’t) and all Ben Affleck said was, “I’m Batman,” the crowd would have erupted. Instead, everyone stayed mum, and we literally received no new knowledge about the movie other than the 30 second clip we were shown, and have no idea about any other DC heroes. For a movie that started shooting some scenes back in January or so, and started principal photography over a month ago, we’re only left with an awesome, yet extremely short clip of the movie and crushing heartbreak for those fans who have waited all night in the cold, let alone their whole lives for a proper DC Cinematic universe, as we continue to wait.