San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is officially over, and while the biggest of conventions may not have had its most exciting year ever, there was still plenty to be excited about. This is where the shiniest new trailers were premiered and subsequently leaked online – everything from misguided comic book movies to familiar faces in new settings. If you have a big geeky movie you need to promote, comic con is the location to do it. So here’s the rundown of the best of the best to come out of the con – and a couple of the worst.
In a sea of traditional trailers and comic book movies, only J.J. Abrams took another path. Instead of another tired old trailer, he premiered a behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming Star Wars Episode Seven. The short film takes us to the sets, on location in the desert, with the cast both old and new, and tugs at those childhood heartstrings and feelings of nostalgia. More than a trailer, the featurette makes you feel like this could be the Star Wars sequel we’ve been waiting for, that maybe this time they’ve got it right and that cinema history will be made all over again. It’s beautiful. Then J.J. Abrams pulled an Andy Kauffman and took his entire audience on a walk to see a Star Wars concert. How cool is that?
Deadpool is not your typical superhero – if hero is even the right word – which is why, despite his popularity, we’ve never seen a Deadpool movie. He’s a little too meta and mouthy for a big budget blockbuster, which is also why its so astounding that they’re even making a Deadpool movie in the first place. And what’s even more exciting is that the filmmakers actually look like they know what they’re doing. And what Deadpool does, and which the DC folks seem to be completely clueless about – is get the tone right. In the words of everyone on the internet, it really looks like they nailed the hell out of it. The trailer is available online in a leaked version, but according to Ryan Reynolds the official version will be out in the next couple weeks when they put the finishing touches on the special effects.
Batman v. Superman
I’m still on the fence about this movie. I’m still convinced that it will be terrible, but continually less convinced that Ben Affleck will be a terrible Batman. The more I hear about his ideas and what he’s doing with the character, the more intrigued I am. What I am less interested in is Superman – mostly in general, but also specifically in this movie. Henry Cavill’s expression looks basically set in stone while he plays the part of the messiah figure. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is brooding away about the intentions of this guy with godlike powers, mostly because he caused such destruction during his fight with Zod – including a Wayne Enterprises building. Lex Luthor has hair and Wonder Woman works into the plot somehow or other. It looks like a lot of stuff crammed into one movie and really kind of a quick, convoluted way to establish this DC universe. How Suicide Squad – which also released a trailer at Comic Con but is not on this list because it fills me with contempt and disappointment – is going to connect to this is another question entirely.
In case you Holmesians didn’t know, Sherlock is back this Christmas with a very special one-off Victorian themed episode, theoretically to be followed by a regular season four in the next year or so. Yes, I said Victorian themed. Holmes and Watson are taken back to their roots, fighting crime through the foggy streets of 19th century London. Rather than a trailer, Moffat showed a clip of the upcoming episode at the panel. What’s rather funny about this clip is that the setting is both familiar and strange and then familiar again. Because of course Holmes and Watson come from Victorian London, but we are so used to seeing these actors play these characters in modern day London that it seems so strange to see them in a different setting. The setting, costumes, and style of speech might be different as well, but the relationships are clearly very much the same. This will definitely be my Christmas treat this year.
And then of course there’s Doctor Who. Steven Moffat is a busy man, writing and producing both Sherlock and Doctor Who year in, year out. The ninth season of Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi’s second as the 12th Doctor is premiering September 19. Based on the trailer we have just as many twists and turns as any other season of Doctor Who, which means it should be quite enjoyable indeed. Jenna Coleman returns as the Doctor’s companion Clara, as well as further appearances by the Mistress (formerly the Master) and a special appearance by a mystery character as played by Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams. Mark Gatiss has also written an episode this season, which is always a rare treat indeed. The trailer moves quickly, but there are flashes of Zygons, Daleks, explosions, weird eyeless creatures, and lots and lots of running. Everything as it should be.
While I’m mostly surprised that NBC bothered to run a series as strange and smart as Hannibal for a whole three seasons, I am nevertheless deeply saddened that its been cancelled. Hannibal is by far the smartest, most provoking show on television and probably the most beautifully filmed. The good news is that Bryan Fuller is working tirelessly to find a home to continue his passion project and that we still have an entire half season left to watch. The bad news is that the second half of the season has been moved to the Saturday night death slot. NBC clearly really doesn’t care anymore. What is kind of weird, though, is that Aquarius is moving with it, despite NBC having already ordered a second season for its poorly performing David Duchovny vehicle. In any case, this glorious teaser trailer truly does tease as we see glimpses of Richard Armitage as Red Dragon serial killer Francis Dollarhyde and tantalizing snatches of Will and Hannibal together again after a span of three years. Its going to be beautiful, strange, abstract, provoking, thoughtful, bloody, deranged, and delightful. For the Hannibal fan, that is absolute perfection.