(NEW YORK) — With COVID-19 shuttering major pop culture events like San Diego Comic-Con, some might have been skeptical that the 24-hour online DC Fandome event could match the hype of an in-person convention.
However, Warner Bros.’ DC Comics universe put that skepticism to rest over the weekend, with a marathon online event that showed fans sneak peeks of upcoming projects on the small and big screen, including director Matt Reeves’ anticipated The Batman, as well as Wonder Woman 1984, and writer-director James Gunn’s reveal of his star-studded cast of The Suicide Squad.
Also revealed was a teaser to the fan-hyped “Snyder cut” of Justice League, which will run on HBO Max, as well as video games set in the DC Universe.
Earlier in the event, Ezra Miller, who played Barry Allen/The Flash in Justice League, introduced a new costume for his scarlet speedster, and explained his upcoming stand-alone film’s time-bending Flashpoint event could bring together various iterations of beloved characters, like two Batmen, played by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton.
The peek of Wonder Woman 1984 not only gave fans a look at Chris Pine’s time-transplanted WWI hero Steve Trevor grappling with the finer points of ’80s fashion, while Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince/Wonder Woman grapples literally with Kristen Wiig’s supervillainess Cheetah. “You’ve always had everything,” Wiig’s Barbara Minerva says to Wonder Woman, “Well, now it’s my turn.” The movie tracks her transformation from human to a human-like cheetah, tail and all. And yes, in her final form, the felonious feline looks worlds better than the cats in CATS.
James Gunn and his cast of The Suicide Squad also appeared via Zoom. The stand-alone sequel will again feature Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Oscar winner Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang.
However, this time around, Waller’s squad of villains also includes several recurring Gunn players like Guardians of the Galaxy vet Michael Rooker as the super-smart fighter Savant, Nathan Fillion as TDK, and Gunn’s brother Sean, who performed Rocket Raccoon on set in the Marvel movies as the man-sized rodent Weasel.
The cast also includes Idris Elba as the armored vigilante Bloodsport, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, David Dastmalchian as the dot-slinging Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as the rodent-controlling Ratcatcher II,
Steve Agee motion-capture performing the shark-headed baddie King Shark, John Cena as the ruthless extremist Peacemaker, Flula Borg as the spear-throwing Javelin, Mayling Ng as the super-strong Mongal, and Peter Capaldi playing criminal mastermind The Thinker.
Gunn also unveiled a behind-the-scenes clip of his squad in action, and it doesn’t skimp on the action, to say the least. “It’s going to different from any superhero movie ever made,” he promises.
However, it was Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson introducing The Batman that really got fans hyped; with the help of co-host Aisha Tyler, Pattinson explained his debut as the Caped Crusader was about 25% completed shooting before COVID-19 shut down production. The actor explained he was a “massive fan” of the hero all his life, and “now he’s very anxious to get back to work and continue to form this beloved character.”
Reeves revealed the movie will follow the second year of Bruce Wayne’s donning the cape and cowl. Reeves introduced a teaser for the film, set to Nirvana’s “Something In The Way,” that shows Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, as well as Paul Dano’s The Riddler, here re-imagined as a duct taped-masked seeming serial killer obsessed with matching wits with the Dark Knight. Also glimpsed is Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, the cat burglar who becomes Catwoman.
Of course, we also see Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, and as Bats himself, fully suited up, and beating the snot out of a thug. “The hell are you supposed to be?” one of the victim’s comrades asks, with RPat’s Batman answering “I’m vengeance.”
Wonder Woman 1984 is — so far — set for theatrical release October 2, 2020.
Justice League: The Snyder Cut debuts on HBO Max sometime in 2021.
The Suicide Squad is set for launch in theaters August 6, 2021.
The Batman hits theaters October 1, 2021.
By Stephen Iervolino
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