Comic Strip: Comic-Con Brings the Goods on 'Batman v Superman' and 'Avengers 2'

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Warner Bros.

ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, check out the highlights from this year's Comic-Con, ponder who will play Doctor Strange, and learn just how painful it is to wear a Batman costume.

The Quick Comic-Con Rundown

If this column was to painstakingly recap every single piece of amazing superhero news that came out of Comic-Con this year, it would be the length of a novel. So, we're just going to hit the highlights, the things you have to know. If you want to go deeper, feel free to check out ScreenCrush's complete collection of coverage. Our guys on the ground did a great job covering each panel in depth, so dive on in!

As for the highlights, let's begin with DC and Warner Bros., who unveiled a very short but very cool 'Batman vs. Superman' teaser that felt like it was torn straight from the pages of Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns.' But more importantly, they released the first official image of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. Despite the lack of her classic colors, we can get behind this interpretation:

Warner Bros.

Oh, and they also released this new image of Ben Affleck as Batman, but it's really nothing we haven't seen before. However, it does give you a better look at this tiny Miller-esque ears!

Warner Bros.

And while the Warner Bros. panel itself didn't even mention the impending 'Justice League' movie, it was revealed that 'Batman vs. Superman' and 'Argo' writer Chris Terrio has been given the job of bringing all of those heroes together on the page.

The Marvel panel concentrated mostly on 'Ant-Man' and 'Avengers 2,' leaving those who were anticipating new scoops highly disappointed. Still, it's hard to complain when this totally badass new poster (composed of six separate posters) exists. Yeah, this movie is gonna' be cool.

Marvel

Marvel also released the first official 'Ant-Man' poster, which gives us a great look at the final costume, as well as Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas looking very serious.

Marvel

Oh, and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is getting its own animated series. And it's getting a sequel in 2017. Yep, Marvel definitely has faith in this one.

One Last 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Blast

Would you believe us if we said that 'Guardians of the Galaxy' opens in just a few days? Crazy, huh? No Marvel film has felt like this big of a risk and there have been times when we've been convinced that it was all one big practical joke. But here we are, the final blast of new stuff to show off.

First, a new batch of clips from the film arrived, but be careful if you decide to watch them -- do you really want to spoil your appetite when dinner itself is so close?

http://youtu.be/EzI-U1Fh9zc

And while we're watching videos, director James Gunn participated in a little featurette that explains why you should go see his movie in IMAX:

Meanwhile, poster artist Matt Needle came out on top of last month's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' poster contest and his work was officially selected by Marvel to represent the film at Comic Con. Good work!

Matt Needle

And finally, despite all of the trailers and TV spots and clips and posters, Marvel is keeping one 'Guardians of the Galaxy' tidbit close to its vest. None of the press screenings or premieres will feature a post-credits sequence, but the actual screenings will. Does this mean we're getting an 'Avengers 2' tease? Maybe even a first look at whoever is playing Doctor Strange? Who knows? You know, a little bit of mystery, especially when combined with a production as open as this one, is a great thing.

What's Going on With the Doctor Strange and Shazam Casting?

A funny thing happened at Comic-Con this year: neither Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios announced anything new. And that's a little crazy because everyone was sure they'd make two big announcements...

Let's start with Marvel. If you polled every single person in Hall H, you could be sure that each and every one of them expected to learn who was playing Doctor Strange at the Marvel panel. But there was nothing. There are already conspiracy theories flying around that the panel started late because the studio was desperately trying to get their man to sign on the dotted line and commit so they could announce it and they failed, hence the panel being mostly the cast of 'Avengers 2' chatting and being charming.

But here's the real news: days before the panel, The Wrap reported that Marvel was deep into negotiations with Joaquin Phoenix for the part. This is amazing news because Phoenix is an incredible actor and the kind of guy who ground bring legitimacy to a Marvel B-lister like Strange. However, he also has a reputation for being difficult and it's hard to imagine him being cool with signing one of Marvel's intense, 9-film contracts. Still, it would be a major coup if they managed to snag him.

Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson practically admitted that he was playing Shazam/Captain Marvel in an interview, was in San Diego already and continually teased his secret DC comic book role to anyone who would ask ... and the Warner Bros. panel still said nothing. What gives?

The Superhero TV News Round-Up

As usual, the most important superhero TV news of the week involves that upcoming 'Batman: The Complete Series' Blu-ray box set. Check out this colorful sexiness:

Warner Bros.

But there's more modern news, if you're into that kind of stuff.

First, TV Line revealed that C-list villain Plastique will show up on the first season of 'The Flash,' making this show the go-to home for every single bad guy that Warner Bros. will never actually use on the big screen. And that's kind of great, actually.

Elsewhere, 'Daredevil' showrunner Steven S. DeKnight was asked about his new show and described as a gritty, '70s thriller with a terrifying villain in the form of Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin. Sounds good to us.

And while you're clicking play on YouTube embeds, make sure you check you two more spots for Fox's 'Gotham.'

Oh, and the great  Lucy Lawless has joined the cast of 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.', which gives us the necessary motivation to dive back into this often frustrating and inconsistent show. Because Xena, guys. Xena.

And finally, here's our first look at Colton Haynes as Arsenal in the new season of Arrow. How crazy is it that he actually looks so much cooler than Green Arrow himself?

TheCW

Sony Shakes Up Spider-Man

Sony officially announced a release date for their 'Amazing Spider-Man' villain-centric spin-off movie, 'Sinister Six,' which will hit theaters on November 11, 2016. In the same announcement, they revealed that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3' has been delayed two years beyond its original release date and that it will arrive sometime in 2018.

This is interesting news for two reasons: first, everyone thought 'Sinister Six' may have been dead, but here it is, alive and kicking. Second, this is evidence that Sony knows how broken their Spider-Man franchise is and they're actually taking some time to nurture it and fix it. This is a good thing.

Of course, the fact that Sony didn't announce an actual date for Spidey 3 allowed Marvel Studios to pounce on the May 4, 2018 slot with another mystery film. 'Avengers 3', anyone?

Additional 'Ant-Man' Turmoil

Just when you thought 'Ant-Man' was out of the reeds, one of the lead actors decides to drop out and bring back all of those bad feelings.

Patrick Wilson, who was set to play one of the film's villains, has left the project, citing a scheduling conflict. This may be a perfectly valid excuse since the departure of original director Edgar Wright did force the film to change its production timeline, but it could be a polite way of the actor leaping from a potential train wreck (leaving those with iron clad contracts, like Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, trapped). Wilson wasn't the only one to depart, either. Actors Matt Gerald and Kevin Weisman have also left, but their reasons are a little less clear.

We like director Peyton Reed and we really hope he can pull all of this together, but man, this just keeps on getting messier.

Meanwhile, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Wright was far enough along in the pre-production process that the finished film will contain some of his planned visuals. That's bittersweet, to say the leat.

The Fun Stuff That Won't Fit Anywhere Else

Everyone knows that Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage almost made a Superman movie together, but have you actually sen test footage of the infamously cancelled film? You're in luck!

http://youtu.be/Nt9fxWq5qg0

And speaking of movie stars in superhero costumes, the latest (and to be fair, gossipy) rumors suggest that Ben Affleck is having a really, really hard time dealing with his Batman costume. Yikes. That actually sounds legitimately awful and we feel for the guy.

Thankfully, you can pretend to be Batman without wearing a constricting and painful outfit! That's what they invented games like LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for! Here's the new trailer:

If you like your Batman playtime to be a little more serious and were already planning to pre-order Batman: Arkham Knight, just know that pre-ordering now will give you access to additional DLC that lets you play as the Red Hood and Harley Quinn.

Warner Bros.

If you're more of a Marvel person, you can rest assured that Disney Infinity 2.0 has got you covered. After all, the Guardians of the Galaxy will now appear in the game!

And finally, 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14, 2014. Plan accordingly!

20th Century Fox
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