What to Expect From the ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Comic-Con Panel
Faster than a speeding bullet, Comic-Con is upon once again. The biggest, nerdiest party in the world kicks off on Wednesday in San Diego and, yes, Team ScreenCrush will be on hand to cover it all. With Marvel, Sony, and Paramount, all sitting out this year’s big geek bash, the clear #1 panel to anticipate is Warner Bros.’ Saturday morning showcase of their upcoming slate. The presentation will include clips from the new live-action Pan starring Hugh Jackman, and the movie version of the ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But the star attraction is unquestionably an appearance by Zack Snyder and the stars of next spring’s hotly anticipated Batman vs. Superman.
The official Comic-Con program gives us a little sense of what Warner has in store, but we’re so jazzed for justice to dawn that we’ve spent this morning tossing around theories of what surprises we might see along side Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Here are our six best guesses for what to expect from Saturday’s blockbuster comic-book panel:
1. The Justice League Assembled
Remember when Marvel brought the entire team of Avengers on stage at Comic-Con for a grand introduction and photo op? Everybody does; the images and videos were everywhere for years. Don’t be surprised if DC tries to channel Marvel’s mojo and do the same for their upcoming Justice League film. (They’re channelling Marvel’s mojo just about every other way they can, so why stop here?) They’ll definitely have Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) in Hall H; they’re already confirmed to appear (along with co-stars Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, and Holly Hunter). Toss in Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg), and you’ve got six of the seven current members of the comic book iteration of the team (you’re just missing a Green Lantern; more on him later). With Marvel staying away from Comic-Con 2015, a shot of the Justice League could be the news item to lead every single news roundup out of San Diego.
2. Justice League: Dawn of a Title
Speaking of Justice League, the other thing DC could do to really grab nerds’ eyeballs would be to cap off an appearance by the assembled League with an announcement of the film’s official title. Yeah, yeah Justice League will be in there somewhere, but there will definitely be a colon followed by a subtitle too, just like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Something along the lines of Justice League: Rise of the League or Justice League: Mid-Afternoon of Justice. Unveil the full title, debut a spiffy official title treatment, and slap that on the screen in Hall H behind the stars and you’ve got a picture that can’t not go viral.
3: A Suicide Mission
Of course, Justice League: Rise of Whatevs doesn’t open in theaters until 2017. It will be preceded into theaters by next year’s Suicide Squad, which is already shooting up in Toronto. Warner Bros. hasn’t announced any official Suicide Squad appearances at Comic-Con, which suggests director David Ayer and the cast may instead make a surprise cameo at Saturday’s Warner Bros. panel. An unannounced Will Smith appearance, standing side-by-side with Affleck and Cavill would be another huge PR coup.
4. The Joker Gets the First Laugh
One of the crazier stories from the set of Suicide Squad is the case of the new, tattooed, grilled-out Joker, played by Jared Leto who, supposedly, never breaks character on set. Leto’s deranged devotion to his role offers another publicity opportunity. In 2013, Marvel stole Comic-Con headlines by having Tom Hiddleston come out on stage during their Hall H panel in character as the villainous Loki. The audience went crazy for it. If Leto’s so cuckoo bananapants that he won’t stop playing the Joker, why not have him keep playing him Joker at Comic-Con? He could warm up the crowd, spray someone with a flower on his lapel, and then electrocute someone with a joy buzzer. It’d be a real killing joke.
5. In Brightest Day (Again)
For the last couple weeks, rumors have been swirling about a rebooted Green Lantern franchise becoming part of the new DC Cinematic Universe. Will it be Tyrese Gibson? Could Chris Pine be the new Hal Jordan? Could the new Green Lantern movie focus entirely on Mogo, the Living Planet? Anything (except that last option) seems possible. It also seems very possible, and even downright probable, that we’ll get some clarity on this whole issue later this week in San Diego. And if we do, don’t be shocked if the new GL joins the rest of the JLA on stage in Hall H.
The one other big piece of the DCCU that’s already been announced is Dwayne Johnson starring as Black Adam in 2019’s Shazam. Johnson’s a tireless self-promoter and a world champion of social media; if you were planning a full-scale marketing assault at Comic-Con, you’d want one of your biggest guns (with the biggest guns) on hand to charm the crowd in the Convention Center at home and tweet and Instagram up a storm for the fans following along at home. If you smell what Warner Bros. is cooking, you know the cherry on top of this ice-cream sundae of comic-book awesomeness would be The Rock.