San Diego Comic-Con just got a bit duller. Marvel Studios is not staging a major Hall H presentation next month for its upcoming feature films, I’ve learned. That cedes the stage for Warner Bros-based DC, which will be holding a significant presentation to introduce the Zack Snyder-directed Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad, both of which reach theaters next year, followed by the Gal Gadot starrer Wonder Woman and Justice League, Part One, which arrive in 2017. It is a real opportunity for Warner Bros to impress the fanboys, and it seems likely that Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and others will be front and center to feel that superhero love.
With so many hit franchises in working order, Marvel’s Kevin Feige just doesn’t have anything new to show this year. That happened in 2011, the last time Marvel skipped the Con. Too bad, because Marvel panels rarely disappoint, going back to 2009, when Robert Downey Jr took the stage and gave a whole Tony Stark performance for Iron Man 2. The following year was crazier, with the full cast of The Avengers being introduced. In 2012, the Guardians Of The Galaxy cast was announced, the Iron Man 3 trailer revealed, and Edgar Wright showed groundbreaking footage of Ant-Man, which at the time he was directing until he fell out with Feige over creative differences.
In 2013, Tom Hiddleston ruled the stage in a performance as bad guy Loki. He pretended to take over Comic-Con and exhorted the crowd to obediently chant his name (apparently easily conquered, they did). He got around to introducing Thor 2 footage, and then surprise Guardians footage was revealed, which gave the first indication this wasn’t some Feige folly and there was a worthy movie in there. Last year was comparatively low-key, with Feige showing Ant-Man footage but disappointing the crowd that expected news on Doctor Strange. Talks had hit the rocks with Joaquin Phoenix, and it took awhile for Benedict Cumberbatch to surface.
Next year should be something as it will be the first time that Feige will have reason to introduce Spider-Man, after the wall crawler shows up in Captain America: Civil War. By then, the Russo brothers likely will be moving along with their new installment of The Avengers.