“Are you going to Comic-Con this year?” “You should go to Comic-Con.” “Ohmigod, I love love going to Comic Con!” I hear the first two sentences at the outset of each summer. I’ve never heard the last sentence in my life. Every mid-July, hordes of sci-fi and comic book fanatics leave Mom’s basement and descend to San Diego for four days to embrace their geekiness. (I kid because I love! Kinda!) They listen in on informed panels, watch exclusive preview footage and, for a few hours, breathe the same oxygen as their onscreen heroes. The journalists are on-hand to cover the madness — and attempt to leave with their sanity intact. (Remind me to tell you about the time that a random inebriated girl banged on the door of my friend’s hotel room all night.)
Not to say Comic-Con isn’t chock full of tantalizing nuggets about upcoming movies. After all, back at the 2014 edition, Warner Bros. unveiled Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume. That’s also when audiences got to see the first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer. (The Oscar-nominated action movie wouldn’t premiere for another 10 months.) The key is to not be overwhelmed by the breathless 24/7 updates and remember that Mr. Spock is going to be OK. So now I’m going calmly parcel out an categorized preview the 2017 SDCC for you. Sit it a quiet, air-conditioned space and enjoy and LLAP. Whatever that means.
Comic Book Draws
Only comic book adaptations and Bar Mitzvahs are scheduled four years in advance. In the wake of Wonder Woman’s massive success — Diana Prince’s World War I victory story will likely end up as the top grossing film of the summer — expect an announcement for a sequel that pairs Gadot and director Patty Jenkins. Aqua-Man, The Flash, Shazam, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Batman are circling the D.C. Universe movie orbit as well. (See ’em when Justice League, featuring the heroes versus some sort of cosmic threat, opens November 17.) . . . . The masters at Marvel will showcase Thor: Ragnarok with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (November 3) and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. But wait, there’s more! Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, Ant-Man and the Wasp (hi Paul Rudd!), Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (bye Jennifer Lawrence?) are coming soon too. Great. Now where is the Wonder Twins movie?!!!!
Remakes, Reboots and Reunions
Angelina Jolie is so 2001. The video-game heroine version of Jolie, that is. Now Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is taking on the role of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (March 18). It’s an origin story, featuring Croft as a young bad ass searching for her father (Dominic West) . . . . In Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 22), spies Taron Egerton and Colin Firth take on a villain played by Julianne Moore. Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges join the cast as members of an American spy group called The Statesmen . . . . . The thriller Murder on the Orient Express (November 10) features an eclectic all-star cast of Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley and Judi Dench. Judi can do no wrong, don’t forget. . . Clooney, shmooney: Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling and more get feisty and heisty in a first-look at Ocean’s Eight (June 8). Matt Damon will appear in the film too. Because of course he is.
Oh, the Horror!
Bring in the scary clown. In It (September 8), the film version of Stephen King’s 1986 classic, a kid nicknamed “Stuttering Bill” (Jaeden Lieberher, Midnight Special) seeks revenge against a nameless Evil in his town. He’s also a quest to find his missing little brother, Georgie. (Note: This plot differs big time from the source material.) . . . Annabelle: Creation (August 11) is a prequel to Annabelle. Which is a spinoff of The Conjuring. Which spawned The Conjuring 2. Creepy Chucky has nothing on this demented doll. . . . Just when you thought it was safe to wake up in dark places, here comes Jigsaw (October 27), the eighth film in the Saw franchise (and the first since 2010’s Saw 3D). It’s set a decade after the original, in which murders are linked to the Jigsaw psychopath. Expect footage for all of the above.
Out of this World Sci-Fi
Ready for Steven Spielberg to return to his best (and most beloved) genre? The master will drop in at Comic-Con to offer up at look at Ready Player One (March 17), which centers around a virtual reality world in 2045. By slipping on gloves and goggles, players can enter a geek wonderland and interact within the action of 1980s movies and hang with favorite characters. . . . . . Finally, we travel to future for a sequel 35 years in the making. Blade Runner 2049 (October 6) is set 30 years after the original. An LAPD officer (Ryan Gosling) searches for missing former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) directs the sequel to the Ridley Scott stylish noir classic. Two trailers are already out there; now we’ll get more. Please let it be good.
Also published on Medium.