San Diego Comic Con covers a wide range of nerdy items. You have TV shows, movies, toys, video games, and of course, actual comics. There were so many things revealed that we can be excited for, but I’m here for the movies. I’m going to task myself with narrowing down these items to the 10 possible best based on their respective showings and trailers because why not? Super geekdom is nothing without the hype machine, and I’m doing my part as a cog in it.
10 – Blair Witch (formerly “The Woods”)
The Woods was already on my radar since it was an Adam Wingard-directed movie. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t yet and check out The Guest on Netflix, because it’s an absolute gem of a genre-bending story. With that said, the studio “Cloverfielded” us and announced The Woods is actually a sequel to the unforgettable 1999, The Blair Witch Project. And then we received a new trailer when the movie was screened at Comic Con (to pretty good reactions so far), implementing that newly-revealed Blair Witch touch, and I geeked out pretty hard. The original Blair Witch flick had so much squandered potential in my eyes, and I feel like a director like Wingard can fully explore it in a satisfyingly thrilling way.
9 – The LEGO Batman Movie
I hate to say it, but I’m more excited for The LEGO Batman Movie than Justice League. Justice League just didn’t reveal all that much, and I know that’s due to limited production time before SDCC thus far, but still, LEGO Batman had so much charm, heart, and humor in 2 minutes to remind us why we all loved original LEGO Movie from 2014. Seeing Batman’s hilarious and awkward interactions with Robin just won me over in many ways (voiced by Will Arnett and Michael Cera respectively).
8 – Spider-Man: Homecoming
There are many technicalities for why Spider-Man: Homecoming shouldn’t be on my list, since we didn’t get footage. But why would the general public that weren’t at the panel get footage? They’ve been shooting for 2 weeks! They get a pass. But the concept art they did show us, which revealed Vulture as the villain, looks really promising. And I’m hearing all the right buzz words to get me hyped up in terms of the reactions to the footage. Many calling it a “coming of age” superhero movie, in the vein of John Hughes or Paul Feig’s Freaks & Geeks. You can also watch Tom Holland (Spider-Man himself) react to the footage for the first time, and he’s pumped beyond belief as well! And that is not only reassuring to hear, but infinitely promising.
7 – Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
This Harry Potter wizarding world spin-off really snuck up on me. I was convinced there was nothing more they could show me to rev my proverbial hype engines, but I’m glad they proved me super wrong. The trailer was one of the best shown at the Con. A really joyful, imaginative ride in a really small nutshell of what the movie will be. Additionally, as a long-time Potter fan who always wanted to see more from the alleged “deep” wizarding universe JK Rowling created, this fills that void. We get to see wizards from previous generations and they’re traveling outside of the UK for once! And we’re seeing a bunch of crazy monsters and animals the Potter films only gave us brief glimpses of over 8 films. That’s just plain awesome!
6 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The announcements alone and descriptions of scenes from this panel were enough to get sufficiently excited about to justify making my illustrious #6 spot. First off, Kurt Russell plays Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father, Ego, and he’s a FREAKING LIVING PLANET?! How does that work? I must see this immediately. Also they officially revealed Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, which there were rumors about a few weeks back, and her character is a counterpart to Adam Warlock A.K.A. Him A.K.A. a character with massive implications on the Infinity Stones hinted at in Avengers: Age of Ultron. We’ll go along on this ride together to discover more about these characters, but I can’t go without mentioning the footage shown at the panel. Sure, we didn’t see it; Marvel Studios didn’t feel fans worldwide had to see every little detail and I’m mostly okay with that, since Comic Con fans pay top dollar and wait for hours or even days to get into panels like these. But regardless, the scene they showed sounds like a blast. The movie takes place only a few months after the first Guardians, so Groot remains in an infantile state physically, which is shown in this footage. He helps Rocket (Don’t Call Me A) Raccoon and Yondu escape from Ravager prison, and it sounds like the scene is full of the humor and action we loved from the first one. And all of that combined aptly justifies why this should be above 50 of the other things shown at SDCC to me.
5 – Wonder Woman
I’ve been fairly honest on social media about my feelings on the DC Extended Universe thus far, but for those who don’t know, I did not really like the first 2 movies Zack Snyder gave us. In a word, they were a mess. I might go into details much later in separate reviews for each of those flicks, but for now, I’ll leave it at that (unless you want to have a discussion about it, at which point I’d invite you to comment below and we can hash it out like grown-ups do). I’ll just add that Justice League didn’t make this list for a reason. Anyway, I’d be in serious denial if I didn’t say I got chills from this trailer. Seeing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, who was one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, just kicking serious ass and doing what she wanted. Also, seeing another DC movie not directed by Snyder is just a treat for me. We get…you know…colors. We get the actors appearing to enjoy themselves and their acting companions. I’m just really impressed by what we saw here and can’t wait for more.
4 – Valerian & The City of a Thousand Planets
This is the highest ranked movie on my list that had a panel at SDCC in my top 10 that didn’t release footage online after. And honestly, I’m fine with that for this one, because if you look up the reactions, people lost their minds for the 5 scenes they saw, which seemed to include some type of makeshift trailer. This is Luc Besson’s passion project of many years, which he can finally adapt since CG technology allows him to. Based on a European sci-fi comic, we have 2 youngsters (in the picture) who are basically the police of the universe. That’s enough plot for me to get the type of epic ride we could be in for. It’s another case of getting more excited the more you see and hear about it, especially when you hear about people’s reactions that were at the panel. Besson received a standing ovation for quite some time. We’ll find out next year when this movie releases how ambitious this really is, and I for one cannot freakin’ wait!
3 – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
I’m not a huge “sword and shield” story type of guy, I admit. But when you put director Guy Ritche behind the camera, you’re going to get something you haven’t seen before. And this trailer blew me away. He’s blending the storytelling methods we’re familiar with from movies like Snatch or Sherlock Holmes, and putting it to a story we’ve heard told way too many times in Hollywood. It makes the movie look really fresh and original. The flashback sequence early in the trailer is signature chaotic Ritchie that I’ve always dug and seeing hints of a giant battle near the end was enthralling. Definitely a movie I’ll be revisiting when we approach the year-end “most anticipated” films list.
2 – Doctor Strange
Surprise! A Marvel movie isn’t my #1! Look, the new Doctor Strange trailer that dropped left my jaw on the floor, for sure. I loved the movie Inception and there are definitely shades of that here, but on a much grander scale. Seeing those cities in each corner of the screen, in what appears to be a crucial battle of sorts between Strange and Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius, just takes your breath away and your imagination on a wild ride. It’s clear that’s what the entire movie is intended to do so mission freaking accomplished, director Scott Derrickson and Marvel Studios. Also, I may or may not have squealed like a child when Strange threw his cape around his neck. That’s one of those geek-out moments we yearn for during these Cons.
1 – Kong: Skull Island
If all they had showed was the poster alone of Kong behind a cloud of smoke, staring down one lone seemingly-doomed soul, I probably would have still put this movie in my top 5 from SDCC. But that trailer. Oh man, that trailer. We’re getting a movie from another director (Jordan Vogt-Roberts) who understands how to interpret scale. We can sense how large and terrifying Kong is, and how awestruck the entire cast is at the sight of him. Seeing him take down a chopper with his hand, from the perspective of the passengers, is one of those moments you’ll always remember from a movie. That closing shot in the trailer of just his eyes staring down 2 of our helpless cast members gave me chills for several minutes, it seems. This was just easily the most riveting trailer we received from SDCC and the more information I hear/see about this movie, the more the hype that runs through my blood.
Overall, SDCC 2016 delivered as it does every year. We nerds walk out with a crap ton to be excited about for the next 2-4 years, and obviously still want more. I mean, it’s 2016. We’re needy people since the evolution of the Internet. But without fail, we’ll get that Con of Hype next year and every year after indefinitely. I know I left things out that people might be wondering about, but there’s only so much more Suicide Squad footage I can sit through before I just need to watch the dang thing. I was hyped a year ago for it! Now I’m curious what everyone else is excited about after San Diego Comic Con. Comment your thoughts below and let’s chat it up!