DC FanDome ‘Best Bits’ Round-Up

This weekend, Warner Bros. and DC hosted their highly anticipated FanDome: Hall of Heroes event, showcasing a veritable smorgasbord of updates on their upcoming films, video-games and comic-book properties.

While I have already covered the majority of news during my liveblogging of the event, I thought it would be good to follow that with a round-up of some of DC FanDome’s best bits!

CONTENTS (In order of how excited I am for each project)
Wonder Woman 1984
The Flash
Gotham Knights
Black Adam (and Shazam 2, I guess)
Justice League: The Snyder Cut
The Suicide Squad
The Batman
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

WONDER WOMAN 1984

I’ve never live-blogged anything before, and starting off my coverage with Wonder Woman 1984 made me doubt that it was going to be a successful endeavour.

That’s not to say Wonder Woman 1984 doesn’t look interesting – it does. But with it being the property closest to being released, there was little in the way of new information the creators could drop without delving into spoiler territory. So, instead, we got a panel filled with fan questions and guest appearances from the likes of Venus Williams asking about tennis and Lynda Carter gushing about the Wonder Woman legacy being upheld.

Wholesome stuff, sure, but not as exciting as what was to come.

The biggest moment of the panel came at the end when director Patty Jenkins and the gang dropped a new trailer, and that’s when things really amped up.

The new trailer gives us a better look and more insight into Kristen Wiig’s character, Barbara Minerva a.k.a. Cheetah. While anyone in the know understood she was eventually going to turn into more of an animalistic foe, it’s nice to finally get a good look at her in official material, and perhaps more interestingly, watch what looks to be the ongoing development of her powers throughout the film.

Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord is still something of an enigma, but considering that Wonder Woman gets her wish to be reunited with her lost flame Steve Trevor, and Barbara gets to become, as she says ‘an apex predator’, he probably has something to do with granting wishes or something.

Fortunately, it’s not long now until we find out for sure.

Otherwise, the film looks great; the visuals, the costumes, the action, and perhaps most importantly, the fun factor. Should be an entertaining experience. Let’s just hope it avoids a weaker, CGI-filled grey third act of its predecessor.

THE FLASH

There was admittedly less to this panel than the Wonder Woman one, in part, because they haven’t actually filmed anything yet.

Still, Ezra Miller and the creators behind the upcoming movie made sure to make this panel a fun experience – high energy, factoid drops, and a casual walkthrough of how it all came together.

Their main ‘news’ was the release of new bits of concept art. The first featuring the Flash’s new, more streamlined and comic-accurate suit (seen above), and the second depicting the Flash in league with his new ally Batman ’89 (below).

The new suit will be given to Barry by his new friend and mentor, Bruce Wayne – presumably the returning Ben Affleck‘s version. Expect a lot of passion, an emotional story, lots of fun, and perhaps the weirdest DC movie to date.

Gotham knights

In a rather weird turn of events, the new Batman game, Gotham Knights, was announced, and its main plot point? It’s lacking Batman.

Instead, the game will follow the likes of Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood and Robin, as they go up against the Court of Owls in the wake of Batman’s passing. An optionally co-operative experience, the whole game can be played with friends online, or, if you’d rather, by yourself.

Classic Bat-villains like Mr Freeze will make an appearance, and once again, players will get to traverse an open-world Gotham through a mix of free-running and vehicles.

If you follow me, you’ll probably know this is the exact sort of story that I’ve been looking for from Batman properties (film’s, mainly, but I’ll take what I can get) because in my opinion, the various characters surrounding Batman, and Gotham itself, are often just as interesting (if not more so) than watching an earlier years Batman fight crime on his lonesome (no disrespect to the Pattinson film, we’ll get to that shortly).

However, the weirdest part of this is that it’s unrelated to the previous Arkham games… You know, the one’s where Batman’s story came to an end, seemingly setting up for this exact sort of scenario.

With that in mind, it’s probably safe to assume that Batman will, in fact, be back, at some point in this game, which comes out on next-gen consoles next year.

BLACK ADAM

This here’s a weird one.

A sort of spin-off to Shazam! that’s been in development far longer, Black Adam is Dwayne Johnson’s passion project. He’s been attached to the role since, I want to say last decade (or two decades ago, which decade does this year fall into? A quick google search would negate the need for this whole paragraph) and filming still hasn’t begun.

However, a director is attached and the film is officially in pre-production. As Dwayne Johnson loves to say ‘the hierarchy of power in the DC universe is about to change’ referencing the characters immense abilities, and his tendency to act above the law.

Something of an anti-hero, if not a full-blown villain, it’s difficult to guess what kind of version we’re going to get with the Rock playing the character. He claims the film will be true to the comics and will make fans happy, but he’s the Rock, you know? I can’t really see him breaking limbs and wantonly slaughtering his enemies with his profile in what will probably be a 12A?

The trailer suggests he’s speaking truthfully, the reality though, is still up in the air.

Still, discussion about the Rock as Black Adam has probably been done to death at this point, so instead, we should focus on the real news. Black Adam’s bringing some friends with him, as the film will not just be the origin of Johnson’s favourite comic-book character, but also the live-action debut of the Justice Society – a team of superheroes from around the time of the second world war who predated the Justice League.

The line-up, thus far, includes Hawkman and Doctor Fate, as well as newer recruits Cyclone and Atom Smasher, played by Noah Centino.

Also, the new Shazam movie is called Wrath of the Gods. I didn’t watch the panel, and the movie is probably still pre-pre-production so I’m not even going to speculate on it.

No doubt we’ll see Black Adam face off against the Shazam family at some point though.

JUSTICE LEAGUE:
THE SNYDER CUT

What many would argue to be the main event of the convention; after years of campaigning, fans finally got the first trailer for the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League.

While many of the shots looked familiar, there were also hints to an array of other scenes that will be seen in the new HBO Max series that boasts a runtime twice the length of its theatrical predecessor. Rather than being aired as a super-long movie though, this new(-ish) Justice League will instead air in four one hour parts.

For those outside the USA where HBO Max is unavailable, Snyder confirmed that alternate forms of distribution are being worked out. Presumably a DVD/Blu-Ray release or perhaps it’ll go to Sky or something. We’ll find out next year.

Triumphantly blasting out a new rendition of Hallelujah, the trailer gives us better looks at black-suit Superman, no weird CGI lips, a more serious take on the Flash (who still doesn’t look like he knows how to run, unfortunately), his love interest Iris West, time-travel (maybe?), Jason Momoa taking his top off, a leaner looking Ben Affleck who seems like he actually wants to be there, a more emotional journey for Cyborg, an updated, more resplendent Steppenwolf as well as a look at two of his fellow New Gods Desaad and their despotic ruler Darkseid.

It’s a lot, and definitely something to look forward to.

Personally, I hope it works out and is a huge success, in part for Zack Snyder and the cast, in part because I selfishly want Ben Affleck to be up for continuing to play Batman, and in part because how shit would it be if the Snyder Cut movement campaigned for two and a half years just to get a bad movie.

I only acknowledge that as a possibility because while it has a very outspoken fanbase, I still think Batman v Superman is fine at best (and yes, I’m acknowledging the Ultimate Edition when I say that). Conversely, I love Man of Steel, so really, for me, this could go either way.

But I imagine that honestly, most people have probably already made up their minds on whether they like it or not.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD

I’m going to keep this section a bit briefer because I plan on doing a Suicide Squad-specific follow-up post at some point.

But the James Gunn-led panel gave us a lot of think about. Colourful character cards for the massive cast, finally confirming their identities, a better look at the gloriously ridiculous costumes, and perhaps most interestingly a behind-the-scenes featurette, showing clips of the movie itself.

I am going to throw out some speculation here about who I think will live and die, and why. If you don’t want to read any of that, you can just skip to the next section: THE BATMAN.

It looks like John Cena is going to have a very big role in this, considering he’s the only character who got a more focused look.

Similarly, as I saw someone point out on Reddit, he is one of the top-billed stars, along with Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and (most interestingly) Peter Capaldi. Now, of course, that might just be down to contract negotiations, but potentially, that could give us some more insight into who the true central characters of this packed out film are.

Furthermore, it might provide a little look into who will make it out alive. The below characters, for instance, seems to be a squad all their own, and while we do see some of them interact with other members of the Squad (ie. Harley Quinn is at one point standing next to Mongal) they are definitely the more ridiculous, colourful and less present characters, making me think these will be our original squad – most of them will get slaughtered – and then Idris Elba, Margot Robbie and the gang will come in to fix their mess.

From left to right: Weasel (Sean Gunn), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Javelin (Flula Borg), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), T.D.K (Nathan Fillion), Savant (Michael Rooker) & Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman)

Adding to my speculation is the fact there’s another team pictured in the still image of the trailer. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it is pretty much all the characters not in the above picture, seemingly confirming that there are two distinct squads in this movie.

THE BATMAN

I’ve always had mixed feelings about this film.

It’s not what I want.

But it looks AMAZING:

I don’t have a ton to say about this. It’s a new Batman. It’s more of a murder mystery utilising Batman’s detective skills, unlike previous films. So far, the villains that we’ve seen are Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler and an unrecognisable Collin Farrel as Penguin…

If it is in fact mystery focused, I wonder if there will be another villain outside of those three and the currently unseen John Turturro as Falcone. Otherwise, it’s not much of a mystery, is it? It was the Riddler.

Personally, I think the Riddler may be directing Batman towards something else, hence the “you’re part of this too”.

Pattinson looks suitably menacing as Batman, and Reeves seems immensely passionate about the project. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see Ben Affleck’s Batman fully realised, but this seems like a more than suitable replacement. I look forward to seeing more.

SUICIDE SQUAD:
KILL THE JUSTICE LEAGUE

I’m not entirely sure why, but this is the panel I was most looking forward to, and it did not disappoint.

The prospect of a Suicide Squad game seems very exciting to me, and the premise of taking down the Justice League is interesting, especially considering the developers seem to emphasize that the Squad being incredibly outpowered by the likes of Superman is part of the game’s story.

Still, the Squad also looks more powerful than you’d expect, with Captain Boomerang seemingly being influenced in part by his comic-book son, Owen Mercer, who has super-speed, not unlike their mutual nemesis, the Flash.

I just love pretty much everything about this trailer. The characters seem to be well written, their interactions amusing and I know this isn’t in-game footage, but it looks beautiful. You also get a good feel for how the different characters move and thus a suggestion of how they will play.

Like Gotham Knights, this game is optionally co-operative, and whether you play alone or in a group, the four members of the Squad will always be part of the action.

It looks fun. It looks exciting. And the evil Superman reveal is suitably intense. All-in-all, it looks like what Suicide Squad was hoping to be before it completely shat the bed.

The only thing I question is the fact that unlike Gotham Knights, this game actually is supposed to be part of the Arkham-verse. Which is interesting. But also weird. For one, in the two Arkham games Deadshot appeared in, he was white, so that’s a strange choice. And two, if you want to make changes like that, wouldn’t making a new world where you can do whatever you want and have free range to kill off whoever you want (ie. Batman and the Justice League, because again, depending on when this is set, Batman is off the table) make more sense?

I don’t know. This game is still a ways off, so I doubt we’ll be getting any more news any time soon, but I’m excited.

Plus OutKast was my first musical love, so that was a surprise bonus for me.


Thanks for reading! Did you watch FanDome? What did you think? And what are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments, below!

And if you enjoyed this post, feel free to give it a like and even click that follow button for more film and comic book musings and reviews! 

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