Photo Credit, AP
Millions of people descended on San Diego this past weekend for Comic-Con 2013, the Holy Grail of geekdom for fanboys around the world. While it may have started out as ground zero for the comic book world over the last decade it has turned into a launching point for some of the entertainment industry’s biggest movers and shakers. The announcements made at the SDCC will change the world of cinema for years to come.
What started out as a battle for dominance on the pages of comics has quickly turned into a war for attention the big screen as Marvel and DC unveiled their big guns at the event. While Marvel has been pioneering the comic book movie genre for over a decade now it seems DC is finally starting to catch on and adapt. After the success of Man of Steel earlier this summer it is clear that Superman is once again a hot property. While a sequel was on the horizon almost no one could have seen DC’s announcement to make a Batman/Superman movie coming.
Fans around the world (including myself) must have literally squealed with joy at the news. The decision to make a World’s Finest movie before the much hyped Justice League film was a smart one. DC is still playing catch-up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and releasing a movie with all of its big names at the same time is a major gamble this fresh out of the gate. There are still too many obscure names in the DC Universe that the average moviegoer simply doesn’t know and won’t pay money to see yet, Green Lantern taught them that. By building the DCU slowly and properly both fans and people that know nothing about the characters can become more comfortable and are more likely to embrace the movies once the company is allowed to really let loose. Marvel, of course, has already reached that point. It should be noted that when I speak of Marvel I mean the comic book company and not the movie studio. Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created with the first Iron Man film the company split up some of its key characters between Fox and Sony Studios. This has resulted in a schism among many hardcore fans which have realized it will be almost impossible to see an X-Men/Avengers crossover despite them sharing the same universe in the comics. This has resulted in two almost separate Marvel universes happening at the same time on the big screen. Under Fox’s supervision the X-Men universe has just now started to become connected, a trend that will start with The Wolverine opening later this week and continue with X-Men: Days of Future Past next summer.
Despite having grown up as a DC Comics fan (I will defend Superman until the day I die) it should be noted that what Marvel has done for the entertainment industry has been groundbreaking. By creating a shared universe that exists in both films and television (the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is shaping up to be monumental according to early reviews) they have changed the rules of the game. With the ball in their court you have to admire the company’s willingness to take risks. If you had asked the average person a year ago who the Guardians of the Galaxy were they would probably give you a blank look. But with Marvel’s announcement to make a feature film of the obscure superhero hero team and build them into the greater cinematic universe they have brought the team into the forefront and created a new legion of superfans almost overnight.
The film’s panel at the SDCC brought in some of the biggest names in the film industry including Benicio Del Toro, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and more to a film almost no one knew anything about. The company took a gamble and they are better off for doing so. Joss Whedon is taking the same kind of chance with The Avengers sequel, now titled Avengers: The Age of Ultron. These are risky moves and had the company not built up the good will of fans by producing quality, groundbreaking movies year after year they would have surely failed a generation ago.
Of course other geek fandoms were represented throughout the weekend as well. Doctor Who had a special 50th anniversary presentation as current Doctor Matt Smith gave a farewell to his fans. Announcements of a World of Warcraftfeature film (that no one seemed to know was even being made) along with an amazing first look at the new Godzillamovie took the convention by storm.
We already can’t wait to see what Comic Con 2014 will bring!