One of the biggest weekends in pop culture, San Diego Comic-Con, has come to an end. As we reflect, it’s clear there’s a lot to rehash; seriously, a lot happened. In fact, it looks like there are eight major Comic-Con news items we need to discuss.
What’s Comic-Con, you ask? Well, every year, thousands upon thousands of fans, actors, directors, writers, creators and so many others fill up the San Diego Convention Center. There, they discuss all of the biggest events and projects happening in some of the most beloved and fastest growing pop culture fandoms, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a plethora of Netflix shows and some hot HBO properties. It’s often expected that trailers or extended clips will be shown during Comic-Con panel discussions or special talks. In addition, during any given panel or preview, lots of news about a TV show’s upcoming season or a planned film will be dropped as well.
Here are some of the biggest news items that you, dear reader, will want to know about.
American Horror Story: Cult
The show remains shrouded in secrecy, but we got one step closer to uncovering the details of American Horror Story Season 7 with the title revealed and some new footage. The teaser revealed that this season will be called Cult, which definitely has some super-creepy implications if the cult in question involves those very thuggish and scary-looking clowns.
The trailer also features this ominous-as-hell voiceover, asking audiences, “Do you ever feel alone? Does it seem like no one really understands you? Do some things just make you sick? Are you afraid? We can set you free. We will make you strong. We want you.” Yeah, that’s totally normal and chill.
First off, let’s talk about this Comic-Con trailer for Westworld Season 2, because it’s absolutely amazing. There’s not much shown here — most likely because they’ve just begun production on the upcoming season — but this little treat for fans shows that Westworld is in an uproar.
We see Bernard looking a bit worse for wear and gazing upon a dead (robot?) tiger. We also see Dolores and Teddy riding on horseback and killing what looks like Delos employees from the fancy launch party at the end of Season 1. Oh, and we can’t forget Maeve showing one Westworld employee all of the destruction inside Westworld HQ. The Man in Black is definitely back, and that blood-spattered face of his shows that he’s just as much on the attack as his sentient robot friends. Basically, it would seem that Westworld Season 2 will focus on the uprising of the sentient robots, their clash with Delos (the company that owns Westworld) and various characters jockeying for power. It’s going to be chaotic and absolutely amazing.
Annoyingly, Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan was evasive in confirming whether Samurai World would actually happen in Westworld Season 2. For now, all we have is the trailer and a long wait for the premiere of Season 2 in 2018.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 7 is already underway, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to tease about the upcoming episodes of the penultimate season. After a panel discussion with actors Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Issac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor), they showed off a trailer that focused more on the various factions forming for two of the biggest wars coming up in the show.
The trailer makes it clear that Jon Snow and Daenerys are going to be coming together sooner rather than later. Jon has the men and military know-how to defeat his and Daenerys’ common enemy, Cersei Lannister — the Mother of Dragons will need Jon’s help if she is to take back the Iron Throne. Additionally, Daenerys possesses dragon glass, one of the key weapons Jon Snow needs to defeat the White Walkers. A big reveal in the trailer was that Melisandre would be coming back into the mix, possibly to bring Jon and Daenerys together. Everything is coming together very quickly in Season 7; try and keep up.
Interestingly, during the panel, Turner did allude to the fact that Sansa and Jon Snow would be clashing more and more in the upcoming season. Additionally, Christie said she remained open to the idea of Brienne and Tormund actually hooking up. Other than that, the panel was pretty short on details of the show’s future.
We’ve known for some time that OUAT would be hitting the reset button for its seventh season. The trailer that teases this reset is pretty heavy-handed in its reveal, showing us that familiar beats will be hit. For example, the adult Henry is introduced to the daughter he didn’t think existed, in much the same way as he introduced himself to his mom, Emma Swan, in Season 1. Also, his daughter is super-aware of their family’s fairy-tale roots and appears to be Henry’s guide back into said magical world, just as Henry was to Emma. Some familiar faces pop up, including Mr. Gold and Regina, along with new ones like Dania Ramirez, who is set to play Cinderella. Oh, and what would OUAT be without a little Captain Hook?
During the OUAT panel, the show’s co-creator, Eddy Kitsis, emphasized that this next season is about paying homage to the first six seasons while ensuring that beloved characters got their happy endings and, finally, bringing in some new stories. Kitsis also told the crowd what the theme would be for this new season: “Never stop fighting for what you believe in, and never give up.”
Michael Jackson’s iconic song “Thriller” serves as the musical foreshadowing for the first full-length Stranger Things Season 2 trailer, which premiered during Saturday’s Comic-Con lineup. The trailer provides so many exciting things to ponder.
First off, it looks like Will Byers is safe and sound in Hawkins with his friends and family, but the Upside Down is still trying to lure him in. He keeps getting pulled into this other dimension, where he gets warnings about the creatures that yearn to break out. It looks like Nancy and Steve are on the outs, and Hopper is searching for something (Eleven, maybe?). He may even team up with Joyce Byers to figure out what is happening to Will.
During the Stranger Things panel, series co-creator Matt Duffer told audiences that the characters are “just trying to sweep everything under a rug and pretend everything is fine and back to normal, and it’s not. People have been affected psychologically, and then there are some potentially supernatural after-effects.” The ’80s are alive and well thanks to Stranger Things, but trouble is definitely looming large in Season 2.
Wow, the next season of The Walking Dead looks intense AF. War is coming to this zombified world, and it looks like Rick and his comrades are going to war against the sadistic Negan yet again. There will be strategy deployed, along with a more vigilant attack plan, as both humans and zombies now pose a threat to Rick. Also, what the heck is going on with that flash-forward to old man Rick at the end of the trailer? Argh, so many questions have come up just from that scene alone!
During the Walking Dead panel discussion, the cast and crew paid tribute to the stuntman who recently died on set while filming a new episode. Additionally, TWD executive producer Robert Kirkman told audiences that the next season is a nail-biter with its pacing: “It’s easy to see and safe to report that this season will be very action-packed and move at a very fast pace.”
Batman is teaming up with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg in order to defeat some serious, otherworldly evil in the latest Justice League trailer. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of this new footage and, boy, it did not disappoint.
Besides the comedic beats courtesy of Aquaman and the Flash, we also got to see more on Wonder Woman’s home, Themyscira, and her mother, Hippolyta. We also got to see Aquaman fight (and surf atop) an unusual creature. It looks like Commissioner Gordon is having secret meetings with the Justice League and lighting the Bat-Signal. Wonder Woman looks content leading her double life as superhero and Louvre employee. Additionally, Batman may be shouldering the responsibilities of being the leader of this unlikely team of superheroes. Oh, and who is Alfred talking to at the end of the trailer? Your guess is as good as mine, although the internet already has some big ideas.
During the Justice League Comic-Con panel, Ben Affleck took a moment to officially squash any rumors that he wouldn’t play Batman in future films or that Warner Bros. wanted him out. It’s definitely not true, and yes, we will see more of him in the future. Also, actors Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa toyed with the audience a bit, both seeming to imply and reject the theory that Superman would be returning in this film. Well, which is it, guys? Tell us already!
The latest Comic-Con trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, the last of Thor’s solo films, looks like an absolute blast. Moving away from the more strait-laced adaptations of the comics storylines, this Ragnarok trailer teases some big things for Thor. This includes the destruction of Asgard, the intergalactic team of him and the Hulk, the resurfacing of Loki and some new, exciting characters, like the villain Hela — all done with plenty of technicolor bombast and gorgeous realization from director Taika Waititi. Oh, and did you see Thor just channeling lightning through his body like a straight-up boss? Yeah, this movie is going to kick ass.
During an interview with MTV News, Waititi revealed that a large portion of the film was improvised, which must be why there’s much more levity and off-the-cuff antics being shown in the trailer. This film will also help to set up Avengers: Infinity War, so be on the lookout for the clues connecting these films.
As exciting as these new pieces of news and footage are, most of these films and TV shows are months away from premiering. Luckily, this new footage will be able to tide us over until those premieres actually happen. And thank goodness, too, because these projects all look so amazing and are very much must-see entertainment.