With the annual arrival of San Diego Comic-Con, pop culture aficionados are foaming at the mouth for new footage of anything and everything.
Thankfully, as always, the Pavlovian gamekeepers at Warner Bros., Sony, and all the other big companies are spitting hot new previews out the wazoo for games, TV shows and movies. We're here to round 'em up, so get ready to see the good, the bad and the ugly of San Diego Comic-Con 2018's trailer mountain.
This trailer's got everything that fans of a good time at the movies could want. Unlikely protagonists, fun superpowers, witty jokes, great writing; the whole nine yards. If the rest of the movie can maintain the level of self-aware snark and sheer joviality that this trailer had, Shazam might just be the best DC film yet. Obviously it'll be a departure from the stellar, if quite dramatic, solo adventures of Wonder Woman and Superman, but maybe we need a little bit of that. In an era when even Marvel is getting dark and wiping out half its universe to emotionally torment audiences, perhaps Shazam is the perfect remedy to the current cinematic superhero situation.
Come to me, my fish brethren! For it is time for Jason Momoa to make Aquaman look incrementally cooler than he has in previous incarnations. The whole "guy who plays with a trident and talks to fishies" thing still looks a little dorky, no matter how hard this trailer tries to sell you on it being cool, but hey, at least James Wan is trying. The shot of Aquaman jumping off a boat with a lit flare in the middle of a storm looks epic. Some of the armored battle sharks look cool. While we get the feeling this won't turn the tide for DC's Rotten Tomatoes reputation, at least the company is trying to course-correct.
In an unexpected crossover that M. Night Shyamalan has been quietly brewing for years now, the worlds of Split and Unbreakable are coming together. It looks like Bruce Willis is going to square off against Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy, meaning whatever kind of film we end up getting, it's going to be loaded with premium performances. The superhero genre is in for another shakeup with this one.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Just like in his 2014 outing, Godzilla doesn't get nearly enough screentime in the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He must be an awfully reclusive king if he likes to stay out of the limelight this much. With that said, the trailer looks nice and shows off a few glimpses of iconic kaiju such as Mothra and King Ghidorah, so there is some fun to be had in the reel's two-and-a-half-minute runtime. Its tone is strange, though, as it mixes destruction and monster imagery with uplifting, positive music and eco-friendly monologues that make Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth look subtle. How will these elements fit into a monster beat-'em-up flick? Hopefully the next trailer clears up these questions.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The second trailer for the second Fantastic Beasts movie is here, and it looks pretty great! We get a much better look at Johnny Depp's Grindelwald than we did in the first trailer, as well as more action and excitement in general. Newt and Dumbledore's friendship gets a heavy spotlight and most of the cast from the first movie earn a few moments to shine in the trailer as well. All-around, it's a well-edited preview of what's sure to be another interesting Harry Potter prequel tale.
Put on your black eyeliner and grab your allowance money for an impromptu Hot Topic trip, 'cause Titans is here, and it's threatening to dethrone Batman v Superman as the darkest and edgiest piece of DC screen content to date. "F—- Batman," Robin blurts after violently slaughtering some low-level street goons. Starfire remorselessly burns people alive in an alley. Raven screams in agony so hard that she literally shatters the screen and turns it into a logo. Hopefully one of the titular Titans' moms is named Martha, or this could get ugly.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
IT'S BACK, BABY. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, otherwise known as the best cartoon this side of the galaxy, was abruptly cancelled after the Sith, er, Disney, took over the franchise's reigns back in 2013. While the show got its swan song (season 6) on Netflix in 2014, it didn't change the fact that the showrunners had all of seasons 7 and 8 written up and at various stages in the production pipeline, destined to never see the light of day.
Thankfully, it looks like The Clone Wars is coming back in a big way. The fears, of course, are that they'll scrap the previously written scripts for something more Disney-esque and neuter the show's previous TV-PG-V rating down to Star Wars: Rebels' TV-Y7, a rating which would've made TCW's final few seasons impossible to air. And let's not forget about the lack of Lucas — his brilliant ideas are what made TCW possible, after all. Will the original, finished season scripts with his ideas make the cut, or will Mickey Mouse tweak 'em? We'll all find out not-so-long from now, in a galaxy pretty darn close (this one).
Nightflyers has all the token SyFy sci-fi beats you've come to expect from the genre, minus any real twists or shocks. Mind you, that's just the impression the trailer leaves, but still, let us know if you've heard this one before: earth isn't doing too well, so a crew board a space colony to act as "humanity's last hope." Then something bad happens on the ship, rapid flash-cuts of people screaming and suffering are played in a trailer that starts off with pretty piano music but gets progressively more dreadful, and by the end of it, it's clear some folks will die in cruel and unusual ways. Oh, and the main character's main motivation is probably his daughter. It looks like Interstellar meets Alien: Covenant, minus the aliens (maybe) and the budget (almost definitely). Who knows, though — maybe Nightflyers will surprise everyone.
From Matt Groening, otherwise known as the guy who created The Simpsons and Futurama, comes Disenchantment. It's got the same art style and general comedic tone as the former two shows, only now the setting is a medieval kingdom. Though the trailer doesn't do a whole lot to sell that the show will live up to Groening's previous endeavors, who knows — this could be the next big thing. We'll know soon enough, since it's hitting Netflix this August.
Spidey's back and he's thwipping webs like nobody's business in this snazzy, if a bit underwhelming, story trailer for Marvel's Spider-Man. While it's a visually stunning sizzle reel loaded with fan-favorite appearances (read: Miles Morales and Norman Osborn), the plot it sets up is one we've seen a million times over: the bad guy makes the hero a public enemy and forces him to take on a few heavy-hitters from his rogues gallery (a sinister six of them, perhaps?). Does this sound like anything especially creative or new to the genre? No. Still, it's the execution that matters most, so we'll see if Insomniac can stick the landing this September.
Power Rangers Legacy Wars Street Fighter Showdown
If you thought Star Wars: The Clone Wars was the most unlikely thing to come of this year's SDCC, think again. We just got a look at the crossover event /r/anime has been waiting an eternity for: Street Fighter x Power Rangers. It's a short film that's likely operating off less than a one-hundredth of the budget of the recent Power Rangers live-action movie, but that's all good — we're not asking for a spectacle to rival the Avengers, we're just here to see Ryu shoryuken the ever-living crap out of some goofballs in color-coordinated jumpsuits. Grab your red headbands and power coins, 'cause the cinematic event of the millennium is coming this fall.
Iron Fist - Season 2
Now that we have four different mildly strong "superheroes" running around punching goons on the streets of New York, Iron Fist will need some new tricks to differentiate himself from the rest of Marvel's Netflix crew — doubly so given the poor reception of his solo show's first season. Can he manage it? Will he wow us with something new that we haven't seen before? Probably not, based off this teaser. Still, if you want to see a guy do some basic Kung Fu and occasionally light up his hands, we've got good news for you.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Consider our power levels over 9000 thanks to this intense new teaser for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. It's Broly versus everyone this time around, and he's a heck of a lot cooler than we remember him being last time. Vegeta, Goku and crew better get ready for what's coming to 'em.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
Clementine's final chapter is nigh in The Walking Dead: The Final Season. This will be the conclusion to the journey we started with her in 2012's debut season of Telltale's Walking Dead series, along which we've seen her grow from a child to a strong young woman capable of fending for herself in a ravaged, desolate world. Though the teaser itself is light on details regarding why or how this will be the finale of Clem's journey, as well as that of The Walking Dead Telltale franchise as a whole, the title assures us that definitive endings are the name of the game, this time around.
The Walking Dead - Season 9
Just like the undead cannibals it stars, this zombie of a TV show continues to lumber forward in its endless quest to devour more consumers' brains. Though it started out with some high concept themes and compelling character beats, it's clear the The Walking Dead has been infected for quite some time. Will the impending departure of Rick Grimes spices up season 9? Will something genuinely important happen in the plot? Will an important character die and actually stay dead? All these gripping questions, and more, will be answered starting October 7th, when The Walking Dead returns.