Today at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. gave fans a peek at the first DC Comics films post-Justice League.
Warner Bros. and DC had a bumpy 2017. There was the astonishing critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman, followed by the box office disappointment of Justice League — leading to an executive shakeup and a general rethinking of its movie strategy.
Will Aquaman, which stars Jason Momoa as the titular superhero and is due out on December 21, turn things around? Director James Wan told the Comic-Con audience that his goal is to create a movie that “plays more like a science-fiction fantasy film than a traditional super hero movie.”
Wan (who’s best-known for horror titles like Saw and The Conjuring but also directed Furious 7) previously said there’s been a long wait for the trailer because he wanted to ensure the visual effects were ready — and after watching this footage, you can see what he was talking about.
The trailer does spend some time establishing the relationships between Aquaman, his love interest Mera (Amber Heard), his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and his half-brother/rival Orm (Patrick Wilson). My real takeaway, though, is that this is going to be a spectacular, effects-filled movie with plenty of undersea action.
Then there’s Shazam!, which looks like it could be DC’s first outright comedy.
With the film’s release date (April 5, 2019) still nearly a year away, this trailer seems to focus on a few key scenes setting up the premise, with young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) gifted by a mysterious stranger with the ability to turn into a big red superhero (Zachary Levi) by just calling out the word “Shazam!” (The character was originally known as Captain Marvel, but I assume that they’ll stick with the Shazam name in the movie.)
Like Wan, director David F. Sandberg has previously helmed horror movies (specifically Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation), but the trailer makes it clear that he’s taking a light-hearted approach to the material. Despite his appearance as an invulnerable superhero, this version of Shazam is still a goofy kid.
And if you were hoping for a glimpse at Wonder Woman 1984, it sounds like the filmmakers did show off footage at Comic-Con, but they don’t have a polished trailer yet to put online.
Director Patty Jenkins said she looks at the movie as less of a sequel and more a standalone story with the same character: “We can make a whole new movie that’s as strong and unique as the first. It’s not more of anything; it’s its own thing.”
Oh, and stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled for a year-old movie, but if you’re wondering why Chris Pine is in 1984 when his character Steve Trevor appeared to die in the first Wonder Woman: Apparently there were no answers forthcoming during the panel.