Every year, hundreds of diehard fans eagerly line up to attend a series of jam-packed panels at San Diego Comic-Con. As usual, there were plenty of scoops to come out of this year's convention — but with so many popular franchises competing for your attention, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Allow The Week to be your guide. Here, the biggest news to come out of 2014's San Diego Comic-Con:
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice shows the superheroes going head-to-head
One year after wowing Comic-Con by revealing that Batman would appear in his Man of Steel sequel, a triumphant Zack Snyder returned to the stage with his three major superheroes in tow: Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).
Snyder used the occasion to show off a minute of footage from the film. It begins with Batman, standing on a roof in the rain, his eyes aglow (presumably some kind of night vision). He turns on the Bat Signal, and its light hits Superman, who is hovering above. Superman's eyes glow red as he charges up his heat vision — but before their fight begins, the video cuts to the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice logo. (Want to see it for yourself? One fan managed to take some very grainy footage of the teaser; you can currently watch it here, but expect it to get pulled quickly.)
Though Wonder Woman didn't appear in the teaser footage, Snyder took to Twitter to unveil the first picture of Gal Godot in costume:
Avengers: Age of Ultron teases the end of the Avengers
Unlike Batman v. Superman, the new footage from the Avengers: Age of Ultron panel hasn't been leaked — but the various descriptions that have popped up sound pretty intense. After a relatively goofy scene in which the various heroes try to lift Thor's hammer, the villainous Ultron bursts onto the scene. After a lot of fighting — much of it including the film's two new superheroes, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) — the trailer ends on a bombshell. Iron Man wakes up and discovers Captain America's supposedly unbreakable shield cracked into pieces. As the camera pulls back, the footage reveals the bodies of all of the Avengers lying in a pile of a rubble. They appear to be dead. (Go to Vulture or io9 for a full breakdown of the scene.)
Of course, there's no chance that the movie will actually kill off all those heroes — their individual franchises are far too lucrative for that. But it's clear that director Joss Whedon has every intention of topping his $1.5 billion-grossing The Avengers with a threat that will clearly push the heroes to the breaking point:
Godzilla 2 will introduce a trifecta of classic monsters
Gareth Edwards' acclaimed Godzilla reboot tore up the box office earlier this year, making a sequel all but inevitable — but Edwards is clearly courting hardcore Godzilla fans with his next outing. A brief teaser revealed that no less than three beloved monsters from the Godzilla franchise will make appearances: Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.
Edwards also plans to return to the directing chair. "I'll be back to do Godzilla 2," he revealed, though it's unclear when the Godzilla sequel will hit theaters; he is also slated to direct an as-yet unspecified Star Wars spin-off, which will arrive in theaters in 2016.
Skull Island reboots King Kong for the next generation
Fortunately, fans of classic movie monsters have another very promising option on the horizon: Skull Island, a newly announced reboot of the King Kong franchise due to hit theaters in November 2016. "Previous works have touched on the island, but exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world," said a brief press release. The project is still shrouded in mystery — but since Legendary also owns the Godzilla franchise, it has been roundly assumed that the company is already laying the groundwork for a King Kong vs. Godzilla remake.
Game of Thrones introduces season five's new players
The panel for the HBO fantasy drama was relatively light-hearted (including the premiere of a goofy gag reel), but there was one major scoop: the introduction of season five's new cast members. The video won't mean much to those who haven't read George R.R. Martin's books, but those who have can get their first glimpse of characters like Doran Martell, Obara Sand, and the High Sparrow:
Mad Max: Fury Road drops an eye-popping trailer
One of the most pleasant surprises to come out of Comic-Con was the trailer for the long-in-the-works Mad Max reboot. Stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron seem particularly well-suited to the visceral thrills of the post-apocalyptic movie, which looks refreshingly light on CGI:
The Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode looks awful
Far less promising: this virtually laugh-free glimpse at the upcoming crossover between The Simpsons and Family Guy, which plays like a particularly unfortunate piece of fan fiction. Look on Seth MacFarlane's works, ye mighty, and despair:
But wait! There's more
A few other highlights from San Diego Comic-Con:
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is officially happening
- Joaquin Phoenix is the frontrunner to play Marvel's Doctor Strange
- Cast of cult sci-fi series Firefly reunites for new video game
- Gory new trailer for The Walking Dead season five
- New trailer for Arrow season three includes popular Batman villain Ra's al Ghul
- Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey promote Interstellar
- FX's Sons of Anarchy might be getting a prequel
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
Subscribe to the Week