Feature: ComicCon Trailers – Winners & Losers

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Originally published on The National Student on 17/07/15. 

Another year at the ridiculously popular San Diego ComicCon has drawn to a close and with it, a plethora of new material from the most talked-about movies and TV shows set to hit screens in the foreseeable future.

Even with Marvel Studios surrendering their time in Hall H this time around, there’s still plenty of winning glimpses into the future of cinema and television to keep fans happy.

So join us now, as we journey deeper into the realms of inner Geekdom. 

Fantastic Four

Despite some harsh rumours surrounding Josh Trank’s big-budget Fox-lead reboot of Marvel’s first family, the cast and crew of the film were greeted with a warm welcome when they ventured onto the stage to show off their final trailer at the weekend. 

With the film’s August release looming, whispers of Trank’s insubordination on set getting louder, and news coming through of the sudden abandonment of its 3D conversion, all eyes were on the team at the SDCC to prove their critics wrong. And to some extent, this last glimpse at Fox’s latest superhero effort showed off some incredible visuals – although sadly mostly ones we’d already seen before. 

Despite a touched-up colour-scheme and a first look at a potential prologue, there’s barely anything here to encourage unconvinced fans to get on board with Trank’s reimagining. Miles Teller and co. still seem to form something of a good fit, but there’s simply not enough action and scope beyond a basic origins to really sell the film as a blockbuster contender, especially with all of the bad press its already garnered. 

Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself, but the jury is still firmly out on this one until its release on August 6th. 

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Having passed through the hands of many of Hollywood’s best and brightest (Steven Soderbergh included), this 60s spy-romp reboot finally landed on the desk of none other than Snatch andSherlock Holmes’s former lord and master Guy Ritchie – and his fingerprints are all over this extended trailer. 

Offering up some elongated versions of previously released scenes, as well as some beautiful glimpses at the film’s large-scale stunts, and all set to a wonderfully slick soundtrack, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. definitely began turning heads when this footage was shown off. 

With Henry Cavill proving that his career has life beyond the Superman cape and Alicia Vikander giving her star power an even bigger boost, U.N.C.L.E.’s ComicCon presentation certainly raised its profile considerably, making it one to watch upon its release on 14th August. 

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth’s jungle-set found footage horror has been blindly floating around distributors since its completion in 2013 – but now thanks to Jason Blum and his widely noticed Blumhouse banner, The Green Inferno will premiere this September. 

Although this rather sparse teaser doesn’t exactly show off a great deal of the film, it does highlight some clear comparisons to Ruggero Deodato’s infamous (and heavily banned) masterclassCannibal Holocaust, giving plenty for horror aficionado’s to get excited about. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

The supposed (and hopefully) final chapter in the ever-growing Hunger Games series lands this November, so of course some ComicCon action would be on the cards. 

The footage shown however does little to showcase the film itself, working instead as something of a viral teaser.

The great J-Law herself takes centre-stage, complete in her flowing battle armour, which is certainly a sight to behold, but with no new footage from the actual movie, there’s not a lot to get excited about here.   

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Possibly the most eagerly anticipated of the lot, the holy grail of geeks and fanboys alike, JJ Abrams himself took centre stage to debut a special new look at the latest Star Wars entry, and with not a single shot of JarJar in sight. 

It may not be another trailer (we already have two of those, and they’re both insanely special), but the attached sizzle reel of behind-the-scenes footage really works wonders to amp up fans ahead of the film’s December release. With flashing glimpses of new villains, old heroes and R2 himself, as well as details of all the practical work gone into making a genuinely authentic Star Wars experience, it doesn’t get much better than this. 

With this footage Abrams proves that it’s finally okay to get excited about Star Wars again. In fact, it’s actively encouraged. 

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

With Marvel Studios no longer present, the big superhero entry of the con was definitely the first DC-based team-up, delivered courtesy of Warner Bros. and their new creative trustee Zack Snyder. 

With fan reactions to earlier footage somewhat wavering, this explosive and extended look certainly blew a lot of critics right out of the water. Showing off not just the moral trials of Superman in the wake of Man of Steel, but also a worthy new origins to Ben Affleck’s latest incarnation of Batman AND Gal Gadot’s first big-screen adaptation of Wonder Woman, every DC nerd on the planet let out an extended sigh of relief. 

Snyder’s Man of Steel left something of a bad taste in the mouth, but with the stakes firmly raised for this huge second-helping, and the knowledge that our beloved heroes haven’t been creatively crucified after all, the anticipation ahead of the film’s March opening just doubled. Even if Jesse Eisenberg’s youthful Lex Luthor seems a little ropey. 

Suicide Squad

Accompanying Snyder’s superhero extravaganza is David Ayer’s very own antithesis, his ode to villainy that is Suicide Squad, which will see a heavy helping of Batman’s nastiest nemeses team-up in the name of governmental support next summer. 

The trailer Ayer debuted at the weekend may appear a little rough around the edges, but rest assured it’s packed full of goodies from a first glimpse at Jared Leto’s hotly-tipped Joker to plenty of Margot Robbie’s scene-stealing turn as Harley Quinn. Just be warned, Will Smith does, as expected, look a *tad* out of place.   

Deadpool

Although the trailer itself is yet to surface officially online (apparently the wait shouldn’t be longer than a few weeks), director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds finally showed off a proper look at the big-screen adaptation of the ‘merc with a mouth’ to an incredible reaction from the crowd. 

After finally having their long-waiting project green-lit last year following some leaked test footage going viral (with a full R-rating backing soon following), Reynolds and Miller have been hard at work and it really shows. The footage itself, although still to be seen outside of Hall H, supposedly had fans cheering and applauding so loudly that the cast and crew were stunned, before showing it a second time to a huge standing ovation. 

Somehow Fox have put their faith in a trash-talking, blood-thirsty, fourth-wall-breaking lunatic, and from the sounds of it, they were right to do so. Look out for the trailer coming soon, ahead of the film’s February release. 

Update: The trailer is here in all its red band glory. 

The Walking Dead

After stunning zombie devotees with a season finale as tense and bloody as first promised back in April, The Walking Dead crew showed off an extended look at their season six slate – and it is really something. 

What is basically four minutes of non-stop action from Rick and the gang seems to be made up of the season’s first few episodes, meaning another explosive introduction appears likely. Fan-favourite Daryl seems to find himself in hot-water too, which will no doubt evoke discussion across the forums as to his eventual fate. 

Based on this latest trailer, one thing becomes instantly clear however: Robert Kirkman and his team don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The wait until the October premiere may prove to be a long one. 

Fear The Walking Dead

The largely ambiguous companion series to Kirkman’s aforementioned zombie drama finally showed off its setting and characters in a trailer showcased at the SDCC this past weekend.

Revealed to now be a prequel, set at the height of the virus outbreak which caused the zombie apocalypse Rick and his family have become so familiar with over the past six years, Fear the Walking Dead ditches the current roster of survivalists for a completely new cast. 

Starring Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as the yet-to-be-named leads, this new spin on the Walking Dead formula certainly looks to be an intriguing concept based on the footage shown, but with the zombies themselves now all of a simple annoyance in the original show (sidelined for far meatier, human villains) the jury is still out on whether it will prove to be tense enough. 

The trailer’s a good start, but there’s not a lot new here that hasn’t been seen in the zombie world before. I guess we’ll see soon enough, when the show airs in late August. 

Doctor Who

Adopting a far larger, more cinematic tone than its usual grounded TV-stylings, Steven Moffat’s muddled and fandom-obsessed reign on the BBC’s flagship sci-fi world-beater Doctor Who appears to continue with this first glimpse into Season 9 of the show. 

Peter Capaldi’s turn as the eponymous Doctor continues, with more moody voice-overs and dramatic head-turns than ever before, whilst the expansive new budget seems to take things visually to another level entirely. Whether all of this matches with the classic Whovian kookiness however remains to be seen – all will be revealed when the show returns this September. 

Sherlock

As a more grounded companion to the likes of Who, Moffat’s second project Sherlock, the far from prolific detective drama, returns this Christmas with a one-off special set in the 19th century. 

The clip showcased alongside its panel at this year’s SDCC is a little on the short side but does enough to show off stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in full-Victorian costume; their trademark wit and playful banter still firmly in tact. And with such energy still present, and a clever twist on the otherwise tiring formula coming into play, this may well prove to be one Christmas special you really shouldn’t miss. 

Heroes Reborn

Somehow returning many years after its eventual cancellation, Tim Kring’s overly-dramatic superhero saga appears to be nothing more than a fractured memory of its former self based on this extended new look. 

With just Jack Coleman and a few of its lesser-known former stars returning for the rebrand, Heroes Reborn looks set to put a lot of faith in an unknown cast who simply don’t seem to compare to the show’s original team. 

At the height of its success at the end of its first season, Kring’s original Heroes was a masterpiece of supernatural drama, boasting loveable leads and a truly detestable villain in Zachary Quinto’s Sylar. But with all of the above gone enjoying Hollywood success, the show died a slow and excruciatingly painful death over the course of the following three seasons. Why dragging it back to life again five years later seems like a good idea no one knows, but based on this trailer alone it looks like it will indeed sink exceedingly quickly. 

Ash vs. Evil Dead

If Fede Alvarez’s 2013 re-imagining wasn’t enough for the die-hard fans of Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead, this latest TV project looks like it certainly will be. 

Bringing horror fan-favourite Bruce Campbell and his snarky, one-armed, demon-slaying alter-ego Ash back from the brink of medieval destruction, Ash vs. Evil Dead seems to pick up right from where Raimi left off, blood, gore and snappy one-liners in tact. 

Arguably the most exciting trailer of the entire convention, Ash vs. Evil Dead seems to be holding a solitary middle-finger up towards the hordes of remakes and re-imaginings that fans have taken issues with, lovingly diving straight back into the spirit of what make Raimi’s original trilogy so memorable and classic.

For Deadite devotees, this one is golden – and hopefully the series itself will match-up when it premieres this October. 

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