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Comic-Con 2022: Battle of the Franchises

By Nate D'Agostino, FN alum '22

In July, San Diego Comic-Con 2022 unveiled a huge assortment of content from brands like Marvel and DC, proving that there’s still a solid foundation and industry faith in growing existing intellectual properties.

Marvel—returning for their first post-Covid convention—pounced in with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which looks to elegantly handle the tragic death of titular star Chadwick Boseman and promises strong performances from Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira.

They also premiered an extended look at the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, welcoming a suited-up Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to the MCU. Marvel and Disney easily won Comic-Con with not only their trailers, but announcements for Phases Five and Six, culminating in not one but two monumental Avengers films in 2025: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.

DC came prepared, too, promoting the films Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Rock’s passion project, Black Adam. Their slate paled in comparison to Marvel’s, but Warner Bros. Discovery announced a 10-year plan to reshape the DC Universe that it expects will rival Marvel. These energizing new trailers inspire a fresh direction for these legendary heroes that could finally offer some serious competition.

On the television front, Comic-Con fans were treated to new looks at USA and Syfy’s Chucky season two; AMC Networks’ newest series from The Walking Dead universe, Tales of The Walking Dead (an episodic anthology and refreshing new approach to the series); as well as new trailers from dueling fantasy epics House of the Dragon on HBO and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video, which will both air this fall.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power follows a young Sauron on his rise to power, whereas House of the Dragon takes its cue from George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, following the infamous Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. It’s hard to say which series will fare better, but both have the expectation of redeeming their respective franchises.

It’s no secret that many fans were outraged with the disappointing final season of Game of Thrones and the rushed character arcs that ensued. Lord of the Rings fans were less than enthusiastic with Peter Jackson’s prequel Hobbit series with its over reliance on CGI and bloated narrative. Can these dueling fantasy epics redeem their once towering franchises?

Not all has been well, however, with these franchises. A recent report in Vulture tells of toxic work culture at Marvel, including grueling conditions and unreasonable demands. The details provided by a visual effects artist (done anonymously to avoid blacklisting) in the article are astonishing and eye-opening.

Sidebar: Warner Bros. Discovery canceled TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee after a seven-season run and quietly pulled six original HBO Max films from streaming. Less under the radar was the sudden news of the HBO Max DC movie Batgirl being canceled. The film was set to feature a lesser-known lead actress, Leslie Grace, in the title role. This is yet another sign of the new direction DC seems to be heading in as the studio also announced the theatrical date for Joker: Folie à deux, introducing Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn on October 4th, 2024.

The coming weeks will be interesting with fall premieres and international film festivals debuting several Oscar-hopeful features. Stay tuned to FUTURE NOW for more news you can use. Subscribe to the podcast, follow us on Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn to access internship and job opportunities and learn about our upcoming events.


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