Mon, Jul 25, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Warner, Marvel wow at Comic-Con

AFP, SAN DIEGO, California

From left to right, Michael Rooker, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana take part in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 panel discussion on Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, about the film, which is to be released next year.

Photo: AP

Two of Hollywood’s biggest studios on Saturday went head-to-head at Comic-Con International: San Diego in an epic battle to demonstrate which has the best upcoming superhero movies.

Warner Brothers — still smarting from the lukewarm reception for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — presented a star-studded lineup ahead of Marvel’s showcase later in the day.

Its first exclusive of the session was a sneak peek at Wonder Woman, which saw Gal Gadot’s Amazonian princess leaving her lush island to stop World War I.

Due to hit theaters on June 2 next year, it focuses on the one character to escape criticism in Batman v Superman, which chalked record drops in box office revenue after a strong opening week in March.

“She has the heart of a human and the strength of a goddess,” a visibly trembling Gadot told the Comic-Con devotees of her character.

Margot Robbie’s comic book baddie Harley Quinn is one of the most hotly anticipated characters among all the films due to emerge from Warner’s DC Extended Universe.

Fans cheered as they were shown the final Suicide Squad trailer ahead of its release on Friday next week, which focused on the bubblegum-popping Quinn.

“Everyone was doing all this action — I was doing it wearing heels,” Robbie said of the shoot, which took place last year in Toronto and Chicago.

Zack Snyder took to the stage to treat fans to an unexpected first trailer for his latest movie Justice League, which is due for release on Nov. 17 next year.

The movie reunites all three “meta-humans” in Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Wonder Woman, played again by Gadot; Batman, played by Ben Affleck for a second time; and Henry Cavill’s Superman.

The joke-laden trailer is a marked contrast from Batman v Superman, which was heavily criticized for its dark tone and taking itself too seriously.

Marvel followed Warner in the late afternoon, giving fans a glimpse of its ever-expanding “Cinematic Universe” after sitting out last year’s convention.

Studio president and producer Kevin Feige played ringmaster, announcing: “We only want to come when we have a lot to show you. We actually have a lot today.”

And he did not let down the fans, who were treated to new footage of Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, opening on Nov. 4 and starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Mist descended from the ceiling of Comic-Con’s Hall H and the lights lifted to reveal Cumberbatch, 40, on stage in a T-shirt and jeans.

Derrickson, who joined the panel alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, told Comic-Con the film was a “left turn in the Marvel universe,” focusing on magic rather than technology.

Kurt Russell drove the crowd wild when he showed up to confirm he will play Chris Pratt’s father in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, which hits theaters on May 5 next year. A trailer also revealed that Sylvester Stallone also has a role in the Guardians sequel.

There was additionally a surprise glimpse of Spider-Man: Homecoming, with very early footage from the film due for release on July 7 next year, showing Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland.

Feige brought onstage Ryan Coogler, who helmed Rocky spin-off Creed last year and has turned his attention to the fictional world of Wakanda for Black Panther, due in 2018.

“The coolest thing about the world of Wakanda is they have a king, and we have an incredible actor playing that part,” Coogler said of Chadwick Boseman, who first took on the role in this year’s Captain America: Civil War.

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