We’re one day removed from what is arguably the most anticipated portion of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) that takes place every year, that being Hall-H. Of course, with Marvel not hosting a slot of Hall-H, that allowed for Warner Bros. (and DC Entertainment) to take full advantage of their absence, and come out swinging for the fences.

Despite James Wan and Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman being (arguably) the most anticipated “blockbuster” on the card, there were a few others that really blew me away — Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and SHAZAM!.

I was expecting for it to be a solid reveal, and to get a good trailer or two, but each packed a tremendous punch to the degree that I wasn’t expecting. And of course this Hall-H was always going to be an indicator to see where the Worlds of DC (formerly and unofficially known as the DC Extended Universe) would be headed now, and what adjustments (if any) were made.

Thankfully, it appears that not much has shifted for DC Films, as the basics are what Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. had said from nearly the start, that each director would have their own tone and be allowed to tell their own story all while they were aiming for the same final goal.


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

I much enjoyed Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and I think part of that was due to the fact that I wasn’t as “all-in” with the Harry Potter movies as the majority were. I felt like there was definitely something about the lore and concept that I liked, but those specific movies/books just didn’t do it for me. Now comes the Fantastic Beasts spin-off series seems, which is more geared toward an adult audience than an audience to grow with like the original.

This trailer definitely had a more heavy feeling than the first movie. You can see that there’s bigger stakes at risk here than trying to capture escaped fantastic beasts, as Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is hell-bent on ruling the world. I personally got more into the last 3 (or so) HP movies, and the fact that they possessed a darker and grittier feel, with Voldemort priming to kill anyone who got in his way, you see a parallel in this trailer.

There were quite a few interesting throwbacks to the HP movies; such as the Boggart scene with Dumbledore (Jude Law) and a young Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the Mirror of Erised, and of course the (quite possibly) biggest reveal/throwback being Nicolas Flamel. This is something I’ve noticed Warner Bros. do best out of any of the studios, that being the ability and foresight to connect things to other (extended universe) movies in small ways that have a massive impact.

This trailer succeeded at giving us the most interesting picture of the overall story they could without spoiling, and amping up the hype meter for the continuing adventures of the Wizarding World.


SHAZAM!

I’m going to be honest, when SHAZAM! was first announced, I wasn’t really behind it. I felt it didn’t really fit with where the DCE— I mean, where the Worlds of DC was headed. And that feeling amplified a bit when Zachary Levi was cast as Shazam.

Now, that’s no offense to Levi, because this trailer completely pulled me out of the “I’m not feeling it” category.

This trailer displayed something that most comic book movies can’t do… be organic in a heavy leaning humor Superhero movie. You either get the minimal amount of organic humor like in Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman (which I love), or you’re Marvel. Yeah, I said it. Marvel tries to hit everyone and their mother with the (forced) comedy stick, and it gets to the point where they ruin a legitimate scene for the “sake of comedy.”

From Jack Dylan Grazer‘s “crippled foster kid” Freddy Freeman to Levi’s Shazam not “knowing how to pee in this thing,” you get funny jokes that amplify the scenes and the impact they carry. That’s what I think the general audience feels is missing from DC Films. So I think this movie could be a huge hit out of the park for them, and was a definite A+ trailer.


Aquaman

This was what I (as were everyone else) looking for from Hall-H. The long-awaited Aquaman trailer that Wan had been slaying rumor about its release date after rumor. And “my man!”, this was everything and more than what I expected.

After Justice League‘s mishap, and the huge disconnect with some character (*COUGH* Batman *COUGH*), I was hoping to see a shift back to that solid and deep story telling that Snyder had capitalized on. I personally love Wan, and his amazing story telling with the Conjuring Universe, I hoped that would translate over— and it did (from this trailer).

The fact that Aquaman is going to be an adventure/love story, it takes what we think of when we think, “Superhero movies,” and throws it out the window, forcing us to go deeper into what stories are possible. It transcends the genre. Then you throw in the Sci-fi feel that Atlantis possesses, and you amp everything that much more.

Talk about seahorses being lame— oh wait! You can’t because Wan has made them bad-ass as hell!

A definite key to this movie’s coming success will be its cast. From Momoa, himself, to Amber heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, William Dafoe and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, its top notch all the way around. They all carry a powerful presence with them, and it translates to the trailer.

Where SHAZAM! was that much-needed laugh, Aquaman steadies the ship (pun intended). This movie will be “#MustWatch”, and could be one of DC Films’ most profitable.


When it comes push to shove, and the blatant and unanswered capturing of the metaphorical flag, SDCC was certainly a success for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. They managed to keep the lid on nearly all of their projects, and especially so Aquaman who saw very few leaks, which allowed for true anticipation to build and it to seemingly dodge the “anti-DC bullet.”

This is what I come to expect every SDCC, and I love it.

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